Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back from the near-dead....

Holy Cow!
This colonoscopy experience totally kicked my butt. Well, more than that. I was worthless for a day and a half. It started with the lovely prep they have me take to "clean things out" was totally GROSS. This time instead of the vile liquid (phoso-soda) I opted for tablets. FORTY of them! By the time I got the first 15 in I started heaving and the nausea waves were awful.
I have no idea how I did it, but all 40 stayed put.
By the time I showed up at the appointment, I was freezing cold, and hugging an emesis basin. Thank goodness the drugs were good for the event. I hardly remember a thing.
But when I woke up, I was prodded by a rude nurse who wanted nothing more than to empty the bed and get on to the next patient.
Sheesh! It was the first time in a day I didn't feel nauseous and I wanted to rest there a while.
But that wasn't happening. "Move your arms and and feet. That's right, open your eyes and sit up (as she raised the head of my bed)." I said, "hey, put my bed down and leave me alone. I'm just fine." I got about 2 minutes of peace and then she was at it again.
I had no choice. I got dressed and they wheeled me out.
My mom drove me home and I slept for the next 2 hours. Mom went to pick up T from school and apparently went and did a little shopping to give me some time at home to rest. (Thank you mom!) I woke up totally nauseous. And parched. I wanted to drink but whenever I tried, I heaved it up. What a NASTY feeling. It never let up....until about 9PM that night. Uggg.
But in the morning, the nausea was GONE.
I was pretty weak but when nausea leaves you, it's the most beautiful feeling. I weighed myself....down SEVEN pounds. Wow. But I still looked the same...well, maybe my face looked a little more drawn and tired. Certainly no fat was lost. Oh well. The weight will come back.
To be sure, I started with cereal for breakfast...and then a Togo's #9 for lunch! It felt good to eat! I bet I found most of my weight back. But still it's kind of yucky to drink fluids (since it's still kind of linked in my mind with the nausea) but in a few more days that will probably be gone.
T was such a dear when he saw me so sick. He rubbed my hair and patted my back and gave me lots of hugs. But after a couple of hours, he'd had enough and felt I should play Go Fish (card game) with him. I tried to explain that Mama couldn't hold up her head, let alone have any spit to say "go fish" but he didn't let up. The best I could do was snuggle with him when it was time to go to sleep. He'd never seen me sick like this before. Hopefully it won't ever happen again. Thank Goodness for my Mom!! She was an angel taking care of me and and T and everything else. Dad stopped by too and gave me a kiss.
Family. It's a good thing.
PS. Today I played Go Fish with T and, of course, he won. He was SO happy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making progress...

Today, thanks to my parents for watching my son, I was able to spend a big chunk of the day with a dear friend and colleague to further develop and finish my power point presentation for the oral comprehensive exams coming up on December 1. I thought it would only take a couple of hours since I had already put in the basic frame of what I wanted. But it took the two of us 5 1/2 hours to figure out what the instructors were really asking for in those cryptically written "objectives" they gave me. I still have to add some interesting pictures to break up all the written language that each slide has, but I think it's pretty good. I have notes to myself that I can refer to as I speak so hopefully I won't blank out and forget what I need to say.
I just sent the power point to my instructor so she can give me feedback--and HOPEFULLY she'll say "Oh, this looks great! Oh-my-gosh, I'm so impressed! No changes are suggested!"
'Cause I really don't want to mess with it anymore!
Once I hear back from her (or maybe before, since I'm reeeeeally hoping she won't have me fix anything, I'll practice giving the presentation and time myself. I have to do it in about 30 minutes, which should be doable since there are only 25 slides.
Today, I have also been enjoying a clear liquid diet. I'm pretty sick of tea and bouillon so I went to the store to buy some ready-made jello (didn't think to make it ahead of time). But they didn't have any gelatin without a creamy parfait-type addition or fruit added. Finally I found some lunch-pack sized jell-o products but of the 6-pack, FOUR of them were red jello (a no-no says the bowel prep instructions). Frustrated, I bought it anyway and figured I eat the 2 orange ones and keep the others to mix with whipped cream once I finish this madness.
Tomorrow, after I drop off T and his classmate A to school, my mom will bring me (she's spending the night over my house) to have the procedure done. I'll be sedated (thank goodness!) so I have to have a driver to go home with.
But in the mean time, I must swallow 3 capsules every 15 minutes with lots of water, until I get 20 of them in me. Only to repeat the process again tomorrow morning. And you know what this stuff is supposed to do, don't you?? Did I say this was a bowel prep?? Yep, I'll be spending a large portion of the evening (and morning) very near the bathroom.
I hate this crap. Did I say crap??
Well, there are certainly worse things....gotta keep looking on the bright side....perspective, perspective.
Colonoscopy, here I come!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My thyroid saga

