Friday, May 13, 2011

And to think, this was the EASY part....

Okay, since several people have asked "Just what the hell happened to you and the whole hospital thing?" here is the saga…’s long, but trust me it felt longer while I was laying there. (That’s what she said) (sorry I couldn’t help myself.) Today is just the first part, because, seriously, it is a SAGA. And if you get queasy easily, you might want to skip it. It ain't pretty.

I was scheduled to have a hysterectomy. Yes, I am only 40 but I have had tons of issues that are certainly more than most of you want to know so I won’t bore you with all of them. The biggest reason was that my CA-125 blood test (which is one of the markers for ovarian cancer, you know, what my mother had me totally freaked out about) had come back as above normal more than once. My GYN (Dr L) didn’t think it was “cancer high” but enough that we should probably take a look around in there and given my other issues, if he was going to “be in there” we might as well take it all out. Honestly, I was fine with removing the baby factory. After my last pregnancy and the ridiculous crap that accompanied it, I am done. D.O.N.E. And I was tired of all the girl stuff every month. So YAY! Fire sale: everything must go!

It was supposed to be very routine: LAVH (I won’t over-explain, if you want to know, you can click the link...hope you're not eating), overnight stay, home the next day. I scheduled the surgery for just before Spring Break so that I’d have nearly two full weeks to rest and recover before I went back to class. My mom was planning on staying a week, maybe ten days. I’d be tired for a few weeks but should have been back on my feet by the time Spring Break was over. Ha. Ha.

You know that nothing is ever easy with me. I am ALWAYS the aberration.

My mom came to take care of the kids and me. A friend took me to the hospital that morning at 6:15 (thanks Courtney!) and my mom was up there as soon as she got the kids to school. I remember checking in, joking around with the anesthesiologist, getting wheeled into the OR and talking a minute. The next thing I remember is the recovery room.

Here's the thing: I don’t do well coming out of anesthesia. And I am ALWAYS overwhelmed by much it hurts. But this time, even though I knew why I was hurting, something still didn’t feel right. I kept telling them that I was hurting but I couldn’t articulate that something was wrong. Drugs will do that to you, kids. They kept saying, “Yes, you just had surgery.” One jackhole actually “asked” me “Is this your first hysterectomy?” My mom almost punched him. I started feeling really nauseated. No REALLY, seriously pukey. I told them and I think they gave me some phenergan or something. But it didn’t help much.

At a certain point, they had given me all the pain and nausea meds they could. Between all the meds and still coming out of general anesthesia, everything is very swirly in my mind. I remember them giving me a basin because I felt sick. I didn’t have anything in my stomach, but I started dry heaving. I know that they took me from recovery back to my room. I remember telling them that I was bleeding and they said it was normal to have some bleeding after a hysterectomy. But every time I heaved, I felt a LOT of blood.

Evidently I kept saying “gushing” until a CNA came to change the pad on the bed and noticed that the whole entire bed was covered in blood – like horror movie style. She screamed out in the hall for someone to "get their asses in there" (as my mom informed me) and finally they took me seriously. They laid me back down in my gross, bloody bed, tilted the bed to head down (which made all of my stitched up insides hurt like a son of a bitch - that I DO remember) and wheeled me back down to pre-op where they started a blood transfusion. I remember my mom there by my head telling me what was going on, kissing me and telling me she loved me. I remember thinking that I would really just like to close my eyes and go to sleep if everyone would just STFU. But they couldn’t let me do that…something about lapsing into a coma or something, so annoying. They kept shouting at me, “BUFFI?! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON?” and I would nod. I was soooooo tired and but not scared, really. More aggravated. And very confused. I don’t remember going back into surgery. Dr L checked everywhere he had cut out anything (which was pretty much everywhere, because evidently I had an incredible amount of endometriosis all thru my lower abdomen - I am SUCH an over-achiever. There were no nicks or ruptures anywhere that he could see, except one place.

