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Archive for December, 2008

What a year. If anyone had asked, I’d have told them in a heartbeat that 2006 was the worst, and best, year of my life. Now I can say its been 2008.

I found out I would be approved for SSI disability…that the doctors couldn’t figure out why I’m falling…that I didn’t have a tumor or early menopause, but was in fact pregnant…and of course we all know how that turned out.

I never knew I could go through the things I’ve experienced, and still be halfway sane. I’d look at people who suffered trials of faith, trials of LIFE, and think “Thank God it wasn’t me, because I’d be a basketcase!” Be careful what you say, eh?

The pregnancy with Ruby was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Every little movement she made, every ultrasound picture, every change in my body, was bittersweet. There was the normal excitement, followed quickly and crushingly by the agony and despair of knowing that I most likely would never bring her home. Little did I know I wouldn’t even get to hold her and remember it, or kiss her goodbye. I hated every minute of it.

I loved every minute of it. Funny how life works, isn’t it? On the one hand, I was so ready for it to all be over, and on the other, I never wanted to let her go.

2008 turned into the year of Ruby Mae. She defined the year for me. It was the worst year of my life, and absolutely the best at the same time. I lost my baby, my very much desired baby, my beautiful sweet little girl…but I don’t cry for her…she’s happy and whole and experiencing that which we of faith all long for…I cry for myself. I cry for MY loss, for the things I can’t change or take back. I cry for the friends I lost over the pregnancy. I cry for the damaged relationships in my family over the pregnancy. I cry for what’s happened to my body and my health over the pregnancy. Do I cry for Ruby? Yes, but for her, its different. The only thing I would change would be to insist Justin stay by my side and not let them drug me…but they took him away and he couldn’t stay. I didn’t say I wanted him to stay, so they sent him away.

I cry with joy when I remember the good times…watching my belly grow…making new friends who were also expecting their own babies….discovering a wealth of love, support, and prayers from new friends here in “Blogland”…finding a strength I didn’t know I had… growing closer to my husband.

You can’t go back and change the past. The sooner 2008 is a distant memory, the sooner it will get easier on me. I pray for peace for myself, health and happiness for my family and friends, and for an even better 2009.

I wouldn’t have changed a single decision I made, not for the world.

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We got one for Christmas as a family gift. Its probably the best game I’ve ever played (aside from WoW of course!). We’ve all had a ton of fun with it so far, but I was stupid. Really.

I’m six weeks out of surgery and on oxygen, and I hula hooped on the WiiFit too much lol. Today I can barely move. I was a little sore yesterday evening, but then Jared figured out a trick with the hula hooping, and beat my high score. I had to regain my crown of course, and played one round of hula hooping and retook my title. Halfway through, the pain started in…did I quit, as was the WISE thing to do? Of course not. I was never given points for common sense after all.

So here I sit, hunched over, popping Tylenol like candy. Dare I say it? Stupid.

I’m also pondering whether I can do any of the other WiiFit games without further injury…

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They said it’d happen on the weather news yesterday and last night.  I scoffed and scornfully said “Yeah, right, when Hell freezes over maybe.”

I woke up this morning, and Hell apparently hath frozen over.

It wasn’t daylight yet, and the flakes were so huge, it reminded me of living in upstate NY.  I’ve seen snow in MS, and even snow down here this far south, but never huge fluffy snowflakes like this.  This is…YANKEE snow.  I mean seriously!  Snow?  At this time of year?  In south MS?  No way!

Yesterday my kids went to school without jackets.  Today, they had to run through falling snow to get on the bus.  So far, school still isn’t canceled, but if this doesn’t let up, I imagine it could be.  What’s frightening is that people down here just don’t know how to drive in snow.  I do, but only because I lived in NY for a year.

I’ve taken dozens of pictures.  As soon as Justin gets home, I’ll upload some (he has the card reader in his laptop bag).  I figured, once the sun came up, it’d warm up and the snow would stop.  After all, the weather forecast predicts it’ll be 38 degrees by 8 am.  Well, its 7:55 am, and its colder now than it was when I got up…31 degrees.  The snow is now falling so thickly, that I can’t see my MIL’s house just up the road, and my satellite TV is out *sobs*

Its pretty though…the cats are freaking out a bit…but its pretty.  Too bad the ground is too warm for it to really stick.  Its melting shortly after falling unless it lands on a vehicle or leaves or bushes or something.