So yesterday I met with the surgeon and she gave me my options: continue to watch it or surgery. Since I've already watched it for 2 years but now it's growing at a pretty fast rate, I opted for surgery. She said there was only a 20% chance that it would be cancerous. Once she's taken a sample of the mass, she'll send it for a frozen section and get the answer before she closes me up. If it's NOT cancerous, I just lose the right side of my thyroid and hopefully the part that's left will be enough to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. But if it IS cancerous, then the nodule and the whole thyroid come out. And then I have to take replacement thyroid pills for the rest of my life. But that's better than cancer, so it's hard to argue that point. The surgery will take about 2.5 hours to do and apparently I have a nice little crease in my neck exactly where she would make the incision. It's nice to wrinkle in the right spots--if one has to wrinkle at all. ;)
I don't know the exact date yet, but probably the first week of February. She's full until January 27. But, there's a big chance that I can go earlier if there are cancellations of other surgeries. She advised I take off 3-4 weeks off work, but better 4 weeks because of a nerve that runs through there that goes to my vocal cords. It will become inflamed with the surgery and I have to allow for the swelling to go down before trying to talk. So that's nice....I think. Time off work is always appreciated. Plus I have plenty of warning to my co workers so they can arrange for my absence. And one of my coworkers is finally coming back to join us next month after a few months off for hip replacement surgery. So, it all works out. As it usually does.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

This morning I had my first parent-teacher conference. T came with me since I had no where to put him and school would start right after wards anyway. He did a good job of being quiet but staying within ear shot so he could hear what we had to say.
Mrs. V gave me glowing reports on all areas for T! The only area we need to work on is penmanship. Which I already knew. He is always in too much of a rush and doesn't take his time to make the letters more perfectly shaped. Plus, in class, it's play time once the work is finished. So first one done with school work gets his pick of the toys. Also, T has a habit of holding the pencil with all four or 5 fingers--looks all cramped. I'm constantly reminding him to hold the pencil/marker with 3 fingers (a thumb and 2 fingers to be precise) but it's not natural for him. Yet.
I'm very proud. He's reading at 1st grade level. He learns so quickly. I only have to show something once, and if I have at least half of his attention, he's got it. Except for the penmanship. But that will come with more time and practice.
I'm still working on my power point for my oral exam. It's going slow. And sometimes I opt not to work on it because I'm just too tired (like last night). But I've GOT to finish it by this weekend so the teacher can review it before the big day.
Last Monday, it was unusual but very welcome to be busy while doing my practicum hours at the hospital. The student nurses were so busy that they often came to me for help and support in doing different tasks for their patients. It made the time go by so fast and it felt good to feel useful. Hopefully the rest of the Mondays I have to be with them will equally fly by just as fast.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too Many Pots to Stir

