Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pain....misery...thy name is Gall Bladder.

Okay, it's been almost two weeks since I was in the Emergency Room writhing in pain so I thought now would be a good time to recount my experience.

It all started on a seemingly normal night. Honestly it probably started quite a while prior to this but this is when it became critical, so I choose to use this date as the start. It was a Wednesday morning, I woke up at 3am with severe stomach pain, and general feeling of crappiness (not sure if that's a word but it should be). I got up and proceeded to lose everything that was in my stomach, which made me feel a little bit better. I took the day easy, didn't eat much but by Thursday I was feeling fine. I was able to do everything normal, I went down to Fresno and did the weekly grocery shopping, picked up the kids from school. Madeline even had a friend over after school and I made chocolate chip cookies, and yummy Mexican food for dinner.

Then that night it hit again with a vengeance. Again I was awoken at 2am, and this time it was violent. The pain was excruciating, nothing I did made me feel better. I took Peptobismal and it came flying out, which was lovely (sarcasm). I would go and brush my teeth after each attack, and try and drink water and it would come right out. Nothing helped and nothing made me feel better. I was able to get the kids to school, (how I don't remember, but they made it, and I made it home). I spent the day curled into a miserable ball on the bed, and losing stomach acid into the toilet. I was leaning over the toilet so much I got a bruise on my chest!

By 2pm I was pretty sure that something major was wrong, and that there was NO way I was going to be able to drive and pick up the kids from school, so I called the school and asked them to tell the kids to take the bus home. The kids got home around 3:30pm, and I started thinking that I needed to go to the doctor. I called Matt at work and he wasn't there!!!!! Aaaaagggghhh, what do I do now?! I waited a few more minutes and called back, and he was there! Thank goodness. I told him that he needed to come home and take me to the doctor because I felt like I was dying and that if he didn't want to come home, I was going to call 911. He said he was on his way and that I should call the doctor to let them know what was going on and to see what they said. Smart, smart man. I knew there was a reason I loved him. So I called Kaiser, and got a nurse practitioner and gave her all of my symptoms. She conferred with a doctor and she told me that I needed to come to the Emergency Room as soon as possible, and that if I fainted on the drive the the ER, for my husband to pull over to the side of the road and call 911!

I got off the phone and started watching the clock. I was telling myself that if Matt wasn't home by 5pm, I was going to call 911. He made it home at 4:55, there was an accident on hwy 41 and traffic was horrible. Traffic is normally bad on Fridays, so add in an accident I think I was lucky he made it home in a hour. I grabbed a bucket, and my wet wash cloth (it helped me not feel so nauseated) and got in the car. I took off my glasses, and tried to brace myself from all of the bumps, and turns. I have never hated living in the mountains so much as I did Friday night on the drive to the ER. The drive was living HELL. Hell I say because I was in soooooo much pain, and every time I moved it made it worse, and there's no way to drive to Fresno from Coarsegold without moving. It was by far the worst drive of my life.

The Kaiser ER isn't very well marked, and we ended up driving around trying to find it, being miserable and in pain I wasn't able to help very much, but we did find it, and Matt let me off and the went and parked the car. I hobbled into the ER and gave the clerk my Kaiser card, she was able to bring up my information from my call in earlier, and she told me to take a seat. About 20 minutes go by and I am called into the triage nurses station. He took all of my vitals, asked me some specific questions and then he told me it sounded like my gall bladder, and that he put me in at a "2" because I was in so much pain, but that there were two people ahead of me and that I may be waiting for two more hours before I would get into an ER bed.

While I was in with the triage nurse, Matt called his parents. Thank GOD for Bonnie and Joe! They came and picked up the kids from the ER and took them home with them. Matt came back and we proceeded to wait. We listened in to our neighboring patients. What an interesting collection of people. There was a guy who had the crap beat out of him by his sister after he started beating on her! He was sitting there talking to anyone who would listen telling everyone about how she beat him with a lamp, and then he whips out his cell phone and called the police to press charges against his sister! Crazy people.

