Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why, Hello Kitty!

When Kenny got home from work today he brought in a bag that his sister had brought to him at work and it was for me. He said that there was some slippers in there but there was so much more. First, I pulled out this sooooo cute bag. I have so many ideas when and where I can use this bag!

Then I pulled out this bag. Oh my, how cute is this bag? I can't believe how cute these are and that she got me 2 bags! It's sad that I had to learn from Kenny that it is even in style to use them as purses. I really need to get out of the house more...oh wait, dragging the oxygen up and down the stairs wipes me out. I'll just have to keep relying on Kenny and other family members to keep me up to date until I can enter back into normal life...but wait, I am now homeschooling my boys. There is really no hope for me. All of you out there are going to continue to help me so I am at least a little up to date. PLEASE!!

Not only did I get 2 adorable bags but here are the slippers that Kenny mentioned. I love them and can't wait until it starts getting cold so I can wear them. Now I can add these to my little lamb pair I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. My lamb's won't be lonely any more because I will be taking Hello Kitty back in a few moments. *I know, dork!*

Plus, when I opened the second bag I found more treasures. Carrie you have absolutely spoiled me. I love this little hand bag. I have so many ideas of how I can use this in my every day life.

Holy Cow! Hello Kitty sticky notes. I'm speechless, who knew that there was Hello Kitty sticky notes. How do you think it's going to go over when the boys have these as their reminder notes for the day? heeheehee I am going to have so much fun with these.

Oh, and Hello Kitty clips. I really wish I was still working right now, I could use these like crazy! I will still incorporate them into our daily life and once again, I wonder how the boys are going to appreciate these clips on their work? I love it!

Thank you so much for all this wonderful girl stuff Carrie!! I absolutely love it all!!

Kenny's Birthday

Kenny's birthday was yesterday and I think he had a good birthday. He totally likes to keep things simple and just spend time with family. His birthday is usually missed by a lot of people but this year he was getting text messages and phone calls all morning from his family and friends. I know it meant a lot because when he got home from work this is what he told me first about his day. Thank you everyone for taking the time to wish him a happy birthday.

Kenny has lost so much weight that he has dropped 2 sizes. Due to all of his pants drooping, the boys and I thought he might like a new pair of jeans. I totally guessed on his new size and actually got it right. I know it's simple but he liked them and even wore them last night. I feel bad that I gave such a simple present but that's just how this year is going.

My mom has a tradition that we can pick whatever we want for dinner for our birthday. Kenny picked one of his favorite restaurants.

We love going to the Rio Grande! They have the best Mexican food! I have also heard that their margaritas are amazing as well. We started eating there after our rebellious days so I have not had the opportunity to try one but everyone else says that they are wonderful. My boys love to order the virgin margaritas and they drink them down in record time. Rio Grande is located in an area that is not very good but there are so many condo's there that I like. Poor Kenny has to hear about every time we get near this area of town.

I am so glad that Kenny had a good day and that I was able to share it with him. I love how he likes to just spend it with a small group of family and I'm thankful for his enthusiasm over the simple things of life.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sean Connery & Chocolate Pudding

There was several funny stories that happened while I was in the hospital. There are always funny stories when you are coming out of anesthesia and while you are taking pain meds. During my second hospital stay that I posted a couple days ago, I had the most interesting lunch and I have to share it with everyone.

I need to say that I was pretty much asleep when my lunch came and in my dream Sean Connery was the one who brought me my lunch. It was like we were old friends it was so nice of him to come visit. I woke up enough to start eating a little of the food. It was one of the best cheese pizza's I have had. Wheat crust, creamy pesto and mozzarella cheese. The only problem was that Sean was gone now and I wasn't fully awake, that lead to me taking a bite and then choking on my food because I had fallen asleep. Needless to say, I didn't get to eat too much of my lunch that day. There was one particular item that I had to finish though, chocolate pudding. I have no idea why, I think I can blame it on the importance that Sean brought it to me and that I was on pain meds and I was in what I call my "coma" when I can not wake up.

Every time my mom would try to take my lunch and move it away I would grab my pudding and start eating. This went on for a while and the same thing happened every time anyone tried to move my lunch. Each time I would take a spoon full and then fall asleep with the spoon in my hand almost spilling the pudding onto my chest. The last time my mom tried to move my lunch and try to reason with my sleepy self I actually whined like a little kid. I remember saying this but I don't remember that I was being a whinny kid. I said "Don't take my pudding!"

