Getting Back to Normal

Or back to whatever this thing called life is….full of wonder, surprise, and perseverance.

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. ~Author Unknown

My wonderful daughter and almost son-in-law brought me a balloon, flowers, and my favorite chocolates the day after surgery.

What an incredible surprise.

And do you know? It did make me feel better.

The beautiful flowers, and colors. The well-wishes. The good thoughts. And really? My favorite chocolate. I couldn’t eat anything before or after surgery, but by golly, I could eat those chocolates. Oh yes, I could!

Surgery was as horrible and not-as-horrible as I expected. Horrible in the way of FOUR incisions into my body, anesthesia blues, and the souring of my appetite (forever?).

The not-so-horrible in the way of removing a very dead, and non-working gall bladder. One that would have very soon begun poisoning my body. I thank GOD they did not wait until after Thanksgiving to remove it.

Also, not-so-horrible, the very real, and valuable advice of my older sister. She told me to ask the anesthesiologist for a patch behind my ear. She swore it would help with nausea when coming out of surgery. I asked and he gave. I have to tell you. Not being sick after surgery? Not having nausea? Not wanting to puke your guts up? When your guts are already in distress?

The BEST advice I have ever received. Even the recovery room nurse was shocked. She proclaimed EVERY gall bladder surgery should require the patch, because of how good I came out.

Apparently, this type of surgery causes more illness than normal due to removing part of the digestive system. So, truly amazing not to feel sick. Not at all. I felt bloated, and sore, and not hungry at all. But sick? No.

I wore that patch for three days. It’s a lifesaver. If you ever have surgery, ask for the patch.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

The rest of the week, I spent with dogs (and sometimes kitty) lounging around my legs. Watching TV, dozing off, and just trying to rest. I thought I would blog and not mess up my “challenges”. But man, just the thought of sitting up and being at a desk gave me chills. I didn’t want to move much. And although, I wasn’t sick from the surgery medicine. I did not have any type of appetite. I couldn’t eat at all.

I’m not big on mobile blogging. I could do it from my Google pad or my iPhone, but it’s really hard for me. It is the keyboard, I think, plus the pain meds and what not. Who knows what I would have written? Heh.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

So, I took time to heal and get better. And you know what? I did. It was surprising to see by the end of the week, I could stand up, and sit down as if nothing had happened. I still felt weak. My appetite still lacking, but the wounds were healed up. How amazing is that?

I made plans to go back to work. I left myself a day to get paperwork done. I probably should have given myself more time on that one….because Sunday I ended up super sick. All the bragging about not being sick from anesthesia? Yeah. Well…I got the stomach bug of all stomach bugs. If I stood up, I threw up. And my “day” to do paperwork went to getting over the worst stomach flu (with fever) of all time. Basically, just when I starting getting my appetite back, I lost it again.

It’s still gone, but if you want to bring me chocolates?

The paperwork is still in never, never land. I don’t understand (the red tape!) why if *I* want to go back to work, why can’t I? Do they really need a Doctor to tell them it is okay? A busy Doctor that doesn’t have time for eight pages of forms. One that has a hundred other patients with forms stacked up in their office. Not to mention that mine went out-of-town for his Dad’s surgery. I have called. I have emailed. I’m not sure what else I can do. It is a little daunting to be off-work and unpaid right before the holidays. It would be different if I had some paid time off. But I don’t. Not any. None.

I’m annoyed. I’m antsy. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready for a normal schedule.

Shouldn’t I know more than anyone if I am ready?

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

So, I stop to smell the flowers. I stop and wait for clearance. Maybe, I think I am ready, but the delay is for my own good?

And you know? Despite the paperwork, the bug, and the recovery?

Every day is better.

The beautiful flowers don’t hurt either.

Thank-you for all the prayers and good thoughts.

Not Exactly the Christmas Present I was Hoping For

I was holding out for a iPhone 6 Plus. And it was working out perfectly as planned. See our “upgrade” became available on November 4th. Right? Just in time for Christmas.

But instead, it looks like all my Christmas money gets funneled into the Gall Bladder Surgery Fund of 2014.

The fund that covers the removal of crappy gall bladder. The luxurious and all-inclusive day stay at the local hospital joint. This fund will save me from being ill all the time, because apparently, my gall bladder is full of sticks and stones. That *do* hurt me. And yes, it’s just stones, but feels like sticks in there too. Ouch!

I didn’t even know I was sick until I spent five days in Oklahoma with my sister. I had trouble with food. Seems like every place we ate made me sick. And come to find out, it wasn’t where we were eating (Ada’s Asian Buffet!). And it wasn’t the bag of Bit-o-Honey’s I couldn’t stop eating in the back seat of my sister’s car.

Nope, it wasn’t any of those things. It’s just my sucky gall bladder full of sticks and stones.

And now, nearly a month, and two gall stone attacks later, the doctor says it has to go.

I’m told I will feel ever so much better without it.

As the day of surgery draws closer (tomorrow!), I wonder what it will feel like not to have a tight band around my ribs. How it will be to have a normal stomach that doesn’t distend and feel grossly full after I eat. What it will be like to ditch the antacids and anti-nausea meds. The joy of not experiencing the twisting, charley-horse spasm while reclining on the sofa. All things I won’t miss and had no idea were even related to my gall bladder.

So maybe, they are right. Maybe losing the rocks will be a big weight off. BIG.

And although, it’s not an iPhone 6 Plus….at least I will feel normal again.

Photography 101 asked to see our bliss today. Maybe, it’s not a place close to me now, but this is definitely my bliss.

The beautiful Huntington Beach, California.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

I took this on my last trip to California two years ago.

Tomorrow after my early Christmas present. If I am hurting at all, I will look at my bliss, hear the ocean waves, and smell the soft sea air. Ahhh…bliss!