When I went into the triage nurse, it was 6pm. At 7pm I was finally called into the ER and was given a bed. Ahhh, I could lay down again. The ER nurse's name that was assigned to me was Kurt, he was very nice, and he checked me out and then called in the ER doctor. While we were waiting for the ER doctor, he tried to get my IV started. I was so badly dehydrated that it took three different sticks to finally find my vein. That HURT! Right after he got my IV started the ER doctor came in, and did a quick exam, and ran out to be sure to get an order into the ultra-sound department before they left for the night at 8pm. So, before I could get hooked up to fluids and be given liquid and pain medicine I was wheeled down to the ultra-sound department, and they did an ultra-sound on me. It wasn't nearly as much fun as my ultra-sounds that I had with my babies. When the ultra-sound tech was done with her exam, she told us that she couldn't tell us the results, and that a doctor will go over the results and get back to us in about 20 minutes. As Matt put it, nothing like foreshadowing

So, back to my bed in the ER. There were just lovely curtains separating three different beds. The curtains didn't block any sound at all. One of the patients on the other side of the curtain had fallen off of a ladder and landed on his face! Another one I don't know what happened to him, I think it was a car accident and he had a DNR, and he sounded horrible! He would be quiet, and then all of a sudden start breathing this horrible liquid, phlegm sound coming from his lungs. Horrifying.

After I got back to the ER bed, Kurt was finally able to give me IV liquid and morphine. I really thought morphine would have put more of a dent in the pain, it did make it a little more bearable, but damn it still really hurt! Just a few minutes latter the ER doctor comes in and tells me that she's called in a surgeon because the ultra-sound showed gall stones, and my white blood cell count was elevated, which meant that my gall bladder was inflamed and that I was going to need surgery to remove it. By this time it was around 9pm. Not a half of an hour goes by when the surgeon comes in, and he starts pushing on my stomach, "Does this hurt?" and then he pushes right on the most painful spot, right under my right rib, and I about came off of the bed, and scream! His response, that that was a successful gall bladder examination! Asshole! Okay, I know that he had to do that to insure what was wrong with me but, damn that hurt. He goes on to tell me what the gall bladder is and where it is, and what it does. I asked him what I should do after and he tells me "eat lots of fruits and vegetables and lose weight." Nice, I am in excruciating pain, and he's telling me I am fat. He tells me that I need to lose weight three times! Not once but three times, the last time he said that I need to lose weight because he doesn't want me to become morbidly obese! By this time it was funny. Matt and I are looking at each other and giggling, because it was just so blunt.

I am then checked into the hospital, and transferred up to the surgical floor. I was in a very nice room all to myself by 10:30pm. The surgeon told us that he had one more surgery before mine and that it would be around 12am before he would get to me. So, we tried to get comfortable and get a little bit of sleep. I was given another shot of morphine, and that helped me sleep. The anesthesiologist came in at 1am and they stared to prep me for surgery.

Oh, I almost forgot the weirdest thing that happened. When I got into my room, I was given a sponge bath!!! Okay, that was soooo bizarre. I was stripped naked and two female nurses gave me a full sponge bath! It was so weird, I have never ever, ever, ever been given a sponge bath and honestly I hope to never get one again. Talk about an invasion of privacy! Yikes!

After the bath, Matt and I took a short nap and then they came and got me. It was a little past 1am. I am transferred to a gurney and wheeled into the surgery area. I was able to give Matt a quick kiss bye, and then I was into the OR. The last thing I remember is the nurse, Diana, and the anesthesiologist Russell talking about the start time, the start time was 1:27am.

When I woke up it was strange. I could hear the TV on and I remember thinking "Why is Law and Order on?" I vaguely remember Matt coming in to give me a kiss and tell me that he was going to run home. He later told me that it was 3am when I was in recovery. After a little while I was taken back to my room where I could sleep. My right arm hurt from where the heart rate monitor kept taking my blood pressure. I felt pretty good after the surgery. That sharp stabbing pain that I had been dealing with for almost 24 hours was gone, it was replaced with soreness.

