Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just a Quick Heads Up

I just wanted to put a quick post out that I might not be able to update for the next few days. We have a snow storm moving in and if we get what we are supposed to... I won't have internet. I will update as soon as I have internet and/or something to say. LOL


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome to Central Illinois Weather

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday so I thought I'd take a few minutes to post it today. All I can sum it up with is that the midwest has the greatest variety of weather around. :)

Yesterday morning it was in the high thirties when I drove to work. At noon (as late as 2 according to the news) it was 63 degrees F outside. At two I check the weather center and there were thunder storms rolling in where I live and rain. Not long after this it began raining where I work. (I work over half and hour from where I live.) At 3:30, my mom called and told me I better consider driving home because it was already icy out and was only going to get worse. My car read 23 degrees at this point and we were getting sleet. By the time I got home, the town I work in was reporting snow. Last night it reached 9 degrees with 45 mile per hour winds making it feel well below zero.

How's that for some fun weather changes? It's no wonder I get sinus infections and the like as bad as I do. We will go four or five days that you need t-shirts and within 24 hours you need the long johns and heavy coats. Ahhh, the thrill of living in the Midwest!!!

Anyway, just had to tell you about our fabulous weather. Oh and we're supposed to get 4-8 inches of snow tomorrow night. :D

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Illness is Whipping Me

My latest illness is really whipping me this week. The sinus side of things is starting to come in pretty heavily and this is pretty unusual because normally my sinus infections turn into bronchitis not the other way around. However, they are simultaneous right now. Do you know how hard it is when you can't breathe out your nose and breathing out your mouth makes you cough? I wind myself doing anything besides laying in bed. It hasn't stopped me from being at work but I have to keep reminding myself to slow down.

My left ear has started bothering me as well so that must be the ear infection side of things. Luckily, in comparison, it is minor compared to everything else although it does ring when I get in a coughing spell. Actually, I think my tooth hurts me worse than my ear. Oh, an update on that, the dentist agreed and we will have it pulled next Tuesday. Now I just have to survive another week with it. I'm not looking forward to it but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm also still getting the low-grade fevers. If that keeps up through tomorrow, I will be calling the doctor back to see if I should be worried about it possibly turning pneumonia or if it is probably just from the ear infection.

Ok, I just wanted to check in since I hadn't in a few days. Now off to take the mountain of meds I'm on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Week in Review 1-26-2008

Sorry this is late getting out but I have been a bit under the weather this week with my ritual bronchitis attack and unfortunately hot baths have taken up my blog time. So here it is a day late.

Medically - Well, not sure where to start here. I guess I start with how I currently feel... one word... crappy. The bronchitis kicked in full swing this week, gradually getting worse as the week went on. I finally went to the doctor on Friday. The verdict is... bronchitis, sinus infection either ending or beginning, and the start of an inner ear infection. Oh boy, what a bunch of good news. So anyway, I'm now on an antibiotic, a steroid inhaler, and have been told to up my intake of my other inhalers. I feel like a walking medicine factory. The good news is that with my new toy (iPhone) I can set nice little alerts to remind me to take my meds. So far it is doing a very good job of it.

Also medically is the testing that I will be doing next week. I don't really have a lot of information on them but it is my understanding that I will get the results next week as well. I'm interested to see what all it says.

Beyond that, I am having to contact the insurance company AGAIN about my MRI. For some reason they keep putting it on 80/20 instead of 100%. There was something else but I'll be danged if I can remember what it was. I'm sure I'll think of it as soon as I post this.

(Actually, I just remembered.)

I've got a tooth that I believe I cracked the filling in.... I called my dentist on Tuesday to get in and they can't get me in until Monday. Talk about screwed up. Unfortunately, there are not many choices in dentists with my dental plan. UGH. Only a few more days and I'll be out of pain with any luck.

