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A glimpse into my future

25 May 2011
This week Sparrow has been staying at his Nana's house in Provo.

The first day or so he was gone, it was eerily quiet in this house. Then I remembered that I used to live a very quiet life, and it wasn't so eerie any more.

Sparrow came to visit for a few hours on Sunday and it almost wiped me off the planet. Although I didn't pick him up and we did calm things (i.e. watched a movie), I was surprised at how exhausting that kid is. The hardest part was when I couldn't stay upright any longer and went upstairs to lie down. Hawk did a good job of keeping him entertained, but the whole time I was upstairs I was thinking of things we could do to entertain Sparrow or to occupy him or feed him or blah blah blah. My mommy brain would not shut down.

On Tuesday, I missed him. Yes, it took me 6 days to actually miss my child. The first two days I was on drugs, and the whole time I was in the ER I was just thinking "thank goodness Sparrow isn't here." Anyway, on Tuesday I ran some errands and missed having him to talk to and...well, talk to.

I'm not going to be homeschooling Sparrow. At least not if things work out with a certain private school near here. And well, he'll be going to a pre-school in 2012, just because he needs the interaction and the preparation for the big time. Academically, he's ready to be in pre-school now. I'm not ready for him to go yet, and emotionally/socially he isn't either, which is why he isn't enrolled this year.

This week I got a glimpse of my future - in 2 short years, I will have time. There will be time to read, time to serve, time to work, time to become a culinary ninja, time to sleep, time to do my own dang thing. This thought fills me with glee and anticipation and hope.

At the same time, I'm a little concerned. Two years is not very long. I have my work cut out for me. There's lots I want to teach Sparrow before I feel comfortable sending him off to school. I better get crackin'.

He comes home tomorrow. While I have enjoyed the peace and quiet, I'm looking forward to having the little beastie home. Except I will miss the naps. Oh, the glorious naps. Those were nice.

Adventures in the ER

21 May 2011
On Thursday night I started having some shoulder and chest pain. I figured I'd just slept on it funny and it was a pulled muscle, you know, nothing serious. Well, yesterday it got progressively worse throughout the day, so at 7 pm Hawk and I went to the InstaCare. InstaCare gave me a cursory glance and said, "Go to the hospital." Ugh, really?

So we drove back to St. Mark's hospital, where I had the surgery on Wednesday. We were told to go to the ER, but were given a "transfer sheet" and hoped that we would get in quicker with that magic piece of paper. That was our first mistake - hope.

We arrived at St. Marks at 8:50. It was busy. The level of noise could be classified as a dull roar. I realized that this could take a long dang time, but I was prepared to wait. I had been told not to take any medicine or drink anything after leaving the InstaCare, so I was a little sore because my painkillers were wearing off, but nothing I couldn't handle.

At 11 p.m., I told the admitting nurse that we were leaving and to let me sign out. He said "but you're so close," and promised it would be less than an hour. So we stayed. I had a mild nervous breakdown. The pain in my shoulder/chest was getting worse and worse, and my incision sites were killing me. I was tired and just wanted to go home. Finally, at midnight, we were taken back to the ER and I got a bed. Really, I just wanted to lie down, so that was great. It took another half hour before a nurse or doctor came by, but when they did I got hooked up to the oxygen machine, had an EKG, had a blood draw and got an IV started. They gave me 4 mg of morphine, which is surprisingly not very helpful.

They were worried that I had a blood clot in my lungs, and the blood test was going to tell them if I had markers for that. They told us it would take about an hour, and that if it came back positive I would need a CT scan of my lungs.

Two hours later, we had seen neither hide nor hair of nurse, doctor, orderlies, or anyone else. Hawk hit the nurse call button twice asking for more painkillers for me, and also asking if helloooo, what's going on?

A lady walked in and said "we're going to get a CT scan." Oh, okay, so I guess this means my blood test came back positive. She wheeled me over to the imaging room and I went through that whole process. Because she had to push the iodine in so fast, I felt very sick and was very, very worried I was going to throw up. I gagged a few times but I was able to keep it down. On the way back to my ER room, we passed a room where the doctor was saying "time of death 2:02." Yikes.

About 3 a.m., the doctor came back in. She said that my scan came back negative for blood clots, but she was concerned because my white blood cell count was elevated and because my incision sites were still tender. Of course they are tender lady, I just had surgery two days ago! She wanted to do another CT scan of my pelvic area to see if they could find an infection. I had to drink a liter of "Crystal Lite" with contrast dye in it, and it was gross. I was finally able to get more morphine, since the old stuff had worn off and besides that, it didn't even touch the shoulder pain. Lying down was agony. Ugh.

