Thursday, September 30, 2010


1. We were driving "to town" today and stopped on the way to pick up a few items at a store. It had to be a quick stop because I had an appointment and had to drop Olivia off with the grandparents, so we only had about ten minutes. I was explaining this to Olivia.

Me: I'm stopping at the store, but we have to be quick so we can get to Grammy's in time. So you have to stay in the cart.

Olivia: (with whiny voice) But can I go in with you Mommy?

Me: Of course, but you have to stay in the cart because we have to be really quick.

**Silent Pause**

Olivia: Mommy, did you say the wrong word?

Me: What are you talking about, sweetie?

Olivia: Mommy, you said I had to stay in the car.

Me: (Laughing) No, honey. Not stay in the car. Stay in the CART.

Olivia: Oh! That was funny, Mommy!

2. We went to the playground this evening for about an hour. For some reason, Olivia decided that she wanted to play with this one girl, who was probably about eight or nine. The girl was playing tag with her younger brother and sister, and she suddenly realized she had a shadow. She seemed kind of annoyed that Olivia was following her around, but Olivia was adamant about playing with her. When we left, Olivia said, "Can we go back soon, Mommy, and play with the green girl again?" The girl was wearing a green shirt. I told her yes, as long as she asks the girl what her name is (if we ever see her there again) so she can stop calling her the "green girl".

3. Last night, Olivia attended her first preschool religion class. We decided to take her mostly because she is just so excited about the idea of school and I figured this is sort of school-like, in a small dose. They colored and cut out some little cards that said stuff about love, and the teacher said they could give the two cards to two people that they loved. Olivia cut her whole paper into three strips (which were not the instructions, but she's not yet three, so it's excusable). I asked her who she wanted to give them to. "This one is for Miss Samantha. Then there's this one for you and that one for Daddy." Very sweet.

We haven't really explained her adoption to her, except in vague terms, but she seems to get it, sort of. Somehow I don't think it will be difficult for her to grasp the concept.

4. Speaking of school, we took a wrong turn on the way to the playground and ended up driving by a high school as we turned around. Olivia said, "Can I go to that school, Mommy?" No, honey, it's a high school and it's in the wrong county. "I'm not older for it yet. I'm not three yet. When I'm three, I can go to high school too."

Oh, kid. Don't be in too much of a rush to grow up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just because

We haven't had one in awhile, so here's a picture post.
We actually found this balloon in our yard on a windy day. It had a light weight, but probably got picked up from some neighbor's house and settled in our yard. Olivia LOVED it.

Enjoying a sunny day at the playground.

Another sunny playground day.

Her "schoolgirl" outfit. So cute!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The scary angel

There has been a lot of talk of Halloween around this house lately. Olivia is OBSESSED. Ever since she started seeing pumpkins displayed outside of the grocery store... "Look, Mommy! It's pumpkin time. That means trick-or-treating!" Oh, October is going to be a long month for her, waiting for Halloween.

We were looking through pictures the other night, including pics of Olivia in last year's costumes and pics from my childhood costumes. Olivia saw this picture, and said, "Mommy, why are you a scary angel?"

I told her angels aren't scary. But back in the day, you just didn't GO trick-or-treating without a mask. It just wasn't done. No matter how stupid they looked. "Mommy, we don't say stupid."

My husband begged to differ...about scary angels, not stupid masks. "Don't you think Michael looks pretty scary when he's chasing all of those evil spirits? St. Michael the Archangel is one scary angel." Ok, I stand corrected.

Olivia asked about Halloween again today. I asked her what kind of costume she wanted. "I want to be a scary angel, Mommy." OK then. Michael, it is.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It is great to be home. Great, great, GREAT! I'm still limited on activity, but every day I feel more like myself, and just being home with Olivia has been wonderful for my recovery.

It's been a flurry of activity here of late. This weekend was our community-wide yard sale. We went out the night before and scoped out a few sales. I came home with a little scooter for Olivia, which she LOVED, and we drove around to a neighbor's house (where it is flat) so she could ride around in their cul-de-sac. Except that they were also having a yard sale. SCORE!