Emotionally - All is well. Nothing majorly new going on. Just taking things as they come and dealing with this nightmare bronchitis. I'm even on the verge of being moved back to seeing my therapist every two weeks instead of weekly. This is a good sign.

Mentally - No progress this week but took some steps backwards. I had to rebuild my laptop this week and guess what I forgot to save off of it? I lost my outlook .pst that had my list of everything yet to be done. Now I need to search my memory for the past five months and try to recreate it. Fun... just fun.

Physically - There isn't an inch of my body that doesn't hurt from coughing. My chest feels like it has a 50 pound weight sitting on it (yes I know what a 50 pound weight feels like). My throat is sore from the sinus drainage and coughing, my head hurts from the coughs ringing in my ears, my nose is starting to feel stuffy again, and my stomach hurts from squeezing it so much. Oh and my face is doing a lot of tingling the past few days because of all the irritation and inflammation I'm causing and my tooth is killing me!!!!

How's that for the honest truth of how I feel? Actually, there is one more thing physically that has caused me a dilemma tonight. When I am down with bronchitis I take a hot bath every night before bed to loosen up the mucus so I can sleep. After literally sweating all day today, I finally decided to take my temp. Guess what? It's 100 degrees F which is low grade fever. This can mean a number of things but I'm guessing it's either the ear infection rearing its head or I'm trying to get pneumonia. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ear infection right now. Anyway, I ended up taking a bath that was on the very warm side but not as hot as usual. So far so good.

Family - My son is doing much better in school this week and I am very proud of him. I'm also proud of John because he has been a lot better at talking to me about his feelings this week. It helps when we both talk about what's going on instead of a one sided conversation.

Play - Really, there wasn't much play going on this week. Last Sunday I did play Guitar Hero and was proud to complete 9 perfects on easy but the memory card corrupted it so now I get to start all over. :(

Test - This is the start of a new section. As I mentioned, I will be keeping careful records of my test scores on my "brain" games. Well, here is the first report:

Big Brain Academy DS: Test = 1335
Big Brain Academy WII: Test = 1473
Brain Age: Test = 30, 27
Brain Age II: Test = 32

Eventually I will have things graphed out and I can show them that way but we'll give it a few weeks worth of data first.

Well, off to go take my final medicines for the night and go to bed. Huggles

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Very Interesting Testing Abound

Nothing major or intrusive or anything like that so don't worry. Actually, I may be a bit of a guinea pig in this particular testing. Let me explain. Most of the time when someone is diagnosed with a brain tumor it is too late. What I mean is that the tumor has started causing problems and it needs to be addressed immediately instead of waiting around. Therefore, there is very little if any time to run "baseline" type testing.

This is where I come in. I have the rare luxury of time. I have learned that doctors are very good about only telling you what has been scientifically proven. They don't mention the little things that can't be measured. For instance, I have learned that following brain surgery they put you on steroids to help minimize the pressure in the brain. I've had two doctors tell me this has no affect on you outside of that and one tell me that there have been noted changes in personality for a short time. However, from people who have been there, I know that there will be personality changes and most of the time drastic changes. Because this information can't be measured, doctors ignore it or blame it on the "stress of surgery".

So how is all this related? Well, my tumor is located in the frontal lobe of the brain. This is the personality center. I won't go into a lot of detail here but if your interested check out the Wiki page on it. I've basically been told that because my tumor is in the right frontal lobe and I'm right handed, surgery should not affect my personality because it's considered a "dead area". I do not trust or believe this information. I've seen otherwise with my own eyes and talked with people where this was not the case. Besides, I don't believe I am a fully "left brained" individual like they seem to think. Furthermore, it concerns me what could be affected because of the pressure in my brain. If that is suddenly removed, couldn't this cause issues? Am I having undetected personality changes from the tumor?

Well, no one has this answer or at least not an answer with any kind of proof behind it. Now obviously, I'm one person and not several like scientists like for tests but by watching my personality and cognitive scores, we could start to see patterns. Also, in the event that I should ever choose surgery or something along those lines, these tests could tell us if I really am the same as before that time. Interesting eh?