I was again woken up by the need to get to the bathroom. It was pretty urgent, but I was hooked up to machines that were plugged in, aaahhh what to do. I called the nurses station and I was unplugged. It was around 8am, and I had a new morning nurse. Her name was Susan and she was super nice. Everyone had been so nice and considerate of me the whole time I was at Kaiser. She came in and checked out my surgical incisions. I had bled all over my blanket and bed, yuck! She then told me that if I wanted to go home that day I would have to burp and fart! How very indelicate. I asked how to move things along, and she told me to get up and walk. So, I got up and started doing laps around the floor. I would do a lap, go back to my room, try to sleep, and then get up and do another lap. At 10am the surgeon came in to check on me. He told me that I would have to stay away from greasy and fried foods, and to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I told him that I had been doing laps and that yes, I was burping and farting. He then tells me that he was going to discharge me! Woohoo!

I called Matt and told him that they were discharging me. By the time he made it down the hill they had everything ready for him, he went and picked up my pain medicine and then brought the car around and loaded me in, Bonnie and Joe brought the kids and we all went home! I had never been so glad to go home. There is no way to rest in a hospital, and being able to go home and sleep in my own bed was heavenly.

Now, here it is almost two weeks later, and while I don't have the gall bladder pain, I am dealing with new pain. The surgery pain, the incision pain, and the pain of having NOTHING stay in my stomach. I am not eating fatty foods. I have been very careful and am eating lots of whole grains and fresh fruit and veggies, and absolutely everything comes flying out. It's gotten to the point where I don't want to be far from a bathroom for fear of having one of my incidents. That is super gross, is things are flying through me undigested. I can see what I've eaten in the toilet! Gross! I have been told that there's an adjustment period, but I just really want the adjustment period to be done, and I want to be back to normal!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Here's my adventures in recycling.......adventure is putting it mildly. You will soon see why it's putting it mildly.

Let's set the stage, imagine finally convincing your husband to go through all of the crap that has been in boxes in the garage since before we moved into the house. I labeled and dated all of the boxes and there were some from April 2005! Okay that's 5 years of sitting in a box, if we haven't needed it in 5 years maybe it was time for the stuff to go. We rented a huge dumpster for all of the trash and we went to town. In the process of going through everything I was hopeful to find my old photo albums and my kids baby books. How bad is that? I have no idea where those precious things are, but I can tell you that we had 5 boxes of motorcycle parts!!! 3 boxes of books (my bad) and a multitude of boxes of miscellaneous crap. We also found the boxes of copper wire that Matt had collected when the house was being built. He would come up to the house and collect all of the scraps of wire which filled two little boxes and then he also found a bucket filled with brass fittings. I have no idea where that stuff came from but all I really cared about was getting rid of it.

Set the stage for the next day, it's Monday and I research online for a recycling company that takes metal. I find one that LOOKS like it's in an okay part of town on the Google map. Bwahahahahaha, that's funny now. I plug the address into my GPS and off I go. The GPS takes me right to the place, it wasn't too bad, I get out grab a box of the copper wire and walk into the center. I tell one guy what I have and he gets this horrified look on his face and tells me that they don't handle metal like that anymore, they only handle cans, bottles, and plastics. He then points down the street and tells me that there's a place just a few blocks down that takes metal. Okay, I hop back into my mom mobile and head down the street. As I am driving it is getting more and more apparent that this isn't the best part of town, but I am here, and it's a bright sunny day what could go wrong.......

I turn down the street with Skee's Recycling Center on it, and am pretty well horrified at the neighborhood that I just drove into. I suck it up, and walk with a box of the wire into the yard. This place was crazy, it was filled with piles of metal (duh, I know it's a recycling center) and there are forklifts driving all over and the entire center was surrounded with tin fencing and topped with concertina wire, you know that lovely razor sharp barbwire they use around prisons.