Why does chocolate make everything better?

At least for me anyway, and I know – I know! – some of you can live without it. In fact, you don’t even like chocolate. Oh, I don’t understand you – at all. But to each his own.

As Jason and Sydney took the girls home, I gave in to the pounding in my head. I gave in to the fact – the medicines that got me through the day – were no longer my friends. Admitting what was held at bay was mighty ugly. Much uglier than I thought. I gave up and stopped calling it “allergies” or “trip lag”. The tightness in my chest, the rasp in my voice, the deep rumbling cough, and the gunk in my head. Ugghhhh…..I felt bad. Real bad.

I admitted it. I have a cold. A nasty one.

And on their way home, Jason text me he was going by Wal-Mart and did I need anything? Did I ever? I needed an end-all be-all cure for the head, chest stuffiness of winter, of travel, and of no rest.

So I told him…….something to make me feel better. A cupcake? lol.

I was half-joking, but I knew he would know. Wouldn’t he?

I uploaded the photographs I took this evening for my 365 project. I took them of the girls playing with Sydney and I got a few poses in front of my studio lights I got for Christmas.

I did a little editing and really liked how this one of Bridget turned out. She is growing so fast. Oh, she steals my heart!

My gorgeous model step-daughter age four. My entry for 365 today.

I never imagined it would be so hard to pick ONE photo per day, but it is. It really is…guess it’s a good thing I have many days left in this year’s project. I wonder if it will ever get boring? I am fascinated by this photo diary of life – fascinated.

Jason came home with his hand behind his back. A little smile. A little laugh. I felt my heart jump. There, there in his hand….

Chocolate, sweet chocolate.

Medicine.

It was as good as I thought it would be, every morsel, every chocolate-y goodness of every bite (yes, every one). I even managed to pick the coconut piece last. Score!

And you know what?

I feel better. I really do. Like I just ate a steaming hot bowl of home-made chicken noodle soup.

Chocolate – ahhhh!

Wonder how long before I need my next dose?

P.S.- Lovelovelove the caption entries. Soooo funny! I am so glad I picked Jason as the judge because I could not do it. I will announce the winner on Friday. It’s not to late to get yours in. Just see the below post and comment.

It wasn’t the fried butter after all…

In October, after our beautiful 10-10-10 wedding, we stayed in town to be near Jason’s mom who had a brain aneurysm two weeks before the ceremony. We canceled our trip to Canada to be near the hospital. Jason, nor I, was comfortable being out of the country and there was no question about staying local.

But, we decided to do some fun things and on day three of our home-town honeymoon, we went to the State Fair of Texas.

Big Tex with a big Texas welcome.

To say hi to big Tex.

The Texas sized ferris wheel.

To ride the Texas sized ferris wheel.

A colorful sight on the Midway of Texas State Fair.

To walk the colorful midway.

Colorful hats, bubbles, and more.

To take in all the sights and sounds of the fair.

Including……Texas State fare of the deep-fried variety. And I do mean variety…….these are actual booth banners of what you can buy to eat – FRIED.

If it fits in the fryer, it will be deep-fried.

These are not even all of them. I didn’t get a picture of the fried beer. That one just turns my stomach……fried……beer??? Ick!

I will say the fried cheesecake was unbelievably good. Then, I really, really wanted a fried snickers. But holy cow, it was really big once it was fried. Jason and I settled on our last fried dish being the world FAMOUS Texas Fried Butter. Oh yahhhh.

Jason holding Texas State Fair fried butter.

The pictures don’t do it justice. The outside was sprinkled with sugar and honey. The center was warm and gooey and absolutely delicious! I heart butter.

One dose will do ya.

This did not last long.

Then we left the fair, and fried fare, and we trekked our way to the car. Jason got short of breath.

Huh?

I chalked it up to lack of exercise, his nagging bronchitis diagnosis, and from too many corny dogs. Not to mention the exhaustion from before/after the whole wedding and mom in ICU stress.

Later, Jason felt worse. Was it the fried butter??

I mean, people joke about the fried foods at Texas State Fair, but seriously, he wasn’t doing well….he ATE fried butter.

The next morning, he couldn’t breathe laying down.

That afternoon, I kid you not, he ends up in the ER and then admitted to step-down cardiac unit. Our honeymoon continued in the hospital……..remember that? If you have not read my Diary of a Hospital Honeymoon, it’s a must read.

Eight days later, he is released with no diagnosis. We needed Doctor House.

But I knew……I just knew….it was the FRIED BUTTER.

And yes, we told them. They swore it wasn’t from eating fried butter, but really?!?! What do Doctors know about fried butter? The entire heart ward was FULL during the Texas State Fair, coincidence???? I think not.

My diagnosis was clear. It was the fried butter and no more of that crap!?!

And that’s where this post comes in, because Jason finally got the bajillion blood tests back the rheumatologist administered. The double strand DNA test confirms his illness is from fried butter Lupus.

It wasn’t the fried butter after all, but I’m still suspicious. 🙂

Jason gets to enjoy fried butter another day and add a THIRD autoimmune disease to his medical chart; type 1 diabetes, hypothyroidism, and now fried butter disease Lupus.

At least we know now why he was hospitalized for so long, for no reason for very good reason. He was really sick (and not faking). We can look forward to treatment, and we can continue on with a prayer that it stays in remission (as it is now).

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and inquires to his health. He is doing very well with all of this. We both are. This is nothing that we can’t handle with God on our side and fried butter not crossing our lips.

Next year, I think I’ll try the fried snickers (j/k!).

P.S. I updated my blog header for Christmas. If you get this by email, or mobile be sure to check it out on a web browser. Many thanks, and happy, healthy no fried butter wishes.