Friday, October 31, 2008

My Invisible Canadian Friend

Have you ever had an invisible friend?  One you have never met before but feel like you know just by conversing over the internet almost everyday?

Well, I do.  In fact, I have many, many friends that I have met through my favorite message board:  I have friends from all across the United States and Canada.  Now I even have one in Poland!  

Some of my "real life" friends and family think I'm totally insane for my obsession.  Come on.  Admit it.  You're one of them.  I still love you for thinking that way.  However, I wouldn't trade the experiences and learning I have had with my "invisible" friends for anything.
I have had the opportunity of meeting several of these gals.  Some are a little strange (that just makes them more interesting) but most are fairly normal.

As I have been through this surgical ordeal, I cannot believe how many of these online friends have shown such love and care for my wellbeing.
Maybe you've noticed comments on this blog or on Facebook from them.  I have been
seriously overwhelmed by their concern...even from people who don't like me very much.  (I know that's hard to believe but it's true.  I'm very thankful to these friends.  More than they can ever know.

NOW...about this post.
Yesterday I got another care package.  This time from one of my "invisible" friends from the Weight Watchers GDT board.

Her online name is Deasmom.  Her Halloween name is MummyDearest.
Her real name is Liz.  
She is hilariously funny and always makes me laugh like a loon whenever she posts.
Best of all...she is Canadian and knows my soft spot for Canadian candy bars.
Bless her heart, she sent me this package:

With this inside:

Thanks Deas!  You are a true friend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My First Care Package in....four days!

What a fun and silly care package from my darlings in Colorado!
Honestly people!  You're making me feel so special.
(I'm still not going to have surgery ever again just to get care packages though!)

Thanks Erin (who, by the way was deathly ill herself last week but still managed to be so awesome as to get this package off!) and Issy and Milo. (sorry about the horrible photography!)

I'm a happy Grami.

Halloween fun!  Check out these awesome nail polishes.  I've never really worn glitter polish before.  Maybe that's what the socks are for???

Issy picked out my new pen set...Hello Kitty no less.
You should definitely try this amazing chocolate.  It is a Choxie brand and is a "milk chocolate peanut butter pretzel truffle bar".  
Holy cow.

This is an awesome mood identifier (and let me tell you that I NEEDED this).  It's magnetic and so I can stick it to the door and move the box around to tell people when I'm grumpy...because I hide it so well.
The buttons are from Milo.  I love them.  I have a purse/computer bag on which I am collecting these buttons.

     Finally...a trashy magazine.   PERFECT.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Favorite Nurse

After the surgery, Melissa got to go to Disneyland with Curtis and his family for the Fall Break weekend.  I could tell she felt a bit guilty leaving me right after my surgery.  Of course, I didn't want her worrying about that and to have a good time.  
I knew I'd need some pretty intimate help that Terry and strangers couldn't give to me.  But i wasn't worried for one minute.  I had Erika.  I am so grateful for this little girl who has truly grown into a mature woman right before my eyes:

Isn't she so pretty?

Erika was my right arm during my recovery in the hospital.  She was there every day.  She called me a couple of times a day.  I knew she would come when ever I called her.  She was and is an amazing woman.   She helped my stay in the hospital less stressful.

Here are just a couple of things she did for me that I will be eternally grateful for:

One important things I needed to do was be clean.  If I'm sweaty and scummy I can't function (who can really?).  The nurse came in with some warm clothes to give me the dreaded sponge bath.  Erika jumped right up and took over.  As she washed my back, I felt so much love for her.  I realized that even little acts of kindness can bring people close to each other.  She wasn't timid about it at all either.  She washed my back and face with gusto!  I was so appreciative of her and felt so very proud of my daughter.

The next day, I was able to shower for real.
I have a great picture of Erika all dressed up in her waterproof gown to help me with my first shower.  She helped me in and out of my undies and gown.  She washed my hair...really well I might add.  I felt so very clean after that shower.  I'm most thankful to her for not laughing at my 45 year "old lady" body.  She even lied and told me I didn't look that bad.

Each day Erika made sure I had something that I could eat.  Hospital food is not that appetizing.  (more about that later)  One day, Erika came to the hospital with a bag of groceries from our favorite farmer's market:
She brought peanut butter, apples, applesauce, potato chips (I ended up eating all of them), and Puffin cereal.  What a doll face.