We came home from that sale with a wallet that was $20 lighter and a truck FULL of stuff for Olivia...a playschool picnic table, ball mitt, car seat booster, a pair of jeans, a bag of plastic play food and about 30 books. Olivia was in yard sale heaven. In addition, the guy who is Santa at Local Theme Park was also at the same sale, shopping. Olivia recognized him, even in his shorts and t-shirt, and said, "Hey! What are YOU doing here?" Poor guy is like a local celebrity.

Spent Saturday at Local Theme Park. Not doctor approved, so we rented a wheelchair, which Olivia and I shared (my poor husband!). HAD A BLAST. Feels like we are getting back to normal.

I've just been enjoying Olivia. SO MUCH. She is hilarious. Want proof? Check out my most recent post here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home, healing, happy

Wow, what a blog hiatus! I have an excuse, of course. I've been healing. And then having more surgery. Which went kind of haywire and required hospital stay. Yeah.

So surgery #2 on Friday, the "easy" scope to remove the protective film from my organs? Hmmm. Well, it took longer than expected because something got knicked and started bleeding and then they took forever getting it to stop. The rest went well. But then in recovery I got all swollen and couldn't, uh, void (a prerequisite to discharge from hospital). And then the CO2 gas they pump into you during surgery (to keep the organs floating or something) didn't get all sucked back out...probably because surgery was longer than expected and it escaped and hid all over my chest cavity. And then the gas attacked my right shoulder. I hear this is common. Not so common, however, is that it then attacked my whole chest cavity and gave my lungs just a very tiny bit of room to move. I was panting. And panicking. It was not fun. The powers-that-be decided really quickly that I would not be leaving the hospital that day, and they started to run all kinds of tests to find out how to help me.

When the tests came back, they found out that my kidneys were going haywire. Whoa. Good thing my lungs started freaking out so we could find this out. Because this kidney thing was pretty important (not related to the breathing thing, but important for overall wellness, you know). The trigger? Several causes were debated, but almost certainly the problem was exacerbated by the nurse who gave me a mega-dose of Ibuprofen in post-op for pain control. I asked for Tylenol. Non-narcotic. She said they only had regular strength. I said my doctor told me not to use Ibuprofen. She talked me into it. (I was just out of surgery, post-anesthesia, and a little bit in pain, people.) Yeah. Turns out there's a reason that ibuprofen is not recommended for patients with kidney disease (me).

So I ended up staying ANOTHER night waiting for my kidneys to adjust and begin behaving normally. They did. Meanwhile I had a whole new team of doctors checking on me (nephrology). I barely slept the whole time (have you TRIED to get a good night of sleep in a hospital? While a bunch of people keep poking you for one reason or another?). Someone is going to end up paying for another two nights of hospital stay and a billion blood tests and another team of doctors because of all of this mess.

And this was supposed to be outpatient.


We saw my doctor on Monday (I was finally discharged on Sunday), who showed us the video of my second surgery, which ended in pictures of textbook-like anatomy, which I have NEVER EVER SEEN...with my name on it, anyway. So, overall, the surgeries did exactly what they were intended to do. Success. Just with some HUGE stumbling blocks along the way.

We drove forever and finally met Olivia and her grandparents on Tuesday at a restaurant, where we were going to have lunch and then make the transfer of kid and kid's stuff so we could go HOME. As they pulled up to the restaurant, we walked outside to greet them. Olivia had the car door open almost before they stopped the car. She screamed and ran to me with arms outstretched. I broke down into a sobbing pile of goo.

Did I mention the sleep deprivation? Combine that with missing your child for more than two weeks and I'm not sure I had any chance to react any other way.

Olivia was happy to give us lots of hugs and kisses all day. I noticed in certain instances that she seemed to be dealing with her own set of confusing emotions about Mommy and Daddy being gone so long. I hope we can work through those in the next few weeks, when we aren't going to be doing much but staying home and playing together (doctor's orders...take it VERY easy for a few weeks).

