This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

August 24, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday MiniLatte!!!!

My Dear Daughter;

This past weekend we were surrounded by your family and friends that love you to help celebrate the beginning of your third year of life. I was honored by their presence and am always in awe of the amount of people whose lives you have touched at such a young age.

Our family has been going through so much this year with serious health issues, loved ones passing- including the four-legged type, general stress and just life. Yet the one bright spot in all of this is YOU. How can a little one such as you make such an impression? With infectious giggles, a 10,000 mega watt smile, kind words and a hug- that’s how. I’d love to be able to take 100% credit for this but half of that also goes to your Daddy and then we also have to share some of that with the rest of the village that helps to raise you.  But you ultimately are the one who processes what we share with you and then constantly amaze us with your humor, wit and intelligence.  I know that you are thinking that’s what all parents have to say about their kids, but I have to disagree. You really are the best daughter anyone could ever hope for- and you are only THREE. I cannot wait to see what you do with the rest of your life with all of that charm! (that, you get from ME!)
To say that all of us rely on you for our happiness means that you have a mighty big job- one that you are completely oblivious to, yet you perform it so well.  Before you came earth side, I had no idea what being a mom was going to be like. I thought mostly about sleepless nights, diaper duty, cleaning up puke from my work clothes, and trying not to get a headache when you cried incessantly. And that was after the labor and delivery that I was PETRIFIED of.  Wow, could I have been more wrong.  What I didn’t realize was the immense amount of love that I would have for you the second that you were born (I won’t even hold it against you that I didn’t have time for an epidural) and that I would stand in front of a train for you.

 I think that I’ve had more sleepless nights in college and now, but not because of you, just because of life and trying to balance everything.  Diaper duty ended a few months ago- but I have to admit that your Daddy changed way more Huggies than I did however, I don’t miss those days.  (Well, just a little when I had time to gaze into your beautiful copper eyes and tickle your little feet…. Changing time was really a bonding time.  You weren’t a squirmy girl. And in fact, you were very easy going about the state of your diaper.) You didn’t really spit up on my clothes- you were a clean girl; however, I can do without your very trigger-happy gag reflex; I have cleaned up my fair share of toddler ‘spit out’ (as you call it) rather than baby regurg. And you aren’t a crier, never was. Such an easy going, sweet girl. Thank you for giving me a swift kick in the ass and changing my perception of motherhood.  (Your Grandma Linda was right that God wasn’t going to give me more than I can handle…. Well, with you, yes; with all the other shit, not so much!)  Even with labor- it was over so quick…. But, my dear, it isn’t true what they say, I haven’t forgotten the pain of the delivery- that’s another story. But you were worth every single little 45 second increment; and worth the four-year plus wait that it took to have you.
I can write forever and rave about your sweet personality and marvel at the stuff that comes out of your mouth.  It’s totally adorable (that might change in 13 years, but I’ll always have this to look back upon) and entertaining.  I’m not sure how you got to be so smart- you keep us on our toes, but your comprehension also makes our life easier.  On that note, don’t ever be afraid to be an intelligent woman.  Your beauty will get you noticed but your intelligence will help you accomplish whatever you want. Don’t be afraid to be successful.  Today you’re tackling 100-piece Princess puzzles and learning how to count in Spanish; tomorrow it will be quadratic equations and SAT vocabulary.  (Do they still give you 200 points for spelling your name correctly?)

You also love people. People love you.  From Nick at your swim school; your little friends;  to the grocery store clerks, you will dazzle them with your sqwunchy smile. These people right now are nice; not everyone is.  We will teach you how to differentiate between good, honest people and to listen to your intuition if you think someone is icky. I wish that I could shield you from the crap, but I won’t always be able to completely (but not from lack of trying!) but we will teach you how to overcome obstacles and adversity with grace and confidence and how to have a support team around to help you as life won’t always be easy.