I am still being teased about my lunch that was brought to me by Sean Connery and that I got so upset when anyone tried to take my pudding. Even though much of that lunch was spent asleep I will always cherish the kindness of Sean Connery and the best tasting pre-packaged chocolate pudding ever!

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Families Tragedy

I have had the opportunity to read more of the paper in the mornings with my boys home. I keep the T.V. off so that they can concentrate on their work, so now I have been reading my news instead of watching it. Other than I have always had this weird thing about the feeling of the newspaper after I have touched it for to long, I am enjoying reading the paper now more than ever.

While reading the paper earlier this week I came across a story about a family in norther Utah that had the unimaginable happen. However, this tragedy could have been avoided. This is the link to the original story about this family:

I feel that I need to explain why I would want to write about this one story when there are so many other things going on in the world. It is because I grew up in a home with guns and not just little BB guns. I was also taught to respect the guns and how to handle them properly and that they are not toys. I know we have all heard it before and even read it on bumper stickers that guns aren't bad, the people who use them are. Some of those people are not necessarily bad but would definitely fit into some form of stupid.

My home now is much safer than the one I grew up in and the few guns we have are locked in a safe. I am such a safety freak that I even have my oldest son's air soft riffle in the safe. Yes, even an air soft riffle is a gun. Just like BB guns are guns and should never be treated like they are toys, as they were in this case.

In this story I am baffled how a mom can be home (and most likely aware) that her children are shooting poofs of air at their little sister with their BB guns. Aside from our Nerf guns, you never point a gun at anyone unless you truly intend to shoot that person. I know, the same old song just being repeated by someone new. But when there are so many children shooting other children, whether that be because of gangs or because they were left alone and found a gun, this is just happening way to often.

As a mother I don't understand how this mother could allow this behavior and then not call 911 but drive her child to the hospital. I feel sick that this mother couldn't be with her daughter when she passed away. I am sure that this whole family is hurting right now and I can't even imagine how the brother that fired that deadly shot is feeling right now. I hurt for this family and for the little life that will never find its way to adulthood.

In the article it says that the hospital reported the shooting to the police and in the update that was in today's paper reports that the police have investigated and have turned their findings over to the County Prosecutors office for possible charges. My overly protective mother side wants this mother to be held responsible for letting her children play with guns. My other overly protective side just wishes that this family can teach others what not to do and that they learned their lesson and let them grieve for their daughter/sister.

With similar situations happening within other families all over the Country, how do we punish or change what is happening so that no more innocent people or children have to die? I'm glad that I'm not the one who has to decide anyone's fate. The larger question is how do the people who do decide people's fate proceed with these situations? Do we hurt an already grieving family by tearing it further apart and sending one of the family members to jail? We can not look the other way and ignore that an innocent life was lost.

This is not a new problem and those are not new questions but this is a new family that is dealing with the loss of a family member due to negligence.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Hospital - part 2 Blood Clots

Exactly one week after being discharged from the hospital for my surgery I went to see my doctor to have my drain removed from my abdomen. I thought it would be horrible but I had also taken some pain pills before I left and so it was uncomfortable but not like when I was little. When I had my hip surgeries I would have a drain in my leg and before I left the hospital they would take the drain out. I swear to you that when they pulled on that drain it pulled from my eyebrows down. The pain was horrible!!

My cousin Jessie had the pleasure of taking me to this appointment. I had mentioned that I didn't feel good and that I was having a hard time moving, I was so slow that day. On our drive to the appointment she even said one time that I was acting weird and that she felt that if our drive got any weirder that she was going to get off the freeway and just take me to an emergency room. After the drain was out I mentioned to my doctor that my upper back hurt and I was having a little bit of a hard time breathing. She immediately sent me down to have a CT scan. My wonderful cousin followed me and was there with me the whole time. When I got back to my room they had "my daughter" (aka Jessie my cousin, do I really look that old?) come into the room with me. The conversation that followed went something like this:

Doctor: Well, your mom here is being quit the troublemaker.
Me: (totally confused) cousin?
Jessie: Oh, Rachelle I can't believe you haven't punched your doctor in the throat yet!
Doctor: Rachelle, you do have some things going on with your lungs. You have extreme bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I am sending you to the hospital right now by ambulance. The ambulance is on it's way.
Me: (stunned and still shocked that they thought Jess was my daughter) Really, by ambulance?
Doctor: Yes, you are going to be directly admitted to the hospital and you are going by ambulance.
Jessie: madly texting away next to me to let everyone know.