(Skip the next paragraph if certain anatomical words offend you or give you the willies)

Evidently, when I was dry heaving, a blood vessel in my vaginal cuff – where the uterus connects to the…you know – ruptured and caused the whole thing to start throwing clots & blow all the stitches. So, when I was saying "gushing" I was right. Good times. He stitched it all back up very carefully. They ended up giving me three units of blood. Which, evidently, means that I very nearly bled out. At least that's what one of the nurses told me. So much for quick and easy. I vaguely remember the recovery room again and remember my mom being there and a friend coming back to see me. I think he was a little freaked out. But, pretty much everyone was "a little freaked out." I looked fabulous, I’m sure. From what I’m told I looked slightly cadaverous.

**Also, the jackhole nurse came and apologized for his jackholery**

The doctors agreed it would be a good idea to keep me sedated for a long time to avoid the nausea and to keep my blood pressure down. I guess that every time I woke up a little, I hurt like hell and my blood pressure would spike. Also, they didn't want me dry heaving again and busting something else open.

The original plan for the boys was that SugarBug’s teacher was going to bring the boys home from school. Since the surgery was so early, I figured I’d be awake and in my room by the time they got there. And if things had gone normally, I would have. Instead, Mom kept in touch with the boys’ teachers and Mrs. Secondgrade took the boys to ToysRUs to get some Legos and bought them some pizza (she is so absolutely wonderful, I cannot even begin to describe her) and brought them up to the hospital…somewhere around suppertime maybe? I don’t know. I know that they were pretty freaked out. There I was in bed, no color at all, who knows how many tubes coming out of me and oh, so barely conscious. Bless their hearts. I remember telling them that I love them and that I was going to be okay. I remember them each giving me a kiss before my mom took them home. And then, I was out.

The next thing I remember was waking up when my friend came back. He was really nice and stayed to visit for a while. He (sarcastically) told me I looked great even though I was practically see-through. That is the first thing I remember clearly. I hurt some but not as much as earlier. My blood pressure was still wonky from all of the fluids and meds they had given me after I sprung the leak. Oddly enough, my blood pressure would go down whenever they gave me pain meds. Imagine.

After my friend left, I asked the nurses when I could get the catheter out because, golly I HATE those. They had to check with the doctor, who was thrilled that I was awake and lucid enough to ask to take it out. So they did. YAY! I went to the bathroom, I drank some water. I called the house to talk to the kids so that they could hear that I was okay. I needed to hear their voices too. The full impact of what had happened was beginning to dawn on me and OH, how it broke my heart to even consider the alternative ending. I still hate that the boys had to see me like that after I had told them the night before that everything would be just fine. Now I'm a big fat liar.

Random snippet: When I was more fully awake, I saw a small card left by one of the pastors at my church. It was funny because I remember at one point in my drug-induced haze thinking, "Wow, that doctor looks just like Danny Pastordude!" Heh.

I stayed in the hospital one extra day (yes, that’s all!) and they sent me home. My instructions were to eat, rest, and go to the ER if I started to get a fever. I got my prescription for the pain meds and my hormone patches and headed home. It felt good to be in my bed. I was happy to be with my babies. I was a little shaky, but felt like I was getting stronger & better. The kids went with their dad, who was in town for a Spring Break visit, and they had a grand time. It was good to see them happy and not hovering and worrying about me. I studied some (mid-term approaching) and tried to begin making my way back to normal. SD left, my Uncle and cousin stopped thru on their way home from a Spring Break fishing trip to check on me. Mom was in charge and taking great care of all of us. She was considering going home the next day.

And then all hell broke loose…..

(to be continued this weekend, I promise. Probably)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Phrases I rarely use in conversation with adults....It's been a while...

