Friday, June 27, 2008

The Start

Hubby and I have spent the last 2 of 3 days in Palo Alto to see a new (to us) neurosurgeon. That was followed promptly by many xrays of hubby's back and a ridiculous amount of labs. We are waiting for insurance approval for the Cat-Scan and the MRI. Then they'll schedule hubby's surgery to re-fuse his spine. Not only is it re-fusing the spine, but it's taking all the hardware out of his back that was put in the first time: 2 plates and 4 screws, and hopefully sans the MRSA this time. Then today we spent the better part of the day at Stanford. Oh what a wonderful place. We should have gone there from the beginning. But can't go back and change things now. We met with an anesthesiologist today in the Stanford Pain Clinic who specializes in chronic pain management. We normally feel SOOOO rushed by the docs here in town and I think they don't know what to do with hubby anymore so they make the visits as short as possible. But HERE we had an hour and a half appointment with this MD all to ourselves. He wanted to know the whole history to get the full picture. He's the first MD to sit and listen to hubby's story from start to finish. Then the MD went and talked to another MD, and then they both came back in and sat with us for another 1/2 hour and gave us a plan. A PLAN!!! This is HUGE. They understand, they care, they get it. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Yes Yes YES!!! This could be the start of something life changing and good and so very needed. Yipiee!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008


She didn't make it. It NEVER crossed my mind that she wouldn't make it. I didn't find out until this morning. I wrote my blog last night and wrote about her. I didn't know she had already died. Maybe the death my soul was anticipating was this? That doesn't make me feel any better. The rest of my day was a blur. I know I was at work all day today, but it was mostly a waste of energy: trying to concentrate on a few simple tasks and not being able to do them---at all. There are some people who we meet in life and they are ok. Then there are people like she was. I am a better person because I knew her. Her joy and her smile and dedication and solidness as a human being was abundant and beautiful. I looked forward to work because she was there. She made it entertaining and full of life. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Enough with the fires and floods, the typhoons, and death. Can't we just bring it down a notch? I can't keep up. I don't want to be jaded or numb, but my little feelers are all felt out right now. I just need a chance to catch my breath. Breathing is good. And we never realize how important breath is until we're almost out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I am at a loss...for words, comprehension, sanity, sleep...and so much more. I don't know what happened this week. One second I was "present" and contemplating the next day's events, and now here I am on Sunday night counting back how many days it's been since I've had one rational moment of peace.

Monday had me perplexed about Hubby's impending spinal surgery. Tuesday was the day from HELL. Wednesday I as trying to recover from Tuesday. My FAVORITE cousin ever ever ever....his wife had brain surgery this week. This is the second time. So far so good. Another family member in Mississippi who was washed out by Hurricane Katrina, then lost his daughter in a car accident last September, is now flooding with the storms down there. A good friend had surgery for an unknown mass this week. It's bad. It's a basketball sized cancerous tumor SO invasive that they could not do surgery on it. Its size is complicating functions of her other organs especially her kidneys and some nerves to her legs too. They started chemo and radiation on Thursday. My dad had a minor procedure done at the hospital on Friday. Minor-yes, but the fact that he's all I've got for immediate family (other than my hubby and my kids) scares me. As I'm about to leave and go get him I get a call that there is another FIRE....CLOSE to where my kids are at camp. I tried the highway but it was dead stopped, so I took another route, and it was packed too. Took me almost an HOUR of driving less then 5 miles TOWARDS a huge BLACK plume of smoke to get my kids in 104 degree weather. They weren't in any immediate danger, but the air was full of chaos and panic and ash. I've never been a city person. ....and I've never wanted SO badly to go buy a piece of property in the country and be completely self sufficient. Get me the heck outta here.

I am so glad that week is over and I can move past it.

On a lighter note:

*Some friends who have been desperate to get pregnant...finally are pregnant!!! I believe they've tried all the fertility treatments and nothing worked, so they gave up. God is good though!!

*Another set of friends and their daughter celebrated their official adoption of the daughter. It was SO special. SO meant to be. Is it a sign when a child is adopted and she looks just like the adoptive parents?MMMM.... there's something so good about that.