I've been away...
Last Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I trekked up and down every day to the city for a big conference. I learned a lot and was generally blown away by all the courses and smart people giving the courses. And all the smart people in the audiences! But it was exhausting too. Poor T didn't much like it either that I was gone all weekend and too long on the week days.
Today he was so happy to have me around. He said, "Mama, I like you much better when you are not working." Awww. Well, I hope he likes me the same but the extra time together is what I got out of it. What a sweetie. I'm soooo glad I get to work a 4 day week. We played Go Fish, Candy Land and drew pictures almost non-stop! Now if I can get done with the school cr*p, I'll have more time and energy to be a really good mom!
I'm scrambling with school. I haven't finished my volunteer hours at my chosen charity and the evaluation is DUE this week. I'll pull something out a hat and make sure it's finished. But it's not helping to settle my tummy--all this deadline crap-ola. I still haven't put together my powerpoint that I have to present with my oral comprehensive evaluation--looming near on December 1. I'm supposed to send the power point to my teacher 2 weeks ahead of time to make sure I've addressed all areas. I'll be a little late on it, but I think I'll be OK.
I was absolutely blank on how to start. So I called one of the students who chose to go first with her oral exam (hers is on Monday). She gave me some GREAT tips on how to start. Now I have some idea on the skeleton of the presentation and also what kinds of things the judges in Denver will be looking for and asking about.
Next Thursday, I meet with the surgeon on my thyroid mass. And the week after that....a colonoscopy!!! Aren't you all envious at all the attention I'm getting??
Good times.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


T the Pterodactyl at our front door.

Halloween was a lot of fun, as usual. T's school encouraged the kids to dress up and even had a fundraiser for portraits to be taken of the kids (for $5 for a 5x7). I paid it so hopefully it will be a nice one.
T was a pterodactyl and I was a witch. I knew the head part of the outfit for T would probably be pushed off for most of the day, so I painted his little face with green and orange colors to match the colors of the suit.
The pterodactyl smiles.

T shows how he would fly with his little wings. :)

I bought some green eye shadow and brushed it all over, blacked out my eyes and added some unattractive shadowing, plus a black dress, wig and hat and tadaaah! A witch.
I dressed that way for work and kept up the whole gig all day until after 9PM where I SO looked forward to a shower to get that stuff off! My patients loved it. And if they procreated that day, it would create a lasting memory of that day, for sure!
T and his classmates went on a little field trip and took a school bus to the district offices, sang Halloween songs and went office to office collecting candy. He got quite a booty of stuff!!
After work, T and my mom were waiting for me. Mom was feeling a little under the weather (?something she ate?) and so just T and I went to our neighbors house for a little pizza party and then some trick or treating around the neighborhood. We took a couple of blocks and collected quite enough candy! One house even had a big cotton candy machine in their driveway and was whirling out cotton candy for everyone! And the smell was divine! There were a few scuffles along the way with the kids getting too excited and wanting to be first to each door, running across yards, falling, tripping, and even yelling.....while 2 inches from her face to WALK ON THE SIDEWALK AND NOT IN THE GRASS!!!! (uh, yeah, my kid...) When the 5 year old recipient of that rant started to wail from fear, I felt like I SO wanted to be in the nearest deep dark hole. Fortunately, all was forgiven quickly, but still, I wished it hadn't happened. T and I had a chat about it later and hopefully he is learning about who is in charge and who is not.
All in all, it was a great day and everyone had an excellent time.

Here we all are, the hosts of the Halloween bash-ette and us.

Good times!

I'm tired....

I know it's been a while and I want to post....but I'm too tired. I spent 4 hours this morning putting together a powerpoint presentation (with my angel, M--thank God for her!) for my lecture on Monday and this evening (after T went to bed) putting the finishing touches on my paper for school. Now I have to make a power point to go along with it....but I'm tired. Did I say that already?
I'll write about Halloween another day soon. Promise.
Here's something cute T said today:
It's been raining most of the day and T seems a little perturbed that it's getting in the way of his playing outside. Seems like he doesn't remember that water can fall from the sky. But it HAS been a while around here--maybe past his point of memory even! I told him that it's good to rain for the plants and flowers. He quickly said, "No, Mom. It's more better to use a hose!", using his arms and hands to show how he'd hold that hose. I totally get that rationale in is brain. I'm a summer kind a person too.
Good night.