Posts Tagged ‘Mom’

Pushing Through The Unexpected

Friday, April 12th, 2013

images (3)There are certain phrases you hear in life that you can never be fully prepared for. “Congratulations, you’re homeowners.” “You’re pregnant.” “Your favorite TV show is going off the air.”

One I never thought I’d have to hear is, “Worst case scenario, double amputation up to the knees.”

Those words hit me harder than a physical punch to the gut.

I was lying in my hospital bed on the sixth floor. It was sixteen days since I was admitted and my world was thrown upside down without me knowing about it. The initial scare was gone. I had the fight of my life and I won, but I was not without my scars. My left hand was swollen and the tips of my fingers black. My left thumb was completely black and I was just starting to understand that I would have to have it amputated. My hand was so heavy that I had to lift it up with my right in order to move it and with blood flow returning it was also hot to the touch. If I fell asleep with my hand close to my head I would wake up sweating from the radiating heat.

I was out of the ICU for about four days and plans were in motion to move me to a rehab facility the next day. But before I went I needed my fevers to stop and a podiatrist needed to see me to plan a treatment course.

On the fever front we had several theories all that were being addressed so I mentally put that requirement on the back burner.

All that was unknown was my feet.

A few days earlier I finally got out of bed and started walking around. Granted, I needed a blood transfusion of a couple of pints in order to get enough energy to take a few steps without having a heart attack but the point was I could walk. I thought I was as good as gold, the podiatrist would look at my swollen feet with open sores, red and angry, and would put me on some regiment that would help heal the wounds and I’d be on my way.

Instead I had this man standing in front of me in my darkened room telling me that I’d most likely never run, skip or dance with my little girls. His words cut me to the core. He continued to assess my feet but all I heard was white noise.

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A Return to Self

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I used to be an excellent organizer. I was one of those freaks that would color coordinate anything and everything.  If I could designate it a color and categorize it with other similar things I was in heaven. And don’t even get me started on my incessant need to alphabetize things. I worked in a library when I was younger and at Blockbuster Video during high school and college, to say that I alphabetize in my sleep is not exaggerating.

I used to love writing down and keeping a schedule down to the minute. It’s not that I was obsessive, if something happened and I couldn’t follow the schedule I never freaked out. In fact, I did quite the opposite; I got excited because it meant I got to make a new schedule. Ok, so that in itself could be considered a tad bit obsessive.

Scheduling gave me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of direction. Needless to say, I am not nearly as organized as I once was and I have but one excuse… well, two. They go by the nicknames of Peanut and Trouble. Yep, like most problems that happen in my life I blame my children, lovingly, of course. ;)

For years leading up to my pregnancies I’ve been told, “Once you have kids you’re on their schedule.” While those words of wisdom are true that didn’t mean that I should throw away years of organizational bliss. If anything, I should have stepped it up a notch. Instead, I threw the baby out with the bath water. Huh. Maybe I shouldn’t use that specific idiom but you get my drift. (more…)

Seeing The World Through Pink Glasses

Friday, June 10th, 2011

*Note:  The following post contains my raw thoughts and emotions about a very sensitive subject matter. My intention is not to upset anyone who has gone through this, is currently going through something like this or knows someone that has, but to share a side of me that most would not see.

Did I ever tell you that I hate the color pink? I think I really started to despise the color in the 8th grade. The formal was coming up and I picked out, what I thought, was a gorgeous silk pink dress. When I wore it I felt sophisticated, classy, all things that a 13 year old with frizzy hair, thick glasses and braces did not feel like on a daily basis. I felt so beautiful in the dress, until a friend came up to me while I was talking with a bunch of kids and decided to lecture me on why red-heads should not wear the color. It would be years again until I wore the color again.

But even before that little embarrassment I didn’t really care for the color. While girls would pick shades of pink to color with, I would lean towards purple when needing to pick a girly color. Much later, when I found out that I was having girls, I made it known to friends and family that I would prefer anything but a closet full of pink. Unfortunately for me, I could only hold that true for the first year or so of Lily’s life, then she discovered the Disney princesses and Barbies. I now start to twitch if I stay in our front room, which doubles as their play room, for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Why do I bring this up? Well, yesterday my hatred for the color pink was pushed over the edge.

Sitting in the specialist’s office with little pink ribbons littering the walls I just wanted to throw up. I wanted to hop off the table and start picking off the ribbons with reckless abandon, but the nurses came in before I had the chance. They were cheerful, courteous, friendly and compassionate. I wanted to bash their fucking heads together and stuff the pale pink paper ribbons down their throats.

I kept thinking, I’m 28 I shouldn’t be here. I tried telling myself that I was here for just an ultrasound but it did nothing to make me feel better. I thought my dog just died, Eric is in San Francisco and I’m in the breast cancer specialist’s office by myself. As I sat on the paper clad table I shook my head at the fact that it was just the day before when I sat in my gynecologist’s office for my yearly and casually mentioned what I thought was a non-issue, thanks, in part, to my internet research.