I'm just happy we're all home, and all together again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What could be better?

Our little Omaha trip happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of the Pope Paul VI Insititute. This included a conference at the end of this week and then a family day celebration today. I slept amazingly well last night and was feeling so much better, so we decided to go down to celebrate for awhile.

A bunch of the nurses recognized me and asked how I was feeling, which was nice. We browsed around some of the booths and bought some books. But mostly we just sat and watched people. I am on the mend, after all.

The first door prize was drawn after about an hour. $25.00 gift card to our favorite local eatery (not chain) and $100 florist gift card. I thought...that would be perfect! We could have lunch there and also send flowers to our hosts (the couple who is generously hosting us at their home for a week between the two surgeries) for free! And...WE WON!

So, yeah, it was a pretty awesome morning. Not as awesome as being at home, but good anyway.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finally feeling well enough to do an actual post.

Yes, I survived the laparotomy. I've been wanting to update. Honestly, I have. But I've just felt so crummy for so many days. This is the first time I've felt totally like myself since the wee hours of Monday morning. itself went very well. Doc said my left tube was seriously screwed up. But he cut off all the adhesions and untwisted it and wrapped it in goretex and thinks it should look OK once it heals. Right tube was fine. All other extractions of bad adhesions and endometriosis went fine. We'll be back there on Sept 10th for laparoscopy to remove the goretex. In the meantime, we convalesce.

Spent two days in the hospital. I. HATED. THAT. I could not sleep in the hospital for more than 45 minutes at a time, and usually less than that. I was on morphine first, which made me sleepy and numb, but also itchy and wired. So I'd doze off mid-sentence and then startle awake moments later, only to find that my universe was altered in the moments of unconsciousness. Here's what I mean. I'd be totally alone in my room, but in the moments while I was sleeping I'd dream a conversation with my husband or nurse, and then I'd open my eyes and find that I was alone in my room. And talking to myself. Because I'd be answering the question that the imaginary person had just posed and wake up to find that I was answering no one. Also, I couldn't focus on anything, especially up close. I had a book and some other papers to read and I COULD NOT READ THEM. I finally figured out that if I took off my glasses, I could almost make out most of the words. And then I'd doze off.

It was not fun.

So then they decided I'd had enough morphine torture, and they switched me to percocet. This did almost the exact same thing to me, except in more measured doses because it was a pill every 4 hours instead of a drip whenever I had pain and pushed the button. Except that I AM MOST DEFINITELY ALLERGIC TO PERCOCET! I would be begging for pain relief by the time the nurse came for my dose, and ten minutes after my dose I'd be scratching myself from head to toe and looking for a rash or hives (which I wouldn't have been able to see even if I'd had the abdominal strength to lean up and look because of the dang screwed up vision!). After probably 4 doses of this, we finally figured out that it was the medication. (Hey, my thinking was narcotically altered. I am not to blame for taking so long to figure this out.)

Finally, they switched me to Darvocet. This was mildly better. At least I stopped hallucinating. And by then I could get myself out of bed and walk all the way down the hall without passing out or falling asleep spontaneously, so we were pretty close to check-out.

I checked out of the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, and since then it's been pretty crappy. I learned that I was very anemic after surgery when I filled the prescription for iron supplements and got a call from the doctor's office with instructions to come by for a CBC. Anemia and narcotics do not a hungry patient make. I was pretty nauseated for a couple of days. I abandoned the darvocet on my own and decided it was super-strength tylenol or nothing. And things have been gradually looking up ever since. After two very long days and not a lot of quality sleep, I think I finally have my blood sugar and hemoglobin levels in an acceptable range. I added a little walk around W*lM*rt today, and now I feel like myself again. Well, myself with a numb little pouch of swelling in my gut. Minus a whole lot of my normal energy. But still. Close to normal.

And I'm optimistic about a somewhat normal night of sleep. Tomorrow must be better, people. It MUST!