I finally get the attention of one of the guys who works there and tell him I have copper wire and some brass, he tells me to go get everything and set it by the scale. So, I make two more trips out to my car and back with arm loads of stuff. The one guy who was helping me apparently was the manager of the center, he takes one look at the copper wire, and goes, "You found all of this!!?" I told him that my husband had been collecting it, and I just cleaned out my garage. He then whips out his camera and tells me to go stand next to the copper wire. He proceeds to take my photo with all of the copper wire!! This other guy who does the work of weighing out all of my stuff when he is done asks me which car is mine. So I tell him the silver Saturn, and he goes out and writes down my license plate number! He comes back and hands me the slip with all of the weights of the different stuff. Did you know that copper wire has different types? I sure didn't.

I take my slip up to the "counter" I say "counter" because it really was an enclosed booth with bullet proof glass. There was a little square cut out and the manager guy takes my drivers license and swipes it, then he tells me that he is required by law to take my right thumb print. Okay, whatever, I have submitted to a photo, my car license plate number, my drivers license so what's giving him my thumb print, no big deal. He rings up my tag, and tells me that the total is $126.03 and that I can come back on Thursday to collect my money. At this point I was pretty horrified at the thought of having to come back so I asked him if he could mail me a check. He was a little startled at my question and he told me sure, he could do that. I explained that I lived up in Coarsegold and I didn't want to have to drive back down the hill. He then told me that he would give me the money right then. That it would be a $1,000 fine for him for giving me the money early, but he would do it for me. I told him Thank You, and quickly left the place.

As I was walking back to my car, I saw an obviously homeless man smacking something with a hammer, and across the street was a truck with a camper shell and they were unloading God knows what out of the back. I quickly headed back towards the freeway and as I was driving under the freeway a woman walked across the street in front of me wearing no shoes and not walking very straight.

It was about this time that I realized how very sheltered I am, and that I like being sheltered. I like having a nice clean house and not having to worry about druggies or crazies coming into my yard. I like having my life nice and orderly and clean. Did I already say clean? Well, I am going to say it again, I like having my life be clean. This part of Fresno should be in a "scared straight" video. All in all the men who worked at Skee's were very nice. Inside the center I felt okay, not comfortable, but okay, but the instant I walked outside the fence it was like walking into a different world. A world I am lucky enough to not have to live in. It was just very surprising to me how incredibly sheltered my life has been. And that the next time we have wire to recycle MATT will be doing the recycling!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Everyone has heard the phrase, "going postal" but I just recently discovered that it is sooooo true. I absolutely hate the US Postal Service. Yes, I know hate is a very strong word, and I try to teach my kids to not hate anyone or anything, but damn it I hate the USPS. Here's a little back story.....

Imagine, you are deployed and you have your mail forwarded to your lovely parents/in-laws, now imagine that you are home from said deployment, and wish to get your mail delivered to your original address. Imagine the frustrations of dealing with the USPS for two months and being continually reassured that everything is fixed and still having your mail delivered to some where other than your address.

Here's what happened. We moved to Alabama and then Florida, rather than have our mail forwarded over and over again, we just forwarded it to Bonnie and Joe's and they put what was urgent in an envelope and sent it to us where ever we were. This worked out great, I had no problems with this situation at all. When we left Florida I forwarded our mail from our Pocahontas Drive, Ft Walton Beach address to our Coarsegold address and canceled our forward to Clovis, no problem. Until we got home.

We are home about a week and I was concerned, we had only one delivery of mail. So I went down to the post office and they said that there was a forward in place, and I told them that I canceled that forward. They went and looked at their handy dandy computer and they said, "oh, so there is a cancellation in place, we will make sure this is fixed." Okay, foolish me believed them.

Then Joe gave me a handful of mail and it was all addressed to us in Coarsegold, but it was delivered to him in Clovis! WTF!!! So, off I went back to the USPS. I went in calm, and I explained what happened. What did the Postmaster tell me? He told me (and this is a direct quote) "It is physically impossible for mail with one address to be delivered to another." Really? Are you sure? Because it happened. He called me a liar, and told me to go get the mail and prove it. He fully expected me to come in with mail with the snazzy yellow sticker of a forward on it, but NO I had physical proof that he's full of crap. He did apologize and then he said that he personally would make sure it was fixed. Okay, again I believed him......