*Bitty bebe enjoyed bath time for the first time tonight. She learned how to splash and was quite pleased with herself. She splashed until there was no water left in her little baby tub. I, however, was completely drenched even though I was outside the tub. =)

*One of the little girls at church told her mom AS she was walking up to children's time in front of church, that she had no underwear on (and she was wearing dress.) HAHAHA this is so something that my kids would do. I'm glad it happens to other parents too!

*Hubby, the bebes and I went to a concert to try and distract ourselves from the crappiness of the week. WHOA. We are definitely not in our hay day anymore--we sat in the 'family zone.'

I attempt to face this coming week with a new set of eyes, a fresh perspective, and an open heart. I attempt to remember that every challenge, every heartache, every struggle comes with an invitation to witness for God. So too does every triumph and accomplishment. When I can think of things in this way, life doesn't seem so far-fetched. It's seems do-able, and possible and exciting......

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rock It

Looking back, I never should have complained on Monday. Tuesday was worse SO MUCH WORSE than I could have ever imagined. I will never complain again and in the same breath ask if it could get any worse. Apparently it can always get worse.

Let me speak a little about honesty and truthfulness. I believe the truth, no matter how hurtful or painful, is always better than a lie. I also think there are appropriate ways in which to say these delicate things so that it can be relayed with compassion and understanding. I think that WITH-HOLDING the truth or purposely skating around an issue that NEEDS TO BE deceitful.

My world has been rocked. I am angry and disappointed and frustrated and confused and furious. Fortunately for me, even if I feel temporarily emotionally unstable or crushed, my faith is ROCK SOLID. They can rock my world but they won't take me down. I can stand with my head held high and know that I am a grounded human, spiritual being. I am in no way perfect or righteous, but I will not stoop to their levels and participate in mud-slinging misrepresentations. Call me out for what I believe or what I've done or said and I'll stand there and take it. I don't have any shame. But they better not think for a second that their lies will define who I am. Their lies will eat away at their conscience, but they have no control over me.

Go ahead. Rock my world. Bring it on.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not a Statement

My plate is full... of MANY good things, and some not so good things that take up most of the time in my head. I like being busy because then I'm just kind of on auto pilot. It's when I slow down that I actually have time to think and ponder and wonder and worry. Sometimes it's good. Other times not so much.

I've been busy this past week. I wonder if I made it that way on purpose. So I don't have to think? It must be how I cope sometimes. Some VERY good things are in my midst. But I am consumed with the rest though. Hubby found out FOR SURE he will need another surgery. This is devastating. DEVASTATING. He BARELY made it out of the last one alive. He will need his spine re-fused AGAIN. Since the first attempt did not work through his back, the next attempt will be to access his spine through his stomach. This will compromise not just his spine but all of his internal organs and muscles too. Oh My God. I do NOT mean that as a statement or a curse. I mean that as a cry for soul knowing that the ONLY chance he can pull through this is by the grace of God alone.

My mind and body feel like I'm just chugging up the incline of a roller coast ride... chug chug chug... and it's okay and a little fun, but really terrifying and the anticipation is killing me and as soon as I hit the top my stomach will drop and I'll think "what am I doing?" and then I'll try to hold on to something and I start the free fall down, but it's no use holding on, and my hands will fly up and I will need to surrender and know that I am NOT IN CONTROL.

We had a guest speaker at church on Sunday. He is one of my favorites. He was talking about our relationships with each other...and that if we knew our mother/father/sister/spouse was just about to die that we would act completely different with them. I KNOW. This hits too close to home. It hurts. When we brought Mama home from the hospital we knew it was so she could die at home... in her own nightgown in her own bed. If I've done one thing right in my life it's been to take care of her like I did when she was dying. I did EVERYTHING within my power for her and I have NO regrets, no un-finished business with her. I made her meals though I knew she wouldn't eat them. I learned how to do her dialysis exchanges and did them at least 6 times a day. I washed and combed her hair and watched it come out in clumps. I painted her toe nails hot pink. I talked to her about the kids and Hubby's Marine stories. I put layer upon layer of lotion on her dying skin and watched it crumble in my hands. I climbed into bed and held her and kissed her forehead and knew this could be the last time. I KNOW. Don't make me go through this again. Please.

I feel like I'm about to lose Hubby too. I cannot get away from the mentality that this could be it.

