Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Project "Stone Removal": Session 1

You know its going to be a good day when your surgeon is young and cuter than the average urology specialist.

Ha ha, just kidding (not about the cute part) but all things considered, it was a pretty decent day. For some reason I don't quite understand but will not question there appears to be a certain comraderie among those of us who spend a great of our time working in hospitals. I've encountered this before but was never so happy to experience it again today immediately after the nurse asked me in pre-op what I do for a living. From that moment until I stepped into the OR I hung out with them and we kept one another in stitches. For me this meant no time to be nervous. I warned Dr. McDreamy about the complications last time, who in turn warned the Anesthesiologist. He was as nice as the first doctor was cute so when he showed genuine concern and promised me his "favorite cocktail" I let go of my final nagging fears. I won't put on a brave face and say it didn't hurt at all - they hit my sore, tender kidney with 2500 shock waves: pain was a given. But I decided to take the opportunity to relax and enjoy the generosity of Dr. Magic Mushrooms - and in the end finally got to have my moment of sitting up in the recovery room enjoying my cookies and juice like every one else. Small victory maybe, but a victory nonetheless. My pre-op nurse friends came to see me off and although I protested I was wheeled all the way down 10 floors and out to the parking lot to my car by a very nice porter who has a girlfriend that lives two streets over from me here in Greenwood. Small world. (And Steve is amazed how I know all this!) I am feeling sore and achy tonight but its not a pain I am unused to. I have, however, decided to make the best of a night off that I would otherwise have spent at work. Seeing as how we made it home just in time for the youngest two to have their final swimming lesson of this session - not to mention my full day tomorrow that starts out with me picking up all the kids from their half day of school to take the oldest to her dentist appointment and ends with a million phone calls and appointments to schedule pertaining to our upcoming move - I could use the break right now. So I shall leave all that for the light of day and for now will sink into my couch and be grateful today went as well as it did.

Good thing, because I get to do it all over again next Wednesday.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hot off the presses

Well the official word is in: we are posted to Petawawa, Ontario as of July 30, 2010.

While I look for a nice frame for the message (no not really) I am overcome with the feeling that I just let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding. Its not so much the move itself that relieves me, it’s the fact that our future – or at least the part about where we’re going to live – is no longer unknown. Now of course comes the hard part: getting the house ready for the bargain-hungry house hunters about to descend on our tiny military town. But I have a plan now and that somehow makes me feel a little more powerful over my nerves and any small reservations I may have. Not that I have many, mind you. We’ve spent a wonderful 6 and a half years here in Greenwood and both really feel that it is time to move on and have some new adventures elsewhere. Or at least that’s how I look at it – I’m pretty sure with Steven its more career-driven! Either way, I felt this update was necessary as I am quite sure there will be many more references to this move – both excited and frustrated – in the months to come.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