It has been ages since I chronicled the ridiculous things that come out of my mouth while parenting. There are things that I never even imagined I would say. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can look waaaay back here to see other times I have pondered the utterings of a befuddled mom...
  • Stop throwing dirt in the air.
  • And no throwing rocks at people.
  • Play knights with your Nerf swords, not these sticks...that have nails in them. Sweet Fancy Moses, where did those even come from??
  • No, you do not need a spear.
  • You're fine. I don't have time to go to the ER today.
  • And don't bleed on my couch. (True story, I actually said that. SugarPlum about peed her pants.)
  • The tooth fairy doesn't want filthy teeth, so you'd better hope you brush well before that thing falls out.
  • Get dressed.
  • Get dressed.
  • For the love of little green apples, GET. YOUR. CLOTHES. ON.
  • I WILL take you to school in your pajamas. Wanna try me?**
  • Cleaning your room includes all around the edges AND in your closet AND under your bed AND the top of your dresser. It does not mean clearing a space beneath your ceiling fan.
  • If you pull all the leaves off that shrub, you'll have to buy me a new one.
  • Please don't break my house.
  • When was the last time someone flushed this toilet?? It smells like Woodstock in here!
  • If you keep screaming like that the neighbors are going to think that someone has been mortally wounded and call the police.
  • Cool Whip is not a "healthy snack."
  • Oh, ew. I think it's time you started wearing deodorant.
  • When I call your name, you get your butt in here, immediately. You do not simply shout "Yeah?"
  • What is so hard to understand about bedtime? PJs, potty, brush your teeth, dirty clothes to the washing machine. That's how it's been since you could walk. Are you new here??
  • "In the washing machine" means just that. Not somewhere in the approximate vicinity of the laundry room.
  • I know that you have heard Mommy say that word, but it is a word that is only okay for grown-ups to use. If you say that at school, you'll get detention.
  • No spitting water all over the shower.
  • How can you have been in the shower for 25 minutes and your hair is not even wet? But the light fixture is?
  • OUCH! *&^$ing Legos. (See above: words only grown-ups can use)
  • Don't sit on the dog.
  • Don't lasso the dog.
  • Leave the poor dogs alone already.
  • If you screw up SugarPlum's math project on the computer, I will let her beat you.
  • Everybody to the bathroom before we leave!
  • GAH! I told you to go to the bathroom before we left!
  • Why are you not wearing shoes? Which part of "going to the grocery store" did you not understand?
  • No, we are not going to McDonalds.
  • No we are not going to Taco Bell.
  • No, we are not going to El Chico.
  • WE ARE EATING AT HOME, we have groceries IN. THE. CAR. RIGHT NOW!
  • How much does your Mommy love you? More than anything in the whole wide world.
  • You little heathen.

**One day Bug piddled around and couldn't find two matching shoes. So he wore the right shoe of one pair and the left shoe of another. He's never had trouble finding his shoes since....

Sunday, May 01, 2011

You may want to grab a bucket because here is where I go on and on (and on and on and on) about my amazing daughter. Really, it's nauseating....

Okay, yeah, I know I promised to tell all about my extended stay at Club Med. But now that I've been out of the hospital for a month, I've grown weary of talking about it. I was too tired and then too busy to write. And now, it just annoys the crap out of me that it happened at all. I'm sure I'll finish that post sometime soon. It WAS a pretty significant event in my life. I think I'm just trying to process it all. I mean, I nearly died. TWICE. Yeesh.

What has had me preoccupied the past couple of weeks is the very act of counting my blessings. I have the most amazing children on the planet. I look at them and wonder how I got THREE great kids. It's like hitting the jackpot on the slots. They are truly miraculous. Those boys....oh, they are such boys. They do everything with such a ferocity and intensity. Loving, playing, beating the holy hell out of each other. Even the intensity of their apathy is impressive -- if that makes any sense at all.

But my sweet girl. My SugarPlum. She is what has me baffled and filled with joy and pride and anxiety and dread. She is 14. FOURTEEN. And she is just the best teenager in the history of ever. She is such a little bundle of contradictions. She has a wisdom and a maturity beyond her years. She carries herself with such confidence and self-assuredness and she really doesn't care what people think about her. When I was fourteen ALL I cared about was what people thought of me. I remember being so horrified that my mother wouldn't buy me Calvin Klein jeans. FIFTY DOLLAR JEANS! In 1984!! I won't even spend $50 on jeans now. Heaven forbid something came from KMart or some other discount store. Oh, the horror. My poor mother. But all I cared about was what the popular girls were wearing. And I swore then that I would do everything in my power to make sure my kids had what was "in style." But my girl just really couldn't care less where the clothes come from or what the label says. As long as it's comfortable and it fits her style, she's happy. I have actually offered to take her shopping and she says "no, I have enough clothes and shoes, I'm good." WHUCK? I got her a Vera Bradley purse last summer (which she does love because it's got her school colors) and now she finally carries a purse. But recently, when I asked if she wanted to look at some purses, she looked at me like I was crazy & said "I have a purse."