Trust me, these past six months- outside of this house- have been hell on earth. Emotionally I am done, but I see you and I am reenergized. You give me hope on what the future holds for us. I love watching you experience things for the first time- a carousel ride, trick-or-treating, fireworks, the petting zoo, a piƱata, new food- it’s really cool.  And then you also have gotten to see sadness when your Grandpa Jerry died and Grandma Helen was very, very sick. Everybody cried…. You gave us hugs and kisses and asked us if we felt better.  I’m glad we have been honest about our feelings and shared with you that it’s a part of life and doesn’t have anything to do with you.  You have become so empathetic and caring.  Perhaps not ideal to have to share this much sorrow with a toddler, but it’s real life.  I think it helps you to see that sadness doesn’t last forever and it’s okay to smile behind the tears. Thank you for being our little ball of therapy!
See, I could go on and on about all of the reasons why I love you so much. There are 400 million of them, if not more.  I promise you that will never change- except to grow exponentially more. All I ask is that you be true to yourself, that you are kind and honest, you use your manners and help those less fortunate than you. Daddy and I will in turn protect you as best as we can, provide for you opportunities for you to grow and love you unconditionally.  You may not always ‘like’ us, but know that we will always have your back. (When you don’t like us, it’s time to call in the grandparents….)

I want to close out by simply thanking you for making me a better person.  I feel more, love more, hope more and smile more because of you. 

With All My Love,



August 9, 2012

A Message from a Funeral:

I went to a funeral yesterday. I’d only met her twice- briefly- but she is the mom of a work colleague that I very much admire. She was 84-years young, and did have some health issues, but you never want to see someone in your life lose a loved one, or even lose a loved one yourself. This was my third funeral since February.  Two for people I didn’t actually know, and one for my father-in-law. The one similarity of all of them is that they were loved greatly by many people.
My father-in-law, JerrellRay passed away on April 28th after a very brief, yet shitty fight with lung cancer. Well, all cancer is shitty, but when it takes you away from your family only 13 days after diagnoses, it’s really, really shitty. He was a smoker. He probably had cancer for awhile. We’re glad that the cancer was not diagnosed any earlier so that the last years of his life were lived exactly as he wanted and not being even more ill from chemo and medications. He was a daily part of MiniLatte’s life and she asks about him often even though she knows Grandpa Jerry is in heaven watching over us.  Jerry’s death actually seemed to bring more life to the family- we fostered relationships with his four daughters over the weeks of his memorial and inurnment and mended a relationship that shouldn’t have needed it as well.
This whole thing happened in the middle of my mom’s hospitalization, post-surgery for me and the day before my birthday. I’ll have more birthdays….. the stress hastened my healing and my village has helped in taking care of mom and in turn, me. People that love me, MiniLatte and AntiLatte. I couldn’t have done it without them.  That’s one of the reasons why I went to funerals of people that I really didn’t know…. your actions speak so loudly during difficult times and that goes both ways.  There were people that I thought would be there for us that weren’t and then those, that anticipated our needs and took care of us.
Funerals also make you appreciate what you have. I came home and hugged my little girl a bit tighter, told my love 143, and gave my mom a kiss and told her that I love her and am so thankful and happy that she is such a fighter.  A detour to see my failing 93 year-old grandfather and my wonderful dad made for a long day, but an important part of it nonetheless. I’ve made a promise to myself that I would make sure to tell those that I love exactly that more often. There are many, so it will take awhile, but it will be worth it. I don’t want to have any “I wish I would have told them” anymore…..

April 27, 2012

The Avalanche Continues....