I find that things that I've put off are now getting done. I should feel good about this but I don't. Because I know WHY I feel they need to be done now. I am so thankful that I didn't have any un-finished business with Mama. But is scares me the way I seem to 'prepare' for the worst with Hubby. Part of it must be good, relationship-wise much more efficient to not even bother with the little nit-picky things. I am trying to see the good in all this....but I am scared to death. I know that everything will happen in its own time, on God's clock, and I hate that I am not in control and yet thankful that I can step back and think that this world is SO much bigger than I am, thank God I don't have to shoulder all of this and figure out how it all works out. And then there is peace...for a few sacred moments at least...until my wheels start turning again and then the worry and the headaches return. Will there be rest for the weary? How close am I to my turn?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Little E and the Fire

Goodness gracious! What is going on already? Ugh. Crap. Ick Ick Ick. Fire has returned and it's closer than before and it's BIG and SCARY and all I can do is stare...

B and I sat and just looked at it. We couldn't take our eyes off of it. Then evacuees started milling around, and a bunch of pick up trucks with horse trailers pulled in, and the tow trucks too. We all sat and watched. What else could we do?

I didn't want to leave my "post" in front of the church. I liked my view...meaning that if the fire came over the ridge I'd see it ASAP and scoot my hind end out of there with a quickness. I went and got a cup of water and then returned to my spot. Checked on the kids, and then came back. Does watching the fire give me power? No- but somehow it makes me feel a little more at ease if I still KNOW and SEE that the fire is over there, and there's still room in between us.

I met a little old lady today--I'll call her Little E. She was evacuated too and doesn't have family near by. She didn't know her way around town, but was trying to get information about the fire and be where she was supposed to be. She told us some great stories. I think she just wanted to talk and not be alone. She was so cute. I wanted to just take her home with me.
I hate what fires and floods and other natural disasters can do. But I do love that so many people venture out of their comfort zones during times like this....even me.... I love that I met Little E. And I love that many of the meeting sites for the evacuees and command stations are at local churches. That makes me happy. I was right where I was supposed to be and it felt good. Even though I was super anxious about the fire and friends and kids and animals, God reminded me that there is much to be done, and it's okay to start small. I don't have to try and save the whole world. There's a little old lady sitting right here next to me who just needs to talk and so I listened...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Road Trip?

It's Sunday night and I am exhausted. I had 2 naps today to try and re-coup from this weekend. Hubby and I reflecting on the last couple days....we had a good hearty laugh. They can't write things this chaotic. Seriously. Let me explain.... this may be long....sorry!

So just a little info to start: Hubby doesn't sleep well. I think it's a Marine thing. So when he DOES sleep, the bebes and I make every effort to LET him sleep as long as he can. That being said:

Saturday morning I woke up EARLY and thought I was having a heart attack. REALLY. No joke. I was in a lot of pain, nothing helped, and then I got scared. So I woke up Hubby. "Lovey, my chest hurts." He opened one eye and looks at me. "Really?" I nod. He asks me a barrage of questions and doesn't like my answers. He gets his stethoscope (handy isn't he?) and listens to me breathe. "Worst case have a pulmonary embolism, and you're going to miss the wedding 'cause you're about to die." Gosh, that's great. Thanks. But I didn't die, the pain went away after another half hour. And we got ready for a friend's wedding.

We left the house with an extra hour buffer in case we hit traffic or whatever. It was going to be at least a 3 hour drive. First stop: gas station to fill up the truck. I don't know what happened, but I do know that Hubby was not in a great mood (sorry about the heart attack scare!) We were at the gas station for 40+ minutes. Grumpy hubby almost got into a knock-down drag-out with another person at the as station. Oh CRAP. Please let's just get on the road....

Hubby got out of his funk about hour #2 of the trip. I was driving the truck now and he was in the passenger seat. He likes to be silly and make me laugh. I tell him that's great and all, but maybe NOT when I'm driving???? So then I look over and he has on a BRIGHT YELLOW swimming cap, and is now "paddling" (like he's swimming--cause he's cool like that.) I'm sure the fellow motorist got a kick out of this.

About 20 minutes away from the wedding, WE GET HIT! Another truck hits the right side of the truck and Hubby about comes unglued. Oh CRAP take-two. We are all okay. No major damage to the truck. Hubby did not pummel the other driver. YIKES!!!!