I got a message on our phone and it's the postmaster, he personally fixed the problem and it wouldn't ever happen again. Again, really? Are you sure? Okay, I will take him at his word, and it did seem to be fixed, until about a week later, there was mail with a forward sticker delivered to Joe in Clovis!!! WTF! So, again I troop down to the post office. They "fix" it while I am standing there, and they showed me the print out of their system showing that the forward was deleted. Here's another direct quote; "As of February 8th there won't be any more forwards to the Clovis address." Aaaahhhh, finally it's fixed, I can breath easy.

The kids went and spent the night over at Bonnie and Joe's this weekend (02/19/10) when they get home Madeline hands us two letters with our Coarsegold address on them that were delivered to Clovis!!!! AARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!! What the F**K!!!! The letters were our insurance cards, pretty important stuff, and they were addressed to us in Coarsegold and delivered to Clovis!

Un-freaking-believable! So I went back to the post office, and I get a COMPLETE blow-off! Oh, I was pissed, the oh so "helpful" postmaster is conveniently no longer at this office, and they don't have a postmaster, so they are going to put in another delete of a forward. I was COMPLETELY stonewalled. I tried sooo hard to be polite, and nice. I tried sooooo hard not to turn into a screeching banshee. But honestly I can understand the urge to go crazy and start taking people out at the post office. I am not a violent person at all, I love people but damn it I was shaking when I left because I was so mad.

There's a little sticker on the door of the post office that has a penal code written on it saying that it is illegal to bring firearms into the post office. I had seen the sign several times and I always thought it was funny, why would anyone bring a firearm into the post office, teehee. The laugh is on me, I can completely understand why that is on the door.

aaahhh, I do feel better now. A little calmer, but every time I think about it my blood pressure rises.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Okay, I know that I am newish to blogging, but damn if I couldn't get spaces in between my paragraphs in my last post! I went into edit post and I put the spaces in, but the just won't show up in the final post. aaaarrrrggghhh. What good is an "Edit Post" tab if it won't actually let you edit the post!? I am sure that it's operator error but it was horribly aggravating for me. Sigh, now I feel better that I have whined and complained.


It was recently pointed out to me that I haven't posted anything new in quite a while. It was news to me that anyone actually reads my blog. HA! So, here's a shout out to my loyal followers, "Hey Judy. Hey, Jen. You guys rock!"

We finally made it home to California. I never really realized how much of a California girl at heart I am. I am not saying CA is better or anything, but for me it's home. I like the fog in the winter, I like the freezing cold mornings followed by sunny beautiful clear days. I love watching the fruit trees bloom, and the normally golden hills turn stunningly green and lush for a few months. I will even love the 110 degree heat in the summer.