I am a lucky girl. I've known this for a while, I have actually spent time trying to figure out what I ever did to deserve the wonderful blessings I have in my life. A loving family, three beautiful, healthy, awesome children. My wonderful husband. Sure, there are lots of things I would change if I could - my health for instance. But you know, even that could be worse. And through that, the thing I'm beginning to realize I take for granted the most is becoming the thing I treasure above all: my friends. There are many kinds of friendships, I'm learning. There is the very special and unique, most important of all friendship I share with my husband of more than eleven years. There are no words for that particular connection, but lets just say its proven to be my sanity on many occasions in recent years. There are the friends I've had the pleasure of counting on since childhood, the kind of loyalty that is immeasurable and life-long. I count among my closest friends people I met when I was as young as eleven, whom I would still trust with my life to this day. Then there are friends I have made since becoming a mother, people who have given me advice and taken mine in return. Parenting is as scary as it is magical and it has meant the world to have the comraderie that exists only between fellow moms and dads. I've had school friends, work friends, carpool friends, friends met at school functions, friends made over playdates. It amazes me the amount of people I can count as friends - and I know they are friends because they remain in my life in some way long after the circumstances of our acquaintance has passed. I am thinking about this now because I am looking back on a weekend spent with great friends and can't help but be thankful. I am also missing my great friend who I lost to a military posting last summer, wanting to be there as she gets ready to welcome her third child into the family. A family I used to feel part of. But you know, I am choosing to look at it as a wonderful thing that I had that friendship, experienced so many things through that connection and will never lose the bond that I cherish so much. I have other such bonds that it will be my turn to leave this year as posting season draws near. People always ask me how I feel about moving, how I feel about leaving my friends, my coworkers, my job and my answer is this: six years ago when I moved here with two small children, pregnant and sick as a dog, I didn't know a soul. I remember thinking what a huge mistake it was to move here to a strange town where I didn't know a soul during a time when a girl wants her girlfriends. But six and a half years later I have an impressive list of wonderful, caring people that I love and cherish who I will count as treasured friends no matter where I live. Some I will see as often as I can, some we will run into during future postings, some will keep in touch for a while and then slowly move on. But I will forget nobody and my loyalty will be no less, my memories no less cherished regardless of where we stand in five years. The people we meet along the way are critical to making us who we are, how we raise our kids, how we see the world. I learn lessons from every one I count as a friend and I wouldn't give that up for anything. Do I have some friends I'd rather be closer to in some way? Sure. But as corny as it sounds, I believe people come into our lives for a reason and sometimes leave our lives for a reason. I have learned to try not to question it, but to be thankful for their influence and the time we had. As we're getting ready to leave this town and our "extended family" behind, I am warmed by the people I know, the people I have grown to care for as if we were related and I can't help but be encouraged that I will find the same thing in our new home - wherever that may be, whenever that may happen. If you're taking the time to read this then I can assure you I count you as a beloved friend and I have one very important thing to say: thank you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deja Vu all over again

I suppose its enevitable that I will use this blog as a means of updating my health problems as well as complaining about them. (Come on, don't pretend you didn't see that one coming!) So it looks like after a year and a half of long awaited good health after my surgery two years ago, my problems have returned. First it was my blood pressure, then some headaches and fatigue and then the kidney stones started making a fuss again. As if that wasn't enough, the last one got stuck and had to be surgically removed just before Valentines Day. How romantic, wouldn't you say? Thank God for my wonderful, understanding husband who pulled out all the stops to take care of me and make the day special, but lets be honest: this isn't easy on anyone. We've been down this road before and we both know it gets much worse before it gets better. So just like before its time to address the many stones that still occupy my kidneys and cause me daily pain and annoyance. My first "lithotripsy" is scheduled for this coming Tuesday and all I can think is, "here we go again." So many people tell me how strong they think I am, how bad they feel that I keep having to deal with this and how proud they are of me for being such a trooper. Truth is: I'm scared to death. Not just of the procedure, although that is bad enough. The last time I had this "very minor" day surgery I ended up being admitted to the hospital in a great deal of pain and swore I'd never submit to it again. Things change though, I have a better specialist working with me and now that I know I have a genetic disorder that will create these tumors that cause this and many more - I really have no reason to say no. And thats the other part that scares me. I have done this before. I know it doesn't always work, takes many treatments to make a difference and that I have a very long road ahead of me. I want to be brave, I want to pretend this whole thing is easy now and I am not concerned one little bit. I want the world to see me as strong and not as a person constantly complaining about how I feel. I see the looks in everyone's eyes when I say my pain is back. I can almost hear them in their minds saying, "Seriously? Not again." I usually don't even mention it anymore until it becomes unbearable. But you know sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself and let the world go on without my input. Thankfully my family pulls me out of that pretty quickly - three busy kids don't allow for much wallowing and self pity. Anyway, I suppose I am having a moment and felt the need to share....more on this subject to come I'm sure. Oh and if you're so inclined, please say a little prayer for me on Tuesday :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Diary,