At 5:30, the tech came back to take me in for another CT scan. This time she didn't have to push the iodine in so fast, so I didn't get sick. I did have to pee like crazy. Hawk pushed the call button for the nurse, we waited 30 minutes and then I sent him out to find someone to help unhook me so I could go to the bathroom. It was ridiculous.

Here's the thing - the ER was extremely busy. So busy that they did have to call in extra nurses and even, I suspect, some members of the disaster response team. But by 3 a.m., the ER was cleared out. There was no one in the waiting room and very few patients left. I don't know what the heck everyone was doing, but they did a great job of avoiding me. We'd push the call button, someone would say "can I help you?," we'd say "I need more painkillers/I really need to go potty/The oxygen tube is killing me" and they would say "I'll send your nurse" and the nurse would never come. Three times we called and waited for over an hour before anyone came to check on me. We went a good 3 hours without seeing a doctor, nurse, or anyone. At several points, alarms went off because my blood pressure cuff wasn't hooked up right and I ended up taking off the oxygen cannula because it was hurting my nose so bad. Nobody even stuck their head in to see what was beeping.

Around 6, a new doctor came in. "Well, we've just about done everything we could possibly do without admitting you! I'm surprised you're not glowing yet from all the radioactive iodine in your system. Don't get another CT scan for like 10 years, sheesh. We have no idea what's wrong with you. If you feel worse, come back. Follow up with your OBGYN on Monday. Sorry about all this. Go on home."

It took another hour before we left the hospital. Why? Because doctor did not communicate with nurse, nurse came in and gave me more morphine, then had to unhook me from everything, blah blah blah. He asked if I wanted to walk out or ride in the wheelchair. I opted to walk - who knows how long it would have taken to find a freaking wheelchair. We might still be there waiting now if I had asked for the wheelchair.

So the verdict: You just spent 10.5 hours in the emergency room! Sorry you're in pain. We have no idea why you're hurting. You probably won't die. If you do, come back to the ER and we might see you. Maybe. If we feel like it.

Hawk and I came home and collapsed. What a nightmare. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take my painkillers and slip into a blessed hazy fog of relaxation. Sheesh.

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About 3:30 a.m.

Where's my wombat?

20 May 2011
I am home from the hospital. I am not going to lie, the hospital was very nice. I kind of liked being in that big bed that moves up and down and getting served delicious healthy meals and chatting amicably with nurses every few hours and being left to do my own thing - sleeping, watching TV, and sleeping. That's pretty much what I did. I drank a LOT, too, after my surgery.

I hate being thirsty. I am now catching up on not being allowed any fluids for 12 hours. I was very grateful for the catheter yesterday. Yeah, that's gross, but oh so true.

I am really doing pretty well. It was much less painful and scary than the tubal ligation I had in 2009. I had about 8 nurses tell me how great uterus-less-ness is and how I am never going to regret this etc etc. Apparently people who have hysterectomies feel very strongly that they are awesome. Thus far I am joining the camp, but that may be because I have access to fantastic drugs.

I will write some details later, but let me sign off saying that the cause of pain for the last 2 years was most likely some serious scar tissue (adhesions), which did make it a little difficult for them to operate so I have a few more incisions than normal. They removed the adhesions, the tubes, and the uterus, so I should be good to go now as long as more adhesions don't form. I am doing my best to be very, very, very careful this time to not go overboard. No more adhesions. They hurt.

Do not ignore my veins!

16 May 2011
We went to the hospital today to get the pre-op work done. My surgery is Wednesday.

The best part of a hospital visit though is the blood draw.

Someone who shall not be named passed on some very crappy veins. My veins are selfish. They do not want to share my blood with you. I would love to be a blood donor, but I have literally been banned from blood banks because of my awful veins. THANKS MOM.

One time, when I was pregnant, it took seven nurses to get my blood drawn. That was the best day ever.

Luckily I have a high pain tolerance. I also know that when you are going to get a needle stick, BE HYDRATED for the love of all that is holy. Only once have I attempted a blood draw while dehydrated. That was bad news. Also, if you have bad veins, warn the nurses. They appreciate it.