We waited a long time before the EMT's finally showed up with the stretcher and loaded me up. They did get a report from my doctor and asked me a ton of questions. None of the questions included what my insurance was, that would have saved me some phone calls after I was discharged. I found out on the 5 minute ride to the hospital (once again really, an ambulance? I was 5 minutes away we could have drove) that there was a first ambulance that got to the clinic but it overheated and so we had to wait for a second ambulance to come get me. That is totally my luck. I have lungs full of blood clots, enough that it's to much for them to count and the ambulance overheats and I have to wait longer. I could have driven myself there by then. If I could have driven myself there I could have skipped having to watch the EMT's lift me into the ambulance. I know I'm roundy but the looks on their faces was like they were lifting a Sumo wrestler into the truck. It would have made me want to lose weight if I could have been thinking right and didn't want ice cream to bury the looks on their faces with.

Finally, I am at the hospital and because I didn't come with any orders (not sure if the doctor could send them or not, giving her the benefit of the doubt) I couldn't get any pain medicine and I had to be examined by one of the hospital doctors before I could get anything. Then, because this wasn't enough, everyone chimed in that I had been slurring my words for the past couple of days. Off I go for another CT scan. Once down there I realized very quickly that I could not lay flat. I had to lay flat and hold still for the scan but that is when the real pain hit. Oh My Word!!! I don't think I felt pain like that when I was in labor or when I had my kidney stone. It was a downhill spiral from there. Everyone said that the way my body was working so hard to breath they thought I was going to die that night. I finally got some pain medicine, actually 3 different kinds, I'm amazed that I lived through that much medicine without overdosing. Eventually I did calm down and was able to relax and breath a little easier.

All the time that this was going on I had the most peaceful feeling. I just knew that I was okay. I kept trying to tell everyone that I was okay, I wanted them to feel the peace that I felt. I will say that I know I had The Lord's Spirit there and that he was comforting me. That's the only way I could have stayed so calm and knew that everything was going to be okay. In this situation nothing should have been okay. Most people don't live through having one embolism in their lungs and I had to many to count. Yet I was alive and calm and had this reassurance that everything was going to okay.

I still had my catheter in from my surgery and they decided to remove that while I was in there for this hospital stay. I was so prepared for the worse but I didn't even feel a thing when it was taken out. It was so nice to not have a drain or a catheter or anything else hanging out of me. Now I just had the oxygen to contend with. I don't know how many of you have had a catheter in for 2 weeks but between the catheter and my bladder still healing (and lets not forget that I still have the stint in there) I ended up with no bladder control. When I say no control, I mean NONE!!

Imagine, if you dare, one week out from having abdominal surgery and no bladder control and trying to get in and out of a hospital bed to use the stinkin bathroom. This was with a whole room of people who would not leave because of how serious the situation was. They were either trying to help me out of bed or they were getting mooned. I know, not pleasant at all. I am here to formally apologize to all my family that was there to witness the mooning. I am so thankful for your continued love and support even after seeing my tush.

4 1/2 days later I was given the choice to go home or go to a rehab center. I chose home with home health. I came home on oxygen and am still on it. I hope that things are getting better so that I can wean myself off of it soon. It's amazing how much one part of your body can change so much of you life when it's not working right. Who would have thought your lungs would be that important :) I also came home having to give myself shots in my abdomen just above my incision. I have never given anyone a shot and have always had a hard time with needles. With this I just took the syringe and remembered what my mom said while she was in nursing school and gave myself a shot. I had to do 3 more shots when I came home and now I am just on Coumadin. I also have to have my blood checked 1 to 2 times a week to make sure it stays within a certain range so that I am not thick enough to make new clots and not thin enough to bleed out everywhere. It has been amazing to see how fast life can change.

Part 3 to come...Yes there is a part 3!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our First 2 Days of School

I will start by saying that I am more than overjoyed with our decision to home school our boys. We were surprised by Taylor starting his classes 2 days early. We were not ready for that and it has caused some discord in our home. Taylor has been working his little tail end off with his class load while Kelton doesn't start his classes until tomorrow. Taylor has been sick and it has been hard for him to focus but he has done amazing and has gotten 100% on almost all of his assessments. Kelton is chomping at the bit to get started. He just checked his list of classes and found out he has 11 assignments due this week and he has 3 days to get them done. He will be one busy kid once tomorrow morning has come.

