Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Been Awhile...

I have not posted in months... mostly because I haven't felt very well and don't want to go on and on about how yucky I feel most days. On the days I do feel good, there is just too much to do to sit down and try to write. I have no discipline, what else can I say?

The last 7 months have been chaotic. I became ill in January with an entero-cutaneous fistula opening up (again) on my belly. It was a traumatic event for me and I did think I would die from the infection. Once we got things under control, I was sent to see a nationally ranked surgeon at Penn Medical University because of the complexity of my health issues. I started with some testing and a huge dosage of on-going antibiotics. We were also trying to schedule testing procedures around weather and snow storms since it's nearly 3 hours away. Not an easy thing to do.

In the midst of all the above commotion, we received a call from DH's father, stating that Grandma was in the hospital and she has taken a turn and we needed to come right away. We literally packed bags, made arrangements for the dogs, I rescheduled appointments and finished the rest of the calls on the road as we were gone in less than 2 hours. We were in Connecticut before the sun went down and began a vigil. Gram had suffered a massive heart attack and it was also discovered that she was also suffering from stomach cancer. She spent 4 more days in the hospital and we brought her home on hospice care. She lasted just 36 hours.

While we waited for arrangements to be done, DH became ill. He came down with a migraine like he had never had. We took him to the ER where he was later shown to have a mass in his sinus cavity that needed attention as it was not there on his last ocular xrays from work. (He has to have one every time he has an MRI because he works with metal, welds, and has metal in his eyes in the past.)

We came back to PA on Tuesday after the funeral and on the way, I called and scheduled an exam with a local ENT physician in Bloomsburg. We were able to get in right away. They sent DH for a more comprehensive CT scan with a different view. It showed a large mass occupying his entire maxillary sinus cavity, cause pressure on his eye. (It also explained why DH had been walking into walks, furniture, edges of buildings... because his vision was compromised.) It needed to come out right away... and it took precedence over my procedure. DH was out of work for just about 3 months with this entire procedure. To say things weren't stressful is an understatement.

We have been busy trying to get back on track with things... getting caught up on bills and doing some of the usual spring and summer things we do. Instead of doing my usual planting of annuals for color outside... this year I planted a perennial bed at the side of the house. It has turned out rather pretty and has been fun for both of us as it's a butterfly and bee garden. We have lots of bees, butterflies, birds and dragonflies. The feeders are well used as is the bird bath. I have enjoyed sitting out in the evening to watch the birds feed and listen to the all the chatter as they call to each other.

I have added 2 humming bird feeders to our little patio area and that has been a great source of joy for me as we have 3 that feed with us, 2 females and 1 male. The feeders are less than 8 feet away and we get a close up view... they are not afraid to feed while we sit right there.

That is pretty much my life these days. I still need to get back to Penn Medicine and restart my work ups. I do need to have surgery to remove the fistula and undergo a small bowel resect. It is not easy to think about, and it does need to be done in the next few months before the weather gets bad again. DH doesn't have much time away to be with me... he had to use all of his vacation for his Grams illness and funeral. His company is rather difficult to work with regarding family issues and FMLA is carefully watched. I hesitate to do too much... if I do this surgery, I think I will have him take me down for the day of the procedure and not worry about seeing me until I transfer to a rehab unit and then come home.

Time for me to go and get a few things accomplished today. Moving very slowly!

Thanks for stopping by and reading...
Be Blessed!   ~Suzanne

Sunday, May 11, 2014

This Spring Season of Time

Again, here I sit... stating the same thing... that it's been awhile since I last blogged. I have had intentions of blogging, it's just that with my fibromyalgia and my thyroid issues that cause me to have a lapse in short term memory from time to time. I've had that and brain fog a lot lately. We had a visitor stop in and have dinner with us. I made a meatloaf for our supper and he watched as I assembled it. Once it was served and I tasted it, I knew I had left an ingredient out. I couldn't remember what it was that I missed... and our friend began to make guesses on what it was... and DH told him, it wasn't that I knew and couldn't think of it, it was that I really didn't remember!

The last few months have been full of issues. We were called at the beginning of March the DH's Grandmother was gravely ill and hospitalized, and we needed to come immediately. We cleared schedules, made arrangements for pets, rearranged all my medical stuff, packed bags and readied the house for our departure. We were on the road within 2 hours. I managed to call the bank, the post office, the university, and anyone else who needed to know we were is crisis mode.