So next Wednesday (January 30) I am going to be taking the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test to get a personality baseline. I will also be taking a Cognitive test to get a baseline there. I'm very interested to see the results and to track it over time. I know that David from one of the blogs I follow has had Cognitive type tests because of his being in the temporal lobe and he has seen changes.

As a little side note to this, I am going to start tracking my tests on my "brain" games and keep a very close eye to see if any patterns develop. I'll maybe add this to my weekly updates so you can see anything of interest. However, I reserve the right to begin it from now and not back when I got the games. LOL

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I've Been Way to Quiet

Sorry for not writing in a while. I've been a bit busy and we all know what happens when you are busy. Anyway, I'll try to update best I can.

Saturday night we went dancing. We had a good time even though we didn't dance a lot. It worked out to our benefit. My Sinus pressure and bronchitis continued through Saturday so the fact I didn't dance that often kept me from getting severely winded. We had Kitchen Patrol Saturday night and that's why we didn't dance that much. Anyway, by Monday my bronchitis is in all of it's full glory including pushing me to take my inhaler so that I can walk from one side of the house to the other without keeling over from lack of oxygen. My bronchitis causes something called reactive airways which is basically asthma that is triggered by something. In my case that trigger is bronchitis. Anyway, the inhaler helps.

Sunday my son wasn't feeling well with sinus stuff and possibly a 24 hour bug because he complained his stomach hurt. He felt better by Monday. John went and picked up our new piece of furniture. It's leather recliner loveseat. I like it a lot. It's very comfortable and it has a console in the center so it adds a table without adding the table. (This is actually the one thing John liked that I didn't because it keeps me from curling up next to him but we still have our old loveseat to do that with.)

Anyway, I did get some work done around the house on Monday although not as much as I wanted.

Otherwise, I have what I believe is a cracked molar that is causing me some pain. (It's feeling much better so I'm stalling on calling the dentist until hopefully my cold goes away. If it starts hurting bad again, I will have to call him.) I am also having a lot of neck cracking since I was popped in the head on Saturday while at dance. (don't ask, long story) I am scheduled to see my chiropractor this afternoon so hopefully he'll be able to take care of that. I am also waiting for the scheduling on my MRI. If I haven't heard from my GP by Thursday, I will call them. Oh yeah, I also need to call my insurance since they have no screwed up the billing on their 3rd MRI for me. They keep billing as 80/20 but they are supposed to pay 100%. You'd think after three they'd put a note that it's 100 not 80/20. I might even mention it to them. It's getting old quickly that they keep charging me for it AND it's costing my doctor because they are sending me bills that are unnecessary.

Ok, that's enough rambling for now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Loving Farewell to Julian

I just read the message that Julian has gone to join God in heaven today. I have watched him for several months fight and seen his steady decline through the eyes of his mother. All of my thoughts and prayers are with his family today as they face the days that are to come. I thank them for sharing his story and for allowing him into our lives.

Rest in peace with no more pain King Julian.

Forever an Angel.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Week In Review 1-18-2008

This has been a pretty quiet week all the way around.

Medically - Other than the start of bronchitis coming on the later part of the week, there is nothing going on medically. I didn't have any appointments this week, didn't make any headway with doctors, and basically didn't have any issues of note.

I had a long talk with my therapist this week. We were able to discuss a lot of things that has been on my mind and I am happy about the direction I am heading.

Emotionally - Where last week everything was wrong, this week everything was right. I basically had a good week and can't complain about how I felt emotionally.

Mentally - This week I did a lot of good preparations. I was able to work on a lot of the things I've been stalling on. I feel good about the overall progress. I now feel that my boys will be set with several of the very important things they will need if something should happen to me. However, there's still a lot to be done.

