Sep 30, 2005

History repeating

My stepdad, Jerry made it through his 3rd surgery in 3 months ok yesterday. It started with the removal of his larynx (Voicebox) last year due to Laryngeal cancer. He had the surgery post chemo and radiation and his neck skin and tissues were very weak. Shortly after, he developed a very nasty infection in his throat. The funny thing about infections deep inside is that the body will find a way to get it out. Two fistulas (Tunnels) ending with holes formed in his throat. So now on top of the permanent ostomy hole he has for breathing (Laryngectomee's often have to have a tracheostomy permanently) he also had 2 extra holes that his body created to drain the infection. Well, fast forward through several idiot doctors and minor applications to deter the infection, Jerry,yesterday had a hopefully final closing of the fistula holes by using skin and muscle grafts from his chin and chest. Mom reported from Dallas earlier today that he's resting well on Morphine and still up on the unit. She's staying her second night tonight.
I think this situation has brought to light why this past year has been a little harder for me then some of the others. I talk to Mom on average every other day. I hear the same things I was saying and feeling 5 years ago. "I can't stand to see him in this much pain","I'm not sure I can go through another surgery with him"," I dread going back to the hospital", "What do I do when I bring him home, How will I take care of him and work?", "When will he be better", "When will this end?"

They say history repeats itself. I hope for Mom's sake and Jerry's it doesn't for them. It is just all too familiar for me.

Out with the old

I'm selling Mike's Magic the gathering cards on Ebay
Check out the link if you're interested.
There was no point in me hanging on to them.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to promote them here.

If I'm successful, I'll probably sell his Star Trek card collection too. Although not worth as much, there are hundreds of them. It's going to take me awhile to inventory them.

Sep 25, 2005

Whether the weather...

Wow! Talk about panicking. All of Houston and Galveston packed the highways for 2 days for which turned out to be no good reason. Even people in my city panicked as I went shopping Thursday and had to buy an expensive loaf of bread as all the cheap stuff was gone. There was no water, batteries, flashlights (still don't own one).
I wasn't worried but thought if I lose power for a bit it would just suck not to have any groceries. We didn't even get any rain. The sunsets on Thurs and Friday were beautiful with the clouds though.
My friend Christie's fine. She and her family evacuated, I'm assuming her house is fine too since they were'nt hit. My sister Jamie had some heavy storms but no flooding I found out through via text message. Her cell phone still doesn't work well.
So, that's over.
It is past sundown and 7:30pm right now. The thermometer says it is 98 degrees right now. It got up to 107 degrees today in some areas. I stayed in all day. Both me and Ari have a hard time handling extreme heat, that's just miserable. A cold front is due Tuesday and will bring us into the lower 90s, crazy huh? The only thing I like about summer is my birthday.
I love winter, it's my favorite season. I love sweaters and gloves and fires in the fireplace. Love christmas trees and shopping and the way being outside too long makes your nose red. Thinking cool thoughts now, maybe I'll influence the weather. :)

Sep 22, 2005

Evil Rita

As if Texas hasn't had enough trouble the past few weeks, hurricane Rita is now barreling toward the Texas coast. I can't get ahold of Christie,(she lives 20 minutes north of Galveston) so Christie, if you left early, have internet access and are reading this....Please call me! Your cell phone is not working. Christie and her husband Charles have 2 boys, I'll pray your home is unscathed.
My sister's north of Houston in Conroe. She may be coming here as she lives on a lake and the flooding is bound to be extensive. She was supposed to wait until Friday to leave but I'm thinking she needs to leave today.
I really hope it's died down if it hits here. We are very much inland, so there won't be a New Orleans situation here but I worry about the bad flooding and tornados. My yard floods in the usual summer storms even though we live on a big hill. I think our hilly area may help us though if a tornado spins off. My plan today is to go grocery shopping, I'm going to pick up supplies, just in case of a power outage. I don't even own a flashlight, or at least one that's not attached to a keychain. I'll get some bottled water and batteries for my radio too. Cathy, me and Ari will stay in all weekend and play board games. Jamie and her boyfriend too if they have to evacuate.

Mom update: Mom saw a surgeon and her lump is being perceived as an abscess. He decided not to biopsy for fear of the intense pain it would cause her. Antibiotics and measuring it's size is the plan for now. She follows up on Monday. Cancer's not even the issue. :)

Sep 21, 2005

Test 1 & funky weight

First test of the semester was yesterday. I made a B, but could have done better. I procrastinated about studying for it. I'm an all or nothing kind of person and the fact that I'm not in clinicals or labs right now made me delay doing anything about it. I'm also hearing my classmates say they get heads-ups from their instructors so that's a little unfair. It didn't help that I totally missed last week's lecture. I get to drop one test for my final grade so that B avg. could stil change to an A avg. When I was pregnant with Ari I looked up everything and stayed as informed as I possibly could. I feel like this course is a review on that with elaboration on the really technical stuff. I can't wait to start my pediatric clinical the first week of Oct. and then OB/Labor and delivery in Nov.