Our stay in Connecticut ended up being 10 days long. We had expected things were at a more advanced stage than they were and it was revealed that we were at the beginning of end stages. That takes around 4-5 days and that is what we endured. We had found a small inn 10 minutes from the hospital and the family home to stay at... but really didn't want to incur the expense. We did anyway and made the best of it. It was a very stress filled time with DH's female siblings. His brother was also in and out of town and proved to be a huge ally in all the turmoil. Things were said, some very rude and blunt, and DH and I quietly bowed out and stayed on the edge of things to avoid anymore unpleasantness.

The day before our last day there... DH had developed a migraine. I had done all I could to nip it before it became out of control. It did a very quick crescendo that DH said was the worst headache of his life. I The car became lodged between a rut and an ice dam and before I knew what happened, I went lurching backwards and took out the back fence and landed at the back edge of an antique stone wall. We ended up leaving the car where it was and DH's uncle took us to the hospital. After several hours of tests, it was ruled to indeed be a migraine. But it also revealed that DH had a very large growth in his head that needed further examination. We took the test results with us and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

The next morning, we packed up our broken up car with 10 days worth of laundry and life... attended his grandmothers funeral and luncheon and then headed back to our home. On the way, I called an ENT practice associated with another doctor's group we use and made an appointment for the next day. DH had an exam, was sent for further CT scan studies and we were scheduled to see the doctor in a week. DH headed back to work and was met head on by a true crap-storm led by the head of HR for being out for 10 days. They ended up having to involve his emergency vacation time and then 2 days of bereavement to cover all of the time we were gone. (She wasn't too happy about it and decided that he should pay... by taking a simple over site of not cleaning off a machine that he had scribbled on with glue from his finger... and had him walked out. After 2 weeks, she deemed that he was on suspension, thus voiding out his unemployment.

But let's back up to the doctor appointment... just after that doctor appointment and Ms. HR had DH walked out of the plant, she had the nerve to state that he was a danger to himself and/or others because of his "distracted state of bereavement". So she sent he home... which would have either put him on unemployment or on short term disability. Both of which ended up being denied because of Ms. HR. ... We did go back to see the doctor and he scheduled DH for surgery as he diagnosed a very large growth in the maxillary sinus cavity  and had to come out as it was large than a golf ball and filled over 90% of that cavity.

I will fast forward to the surgery being successful. The growth was determined to be a benign cyst. DH is still out of work and will be out a full 60 days before he goes back. Actually, it translates to him not working for most of the March, all of April and almost all of May. If we had not had all of the expenses incurred with going to Connecticut for 10 days, we'd likely be just fine. Things are pretty lean around here, meaning we've sold or are selling all that we can... and have cashed in some other things. We have a few projects we'd like to tackle... don't want to spend the funds right now. I sprained my ankle and foot while in Connecticut, and walked on it for 6 weeks. I finally went to see my Orthopaedic surgeon and he diagnosed it as a level 2 sprain "now" and put me in an air cast. It's been tough to remember to wear it, it's slowed me down somewhat more than usual. Thus, we have no garden area set up, we have no flowers acquired for the sitting area or any beds... nothing is hanging and no foo-foo has been placed as of yet.

If I have left anything out of great importance, I will try and update it. Please, I request your prayers for us... and I also humbly request prayer for a dear friend whose husband (and best friend) has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer... and they think it's been caught early enough.
Thank you for reading... please have a blessed day!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Seemingly Never Ending Saga...

I have been dealing with many things as of late... Health issues, family issues and a death in the family. I have been dealing with pre-operative testing and driving back and forth from PENN medicine in Philly. Along with that... We have been trying juggle trips between snow storms and staying on track with DH's work schedule and it not having a negative impact on his attendance and our wallet. It's not easy and we are very thankful for FMLA and what it allows.

Family issues are just that... Family stuff and expectations along with good manners. It is hurtful to me when I go to great trouble to send generous gifts and my phone never rings to acknowledge that gift. Not just from the kiddos it was sent to, but also their parents. I can't be generous like that too often and won't be sending gifts like that again.

We received a call just over 2 weeks ago that DH's grandmother was hospitalized and wasn't going to last much longer. We hastily made arrangements for our pups, packed bags, and rearranged calendars and appointments, held mail, and called the bank while on the road. We were in DH's hometown for a total of 10 days, staying in a small inn just south of there. We ate all of our meals out except for one, and purchased groceries and supplies for all those staying at his father's house. We bought meals for people staying at the hospital and lent support to his 2 sisters who decided to stay at the hospital for the duration. To say it was stressful is really moot now. It is always that way in these types of situations.