(I'd prefer to title this My Life is a Shitstorm, but to avoid being moderated I decided to use some filter)
There are not enough martinis or lattes to help me through the hardships that has fallen upon my family.   
      Trust me, I'm not a 'woes me' kind of girl and am one to tend to see the glass as half full but there's just a point in your life where you have to say ENOUGH. I'm waving the red flag now, unfortunately, my surrender will have to wait a bit longer.
     My mom has been hospitalized with a long-term illness since March 7th- nearly two months of daily hospital visits and holding my breath whenever the phone rings. For the most part the journey has been emotionally taxing, not to mention one that took a toll on my job, my home-based business, my husband, my daughter, my friendships and even my health.  It's been a roller-coaster ride that I would very much NOT like to repeat in this lifetime; unfortunately it's getting worse. 
      I underwent my very first invasive surgery last week (the same day mom had a tracheotomy!)- had to have a cholecystectomy- a fancy medical term for gall bladder removal. Okay, so I wasn't even quite sure what a gall bladder did until it kicked me in the ass, er, rib cage a few weeks ago.  I was leaving the hospital after visiting with Mom and had the inclination to walk myself into the ER on my way to the parking lot, but that hospital wasn't my provider. After agonizing at home for a few hours, and a call to the advice nurse, we dropped Mini off at the grandparents and went to the ER.  The nurse called it on the spot- I guess fluffy (not so much anymore) white females of childbearing age present for gall bladder disease quite commonly. I thought I was going to give birth again. Quite painful. After a five hour stint, I was released with pain meds and a follow-up appointment for an ultrasound. The ultrasound did in fact determine that I had gall stones and would need a surgical follow-up. Fortunately, I wasn't harboring an infection and didn't need emergency surgery, but would have to watch my diet.
      This is something that is normally caused by a fat-laden diet, which mine is not. I am not a fast-food junkie- my idea of fast food is in fact Subway.... well there is that pregnancy craving of an occasional crumb cake donut- so what if I've had 32 months to do so.  I suspect that it was a rapid weight loss with the stress of my Mom's medical situation that caused my gall bladder to produce enough stones to fill up more than half of its capacity. Meanwhile, I've been off of my feet to recover and Anti-latte had to fill in my spot to go visit my mom, and his step-dad and take care of Mini and take care of me. I swear that I was as low maintenance as possible. Even after the second 11-hour ER visit (long story- I'm fine, but a bit pissed at said hospital's lack of ultrasound techs during the night shift). I'm recovering although a bit slower than I had hoped- I suspect an inordinate amount of stress has been a factor.  What's more stressful than a loved one being hospitalized and undergoing the knife yourself? Oh just a the fact that I hate CANCER.
    My father-in-law has been battling a very nasty bout of pneumonia, well, since my mom was hospitalized, actually, and an infection on top of that. He visited my mom at the hospital when she was on her deathbed and it prompted him to quit smoking cold turkey. Between being ill and the smoking cessation patch, he has been really miserable and after several weeks and numerous doctors appointments, he has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  After his initial diagnosis he had to wait for almost two weeks to meet with an oncologist to find out that it was Stage 4, and that is had spread to his liver, lymph nodes and more. As I write, Anti-latte and his mom and other family members are awaiting a visit from the hospital chaplain to discuss the plan to discharge his to hospice to live out his final days. We thought it would be months, but there's a chance that it could be just hours..... so fast. It was like he was playing with Mini one day and unable to walk the next. Now he is suffering and everyone sits by to support him.  It's torturous. I love this man and know how the family feels- the waiting and pleading is all too fresh in my memory from seven weeks ago. Now we just hope that with enough medical intervention, they can keep him comfortable. We'll surround him with all the love that he needs while we await him earning his wings.  I know that Mini will miss him dearly and we'll ensure that she won't forget the man who claims that she has his eyes.... (um, no, but it was always a source of laughs at family get togethers.)
     This presents an additional problem with child care as they were my main providers- we can wing it for the next week while I'm on medical leave and then have to figure out what to do next. Mini's grandmas' #1 priority should be caring for her husband... I think I have it figured out, but it's yet another stressor to deal with.
     And if that isn't quite enough to make anyone crazy, there's more.  We've had two other family members who had to make ER visits within the last 12 hours; and my mom was moved to another care facility that is a 40-minute drive away. It's a step-down rehab unit to prepare her for surgery, still a hospital, but the drive is going to be so very inconvenient. I used to work out that way and don't look forward to the daily commute, but we do what we have to do. It's just another wrinkle.... as usual, I'll iron it out..... your good vibes and prayers are much appreciated.