Physically - Beyond the bronchitis acting up, this has been a good physical week and I've actually started walking again on my treadmill. It feels good to walk again even if I don't prefer the treadmill much.

Family - Other than my son having some homework issues, things have been going well.

Play - I'm happy to know that the RPG on my Plano group has started up again. I love RPGing. I'm playing a custom made character named Cassie who is a blind healer.

Ok, that's about all this week. Not a lot to talk about. Sorry it's so lame but I'm happy for a quiet week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Attitude is Half the Battle

A friend on one of my yahoo groups is going through a very stressful situation with her husband and his health. He is doing better at the moment but his battle has been long and at one point it looked as if he may be giving up. He is improving with her and other friends support although he still has a large battle before him. His journey has reminded me that the will to fight is half the battle and thus thought it would be good for my journal at this time.

You hear it as almost a cliche that attitude can make or break you when you are diagnosed with a serious illness. If you don't have the will to fight and win... then you won't. What's the use in fighting if you don't want to win? However, even when faced with odds that are stacked against you, the will to win can buy you strength and possibly even a miracle. I have many times been told that my attitude will carry me through this diagnosis and anything coming my way. After seeing others that are and have gone through similar issues, I believe that I will overcome this if for no reason other than I have the attitude to fight it until God decides otherwise.

Each step of the way I have been researching, analyzing, and just fighting hard to determine the best path to take. I have never sat back and let others make the decision for me and never taken any decision lightly. Every decision that I make in this journey is the one that I feel is best for me and my family. Every decision I make, I must be prepared to stand behind and fight to make it work. I am a fighter. I will never sit back and not fight for what I think is right. Even if that decision is not agreed on by others.

I guess this is to all of those out there facing battles of their own. Julian, Morris, Steve, Coleman, David, Carla, and everyone else riding the roller coaster... continue to fight and keep a positive attitude because attitude is half the battle. *Huggles to all*

Monday, January 14, 2008

Falling off the Update Wagon

I am so sorry that I haven't been updating like I should. It's just been a busy year so far and I haven't had time to do a lot of things I need to. However, I will try to update here and go from there.

In the "brain front" things have been going as expected although I have made some strides in trusting my neurosurgeon even more. I am even more comfortable with him as time passes and truly believe that I can trust him with my head and life. That's saying a lot because it's possible one day this will be reality. He truly is fabulous and one of the few doctors I know that will actually return calls to the patient himself to make sure it is totally understood. That does a lot for someone going through a situation like mine.

In other medically related news, I actually had three medical professionals make me cry last week but all were in a good way. It was just how much they truly care for me and it took me at a time I really needed to hear it so they were all good tears. :)

The more things have progressed with my diagnosis, the more blessed I realize I am to have a therapist that I click very well with. He is very much on the same line as my Neurosurgeon, chiropractor, and gyne in terms of the best in the business. He has done some amazing things with me to pull me through this and I owe him so much in that respect. I am just very glad to be able to call him a friend.

I think that sums up the medical issues from the last few weeks. Outside of non-tumor related "check-ups" nothing new took place. I am working now on getting the scheduling sorted out for my February MRI. This will be MRI number four when it is finally scheduled. We'll see if it gives good news or bad.

Beyond that we are enjoying several dances already in the new year and getting lots of good projects finished. I can't complain at all with where things are heading in our fun time.

I do, however, need to break into a small set of sad notes. Julian (a little boy I talked about in a previous entry) is not doing well at all and it is believed that his journey here will be over soon. Please keep him and his family in your prayers for either a miracle cure from God or a safe and quick entrance to be with God. Also, David from 38lemon which is a link on the right side of my page, has been diagnosed with a Grade 4 GBM and is about to embark on a fight that will take him through radiation and chemo in attempts to buy him some more time. David's site has been a HUGE source of information to me and has given me answers I have been unable to find elsewhere. He is an amazing man and I wish him all the best on this journey. I highly encourage anyone that has questions, about either what I am going through or what my own journey may include, to read this journal. He states the pure and simple truth and says much more eloquently many of the things I think and feel. Please keep them both in your prayers.