Snow…in December…amazing.  (its a southern thing, you wouldn’t understand lol)

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I’m missing church today.  I didn’t want to, but I suspected when I chose to go to the church’s annual Christmas auction last night, that I’d be overdoing it and miss church this morning.  We had a blast last night though…we were there about three hours, and had food and fellowship and just a lot of fun in general.  I even found a couple Christmas presents there :)

But today, yeah, I’m paying for it…migraine and major pains in my lower abdomen.  To be fair, I’d had issues with my abdomen all day yesterday…last night just seemed to aggravate it.

Justin had Brotherhood Breakfast this morning, so he and Jared were gone when I woke up.  I staggered into the living room to see what the girls were up to, and after settling comfortably into my recliner, I happened to notice that my wall was different.  Bekah found my Christmas card hanger back in the summer, and put it on the wall, where it stayed until this morning.  She loved it, and it didn’t hurt anything, so I left it up, and throughout the months she’d put different little things on/in it.  For instance, the most recent item of note was Bekah’s silk rose from Ruby’s funeral.

This morning I glanced up and the Christmas card hanger is gone.  In its place?  A blue frisbee that Bekah caught at the Christmas parade Friday night.  I commented on it, wondering WHY I have a blue frisbee hanging on my living room wall, and Bekah put her hand on her hip, looked me straight in the eyes, and in a very exasperated tone of voice, said “Mama, its a CHRISTMAS frisbee!!!”  She huffed off, as I, suitably chastised, wandered back to my bedroom to lie back down.  My migraine had just grown.

If you happen to see blue frisbees on walls anywhere during your holiday roamings, remember they’re CHRISTMAS frisbees, or you too could find yourself the recipient of a kindergardener’s ire

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I’m lost

For months I’ve concentrated on Ruby.  I’ve worked my hardest to get the best treatment available for her, and focused solely on making it as long as I could with the pregnancy…getting her as far as I could.  Then I had to bury her, and get her headstone, and do thank you notes, and of course all these doctor appointments that seem neverending…

But with my blog…I’m lost.  I don’t know what to write anymore.  This blog started out as a form of therapy for me…a way to express myself when I was having a bad mood swing or needed an outlet…I really never expected anyone to read it outside a tight circle of close friends, and the way it took off during Ruby’s pregnancy astounded and amazed me.  The blog has grown, in many ways as Ruby grew, and as I’ve grown and changed.

Now I’m not sure what to do.  Its hard to go back to the carefree days of games and blogthings and such…and yet I don’t want to constantly vent about how I’m feeling since losing Ruby.

So…I’m lost.  Bear with me while I try to figure it all out.

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Seriously.  I am completely exhausted!  My appointment today was at 11, so we had to leave home around 7:30 to make sure we got there in time.  We actually got there early, but then began the “hurry up and wait” that I learned so well while in the Army.

It was 4:30 p.m. before we got out of there.  I didn’t even see a doctor until after 2:00!!  We didn’t get out of traffic and get something to eat until after 5…so no lunch.  That made us both grumpy and have headaches, but we managed.  We did get a bottle of water and a snack cake each from the gift shop to tide us over…the food court had already closed when we got done seeing the doctor.

Good news…looks like I may have service connected disabilities.  Bad news…until its sorted out, I have to keep going all the way to Jackson for appointments and interviews and stuff.  Its hard…about six+ hours in the car total, IF we don’t run into rush hour traffic at any point along the way.  Once it all gets sorted though, I’ll *hopefully* be able to get everything taken care of in Hattiesburg or on the coast.

I got Epi pens today…I haven’t had any in years because after my last ones expired, I never got around to buying more…they were kinda pricey, even with insurance.  Today it cost me ZERO dollars.  I’m liking the VA I think :)

Oh and I had a confirmed diagnosis of PTSD too.  Well duh…I’ve known that for years.  I guess its good to get it into the computers though.