April 17, 2012

Day 42: Guilt

I smiled my ass of on Sunday; despite all of the medical drama going on with our family, I painted my face all up and trekked to the city- sans-MiniLatte to enjoy dinner and a concert with my hubby. It was a blast, and I feel guilty as shit. I know I shouldn't, however, according to my therapist, it's a very common emotional response to an experience such as mine.  It's called survivor's guilt and is actually a form of PTSD. Even though there wasn't a shared event between us that landed my mom in the hospital and not me, this extended hospitalization is a traumatic event that is dramatically shaping our lives and I have to cope with the fall out and the emotions that go with this. Trust me, I've been doing my share of bargaining to wish my mom healthy again.
    Back in February, with just a little under a week to go until Mom came for her visit; I had one of those red-letter days- work was fantastic; the weather was summer-like and I came home to two e-mails; one congratulating me for getting picked for a Meet & Greet with Blake Shelton at his upcoming concert, and the other with pre-sale tickets for one of my favorite bands- Train- for their San Francisco tour. I was beyond excited.  I frantically called my mom until she picked up the phone because I was so excited to share all of the good news. Not that any of it benefited her, but because she is always so supportive of me. As usual our phone conversation was uplifting and filled with laughter- we could do that, make each other laugh over nearly anything, our sense of humor are very similar (is that genetic??!!). 
    There have been so many celebratory events since she went in the hospital- St. Patrick's Day, our ten year anniversary; her 62nd birthday, Easter that have been low key and glazed over.  All-out celebrating just doesn't feel right, nor do I have the energy. We've also managed to go to two concerts and a basketball game during this time.  The outings are much needed distractions and although fun, I spent most of the time feeling guilty for attempting to have a good time while my incredible mother is bed-ridden, a prisoner in her own body..... I'm somewhat rational and realize that my presence either in the hospital or elsewhere isn't going to change the outcome of her prognosis for that day. It just doesn't feel right to be having a good time either; it also doesn't feel right to wallow in negative emotions. There isn't a happy medium right now- if there was, I'd give anything to find it- I'd give so much more to wave a magic wand and make her instantly better.
   I also know that if she could talk, my mom would tell me to laugh, smile and play.  She wouldn't want me to be missing out on living and in fact is probably feeling like shit herself for thinking that I'm sacrificing for her. I am, but that is just something that you do for someone that you love so very much.  I know that if this situation  instead was myself and MiniLatte, I would tell her to go, live, laugh, play.
     I also have a hard time with the conversations with her- I used to talk to her when I was stressed before and she would tell me that she wished she could be right there with me.  Well, now she is, but she isn't.  Is she thinking that, and it's having a detrimental effect on her emotional well-being? I tell her a story and she cries. She can't tell me why- it breaks my heart. I can't even really talk about the weather.... It's exhausting. What should I do......

April 14, 2012

Day 38: Jinxed

We have a running joke around our house to not bring attention to the fact that things are going well.... like, "I haven't gotten sick all year...." "I  haven't missed one green light yet," the instant you say it, it happens. The next day you awake with a scratch throat, or you hit the next 10 signals red, red,red.  Jinx.  I jinxed it-  the earlier post about mom doing so well completely went sideways. I recived a call this morning around 8:30- when the 231 prefix comes up it always makes my stomach drop.... and sure enough..... Mom became unresponsive this morning and they called a Code Blue to revive her.  (I hear these every day at the hospital--- it makes me sad especially when the next intercom page is followed by one for a chaplain.) She recived CPR and needed to intubate her yet again- if you're counttingg,  this time makes four.  Back to square one: arterial line; feeding tube;  monitors; back in the Cardiac ICU.  The  diagnosis from today  is that  she aspirated on her own  saliva and began choking; with her already in a precarious condition with her lungs,this caused her to  stop  breathing and then her heart stopped beating.  Fortunatley she didn't have to be shocked..... if there is anything fortunate in this situation. Her lungs are in really  bad shape- from the COPD and pulmonary  edema. For this reason alone, she may not be a candidate for heart surgery, ever.  But they said we'll have to wait out the next 24 to 72 hours.  That must be the standard response as I am having a vivid flashback to March 8th when I  first heard that her condition was grave.  She pulled through that time- I hope that her has the fortitude and heart to do it once again..... and that I can stand by  patiently  watching.  This is so. flipping. hard.  I'm surrounded by a team of very supportive people to help me through this and the only person that I want to go running to right now is my Mom..... so ironic.  I can hear her telling me, "Oh babe, I'm so sorry that you are going through this."  She wasn't really one to offer unsolicited advice but she sure is a great listener. Amazingly so.  She's always been that way.  And offers up a funny one liner in that charming sense of humor of hers to make you laugh and temporarily forget about your troubles.  I wish that I could remember more now to get me through     I am so, so glad that we took MiniLatte  to see her on Thursday. She looked amazing and  un-alarming  so MiniLatte was happy to see her Grandma and vice versa.  A bright spot Im sure.  My intentions are also to reminder her what she has to fight for-- to see this wonderful little girl grow up.  She will get to see that. She has to, I can't imagine my life without my  Mom.     The next few days are going to have some sleepless nights attached to them and I know that  the walk from the parking garage is going to be tortuorously long enough for that enormous lump to  appear in my stomach as I fear what I'm going to walk into......