I'm finally feeling like I'm pulling out of this funk I've been in. This time of year is usually rough for me but this week I'm feeling more focused. I get weird when I have nothing to do, you know what they say about the idle.

This past week I've been focusing my extra time into getting more in shape and losing this extra weight. I moved the treadmill from my bedroom to the living room, where it was, it was "out of sight. out of mind", now I may use it more. I need to act now before I get any older, the more the clock ticks the harder the weight will be to take off.

Ari's student teacher put together a class book with pictures, we got it today. Some of the pics were taken with her own camera on picture day. I was there with Ari on picture day and was in a couple of pics. It took me a minute to recognize myself, I don't look like the me I see in those pictures, I look much worse.
So I am going to be even more proactive about my weight and also schedule a MD appt. to see if she could offer up any help or advice as well. Wish me luck.

Also throw some good wishes my Mom's way. She developed a lump in her breast and is possibly having a biopsy today. I spent a couple hours last night researching all the possibilities besides cancer. It's actually a good thing that my mom has a history of developing absesses in her underarms and that's what I'm thinking this might be. The charecteristics of the lump don't match cancer. Throw some good thoughts her way anyway. She'll need it especially since she has a fear of needles.

Sep 16, 2005

Nursing school syndrome/super bacteria

I live in the 2nd worst allergen capital in the country. I read that somewhere, can't remember where but it was some magazine that figures that stuff out. My City is second to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I remember because I was forced to go to a Dowell family reunion there last year. I only mention this because I have been feeling like absolute doggie doo for the past 2 weeks. I was actually scared for awhile that I somehow relapsed with Mono (I had that about this time last year) but seeing as most times that usually doesn't recur a year apart, I figured that wasn't the case. Apparently, the area doesn't usually get a high Ragweed count but for some reason it's been moderately high. I'm not the only one suffering, I've taken a poll with other allergy sufferers I know and all are suffering. Headaches, itchy eyes, sore muscles, fatigue, you've been acknowledged, now go AWAY!
It's so hard to resist Nursing school syndrome though. It can be a burden to be too well informed about what can go wrong with your body. For example, When I'm overly tired I immediately think Leukemia, Lymphoma. A sharp pain in the leg...I think blood clot. Persistent cough....Lung cancer. Nevermind that I have's never my first thought. Headaches or brain aneurysm?
I resist heading to my doctor for every little thing. I know how to handle most common ailments and the same applies to Ari. Obviously, if she was running a high fever or has the croup, I would take her. 9 times out of 10 though it's a virus and no antibiotic in the world can cure a virus.
I've been seeing a scary rise in patients with a new(er) strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria at the hospital. This one is labeled VRE which stands for
Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcal infection. It's scarier then a MRSA (methicillan resistant staph. aureus) infection. These infections were born from people, and it's killing people. We live in a society that believes that we can't stop for illness. When someone gets sick, they go to the doctor, get some pills, go back to work. Never mind that what they REALLY have is a virus, nevermind that antibiotics only kill bacteria, and never mind that if you aren't infected with bacteria and taking antibiotics that the "good" bacteria eats these antibiotics up and becomes stronger. So when said "good" bacteria is introduced into a wound it has no business being in, it starts reeking havoc. Then it's even harder to kill since the bacteria remembers (yes, bacterial cells produce "memory" cells) the antibiotics and have built a sort of impenetrable shield against them.
It's not always your fault. I think every job I've ever worked at(except the hospital, go fig) had a manager who demanded a note from your doctor for even your first offence of calling in sick. Managers don't want to hear that you have a virus and seeing your doctor would be a gigantic waste of money. The same goes for schools. Think of pink-eye and their no attendance-without-antibiotics policy with that. Did you know there are 5 basic types of
conjuctivitis and only bacterial and fungal require medication.
Eventually this could happen with all antibiotics and bacteriae. So the moral of this story is if you get sick with a virus, rest, take some echinachea and lots of OJ, but don't bother your DR for pills in less it hasn't gone away or improved after 1 or 2 weeks. Also, if you do have a diagnosed bacterial infection, finish all prescribed medication so you don't create a super bacteria that will destroy the earth as we know it.
I know I'm being over-dramatic here. I really got on to post about my miserable allergies and went off on a tangent, but maybe someone learned something. :)

Sep 11, 2005

New link

Under my links to the right you'll find a new one to a memorial page I've finally finished about Mike. Started it on the 4th and have now finished it on the 11th.
Or just click here:
Mike in memorium

Sep 9, 2005


I mentioned, in passing, this blog to Cathy yesterday and she poked fun at me for keeping one. Cathy doesn't have internet and doesn't want it, so what she knows about blogs are what's she's read and heard from others.