We have had our ups and downs and this is has been a learning experience for all of us. It will continue for us for some time. I know we will get our schedule down but for now we are in a state of chaos and Taylor is feeling somewhat overwhelmed (I don't blame him). He keeps walking through the house saying "assessment, assessment, assessment, all I do is take tests!" It really is what he has been doing but that is how the program knows if he is ready to move to the next level or if he needs to review the lesson some more. I have to admit that I am loving doing his Pre-Algebra with him. Although, I really think what he is doing is just Algebra. His first assignment was filled with some complex equations, I was in heaven doing the work with him, he was hyperventilating. I keep reminding him that I am here to work with him and help teach him.

Our first official 2 days have included lots of coughing, tears, stomping, slamming of doors, naps and good hard work, studying, learning beyond what they though they could do, passing lesson after lesson off, and so far overall success within all of our chaos. I wouldn't change this for the world. I love seeing my boys succeed and see that shine of accomplishment in their eyes.

I do have to admit that for the first day of school this is the first year that I didn't take a picture of the boys. Maybe I should have just for the fun of it. We were all half asleep, Taylor was so sick and we were all in our pajama's. The boys thought it was so cool that they could attend their welcome assembly in their pajama's and Kelton was eating breakfast while he watched his. The next time we have school in our PJ's I will get a picture of it and just say it is the first day. Either way, we all know how our first morning went. I love this!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Help

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I know someone who grew up in the south and had a "Mammy". It was such a different life, I can't even imagine growing up with help in the house that also helped to raise the kids. I loved how Kathryn Stockett took the time to make sure the reader understood the risks that they were taking by writing that book. It was such a scary time in our history and unfortunately some things in the South haven't changed much. I love how strong the women are in this story, both white and black. The story wouldn't have been the same if it didn't include all the good and bad. I love Minny and her strength and understand how she could put up with the abuse for so long. It was good at the end when she finally gets the strength to leave. Aibeleen is amazing with the kids that she is caring for. She is so brave to tell her story and to share her secret stories with baby girl. It was so fun to see how each of the women developed and grew through the story. I am so glad that my mom got this book for me and that I was able to enjoy and learn more about an area of the Country that I would love to visit. I have always loved the South and the idea of living on a plantation. Darn that Gone with the Wind! :) I know that the movie isn't going to be as good, but now I have to see the movie.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Hospital - part 1 The Surgery

This unattractive picture is of me on June 19th is right before I went into surgery for a "routine" vaginal hysterectomy. I was so nervous but Kenny and my Mom did a pretty good job of keeping me distracted.

This picture is of my ted hose. They were so much fun to put on (I hope you can read my sarcasm here). I was handed my hospital gown, ted hose and non slip hospital socks. I was already a little unsteady from not eating and taking my pill for anxiety. If anyone has ever put on ted hose you know how tight they are. I was in the little bathroom standing there folded in half trying to pull those hose up. I can't even tell you how light headed I was from putting on those stinkin hose. To top it off there is this hole in the bottom so they can check my circulation easily. That hole bugged me to no end. I'm pretty sure it bugged me even while I was under anesthesia.
My surgery ended up lasting from around 12:30 pm until sometime after 7 pm. I wasn't aware of this until I kind of woke up a little in recovery and was told that it was 8:00 pm. I almost died. I couldn't believe how late it was and had no idea what had happened to make my 2 hour surgery last so long. While I was under and being worked on my sister and husband were racing up and down the hall outside the waiting room in a wheelchair. I guess they had tons of fun, I'm glad that they had fun and found something to do to distract themselves. Leave it to those two to think of that as their option for entertainment. I love those two!!

I really wish my mom could have gotten a picture of them playing in the halls of the hospital like that. It would have been great!

Once I was finally moved into my hospital room and could see everyone I found out that the hysterectomy went fine but my uterus was stuck to my bladder and they had to "filet" it apart. This resulted in my bladder being cut 3 times and my ureter to my right kidney being either twisted or cut or both. They had to put a stint in to repair that. They also had to call in a Urologist to fix my bladder. He had to open me up to do the repair and then for some reason they closed me up, then tested my bladder and found it was still leaking so I was opened back up and the final repair to my bladder was done. I couldn't believe how many stitches I ended up with by the end. I was stitched in my vagina for they hysterectomy, in my bladder and in my hip to hip incision. That first night and the next morning I was so thankful for my happy button that I could push for pain meds whenever they little button was blinking. There was a few times when I would just watch the button for it to start blinking.