Day 37

A glimpse of 'before' Mom today. Before the heart 'incident' that has so turned my world upside down. She was sitting up in a chair when I walked into the room this afternoon and gave me a big smile when she saw the vase of one dozen pink roses that I brought for her; she can have flowers now that she has been transferred to a Progressive Care Unit instead of the ICU. "Oh, babe, they're beautiful...." she whispers and then her head drops down to her chest.  Speaking four words takes an unimaginable amount of energy for someone who's been hospitalized for so long.
    Forming each word, let alone a sentence is something that you or I may take for granted; even the simple act of sitting upright in a chair or brushing your teeth may seem so mundane.  For Mom, they're tasks that must be thought out and deplete all of the energy from an already-taxed body. She has not suffered any neurological damage during her hospitalization, however the large amounts of sedation has made talking quite the chore. Walking is another story- she has lost most of her muscle tone and cannot support herself in an upright position sitting.  Yes, she was sitting in a chair today, however she was secured to the chair with a Posey belt with an attendant not too far away. The 90-minutes of sitting left her spent- which is actually a good thing as she might get some much needed rest and will not suffer from anxiety the rest of the day.
    We found out yesterday that she is weeks away from the heart surgery that she needs to replace the valves. She won't survive it in her current condition- it is a surgery that a somewhat healthy person will have problems recovering from so that option is completely off of the table. The surgeons are going to reevaluate her each week; the nurses and support team will be providing her with aggressive therapy to help get her on the road to recovery much faster.  "If it were my mom, I wouldn't do it," states the surgeon. I understand that and appreciate that- I just wanted the doctors to be straight with me. Her primary pulmonologist and cardiologist weren't telling me part of the story- for each internal organ that is not working correctly, it lessens recovery by 25%. With low functioning lungs, hear and liver, there's only a 25% chance of recovery at this point- wait it out and odds will improve. 
    Fine, we'll wait this out day by day. In the meantime, try to provide her with the moral and emotional support that she needs to cope with her new 'living arrangements' (at least it's a private room!) and be her advocate.  I'm so thankful that an acquaintance is actually an RN in that unit and has called dibs on my Mom whenever she is on shift.  She's a great nurse and takes extra special care of mom and goes the extra mile for us.  Another little blessing in this adventure- I'll take each one that we find!  Especially because things are so difficult.... trying to return to some sense of normal at home outside of the hospital. We'll see- it will have to be after my own surgery (yeah, really- I have to have my gall bladder removed- nice timing, eh?) next week. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this is on top of the news that a very close family member has been diagnosed with lung cancer (nameless right now as most of the family doesn't yet know); and my 93 year-old paternal grandfather is currently in hospice care with bladder cancer.  This year has been a dozy--- that's why we are just surviving life one day at a time right now.  We're not the first, nor will be the last, family to overcome adversity but sometimes it's a lonely journey......