I almost regretted saying “Hey, I got a question….” to my doctor because it led to “Hm, I’m sure it’s nothing, but let’s check it out.” Which brought me to sitting on another table about to get accosted by cold fingers… again.

My heart clenched. I thought I have two little girls that need their mommy.

The nurses did their thing and I was sent off for an ultrasound. Which wasn’t too bad; the bed was kinda comfy, the room was dark and the gel was warm. Is it weird to admit that I kinda liked that? :)

After the doctor read ultrasound she ordered a mammogram. I felt as if all the air left the room. My lungs constricted as tears stung my eyes. The nurse took me to the x-ray room and before I knew what was happening my boob was being squished between two plastic plates. The tech praised my flexibility and ability not to complain about the pain. I found myself smiling and reassuring her that I can handle it. I had an odd moment of “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU REASSURING HER?!?!” But that’s me. I’m scared out of my mind, but I need to make sure the tech is ok and comfortable with her job. Nice.

I waited for about 10 minutes after the tests. They took me to a small room; really if it was bigger than a broom closet I would be surprised. It had three chairs with a little table that held a light, that only lit that corner, and a tissue box. Oh, and the table had a little fake flower on it… pink. sigh

The doctor knocked on the door before she walked in with another nurse in tow. They looked solemn and their smiles were kind – I was scared shitless. The doctor sat to my right while the nurse settled into the chair to my left.

“I looked at your ultrasound and mammogram. And you’re fine. They both came back negative.”

I wanted to bitch slap her. Odd reaction, right? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been so relieved in my life, but the ambiance of the room and their demeanor had me figuring where I could go to find matching bandanas for the summer dresses I just bought.

I’m not out of the woods yet, due to my age and this abnormality I have a surgical consult next Tuesday, but really, it’s not cancer or anything serious so I am on cloud nine! I understand their want for me to be checked out by another professional and when it comes to my health, I’m a-okay with that.

(And just a side note: The doctors, nurses and techs at this hospital were first rate. Even though I was scared and wanted to inflict bodily harm as a way of dealing with fear, I did feel safe with them, cared for. They are truly special people to deal with this subject every day and I admire their strength and compassion.)

I don’t need to tell you what a scary and hellish experience this was. I lost an aunt to breast cancer several years ago and I know first-hand the heartache it causes. But, I learned a lot from these past two days.

Life is short, friends. Surround yourself with people that make you happy, that support you and pick you up when you’re down. But, don’t forget to be that person in return. Go out and enjoy life, you only get one turn on this roller coaster. (Unless you believe in reincarnation, then I guess you can pick a different ride. ;) )

There are some things you can’t control, accept that and focus on the ones that you can. Make things happen for yourself, strive to be the best, don’t dwell on your shortcomings (we all have them) but accept them as a part of who you are.

And, remember, that each day you wake up, is a good day. It’s better than not waking, right?

Now, get off the computer and go out and enjoy your life :)

Me and my girls this past Easter

 

My Escape to Panera

Monday, March 28th, 2011

If you follow me on the Have Coffee….Will Write blog you know that last week was a tough week for me as a mom and a writer. I was fed up with trying to do everything for everyone and not having any time for myself as a writer. I have to say that the response I got to the post was very supportive and inspiring, so if you visited the site and commented on my post, thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.

When I was at a complete loss last week, spiraling out of control inside my own mind, I did what any self-respecting writer would do. I turned to Twitter. I posed the question there, then again to the HCWW blog readers, asking them where they go when working at home just isn’t working out. Like I said in Friday’s post, I got the usual answers of coffee shops, libraries, parks to the not so usual, McDonald’s.

I’ve decided that although I absolutely love McDonald’s french fries, I opted for our local Panera Bread. I didn’t pick the best time to go, Saturday over lunch, but I must say, even though I shared the restaurant with 150 perfect strangers, I loved every minute of it. I ordered soup with a sandwich, a huge Pepsi, found a corner table and slipped into my own little paranormal world. It was amazing.

And quite surprising actually. The little table I found was situated by the door and with being there during lunch time, it seemed as if that door swung open every 30 seconds. Not only was the door constantly being opened, but with every person that came in brought a chill from the outside with them. The tables were full around me with gossiping teenagers, hungry children and deaf senior citizens. I did more writing in that crowded bakery then I have done in a quiet house with the napping kids. Who would have thought?

I sat for 2 1/2 hours and I outlined chapters with details, I thought up ideas for blog posts, I ate and drank way too much. No one wanted food from me, no one needed their diapers changed, the dishes were being taken away by someone else and I got to just sit and think. The noise and chaos around me didn’t touch me; I allowed myself to forget who I am and the responsibilities at home and just focus my attentions on my characters.

When I did come home I felt refreshed. The rest of the day I could dedicate to my family without feeling like I was forgetting to do something. There was no guilt trying to balance reading books to my children and writing a book for me.

I’m going to try a library next. We’re surrounded by several colleges, so I may check out them out (with their longer hours it may be more beneficial for me with writing at night.)

So, thank you friends, for being there when I needed you, your support and advice were greatly appreciated! Now, I’m off to make dinner.