Then came the real food.  The only food I really ate at the hospital that I really loved and it was from Erika's lunch:

The BEST footlong corn dog in Utah!

(no comment)

Erika with her delicious corn dog.  If you ever have to visit the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, get one of those.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!

So you can see how thankful I am for my darling daughter Erika and all the selfless love she showed me during my week's stay in the hospital.  She never complained to me even once.  I love you Erika.  Thanks for the beautiful person you have become and always have been.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My First Care Package since 1984!

Abbie, Eli, and Audrie were so kind to send me a special package to help me as I
recover at home.  I felt so honored as I opened each special gift.
It made my day and for about an hour, I was painfree!  Thanks Abbie for the wonderful 
"half-daughter" that you are.  So thoughtful and such a good example
of charity for your children.

So, do you want to see what was inside?

A book.
I can't wait to read it!

Some darling hand crafted earrings from  
How did she know I left my favorite pair in Colorado??

Fun, fun, socks from The Gap.  
(these totally made me smile)

These caramels are delicious.
I actually have to hide them because Terry and Curtis really love them too.

Chocolate covered pomegranate seeds.

Thanks again to Abbie, Eli, and Audrie...and I suspect that Forrest helped a little too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A View From My Hospital Bed...part 2.

I have a little game for you.  Have you ever read People magazine and noticed they always have two pictures that appear to be identical but have been altered a bit so that the looker has to find all the things that are different from picture one to picture two?  (Whew!  What a long sentence)  Anyway, that is what I've done for this post.  Remember the pictures from my hospital room that I posted last time?  Well I took pictures of the same spots.  See if you can tell what the differences are...isn't this fun??  Isn't it??
Stop rolling your eyes.

Picture #1
What used to be a nice, clean shelf is now a mess.  It has become home to a bag of Boulder potato chips from Sunflower market (thanks, Erika).  A delicious raisin cookie (Thanks, Terry).  A big box of Club crackers (Thanks, Kathe).  And, various monitors and gauze pads.
Of course the flowers (Thanks, Amelia Earhart staff) are still beautiful although starting to show their week long stay.

Picture #2
Did you figure out what's missing?
It's the IV stand.  I'm finally off of the IV saline solution which was keeping me fed.  I was wondering if there were any Weight Watcher points in that stuff.  They had switched me from morphine to demerol shots through the IV.  I didn't like Demerol at all.  It made me feel all stupid and sleepy  (pretty much how I feel everyday anyway)
So, now I'm on the lovely pain medication called Percocet.  It seems to be
working very well, WHEN I GET THEM ON TIME!!!

Picture #3
This picture isn't that hard to figure out.  There are two things that are different. 
 Did you get them?
1.  There is a different show on tv.  It's "The Biggest Loser" rather than "Tyra".  I also might add that I'm so sick of tv I can't see straight.  
2.  The door is shut.

Picture #4
This picture takes a lot of courage to post since my shins look so huge.  But, it had to be done.
This one is easy too.
1.  I have socks on
2.  My pump up leggings are off and to the side...shhhhhhhh, don't tell Dr. Soissen.  I'd be in big, big, trouble.

Last Picture
No sleeping boyfriend this time.  He had gone home for the night.  But, If you look closely, you will see a creepy indented face on the vinyl chair back.
I think of Grimace the McDonald's character every time I see that empty chair.

How did you do?  
With any luck, I'll be home today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The View From My Hospital Bed

If you have never had the experience of being a patient in a hospital or have never visited a hospital room...lucky you!
The rooms are not that big.  In fact, my whole hospital room, including the bathroom is about as big as our walk-in closet at home.  Okay, maybe not quite THAT small but  almost.  And even smaller when it is full of about eight people wanting to visit (which I love) or take vital signs(which I don't really love)!

So, here is a quick (and I do mean quick) trip around my living quarters:

When I look to the right side of my bed I see these lovely  flowers
from Amelia Earhart Elementary where I teach my adorable first graders.
I love my coworkers and I will miss them during my extended
recovery time.

Continuing around the room as we swoop around to the left...
My IV which keeps me hydrated.  It also gives me my pain medication.  My drug of choice?  
Morphine baby!
(Don't worry!  Sheesh!)

Here's my curtain and my television. 
Notice Tyra Banks on the screen?  She is one weird cookie.