March 31, 2012

Day 24

     It’s been 24 days. A very, very long month. I’m still having the hardest time processing that my Mom is in the hospital- and then it hits me. I’m driving to pick up my daughter and tell the hands-free to “Call Mom,” and then hit the cancel button on the steering wheel just as quickly. It’s habit; I ALWAYS call my mom on my way home so we can share a few laughs, especially if they are over something silly that MiniLatte did last night; or vent about something going on elsewhere in my life. She can’t answer right now, she’s laying in an uncomfortable hospital bed in the ICU surrounded by wires, tubes and cords; a ventilator is helping her breathe; between three to six drugs are stabilizing her heart rate, blood pressure, pain, etc. The staff at the hospital really is amazing- they are doing everything within their power to provide support and comfort until surgery. And I mean everything- she is helpless. But I’m tired of seeing them almost more than I see my husband and daughter.
         Her heart is in really rough shape and isn’t going to get any better without open heart surgery to replace at least one valve. Unfortunately because she keeps running a fever; some days high, some days; low grade, the surgeons won’t even touch her. She has to be fever-free for a minimum of five consecutive days. Five very long days. Days in which other complications could crop up- pneumonia, MRSA, another infection and prolong yet again the procedure that she needs to recover. It’s driving me nuts.  However, this week my condition has been upgraded from survival-mode- just doing whatever the bare minimum is to get through the day- to functioning.
          I put on make-up again on Wednesday; even cooked dinner and worked a few days this week (I’ve been off of work since she was admitted to the ICU). I’ve not been much of a partner to my husband; he’s holding it together for me but it’s starting to take a toll on him as well. I have tried to focus some energy into being a Mom- my daughter adds pure joy to the end of a long and draining day. When I’m spent, she throws her little arms around my legs and says, “I miss you Mommy. You not sad anymore.” It breaks my heart with both happiness and sadness. I’m trying not to let my sorrow and stress affect her. She knows that Mommy’s Mommy is sick and in the hospital trying to get better but wants to kiss her boo boo. I tell her that I am sad because of that but she makes me happy. She’s wise beyond her 32 short months and has more empathy than I can believe.
         My step-dad today told me that he was worried about me. I am too. I worry that I won’t have the strength to get through another day of waiting. I want to take care of myself- my appetite has resumed within the past week- that might be curbed by the Zoloft though- it makes me nauseous. Yep, Zoloft.  I’m seeking a little help from my prescription-strength friends; Atavan, Zoloft and Trazodone. They were probably necessary before this extraordinarily stressful event, but even more so now that my anxiety and insomnia are through the roof. Are they working? Well, I’m resting a bit better. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in about a week; not sure if it’s because Mom is stable, or I am. The Trazodone makes me sleepy, but I still wake up at 4 a.m..  (BTW, have you ever read the entire warning label on a prescription? I think my before symptoms might have been more manageable than the side effects- crazy!) Sometimes in the morning, I remember the dreams I’m having about her; they’re realistic and make me sad. And then my sweet little girl rolls over and says, “Hi Mama,” and I feel a little better but I hope she won’t have to go through this some day.

March 27, 2012

A Really Bad Dream

My Mom almost died two weeks ago. Seriously. And I've been living one of my worst nightmares since. A roller coaster ride that I'm happy to disembark from any day now....
      My mom came up to visit to help take care of my MiniLatte while her other Grandma goes on vacation. We had planned on her 'babysitting' for three of the five weekdays, being off on the Monday so she could recoup from the drive- trust me, it's a drive, and I knew Mini would put her through the ringer- in a good way of course. They had a fabulous time together, but Mom was exhausted; okay, so, I get that--- LOL.  Mom just wasn't quite herself. By Friday, she thought that the 'bug' that she was fighting had finally got the best of her and she was down for the count for four days. (Although, we did manage to fit a mani/pedi into the weekend) By Monday, I was really worried that this wasn't the average bug and told her that she was going to the clinic- even if it was kicking and screaming- tomorrow. And the clinic is where this horribly stressful past few weeks started to go downhill.....
    The cute little nurse took her history, listened to her lungs, etc and called in the doctor.... the doctor listens to her chest for two seconds and orders an EKG; once he read the results, he quickly moved us into the trauma room and called 911 to get her to the ER. Whaaaaat???  We just stared at each other trying to process what was going on; each one of us putting up a brave front.
She was loaded up into the ambulance to a local ER (I being local, went to the wrong one) and was eventually diagnosed with something called A-fib. Her resting heart rate was 177 BPM (normal range for her age is 90-123) in addition to a really high blood pressure. The hospital was having a difficult time trying to stabilize her so they admitted her for observation.
  The next day, Wednesday, we went to visit her in the hospital and she was stable yet uncomfortable and begging to go home. Some time during the middle of the night she became very agitated, her blood pressure dropped, heart rate went right back up, so they gave her a CT scan for a further work-up. The contrast dye caused her system to crash; her kidneys, liver and spleen all lost function; additionally tests determined that her mitral valve and tricuspud valve were in need of repair. By Friday afternoon, she was on life support in the Cardiac ICU and her condition was incredibly grave. The cardiologist told us that the next 48 hours were going to be tough.
   I was shocked and devastated; what the hell was happening? This was so sudden. It broke my heart to realize that I might lose my mom; it also pissed me off to no end because I thought the valve issue was something that might have been detected earlier if she would have had health insurance. I've not had the misfortune of losing someone close to me in my adult life and I wasn't prepared for that journey. I cannot even put into words my emotions. I don't think I've ever cried so hard or so long in my entire life.  Or prayed and hoped so hard or long either.
   Answering our prayers, on Sunday her kidneys were beginning to function again therefore narrowly avoiding dialysis. Liver and spleen started to function as well. Her body was healing well and by Tuesday (a week since arriving at the hospital), her breathing and feeding tubes were out and Mom was making us so proud and happy. And then she developed pneumonia.
   By Saturday, she was intubated again due to the pneumonia; pulmonary edema and some recurrence of the A-fib. That was actually a blessing as they were able to finally perform a cardiac catheterization to see how badly her heart was damaged; we had to wait for her kidneys to function fully for the test to ensure she would crash again. The good news is that the cardiologists determined that she wouldn't need any bypass surgery, just the aforementioned valve replacement/ repair.
  On Monday, she had developed a severe blood infection and her condition was once again critical.  On Thursday, we received word that tests came back positive for H1N1. She did have a 'bug' after all, which might have been what triggered the A-fib.  She also received a dose of a very powerful antibiotic called Vancomycin which caused an allergic reaction resulting in a head to toe rash. She was intubated for the third time this past Saturday; the bad valve is causing pulmonary edema. The only thing that will help this is to have open heart surgery.
   As if that isn't some scary shit right there. I can't even imagine how she is feeling about that. I'm petrified; but I have faith that she will feel like a new woman when she recovers, whenever that may be. Today was the first day that I didn't leave the hospital with a huge knot in my stomach wondering what the night would hold for her. Tomorrow marks three weeks that she has been in the hospital; I've been at her bedside every day to will her to get better; to watch over her. My wonderful husband has been my rock; comforting me and drying my tears and picking up the slack around the house and with MiniLatte.  So has my Dad, Step-mom and in-laws. So many wonderful people have offered help, but I'm not sure what help to take them up on.  We missed our wedding anniversary; we'll celebrate when we feel that there is much more to toast-  I'm looking forward to celebrating with both her and my love; Mom was my Maid of Honor on that day 10 years ago.