When I first thought about starting this blog, my mind was racing all day long with things to talk about and subjects to explore. I've long since realized I not only enjoy vocalizing my thoughts, but need to get out all the chaos rolling around in my head. I have been a journal writer for years and have found that very helpful but as the kids started coming and eventually outnumbered us, my world became a very busy place. It was all I could do to keep my thoughts straight, never mind write them down! Then one day I discovered Facebook. Ok, "discovered" is not actually a fair term. I had been ignoring invitations to jump on that particular bandwagon for months. Admittedly I didn't really know all the facts but had always held the belief that people who didn't keep in touch over the years must have had a reason. Also I may not be the most computer savvy person on this planet so I will admit to being a little intimidated. Of course almost three years later I know I couldn't have been more wrong and now I enjoy some very close friendships through that social medium that I would likely never have if I'd kept my head in the sand. I found the "world at my fingertips" feeling to be intoxicating. I was also overwhelmed by the love and support from so many when my health took a turn and I found myself spending most of my days on the couch wondering what would happen next. By now my addiction to Facebook is legendary as well as a source of humor around here. Although I am finding many people are opting out of that social forum now, I see no need to deprive myself of the joy I get from checking up on all my "friends" before I start the day. And yet, these days I am finding myself needing more. As the months go on, things in that world are frankly just getting silly. The once much anticipated "profile status" has now become a place of mundane copy and paste statements that hold no interest for me. I don't care what color bra you're wearing and you shouldn't care what mine looks like. I know you support cancer/autism/the military troops/whatever but I don't need to read it on twenty generic status updates and for the record: if I don't already know when your kids are born then I probably don't need to. That sounds harsh when I read it back but my point is that Facebook of late has left me wanting more. Hence this blog. I am beginning to see it as a mix between journalling and reaching out to others, a place where I can vent and share with the small possibility of someone actually reading it! The only thing I am not use is the lack of feedback. On Facebook you write one statement and within minutes a dozen of your closest friends have a comment about it. Here, nothing. But I suppose that is the point and as I am heading down that same dark and lonely road where my health is concerned it helps to know I have a place to call my own right here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why do people run in the rain?

This is a question I've asked so many times over the years. The truth is, you get just as wet when you run as you do when you walk. Come on, doesn't anyone watch Myth Busters anymore?
As I drove home from work tonight I found myself annoyed, as usual, at all the people I saw scurry to their cars and into their houses. I love the rain, always have. Alright, I admit there was a time when I was a vain teenager cursed with frizzy hair and dreaded the days when a downpour on the way to school would demolish the hairstyle I had so carefully worked on for half an hour. But once I got over that I realized that rain is so soothing, so comforting and then it became something I looked forward to. Rain makes soft noises on the windows and makes me want to snuggle up and let myself be lulled off to sleep. Thats what I had on my mind driving home tonight, the peaceful feeling I get from watching and listening to the rain when all the rest of the house is quiet. Not that its quiet very often mind you, but that makes it all the more special in my mind, when it is.
So now here I sit, a cup of tea and a hot water bottle nearby, listening to the sounds of a spring rain outside while I wait out the ever-present pain in my kidneys I have learned to live with but still have trouble controlling from time to time. Tonight I just need to sit, to listen, to let my mind drift and to hope I manage to get some sleep sometime tonight. Tomorrow will be a new day, a fresh day and I think I will take a nice long, slow and refreshing walk in the rain.

Memories to last a lifetime

This past year we took the leap and entered the world of hockey with Owen. He was so excited to get out on the ice and make Mommy - the hockey fan of the family - proud. I can't describe the joy I felt having him out there in full gear, tearing up the ice. The season is now ending and while he's deciding if he indeed wants to continue next season, I for one will cherish that time and those memories always.

Getting Started...

I've been toying with the idea of a blog for a while now. I see it as a place to share, to vent, to explore, to spend a little "me time", and of course now that I have it finally set up I'm not sure where to start!

I'll begin by welcoming anyone who takes the time to read this and enjoy the pictures I will inevidably post and encourage any comments you may want to share. I'm not entirely sure what form this blog will take over the next while but its an adventure and I'm ready for one of those!

Bye for now...