Ok, I've got other things to do now. I will try to get back to daily updates. I promise. Some time in the near future you will understand what has been going on and I can fill you in on everything.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Week In Review 1-11-2008

This may end up being put into two separate entries this week. For one, A LOT happened this week. For two, I am on a time frame since I have to leave for dance in less than an hour. I will give the general overview however.

Medically - Wow, not sure where to start. This week I had a very informative call with my Neurosurgeon in Chicago that went very well. I also had a long talk with a friend who is "in the know" that cleared some things up for me. I had to see my therapist twice this week due to a nice little anxiety attack I had. All is well now and no problems in the horizon. Oh, and last but not least I got to visit my "scrooch down doc" today. All checked out and there will be a follow-up on this one later because he was my third health care provider to make me cry this week. (Don't worry, all three were good tears.) I may go into more details later but like I said, I'm rushed.

Emotionally - As sure as I was last week about my path... this week was a total turnaround. This was NOT a good week emotionally. Perhaps it was long overdue, I don't know. Again, I won't go into details because a lot of it deals with things I am not ready to discuss. However, my therapist pulled me from the deep dark and I'm doing splendidly now. :) What I faced this week was not unlike the attacks that sent me to the therapist back in June in the first place. Before anyone asks... I don't know if they are related to the tumor or not but they have always been trigger based and this time has been no different. So yes, they could be tumor related or it could just be part of the natural tendency of the females in my family that tend to be a bit... anxious over things. Mine just doesn't take shape unless it's something major. Don't worry, the week has been downloaded, just not here at the present. Some day they may be downloaded here but for now I wish to keep my privacy with this issue.

Mentally - I think this goes right along with emotionally this week. I didn't get crap done and most of it was because of my emotional state. We'll see what the new week brings.

Physically - I remain without issue. HaHaHa... Ok this has been a rough week with everything from sinus problems to the onset of allergies the later part of this week. It's no wonder since we have gone from one extreme to the other with weather. However, beyond that I am doing great.

Ok, that will have to end my update for now because I have to go. I will update on some other things including David (the lemon site on my links), Julian, and Coleman later. Who are they? Souls that have met my own and I gain strength from. Hugs to all and I'll update tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

When People Make a Difference

This week has been an eye-opening week for me and it has been thanks to some special people that make a difference in my life. I'd like to talk a bit about these special people in no particular order:

My neurosurgeon: He is a very special individual indeed. I have never met a doctor with so much compassion for his patients. Heck I've never met a doctor that actually makes his own phone calls much less one that will actually reply to an email with a phone call less than three hours after the email was sent. His quick replies to all of my concerns has made me even more confident in his abilities and the decisions I am making now and in the future. Of all the people that can have a profound impact on me both mentally and physically, he perhaps has the most power of all.

My Friends: All of my friends are special individuals that have made a difference in me over the past several months and some more so than others over the past several days. I wish to give a shoutout to my devoted comment leaver and friend, Jenn. No matter what my ramblings may be, she always reads and always reminds me that there are people whose lives I am touching with this and how amazing the internet is at connecting people. Jenn, I have everything crossed for you that the line stays put and gets even darker in the days to come. :)

My therapist: Some people are paid to make a difference in peoples lives. Some are better at that job than others and I have been blessed with that very sort of person. He is so much more to me than just a therapist. He has become a friend and his genuine concern is obvious. Sometimes it's when people go above and beyond in their profession that they make the biggest impact and that is exactly what he has done for me. I owe him a lot.

With that shoutout to three people that have made a huge difference in my life in very different ways... I leave you with an I LOVE YOU and on to another day. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's Raining; It's Pouring... Yeah

Sorry I didn't post yesterday but I had no internet connection from home because of the rain. They are saying we got over 4 inches of rain from 4 PM til this AM. I can't complain much because I love listening to the rain and watching lightening but I do enjoy it more when it's not going on all night long.