Now I have to track down “summaries” of all my medical issues from the different hospitals, clinics, and doctors I’ve been seeing…that should be fun.  I have to make contacts tomorrow from New Orleans to Nashville and points in between basically.  Gonna be a long day.  But, I need all the documentation…the more the better.  The fact that I’m on SSI already goes in my favor…if they can link some of these issues to a service connected disability, it’ll be even better, as I’ll then get monetary benefits for allowing the military to ruin my health ;)

So anyway.  Its late and we’ve just gotten home and settled.  I’m ready to crash and get some rest.  Its amazing how tired you can get from sitting around and waiting all day.  I got a lot of questions today too about “how’s the baby doing” because I had to tell them I’d just had a c-section two weeks and five days ago.  That was hard, but not as hard as it was.  I guess I’m healing a little…I’ve only cried a few times today talking about her.  I still miss her so much though.  Speaking of, they told me to make sure I mention to the screeners about her birth defects she had…apparently it might be related.  I’m not so sure, but I’ll mention it all the same.

I think I hear my big tub calling my name…a hot bubble bath sounds pretty good right now.  I’ll worry about all the medical and military junk tomorrow

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more surgery!  Yippee!

*Sigh*

I’m not going to post all that the cardio-thoracic surgeon told me today.  Quite frankly, if I weren’t living this drama, I wouldn’t believe the crap myself.  Its too much for any one person to have to go through, seriously.  The surgeon thought Justin and I were insane…we just started chuckling as he was talking, and ended up laughing uproariously by the time he was done.  He said “This is a very serious thing, nothing to laugh about!” and I told him “Honestly, if you look in the files at my history, you’ll see that I HAVE to laugh or I’ll commit suicide or end up in a straight jacket.”  I mean, really.  I also said “Well, it is me after all…and we know I can’t do anything half-way!”  That’s what caused Justin and me to start laughing like maniacs.

I’m tired.  This will not be a simple hernia repair surgery.  There’s more involved to it…in a nutshell…90% +/- of my bowels are in my right chest.  Most of my right lung couldn’t be visualized at all because of the intestines, and my right lung is completely deflated from what they can tell.  Massive “blowout” on the right side of my diaphraghm.  AND the kicker…the top of my right lung may not be “viable” by the time they’re able to do the surgery.  Because of the hormones from pregnancy and such, they don’t think my tissue will hold a repair right now, so I have to wait until February at least to have it done.  So I go back on February 2.  Oh and they can’t go through my abdomen, because they think part of my bowels have adhered to my lung.  They have to go in through my chest (the side wall).  Lovely.  He said there’s a good chance I’ll need more than one surgery to get it all taken care of.  Wonderful.

A lot more was said…some more little things that are wrong, but that’s the gist of it basically.  He did joke with me that after the surgery he’d want me to do lots of jumping jacks to make everything go back down.  Hey, at least he has a sense of humor.  They also asked if it would be ok to have student doctors in for exams and the surgery.  I told them sure, the more the merrier.  He said he does one really large hernia repair a year on average (out of the normal range) and that mine will be the largest he’s ever seen/done.  That’s when I started laughing and making the wise cracks.  I mean come on.

He showed me my CT scan from Saturday night (the day after Ruby was born) and explained to me what we were seeing.  The differences between the right and left sides were amazing once he explained it to us.

Anyway.  I also saw my OB today, and got the rest of my staples out.  THAT is healing very well, and I’m doing great all around other than still having to be on oxygen (until at least February now!) and I still have blood pressure that’s too high.  Preeclampsia is supposed to go away within a couple weeks of delivery, so hopefully that will be resolved soon as well.  Today was 162/104.  Not excessively high, just higher than they like to see.

I’ve lost all the baby weight + 4 pounds though 🙂  I started out at 133 when I got pregnant, dropped WAY down before I started gaining around 5 months or so, and ended up at 161 the day Ruby was born.  This morning I weighed 129.  Now if I could do something about the hips…

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