It got me thinking about the reason I keep this blog. I've been using this particular site now for a year, reading back it's seems I mostly talk about nursing school and Ari. I know I started it for novelty, it sounded like a fun thing to do. It seemed like a good way to keep my out of town friends up to date on what was new with me. I do get a lot of hits which means someone is actually interested enough to read here and at the very least, it gives people something to do when they're online. My closer friends who check in here, definitely already know what's new with me but it gives them either deeper insight or cures boredom.

My family doesn't have a link, with the exception of Jamie, Jamie are you still reading? It's nice to occasionally vent about my family and Jamie usually feels the same way about my vents. It's not really to keep in touch with family.

I try not to bad mouth anyone, that goes for here and in real life. Anything I say here is always something I would say to the subject of the vent or have said. I try to keep in mind who may be reading this later and not to get too personal without compromising saying how I really feel. I've come across other blogs that tend to be all gossip and bad mouthing, I won't go there.

I know some search engines lead to this site so, maybe I'll help another widow realize that life goes on, maybe I'll help another nursing student realize they are not alone, or maybe I'll help another single mom learn from my dilemmas or mistakes. What it comes down to, I don't really know why I keep this blog, it just makes me feel better to write all my thoughts down for someone else to read.
I just wanted to explain it to those who think keeping a blog is "silly"

Sep 8, 2005

Psychic dream?

Oh my god!

I was just looking over my old posts and re-read the "Insane and scary dream" post below. Some weird things I just put together.

*In the dream I mentioned that I realized that everyone in it was dead

* There was a huge theater filled with African-Americans with a priest WAITING for someone or something.

* There was a massive crowd (Of people mostly African American) who surged in and pushed me against a banister.

*There was a telethon

Now here's when I mention, hurricane Katrina killed a lot of people, a MAJORITY of them being African American.

I think Mike was in the dream to show me they were all dead.

I had the dream 3 days before Katrina hit Louisiana, at that time, it was barely even a hurricane.

Really weird coincidence, or did I have a premonitory dream? You can decide...Talk amongst yourselves.

I don't know how the Hastings, Keanu Reeves, or fish nuggets work into it, any ideas?

I had a great Aunt who dreamt of the Hindenburg before it exploded and my Aunt Penny dreamt about a plane crash she was involved in beforehand. (she was unhurt, scary but minor injuries occurred.

All I can say is, It's been a really long time since I've woken up with such a feeling of dread.

Sep 6, 2005

Free time and Tristan-wa

Well, school started for me, but not as I expected. It's my fault because I assumed it was going to go a certain way, and you know what they say happens when you ASS-u-me. I thought I was going to immediately get Ob rotations and pedi rotations over and done with early in the semester (5 weeks each) and then have a lot of free time right before the holidays. It was the other way around. I have a ton of free time, one lecture/lab day a week on Tues, and then nothing else until October...then I get down to business. All revved up with nowhere to go. Oh well, I have assignments and tests to study for still, just 6 days of space in between.
The cats in my house are cursed. Edie earlier this year, now Tristan who is suffering from what we (me & Cathy) think is Lymphoma has this past week taken a turn for the worst. She will be put out of her misery tomorrow. Ironically, 4 years to the day, I buried Mike.
Tristan was Mike's cat. She was initially mine. Back in 1995, Jenni and I shared an apartment while our boyfriends,(Jay and Mike) were in basic training. Jay in the Marines, Mike in the Air Force. Anyhoo, she called me up at work at Jim's and said they found a kitten outside our apartment and it was freezing, and could we keep it. I told her "sure as long as it was mine" (she already had Zoe the cat). She said "Ok as long as you name him Tristan from "Legends of the falls". Turns out Tristan was a she but the name worked anyway. After Mike and I married, Mike who disliked cats all of a sudden found himself with a cat who bonded to him like glue. Tristan no longer wanted anything to do with me, she followed him around, sat near him, talked to him, and later came to know when he was about to come home. She used to pace the house for about 5 minutes before Mike was even driving down our street. (Even kept doing it occasionally after he died...Made me wonder).
She's become more loving to me since he died. I'm gonna miss her.

Katrina--the bottom line

I came across this link on one of my boards.
It's soo the big picture about the Hurricane Katrina.

Warning before clicking this link, remove all children from the room and don't let your boss hear it. Funny, sad, and lots of cussing.

Foamy the squirrel's take on the disaster.

Give to the Red Cross!

(Incidentally the Red Cross was founded by "Angel of the battlefield" Nurse Clara Barton who refused to take sides during the civil war.) Yay Nurses!