I've been mentally pushing myself to the edge all week but everything is ok. I'm not going to let anything bring me down to much. I just keep reminding myself to smile because it could be worse.

I have had a few battles with friends this week over things but again, nothing serious. I have just quietly been reminding them that the right path is sometimes the hardest to navigate but at least they still have a choice in that path. Basically, it boiled down to getting tired of being told what to do when others are dealing with things and in serious denial about it. They aren't doing anything to control their problems, so why should I? Ok, so only the people that I confronted will have any clue what this all means and one of them doesn't know how to access the internet so I'll just let this lay now.

I have a new toy coming my way some time today. I am getting an iPhone. I'm really excited about it. I don't usually spend money on things like this but this will be more of a tool than a toy in the end. I really needed to invest in a PDA to help me keep on top of things. (Like not forgetting to take my meds every day at noon) Anyway, the iPhone will take care of my needs. I'll write all about it when I get it and finish playing with it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

We Had a Great Time

Last night we got to dance and I had a fabulous time. Dancing really is food for the soul. :)

We ended up having to sit out a few extra dances because I couldn't breathe from my stuffed up nose but we had a ball on the dances we did do. I also enjoyed meeting up with my dancing friends. They are all such great people and we have so much fun. Besides, dance is one of the few places I can go, be completely me, and forget everything else going on in my life for a few hours. Sometimes dance can give me a lot of strange feelings because of my age. You see, I am the youngest adult dancer in our club. (my son is the youngest dancer) I have always gotten along with those much older than me and honestly, most the time I fit in better with older generations. So I get along with everyone in dance very well. So most times we are equals, they are just older and wiser equals. However, since my diagnosis, they have become support and strength, they are almost like lots of Grandparents supporting me through the time. It feels good to have 60+ Grandparents.

Anyway, we had a great time and I hope to do it a lot in the next few weeks. I really want to get back into the swing of things. (no pun intended) Well, that's good for now. I just wanted to check in since I didn't yesterday.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Week in Review 1-4-2008

Wow, it's weird typing 2008. :)

Medically - Wow, I do believe there was absolutely nothing new in the medical front this week. I didn't have any doctor's appointments this week... oh wait, I didn't but John did have. John had his "snip" follow-up and everything went well.

Emotionally - For the most part, I've been stable this week. It bothered me a bit that we were unable to go dancing on New Years Eve and therefore I had a bit of a down moment but, there will be other dances and other New Years Eve to dance to. I had some things playing on my emotions his week but after making a few tough decisions over the past 24 hours, I am feeling pretty good about the direction we are going. I'm confident that I'm on the right path and that makes a world of difference in my emotions.

Mentally - For actual mental... I'm as set and organized as I will ever be. (No funny cracks please) Prepared, I still have a lot of work to do but I'm continuing to make progress and feel good about the continued direction. I have begun a document that contains all the information I can possibly download that anyone dealing with John and I's estate would require. Notice that I did say John and I. This has not been my sole journey this is something we both need to do. If I cross anything significant I will be sure to write something about it.

Physically - Can't really give much on this because there's not much to tell. My sinus infection has set in full force as predicted but other than that... even my trigeminal was on its best behavior this week. I may be done with it by the end of the month yet. YEAH!!!

Family - Not really much to say here either other than I really enjoyed the last two weeks and being home with them. :)

Play - We finished off the holiday enjoying our new Christmas gifts and enjoyed the snow mobile on New Years Eve. I actually drove it without crashing!!! (Yes, big surprise there.) Otherwise, it was back to work on Wednesday. We are hoping to dance for the first time in over a month on Saturday so we'll see how things go.

Bye now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

To Snip, Not to Snip...

... That was the question. (Sorry couldn't resist.) As promised, this is the details on what occurred during my hubby's vasectomy. Please be advised that the following entry may not be suitable for the young, the squeamish, or those nearing their own snip.