January 25, 2012

Some Days I Dislike Being a Woman.....

...that would be about 10-12 days out of the month..... yep, almost 1/3 of the month I hate Mother Nature. For those same reasons I am blessed with a wonderful little girl (who I hope never has to suffer through PMS symptoms like I had as a teenager, nor those that are even more random now.)
     So if you haven't caught on yet, this post is going to be about my period. Probably falls under the TMI category, but since most of my faithful readers are women who might be able to relate or commiserate, I am simply whining venting.
     I remember hearing at some point during my pregnancy that my monthly cycle was going to get easier after I had a baby- lucky for them I don't remember who the source of this large red lie came from otherwise I might have to hunt them down and whack them with a tampon (unused) because the were oh so wrong. It has not been easier- quite the opposite- and also unpredictable and unbearable. I was 'normal' perhaps for a month or two post-baby and since then I've had the joy of experiencing crazy ass symptoms ranging from sometimes bi-monthly cycles to debilitating headaches, fatigue, mood swings and more. Sounds a bit like pregnancy symptoms, right? Not. Just the 'luck' of the draw I guess. And I might be going out on a limb here, but I think that it all boils down to the main reason that we had fertility issues in the first place- my progesterone. I've talked to my OB/GYN and he says that losing weight and being on birth control will help and suggested an IUD. I clearly hear what you're saying Mr. Man but you don't understand.... when you have boobs and these hips, I'll feel like you're understanding me. (Yes, I know, for the love of lattes, just change doctors... I really like Dr. V.... um, never noticed that correlation, ha ha....  I'm a bit on the sheepish side when it comes to speculum and paper gowns that trying out a new doc makes me cringe)
     I read up on the IUD and even with a copper one, I think it will still whack my system out- and have you read all those side effects? I don't need anymore help retaining/ gaining weight or with my mood swings.... and the pill, well, finding one with a dose that doesn't make me look or eat like a stoned teenager or act like a psycho bitch would be good--- it's riding out the experimental period (no pun intended) that is difficult. 
     This last cycle was about the last straw- I was so incredibly emotional with a short (is there a word that describes shorter than short) fuse that it pushed me over the edge.  Combine that with a precocious little toddler who didn't nap for two days and you can cue up the soundtrack from Psycho.... seriously, I had to lock myself in the bathroom and give myself a timeout- with a king size package of Reese's and a bottle glass of wine. At 11:30 a.m.  (just kidding, the wine was an afterthought- I will be sure to put it in the emergency stash for next month) It was unreal and unfair. I have a great little girl, my uterus has served it's purpose and it can go away now.
      And today my nose looks like Rudolph.... really? Hi, I'm fifteen. Cool, just one more little symptom that I can throw into my iPeriod app.  Yep, there's an app for that- why not? 
So I'm game for some supplements or vitamins to help, but not anymore hormone based anything--- my family will probably start locking me in the garage for five days out of the month pretty soon. At least there's a fridge and wine in there....  