She has the coolest group of friends who are like her. They are all great girls, good girls, who are sure of themselves and don't feel the need to put anyone down to make themselves feel good. They are funny and smart and high-achievers like SP. They each have a wicked sense of humor, which I love. They don't feel the need to act out in any major way or use coarse language (like one of their moms who has a potty mouth that makes sailors blush at times....ahem). In fact, at any given time, I can open SugarPlum's email and if one of the girls has a reaction to anything they simply reply "STRONG WORDS!" instead of cursing. When they see the acronym WTF, while they do know what it actually stands for, they say "Wow! That's Fantastic!" (Try it. It's even better than saying What the F^*k!), and when they see BS, they choose to interpret it as "Bacon Strips" or "Bible Study."

Which leads to one of my favorite things about my sweet girl. She is so mature that she actually actively tries to maintain her innocence about the world. And I don't mean in a sexual way (although that too), but just in everything about the world. It's like she knows that there are situations and scenarios out there that once revealed will change her forever, and she tries to avoid them. Sort of an "ignorance is bliss" attitude, only in a healthy way. There are certain TV shows that I don't let her watch. And she's okay with that. She told me that she appreciates that I look out for her that way. This has led to me loosening the reins a bit and previewing some episodes of House and Big Bang Theory for instance that can sometimes have quite a bit of sex and adult situations, but also sometimes are very good TV and okay for her to watch. We talk a lot about what is on the episodes she doesn't get to watch and she is good with not seeing them. I know that many of her peers get to watch whatever they want on TV, but she is happy to work within the boundaries I've set.

She is also VERY athletic. Something she certainly didn't get from me. I mean, I did ballet and modern dance until I was a junior in college and I loved it. And I played soccer for a few years as a kid, but I did not love it. This girl LOVES sports. This year, she played volleyball, basketball and did track & field. All the while she played on her competitive soccer team. And she is GOOD. She is a goalkeeper - you have to have a lot of self-esteem and a pretty thick skin to play goal keeper. (And an even thicker skin to be the keeper's mom!) She is planning on limiting herself to soccer next year in high school. (HIGH SCHOOL!!! Oh. Em. GEE.)

She is also a big choir geek like her mom. She LOVES choir. She was in the honor choir and the show choir this year. She has been blessed the past three years with an amazing choir teacher who has instilled in her a love of music and vocal skills and just the artistry of it all. So, she is planning to pursue that next year as well.

In addition to all of that, she is ridiculously smart and is an officer in the Nat'l Jr Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. PLUS she was asked by one of her coaches to start and lead, along with her best friend, a girls' Bible study on Wednesday mornings. I can go in her room at night, after she should have turned out the light and she is reading. Her Bible. For real. I walk in unannounced and there she is, deep in the Word.

When I was in the hospital all that time and after I got home, she looked after me and her brothers. She is the best big sister in the history of ever. She loves those boys without reservation. Oh, yes, they make her insane. But she still loves on them and makes up games for them and will remember to tell me all the funny, crazy things they say & do while I am gone. I was never, ever that good of a big sister. When I have been out of energy and laying in bed (because this whole recovery thing has been much more taxing than I ever imagined), she will make supper for the boys and has even on occasion put them to bed. And that doesn't count all the hundreds of nights she's spent babysitting.

Why am I telling you all of this? I have no idea. I've just been overcome with how remarkable this sweet, amazing girl is. Through all of the turmoil of the past couple of years, she has kept her composure better than I. And she has been an amazing example to all of us. Is she going to therapy? Oh, yes. Nobody, especially someone 14, can deal with all she has dealt with and not need an outlet. But she's fine with that too, and acknowledges how much it's been helping her. And she talks to me. That is so amazing to me. She talks to me and she likes me. She tells me so, unsolicited. And her friends do too. Because they are awesome. Also, she does do the moody, eye-rolling, heavy sigh, slamming of the door thing. But when I step back, I am so grateful because it just reassures me that she is a REAL teenager and not some teen-bot.

So, I'm sorry for gushing. It's not even her birthday. But I am so thankful to God for this perfect child. There will never be enough words to thank Him for my Angel Girl. I wouldn't want to navigate this world without her. She's fantastic. For real. Please don't let me screw her up!