Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sister Visit

My sister flew in for 10 days to visit and help with our mom. She is taking mom back with her for a while. It's bittersweet. Since our dad passed away I have devoted a lot of time and energy to our mom. I wouldn't have it any other way. She is a precious mom. But she does need to get away and I do need the time to regroup. I have let a lot of things at my house fall by the wayside. Working a full time job and running 2 households can sometimes be a little much, but I am proud of myself for holding it all together.
Last night was such a fun, girls night out. We went to see the movie "Bridesmaids". My sister said to me as we were waiting on the movie to start that she thinks this was our first movie together in a theater. I think she was right. We never took the time to go see movies together cause there was always something else to do. We laughed so hard and it was just the right medicine I needed. Although I have had to work while she is here, I manage to get off early and we still have lots of time to spend together. I used my vacation time during my sickness.
We will order our dads headstone while she is here.
Today, we met for lunch and while sitting at the table, she saw a man who reminded her of our dad walk in. It really startled her. She kept saying she would love to see our dad, just one more time. He would have been right there with us at that table, enjoying lunch with us.
It's been hard on my sister with being the first visit back home without dad. We still wait for him to walk down the hallway and say he's putting the coffee on.

I hate to think of the day she and my mom will leave to go back to her house. I will miss them so much. Until then, I will cherish the time we have left to visit and make the most of it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I do not like hospitals

Last Thursday felt like a date night for hubby and myself. He suggested going out for pizza. We went to a local place who really does have amazing pizzas. We couldn't resist an appetizer of cheesy potato soup before our custom made pizza arrived. I was kind of full after eating the cup of soup, so I didn't overdo it on the pizza. It was a very enjoyable night catching up on things going on.
During the night I was suddenly awakened by an awful pain and cramping in my lower stomach, which followed by a trip to the bathroom. This went on all night long. It felt close to labor pains and like a balloon was being blown up in my stomach and was about to pop. This went on thru the next day and night. I was thinking that it must have been the pizza that didn't agree with me. I have had colitis & IBS for a long time and this was the first time I have ever suffered this way. Mike wanted me to call my Dr. but I figured I would just rest and do a liquid diet and see how I felt the next day. Saturday morning I knew it was time to see what was going on since I was only going down hill and I was afraid I would dehydrate. Mike drove me to the ER. Every bed was filled, which meant a long wait. When It was my turn to go back, I was examined and given an IV and some mild pain meds. A cat scan with dye was ordered with blood work. After about an hour later, the Dr. gave me my results. I had an infectious Colitis. I was given the choice to stay the night in the hospital and being treated for the infection thru the IV, or go home with meds and be on my own. It was easy for me to choose staying there, since I was sicker than a dog and out of it. I didn't think I could take the car ride back home. It had been about 27 years since I stayed overnight in the hospital with me being the patient. I have always been the caretaker and now the table was turned.
I was taken to my room on the 4th floor of the hospital and climbed in Bed 1. I had a room mate, Robin in Bed 2. I can't say enough about how Robin was a God send to me. Her and I hit it off really quick. She was a few years older than I but I thought she was in her 30's. She was a beautiful spirit.
My daughter came up to check on me with Noah, Carter & Ivy. They brought the most uplifting cards. I knew I had to get well quick. After they left, I got a visit from my daughters in-laws. It was so nice to pass the time by visiting.
Let me tell you, if you are in the hospital to rest and relax and be left alone, that is not the place to spend a vacation. The nurses were in every hour and I can't believe the number of times Dracula came in to collect blood. I was on an all liquid diet. My breakfast the next morning consisted of yummy vegetable broth, jello, Italian ice & diet root beer. Robin and I dined together and both could not finish our breakfast. She was released after breakfast and we exchanged information to contact each other. Finally by early afternoon my colon Dr. came in to see me and I told her I wanted to go home to recover. She agreed that I could be sent home with instructions and meds and follow up in 10 days. I think if I hadn't ask to go home, she would have kept me another day. I missed my bed. I wanted to be able to go to the bathroom without the friendly IV pole you have to push around.
When I was finally released I was craving lemon rice soup. I didn't know if it was considered bland, (I was never given a list of foods that I could eat) since I was put on a bland diet. I figured it sounded like it would be bland. Mike went thru a drive thru at a local restaurant and got me a quart of the soup. After getting home, I gobbled up a cup of the soup. It didn't agree with me, so I didn't eat anymore. After that, I googled what foods I should be eating.
My daughter brought gluten free groceries over for me to try and suggest that I try going gluten free. Mike went to the store and stocked up on foods I could try. The next few days were filled with pain and living in the bathroom. To make a long story short, 4 days after leaving the hospital, I am starting to feel like myself and am finally out of pain. I owe a lot to my friends on face book and family, for praying for me. I think having a support system is so important when trying to overcome a health condition. My sister was always there for me on Skype, to encourage me. At one point I thought to myself that if my sister could overcome cancer and chemo, I can deal with what I had.
I have to admit that during this week of spending most of my time in bed and the bathroom, I was feeling hopeless and helpless. It was when I started watching inspirational shows on t.v. that really brought me out of the fog.
This whole experience had me feeling as if I were in a valley. I needed to start climbing that mountain and fight this thing. I was not going to let IT win. This morning I woke up and was almost at the top of that mountain. I had a very restful night and was able to tolerate a good breakfast. I wasn't visiting the bathroom as much and I am starting to feel like my body is healing. I am thinking ahead of the game in my meal planning, so I won't grab just anything. I have to totally change my lifestyle and way of eating. I want a healthy colon, and if it means I won't be able to eat pizza for a while, then I can deal with that. Life is too important to screw it up with eating the foods that are poison to my colon.
I have a new outlook today. I can't wait to get back to work
. I can't wait to live again!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Million dollar crocs

For 3 summers I have had the privilege of joining my Sister at her work conference in Florida for 6 days on the beach . The first summer I was able to go, I was so excited to gather things I would be taking. About 1 week before my trip, I met my parents for lunch and after lunch we went in a Hallmark store and I was admiring these colorful Crocs. Before I knew it, my dad came up to me and said go ahead and get them and pick a pair out for your sister. He said he wanted to treat us for our trip. This was typical of our dad. He always wanted to make us happy and was our biggest cheerleader. I think it thrilled our parents as much as it did us to be able to go on a Sister Vacation. They knew how close we were as sisters and it was so important to have that time together.
The Crocs were the first thing I would pack every summer after that. They also became my house shoes and sit beside my bed.

I'm sad to say, we won't be able to go this summer, due to cutbacks at her work, however, she will be flying home for 10 days instead. We will go to our local beach and wear our Crocs and pretend we are on the white beaches of Florida. We will still have our Sister Vacation. It doesn't matter where we are, just so we are together.
My Crocs mean more to me than they ever have, since my dad passed away. I look at them now and they have new meaning. I cherish them more. They remind me of my dad. I can still see the excitement in his eyes when he bought them for me. I cherish that memory. And that is why I call them my
Million dollar crocs....