I was so happy after surgery when I could finally get some ice chips. My mouth was so dry and I was so hungry by 8:00 that evening that I couldn't get enough ice chips. My sister and Kenny were kind to feed me. They even got the spoon in straight so I could get the ice and water in without a big mess. I am so thankful for them and their help.

Due to the injury to my bladder I had to have a folly catheter and drain in my abdomen. Two things that I have never had before. The day after surgery my Aide tried to get me out of bed and try to walk some. I was so weak and in so much pain that I passed out and luckily landed in a chair that Kenny had just moved behind me. When everyone noticed that there was a problem Kenny left the room to get help but my mom stayed and saw me have a seizure right before the Aide couldn't find my pulse and pulled the code lever. I was able to recover without any help other than my Aide slapping me in the face and yelling for me to open my eyes. Unfortunately the doctor didn't believe that I had a seizure and downplayed the code. She actually called it a false code and that it should have never been called. It's nice to know that no pulse doesn't qualify as needing a code, makes me wonder, what does require one then?

I think Kenny was just about ready to scream when the code was over and the first thing I asked was if he had gotten any pictures of the code and the chaos. I guess getting out of the way so they could work on me was more important than taking pictures. Go figure!

On my 4th day of being in the hospital, they sent me home with my catheter and my drain and showed me how to empty both and how to record the amount that was in my drain. There was no instructions on what to watch for if there was any more complications. There was no information on the Urologist who I needed to follow up with and to only call my OBGYN in a couple days to see about getting my drain removed. It was like they just wanted me out of there.

Part 2 to come soon....I've been up for a while and need some rest now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Visit from the Goon Squad

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I truly hate saying anything negative about any book but this book is one that I can't say anything good about. As I tried and tried to read this I was wondering how it received so many awards. There was nothing within this book that I could relate to and I couldn't stand that the "f" word was on every page at least once. I can read books that contain that language, however, I have not encountered one that used it so liberally as this one did. When I say there was nothing for me to relate to I never left home to live with an older man to do drugs and have sex. I have never done any drugs and could not relate to or understand them using so many hard drugs so young and that it was so acceptable. This may make me a prude and that is okay. I was just raised with a different set of standards and expectations. I know there are a lot of you out there that really like this book. I'm glad that you can understand it and relate to it. I'm happy for Jennifer Egan for writing a book that has brought her much fame and awards. I really wish that I could say something nice as well but this is one of those times that I feel that I can't support the portion that I struggled through to read.

3rd Times The Charm

It has been so hard for me this past month to not be writing and sharing pictures with everyone. Long story short, I had surgery which should have been a simple routine hysterectomy that turned into nothing routine. I had some complications during surgery then ended up with pulmonary embolisms and to top it off I ended up septic with pneumonia and a kidney infection. I am now on oxygen and have no bladder control. I think I went from being 36 years old to 80 in about a week. I'll save you any more details even though some of them are so funny they would challenge your bladder control. I will do a better update with some of my hospital pictures later, I still need to download them.

The rest of the family is doing okay. I have definitely put them through the ringer. We tried to keep as much as we could from our boys so they wouldn't worry but as time goes on I have shared a little more with them. They are finally okay with leaving me and going places without having a meltdown. That has been the hardest part of all of this, seeing what I have been putting my family through.

Both boys started orientation for school this week and will begin their classes next week. I think we are all excited to see how this is going to work. We have everything set up and ready for them and our dinning area is now more a classroom. I'm okay with that as long as it means my boys get a good education. At least orientation has been going well and they are getting a better sense of how their classes and lessons will work.

I need to thank everyone who has been praying for me and my family. I know without a doubt that I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of your prayers and the priesthood blessings that I received. I am so thankful to have so many faithful people around me. Thank you for your cards and gifts and to all of you who brought in dinners for us. We appreciate everything that has been done on our behalf. I'm pretty sure that there are Temples in the Salt Lake Valley and in Colorado (and maybe other places) that began to wonder who this Rachelle person was. Going through this process has not been easy but I know that all of my family has been watched over and protected while we went through it. I am so thankful for my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the comfort it gave to me and all that was around me while I was in and out of the hospital. Without this knowledge and the gifts that come from it I have to say again that it was these gifts that have kept me alive so I could be here for my family.