The worst thing about my veins is that they look beautiful. Yes I have had nurses tell me I have gorgeous veins (better compliment than "you have gorgeous ovaries." Yes I have heard that one too.) Until they try to stick me. Then the veins literally run away and hide. They flee. They collapse. They roll around. They practically stage a revolt and move to Bermuda. After a blood draw, I don't get told I have pretty veins anymore.

So the nurse today only had to stick me once, but it took her a good 90 seconds of wiggling the needle around, up, down, back, forth, sideways, etc, before the vein finally gave up some of my life juice. Honestly I thought they were going to have to amputate.

Now I get to wear some fancy hospital bracelets. This is the first time I have ever had to wear the hospital bracelets before actually going to the hospital for the procedure. Weird. But my nurse warned me - "do NOT take those bracelets off or they will have to re-draw your blood before the surgery, when you won't have had anything to drink for 8+ hours." Got it. I just feel weird walking around with these VERY OBVIOUS BRIGHT GREEN AND WHITE hospital bracelets on.

I plan on live-blogging the hysterectomy. And by live-blogging I mean blogging whenever I get around to being semi conscious and near a laptop.

Hallelujah!

07 May 2011
I have been praying my guts out to not kill my kid this week, and I think it worked. The Lord had mercy on me and upped my patience level and/or worked some magic in Sparrow's brain. No accidents yesterday or today - and today we ventured out into the great wide world for 2 hours. It's the first time Sparrow has left the house in a week. Somehow in the last week, spring has sprung and winter is gone!

Of course, I say that, and tomorrow it will snow.

A potty trained toddler is the best Mother's Day present I can think of. I am officially done with diapers for the rest of my entire life. And if I was sad about my upcoming hysterectomy, this week taught me that really having more kids would be a terrible idea. Besides the fact that I'd probably die, I also don't think I could handle 2 Sparrows running around. Yikes.

A few weeks ago, Sparrow and I drove to Brigham City Utah (about 1.5 hours north of our home) with my grandma. We wanted to see the new Brigham City temple being built. Sparrow was so excited, but when we got there he was really confused. "Where are the walls? Where is Moroni? (The gold angel statue on top of most temples) Where are the doors?" It was pretty neat to see the temple in progress, but I can't wait till it's completed so I can take Sparrow to see the inside. When a temple is built, generally the public is invited to tour it before it is dedicated. After a temple is dedicated, only worthy Latter Day Saints over age 12 are allowed inside, unless a family with small children is being sealed together for eternity. Hawk, Sparrow and I will hopefully be sealed this December.

I am really bad at explaining church things, so if you would like more information visit mormon.org as they have an excellent website with tons of answers to pretty much everything you could think to ask.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our excursions.


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Sparrow and his great grandma in front of the tabernacle.

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The temple-in-progress.

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That light at the end of the tunnel is not a train, it's an atom bomb.

04 May 2011
Holy pants, people.

Pants. Ha, ha.

This week? This week is Eeek! Week. For the last month I have had this week blocked out in my little brain as The Week In Which My Son Will Learn To Use The Toilet So Help Me God. The last 2 weeks of April were insanely, crazy, inhumanly busy, so I was looking forward to having this time to stay at home and chillax a little.

Holy. Pants.

The first day was awful. I mean, Sparrow was pretty good about the whole thing, but watching his every move every second of the day was just exhausting. Then after his nap, he was angry and i was angry and there was anger. Tuesday morning, truly, if I had had the car or access to diapers i would have caved. Yeah, I would have. My son would still be wearing the stupid things.

We had some screaming and yelling fights, but after about 10 a.m. yesterday something clicked. Firstly, I was praying like crazy to not murder the kid. And I think he realized "hey, I can't get out of this one." The boy is stubborn, that's for sure. Yesterday I had him go naked for much of the day. At nap and night, he wears a Pull-Up. I think Pull-Ups are stupid and I hated hated hated caving and buying that package but it may have saved my family.

Truly.

Today, Sparrow had one accident. Allllll day he was perfect. I asked him about every 30 minutes if he needed to go, if he did, we'd go, he'd do his thing, we're done. After Hawk got home, I went to the library for some down time and suggested Sparrow and Hawk go play on our deck. They did, and I guess Sparrow got too wrapped up in playing because there was yuck. Oh well, can't win them all.

Tomorrow we will increase my asking to every 45 minutes and see what happens. I'm also going to try him in underpants the entire day. Except for the Pull-Ups. I'm starting to think they should market those things for Mommy's state of mind and child safety. Sheesh.