The day was finally there and surprisingly, John wasn't showing many nerves. That's not to say he wasn't nervous, he just wasn't showing it. Leading up to the event, he had to avoid aspirin for a week, avoid alcohol (not that this was a problem), and shave the front of his scrotum the night before. I think the last task was the more difficult because we were both worried about cutting him with the razor and by his appointment the next day, he was already itching from the hair growing back.

Anyway, we were called back into the "out-patient surgery" room and watched a video on what they were going to do. Maybe this should have been our first clue that they were doing traditional vasectomy and not the no-scalpel but we both felt it was probably just a generic video. Regardless, the doctor then came in, told us some of the possible complications, and gave us papers to sign. (Possible complications include that the vas will reconnect thus making him fertile again and causing pregnancy, a 5 in 4000 chance that there will be a sneak that will make me pregnant even though he is reporting 0 counts, an infection that causes tremendous pain that may or may not be able to be treated and cured with antibiotics with the worse possible scenario being the removal of the testicle. Nothing like saving the worst possibilities for last.) After this was done, he left him a gown and told him to strip from the waist down leaving on his socks.

When they returned they had him lay on a table, flat on his back. Unlike some that I had heard, they did not use stirrups. Anyway, they put drapes around so that the only thing showing was the scrotum then sprayed them with the benetadine (not sure how to spell that). He cringed because it must have been cold. (For those curious, I was standing near his feet the entire time.) Then they took a needle and syringe, not all that much differently then a dentist might use although maybe the syringe was bigger. He felt around a bit to find what he was looking for then stuck it several times in the left side. John definitely cringed this time. From what I've heard from most, this is the worst part but poor John doesn't react very well with local and therefore this wasn't the last time he felt pain. (Not to scare others.)

The doctor waited for a few minutes for it to take affect and then he took a scalpel and made a cm or so incision. This was the first time that I realized this was NOT the no-scalpel method but by this time it was too late to bother complaining. You can't exactly change what is already done. He then took out and clamped a tiny section about the length of to the first knuckle of your index finger and again shot it with local. He then cut it with the scalpel and (I know the word but I can't spell it so I'm going with burned) it on both sides of the vas where the cut had been made. He then stitched it a single time on both sides. At this point, I noticed John's toes curl and realized he was feeling more than a little pulling. Just as I was about to ask him if he was feeling it, he cringed. The doctor quickly gave him more local. He had to do this four more times before it was over. (Told you he had a high tolerance for it.) In the end, I put my hand on his feet and he said that helped a lot.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what all was going on at this point. He finished stitching off the vas that he had and he went back in for something else, then increased the size of the cut. I thought that maybe he was doing the other side from that same entrance but I would later find out that was not the case. I should have probably asked him yesterday at the follow-up but I didn't want to embarrass John. The world may never know. Anyway, they basically did the same procedure again on that side then he got three stitches to close up the wound.

They repeated the procedure for the other side including three extra shots of local when he started feeling it. He only got two stitches in the right side. The doctor then put a gauze pad over the incisions on both sides, removed the drapes and the nurse and I helped him into a jock strap. That was quite interesting since he wasn't exactly in a chipper mood and hates jock straps but we managed. I then helped him off the table and into a pair of sweatpants and his tennis shoes. The doctor and nurse left instructions to change the gauze if there is any oozing, keep neosporin on it until it fully heals, and avoid intercourse and heavy lifting for 10 days. They also gave us a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine and gave us some last minute thoughts such as expect bruising, may be tender even after it starts healing, if it looks swollen and red come back in, frozen peas make good ice packs and should be used for the first 24-48 hours, and that the stitches will dissolve on their own about the time of the follow-up in 10 days.

We then went to the car, stopped at Walgreens to fill his script, and went home. He took the max of the pills in the car on the way home and stayed put on the couch until bedtime. He was very good about keeping them iced because it felt good.