Ok back on the road again. I am driving again and trying to just breathe and not look at how mad hubby is. He rolls down his window to get some air and POOOOF. Just like that the directions that were once being held in his hand have now been sucked right out the window and onto the highway. Lovely. We have not-a-clue how to get where we are going. The look on his face was priceless. I tried not to laugh.

We do get to the wedding and only 8 minutes late. Thank God. I was going to be MAD if we went through all this and never got to the wedding. The wedding itself was lovely. Never mind the fact that the daughter of friends of ours was CHASED by a swan and then bitten by the swan. Weird stuff.

4 hours later we are back on the road to drive home. The bebes are tired but our bellies are full. Hubby and I are chatting about the wedding and then up in front of us I see something odd. The road is relatively open and straight, very few cars on the road. Then it becomes clear that the car in front of us has just HIT the center divide and is now veering the other way across traffic and then RIGHT OVER THE EMBANKMENT!!!! Crap crap CRAPPPPPPP. I called 911 and hubby checked on the car. Luckily--the driver was ok. I don't know how. All I know is that if I was susceptible to heart attack feeling earlier, it was going to be WAY MORE intense if I had to see blood and guts....but I didn't, so we're good.

Now... on the road again. Pray pray pray for no more nightmares. No more accidents. Half an hour later the middle bebe (almost 7) starts squirming in the backseat. "I gotta go potty, " and I say, "Didn't you go before we left the wedding?" "Yes." So we plan to take the next exit. I SWEAR the next exit didn't come for another 5 miles. Bebe looks like she's about to explode. Got to the exit, made the next right into a shopping mall. I had no idea what time it was, but apparently too late for a mall to be open. Just about to pull back on to the street and look for another open store, and then all of a sudden, middle bebe looks RELIEVED. Oh my goodness. She has just peed all over the back seat of the truck. This cannot be happening. I know it's not the end of the world, and I know it could be so much worse, but come on already!!!!

So we made it home alive, and late, and exhausted, a little banged up, some covered in pee, but alive. People today asked how the wedding was. Oh the wedding was fine. I'm just never going to leave my house again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sneaky Socks

So I have a theory about socks, and no proof, but a lot of suspicion. It started when I was a kid. I would help with the laundry frequently and sort the socks too. There were only 3 of us: Dad, Mom, and me. It was easy. But sometimes.... socks would go missing. This was annoying.

Now that I am a mommy of 3, we have lots of little feet that need socks. A couple years ago I quit buying the cutesie little socks for my bebes. We've graduated to just plain white socks for everybody, well except for me. I get special privileges. The graduation to white socks went hand in hand with the bebes taking better care of their socks. The learned that socks do not grow on trees, when they take their shoes and socks off they can tuck the socks inside the shoes, no wearing just socks outside, blah blah blah. They did really well.

Two months ago it started again though with a flurry, despite good sock etiquette and plain white has started again. It seems to me that socks run in cycles. My bebes were out of socks again. How is that possible? We cleaned out the car, the backpacks, Grandma's, the drawers, the laundry room, pulled the couch cushions up, we looked everywhere. Do you know what we found? MORE un-matched socks. Argh! It was like going into battle and being defeated.

So I protested--for 2 months! I figured if we could wait out this current cycle of missing socks, that certainly on the next wave of sock-bermuda-triangle-twilight-zone-ness we could catch the upswing of finding more single-mated socks and match them to previous unmatched ones. No suck luck. My poor family paid the price too. I made the kids wear unmatched socks. Surely the kids were secretly stashing socks to make mommy go crazy, so only natural that they should pay the price. I feel bad about this now. When it was colder and they were wearing long pants, it was no big deal. But now that the warmer days are frequent, it just doesn't seem right sending them to school with their little unmatched socks all exposed for the world to see.

I bought 2 new packs of socks for them, plain white, just like the ones before. I don't know how long they will last. Then this morning, before breaking into the new bag, I just happened to open the sock drawer, and what do I see? Two socks that match on opposite ends of the drawer. See! It's happening again. I missed the cycle by one day this time! No Fair! No doubt that long forgotten socks will start cropping back up again and mock me. I didn't realize that socks had a sense of humor, did you?