When DH's gram began to transition, she was moved back home on hospice. DH was able to accompany her on her last journey to her home and comfort her and hold her hand. We stayed close by and tried to be supportive as each person had time with her to say good bye. On what was to be her last night with us, Gram's daughter brought down Gram's jewelry box. We were instructed to go through it and take pieces that would mean something to each of us. I had a small pile of things and had been making certain anything that I saw that was valuable was given to DH's aunt. I ended up taking a small gold bracelet for DH's daughter, a couple small lapel pins, and 2 costume sliding hearts. Nothing of any real value, just nice looking pieces that I would wear.

Later that night, we got the call that Gram had passed and did we want to come back before they took her. We made the journey quickly... Went in to see her. As we went into the kitchen after, I was subjected to what brings the worst out in people at times like that. DH's sister said ominously that she wanted to talk to me... And tried to push DH out of the way and told him to go away. He stood his ground and stayed to witness the travesty that unfolded... She attacked me about what jewelry I had taken, that it may be of great value and it better not be sold. (I quietly replied, "first wife, yes... Second wife, no.") She then went on to attack me about not being invited to our wedding... And I replied, "we've been down this road." DH's cousin and his aunt were sitting right there... And they both stopped her from continuing on. I was mortified, embarrassed and upset at being accosted like that. I walked away to the other side of the room to get my coat and DH's father was standing there. He saw that I was upset and asked me what was wrong... I think I muttered something to the effect that I didn't fit into his family and Imturned and went out the back door with DH right behind me. 

His father came out the door and proceeded to scream at me about my attitude. I asked him to stop yelling and he continued... So I walked to the car and got in... Not saying another word. I had DH drive me to the inn. I went in and retrieved the small box of jewelry and told him to take it back to his aunt.

We didn't really speak to his father or his 2 sisters for the duration of our time there. We were relegated to sitting in the 4th row of chairs... And it was very awkward at then luncheon after. DH and I are really speechless at the actions of certain members of his family. It was a sad time only increased by the ugliness of people who were grieving. We have to return in April for the burial... I hope I can take it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Sunday Seven...

I have not blogged in quite a long time... because I have been dealing with some health issues. Things that are on-going and some things that are coming up. Here is a list of seven things that are going on or have gone on in the last few weeks! Lists are an easy thing for me to do, so here we go!

1.  We had so much snow this week that my DH's work actually closed for the first time in years!

2. We have so much plowed snow in our yard that the piles are over 8 feet high. Those won't melt away until late April.

3. I made some awesome things in the kitchen recently... homemade macaroni salad, Korean beef, Potato soup, thick cut pan fried ham steaks, just to name a few things!

4. I see my rheumatologist this week... I think she is going to be very surprised to see just how far R/A has progressed in my hands. All 5 fingers and my wrist on the left and 4 of my 5 fingers and wrist on the right all show signs of inflammation and with redness and nodules. I have to be very careful with water in the kitchen now as only light warm water feels ok... hot water is all very hot and very cold water really hurts too.

5. I have been going through my personal closet and so far I have boxed up over 20 pairs of shoes and decided to part with the majority of my handbags. Many of which are bags costing over $100 - $300. I have a former co-worker than is willing to take all of this off my hands. She is a lucky girl!

6. I have been working really hard at trying to get my house back under control from my canning season to now... Yeah, it's been that long since I have deeply cleaned because I over-did it so much at the end of Summer and into the Fall. My Fibromyalgia was diagnosed in October and my body aches and fatigue have been off the charts. My endo changed my Synthroid dosage to 225 mcg from 250 mcg... that has made a huge difference in my energy level to not be so "suppressed."

7. Did I tell you that one of the silliest things to ever happen to me was a few weeks ago. I had taken my usual dose of Ambien and also some pain medicine. I fell asleep at the very edge of my bed. I actually ended up rolling out of bed and hitting my head on the night stand (which is solid maple) and landing on the step to get into bed and then the floor. My husband scooped me up and took me to the ER to have my head x-rayed and to make sure I didn't crack a rib. I had a huge goose egg and my left ear was purple. My goose egg has gone down and my ear is almost back to normal... but for almost 3 weeks, I couldn't touch the left side of my head. (Only me!)

Thanks for reading... have a Blessed Day!