By Sunday (<3 days) he was down to the minimum pain dose and was moving around pretty good. He even helped me with some light duty things in prep for Christmas. Other than being really moody (we'll forgive him) he was feeling decent. By Christmas eve he was only putting the gauze back on to protect his jock from the neosporin and he was a nice shade of purple over the top quarter of his scrotum and the lower half of the penis. This bruising would continue until around day 10 when it steadily minimized to little to none now (14 days). He went off of the prescribed pain meds the day after Christmas and used a few ibuprophen as needed but that wasn't often. By day 7 he was getting "feisty" and despite doctor's orders, he had as much fun as he could bear. He felt a bit funny afterwards but he said it still worked. :)

His stitches fell out at about day 8 or 9 and he was pretty much doing what he wanted by day 10 although he still didn't do much in the way of heavy lifting. It is still a bit tender now but it's a manageable tender and more along the lines of skin healing than anything. He still has scabs on both sides so we are keeping the neosporin on it. He also quit wearing his jock on day 10. He says that now the biggest thing that bothers him is crawling around combines at work (lots of stretching that is still irritating) and the hair growing back causing him to itch.

At the follow-up yesterday, they basically asked him a bunch of questions and gave him the "brown bag kit" to get his samples done to verify that the procedure was successful. He has to produce two 0 counts one week apart in order for him to be declared "sterile" (these are slated for week 8 and 9). In the meantime, he was prescribed lots of intercourse with an alternative method. Yes, he actually asked if he could get a prescription for that. *Rolls eyes*

So there you go, that's the story of the vasectomy. I think it may not have been a walk in the part but it wasn't the worst thing possible either.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It Was Back To Work

Well, today was my first day back at work since my vacation. It was pretty hectic so it went by pretty quickly. I sometimes question whether a nice vacation is worth it or not when you go back. Not only are you not ready to be back to work but you are bombarded with emails, voice mails, and brush fires. LOL

To top it all off, I was up way later last night than I wanted to be. My sinus pressure finally turned into full-blown infection and I struggled to breathe most of the night. When I was finally able to breathe, I started coughing. It looks like I will be down with both sinus and bronchitis real soon. I'm used to it. I have gotten it every year for as long as I can remember but that doesn't make it any more fun.

John finally had his follow-up from surgery today so I will probably post about that tomorrow since I did promise an entry about it. I'll try not to be leg-crossing detail but yet I want to keep it to my standards so we'll see what I come up with.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. I'm going to finish clearing out things from supper and then relax in a hot bath before bed. *Huggles*

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

What a Way to Start/End

You know what they say about the best laid plans... LOL. I was looking forward to dancing for the first time in over a month and being able to just totally lose myself in it, but mother nature had other ideas for us. Yesterday afternoon it decided to snow and it just kept up until it appeared to be enough on the ground to make things a bit treacherous. However, the snow wasn't the worst of it. The winds whipped at least 30 miles per hour all night long. We ended up deciding it was safer to stay home than be 30 miles from home in drifting snow on New Years. I don't trust drivers on New Years as it is, let alone in the above conditions.

So instead we stayed home and road the snow mobile for about an hour then played Harry Potter Scene It. We rang in the New Year watching the ball drop on TV. Not exactly the end to 2007 or the start of 2008 that I envisioned but it symboled last year very well. Enjoy the small things in life like winning at HP even though your hubby gets all the easy questions and you get all of Muggle questions that no one has a clue on. :) Oh, and as for the start of 2008, had we gone as planned, I would have enjoyed a long kiss from John and Midnight and hugs from all of my friends. As it was, we shouted "Happy New Year" and I fell asleep in his arms. I guess it's a fair trade off.

So here is to 2008. So many unknowns are yet to be decided, so much life is yet to be lived, and so much love is to being given. I love you all and wish you a fantastic 2008!!!