January 21, 2012

Sham-WHAT?? Or... Coffee Talk with MiniLatte

It seems like many, many moons ago that MiniLatte finally said her first word.... and it has been non-stop fun since (especially that time in one of my fave stores when she clearly swore- {rhymes with pod bam-it} after dropping my sun glasses-- and yes, I did enjoy this week's Modern Family episode when Lilly dropped an F*bomb-- I can resemble relate....). I've really enjoyed hearing her vocabularly blossom and often shake my head in disbelief- or wonderment--- I don't think I taught her that word.... not that word--- just words... must be Dora.  Seriously- she's only 2-1/2ish and can put full sentences together better than I can especially before my a.m. caffeine injection skinny latte.  There's this one particular word that she says that makes me giggle like a teenager.  Call me silly, but it's kinda funny:

Okay, what's this?

Take a guess?

No, it's not Buzz Wite-weer Soap.... it's shampooP....... or maybe PampooP- either way, it makes me giggle.

And let's not forget about the puter (laptop) or the washcar (carwash)--- or perhaps 4 a.m. conversations, for no reason at all:

"Daddy's name is Jason

This is my tinker bell baby- It's mine (baby= blanket)
I'm not sleeping
Hi mamma. Gives me a hug
Daddy use this Dora baby
It's not dark anymore-
        no, honey, it is dark and you need to go back to sleep
Patting my arm....You're not wearing a dress.
        No cuz its night night time.
You're not wearing a sweater.
        No I'm wearing my pjs
You have a pink shirt.... Eeyore (I'm wearing Eeyore pants)
Where's Ariel she's not on the tv....
        No she's on the DVD player.
Get it.
        Ariel sleeps at 4 am.
Wake her up
Hi mamma. Another hug
You got a pillow. Twelve-teen pillows... 1-2-3-4.....
I want some milk....

AntiLatte gives in and takes her downstairs because I had an early meeting... Walking down the hall. We're going downstairs so mommy can get some sleep since you're not going to sleeep... Yep....    And she proceeds to have her 4 am party.... I'm really tired but can't help but laugh at her randomness or the fact that she can put together a sentence without coffee... it's only because she's so damn cute that she gets away with it too!

January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Where the freak did 2011 go? I mean seriously- where? I remember January- a trip to Disneyland; April, a trip to DisneyWorld; May- my first very own new car; August- MiniLatte's Bday; and then it's a blur. Time seems to be going by so quickly now that we have a kid.  (And then there are those days where she really acts like a two year old that I WISH would go by as quickly!) I can't believe that it is 2012. It seems like not long ago when the world was freaking out about the impending doom that Y2K (remember??) would bring.... and here we are 12 years later. I actually ended the year quite memorably standing in as maid-of-honor as my mom got married. (I'm happy that she's happy!)
     I have such high hopes for 2012. Watching K grow more each day, learning like a little sponge and bringing even more joy than we already have to our everyday lives. Not that 2011 wasn't good- I can say that it was relatively drama-free; we were blessed with good health; have a home; have jobs, family and friends that we love- blessed and lucky to have what we do have. I'd by lying if I said that I wasn't secretly wishing to hit the lottery, but in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy what I do have right now which is a lot to be grateful for.  I also have quite a few goals (resolutions(?)) but those are still a work in progress- and you know they typical- save money, make money, lose weight, eat better, exercise more, play more, work less, yadayada.....
     Mostly I just wanted to say Happy New Year- may '12 be the best yet! ( :