Driving across the USA was fun. I dare to say, I would actually do it again if the opportunity presented itself. I enjoy seeing the variety in scenery in the different states. I got to see a wild alligator in a swamp sunning itself on a log in Louisiana. Matt and Madeline saw two zebra's, somewhere in the hills just inside of Texas. We saw antelope in Texas, and I saw a huge porcupine (dead on the side of the road). The best part of the entire trip for me was when we took a short side trip to Tombstone Arizona, and as we were leaving the sun was setting and the colors and the mountains were just stunning. At that point I knew we were almost home. How I had missed the mountains. I never realized how much I missed having mountains around me.
Now that we are home, and the kids are back into school. I have dedicated my days to exercise, (gasp) and finding a job. First off exercise because I am turning 40 in less than 6 months and that scares the crap out of me. I want to start my 40's in better shape than I started my 30's. Granted I started my 30's pregnant, but there really isn't any excuse.
As it turns out exercise is the easiest part of my day. Finding a job in California is next to impossible! I have been rejected by just about everyone I have come into contact with. I even got rejected by the IRS!!! The freaking IRS doesn't want me, who on earth would have ever thought that I couldn't get a job with the IRS in the middle of tax season!?
Rejection has become part of my day. Get up, get the kids to school and Matt off to work (thank goodness he still has his job), come home eat oatmeal for breakfast, do my hour on the elliptical, and weights, then I sit my butt down at the computer and start getting rejected.....At which point I get irritated at my continued rejection and go on Facebook.
Facebook is a HUGE time drain. I can be on for what feels like just a few minutes, and then I look at the handy dandy clock in the corner of the computer screen and notice that it's been 2 hours!!! Holy, freaking Cow! Yet, Facebook has become the balm to my continuing rejection at the job hunting part of my day. I enjoy Facebook because I can communicate with friends who are also unemployed and hating life. Misery loves company.
I try to enjoy the time I am home. I love being able to pick up the kids from school and help them with their homework. Heaven knows that Connor needs extra help to get him caught up from the sucky Florida schools. I like being able to sit and enjoy the silence, no noisy neighbors stomping around overhead, no angry wives talking on cell phones directly outside our door. (Can you tell I didn't really enjoy apartment life?) I just really wish I didn't feel like a complete drain on society. What on earth am I going to do if unemployment ever runs out?! Welfare?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to the best husband in the world.

Today is Matt's 40th birthday. Wow, can I say that I never thought that I would be 40? Not that I am yet, but my better half is now 40 so I must be close, right? Give me 6 months and I will be crying my eyes out about how I can't be this old and blah, blah, blah more junk like that. But today is Matt's day and I have to say that 12 years ago on his birthday when we first got "together" (the quotes are because this is a PG blog) I never thought that we would be where we are now. We've been married for over 10 years, and have two of the most wonderful kids on the face of the earth.

Life with Matt is never dull. He is always thinking of new and interesting things to do, and places to go. I have never in my life ever met anyone who is so fearless. His buddies in the Army call him the Kashi Guy, and then they laugh but honestly he is the Kashi Guy, he does everything, he knows a little bit about a lot of things, and damn he's a ton of fun to be around. Personally I think of him as the Dos Equis Guy, and when at the end of the Dos Equis commercial when they say "He lives vicariously through himself." that's pretty accurate.

The little shy geeky girl in me is constantly amazed that this cool, handsome guy choose to be with me. I am not adventurous, I am not hyper cool. I am the total library girl who was more comfortable with books than with doing things. He picked me out of the multitude of women who continue to drool over him and that was my lucky day. Every day with Matt is my lucky day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bad Signs

I am not a big fan of the Florida school system, but I was always taught that teachers have the hardest job. I was also taught that teachers deserve respect.....hummm. I got a note home yesterday that Connor has a 31% chance of passing 2nd grade! Nice so, basically he has a 69% chance of failing. How do they know this, oh, they gave him a test and he did very poorly on this test so, he's going to fail. Never mind that they aren't teaching him at this school, what it seems like is all they do is test. Then yesterday, they gave him another test and because he didn't follow directions and bubble in all of the answers like the teacher asked, she marked all of his answers wrong, even though his answers were right, he didn't follow directions so they were all wrong and she gave him an "F", along with a "nice" note that says that he didn't follow directions.

I know that I am biased when it comes to my kids. I love them and I think that they are wonderful, so when I get told that my child is stupid, it sets off every single psycho mama bear instinct I have, and I want to rip this teacher a new a$$hole. Connor is an out-of-the-box kind of kid. He looks at things differently, and sees things differently. He's the type of kid who will make a game out of throwing away a piece of paper. He is very creative and adventurous and this school is trying to make him into a drone. I also know that Connor has a short attention span, if he doesn't find something interesting, he doesn't want to do it, and that's bad, but forcing this poor little boy to sit all day in class without recess, and then telling him to take tests all day, and when he doesn't do well basically tell him he's stupid, is a recipe for disaster.

Add to this, when I drive around the area, I see signs like the ones here. This is the school system that is telling me my kid is dumb. This is the type of people the Florida School system churns out.