When I look down at the foot of my bed, I see my freshly pedicured feet.  Notice what a close color match there is between my toenail polish and my inflatable leggings.  Pretty fashion forward I'd have to say!

And now...for the finale... My rock.  My sweetheart.

Mr.  Sleepy himself...

My boyfriend,
Who wouldn't feel better looking at that angelic face?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No Pain...No Gain!

Well, the surgery went well and I'll tell the whole story later when I'm not hyped up on the morphine.
Let me just say that this morning I experienced the worst pain EVER!  
Because as of 11:00 pm last night, my epidural was not working.  I pretty much came unglued and bawled my eyes out because I was in so much pain.

But now?  Now I have  a nice little morphine cocktail and feel much better. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Surgery Prep is So Crappy!

I will never again post about poop (maybe) so you'll just have to enjoy it this time around.  To prepare for tomorrow's surgery, I had to "clean out" my colon.  In order to do so, I had to drink this  most vile, nasty, horrible, gaggy, and disgusting mixture of, of, of, whatever, that I have ever had to experience.

I had my good friend Kathe stand by me while I took my first dose (at school) at 7:45 am.  I thought I'd just slam it back and have it over with.
Don't do that.
It tastes awful (though I probably mentioned that earlier).  Within 30 seconds, I was gagging and the school sink (shhh....don't tell any of my fellow co-teachers).  It wasn't a lot but it wasn't pleasant.  Don't worry, I scoured the sink afterward.

So, then I waited,
and waited,
and waited.  
Nothing happened, if you know what I mean.

I finally called the doctor at 3:00.  The nurse said to drink the rest and if nothing "happened" by 5:00, I should call them back.


I followed my nurse friend Pam's advise...drink it through a straw on ice.  It really wasn't as bad as the first time around. (it was still nasty!)
Yes, things got moving and I'm ready for surgery tomorrow morning.

I learned a lot about mag citrate though.
  Like the chemical make up of the horrible stuff.

And, what it all means when it's all said 
and done:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Love Being a Grami

This last weekend, I went to Fort Collins, Colorado.  As mentioned in my last blog post, I went for two particular reasons.  First and foremost was to spend time with Spencer, Erin, Milo, and Isabel.  The second was for to see my Race For the Cure buddies.  I was in Heaven on both counts.

Friday night Erin and I went to Denver and had dinner with my GDT Weight Watcher friends.  There was Becca, Oxo, Boo, Sarpon, Kellybeanz, Psychopants, and Doctata.  (I missed seeing sad) It was a pleasure to meet new friends and see the old once again.

Saturday night I got to hang out with Erin and some of her nurse friends.  We had a blast.  You've never really lived until you eat dinner with a bunch of nurses.  Trust me.  It was great.

Every other waking moment was spent with my darling grandkids and Erin...and Spence too.

Making a paper chain to count down the days until Melissa and Curtis get to Colorado.
More paper chains.
MIlo showing off his wicked Obiwan Kanobi (sp?) moves for Halloween.
More storytime.
My visit to the preschool.  See Erin's blog for my very cute introduction to Mrs. Bonnama.
My little "clamdigger" girl.
At the farmer's market.  What a fantastic place.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Three little updates...

The first update has to do with the surgery.  I'm very disappointed that the doctor will not be operating at all on October 8th.  I was all set for this date.  But, now I have to wait until the 15th.  Quite the cog in my tumor wheel.

The second update is about my activities starting tomorrow until Sunday.  Yes, it is General Conference.  But (dare I even say it?) this is even better.  First, I get to stay with my adorable four year old twin grandchildren.  See below but, beware of the cuteness factor.

I CANNOT wait to read a story to my munchkins Milo and Isabel.
Maybe they will even read to me.

I will be also be run/walking in the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure in Denver.  I'll be hanging out with about 8 of my Weight Watcher online buddies.  I'm so excited.  Erin will be coming with me and I can't even tell you how thrilled I am.  (When did I get old enough to say "thrilled"?)

The third and final update:

Once again, my first graders crack me up and keep me grounded.  Yesterday, I told my class that I was going to Denver to see my grandkids.  Then I quickly added, "I'm actually not old enough to have grandkids."
Caleb let me know different.  He said "But you look like you're getting CLOSE to old!"
The darling boy himself.
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