Friday, June 29, 2012

So, I had LASIK, and now I can see

You know, without corrective lenses of any sort.

I'd been wearing glasses / contacts since I was 8 years old. When they figured out I was legally blind and wondered how I'd managed to navigate the world just fine thus far.

So, I don't remember what my number was, but my vision before the surgery was such that... you know when they put that eye chart in front of you? The one that only has one letter that takes up the whole screen? Yeah... to me it looked like a blank white sheet. Couldn't even tell there was supposed to be a letter there.

And at my last post-surgery checkup? My vision was 20/15. It worked.

Now, as for the surgery itself... I can't lie, it wasn't the best experience.

Everything started out fine. I was a little nervous, but not exceptionally.

Until they put my head under the laser thingie. I may or may not have freaked out a little bit.

I may have even asked if the valium they offered me earlier was still an option.

They obliged, and did everything they could to make me comfortable. The entire staff was really sweet about everything. A few minutes later, and I was ready to go.

Still tense (yes, even with the valium), but ready.

They started with my right eye. Blah, blah, blah... I hated the entire procedure. Hated.

But it didn't hurt. I was fine. Now time for the left eye.

They put the numbing drops on my eye just like they did the right eye. But when they were cutting the flap, I swear I felt something.

So when they moved me over to begin the actual laser correction, I asked for more drops. They put one more in. I asked for more. The nurse told me they had essentially bathed my eye in numbing drops and there was no more they could do.

Although it only lasted a second, there was a moment during the procedure where I felt the laser. And it hurt.

But it only lasted a second. Millisecond maybe. And it was gone.

After the surgery my eyes didn't feel great, but that was expected. I did have a hard time opening them so they could check them in recovery, but otherwise, whatever.

By the time I got home, they hurt.

Not discomfort, as I was told to expect, but pain.

Within an hour, I was in horrible pain. I took Tylenol PM and attempted to fall asleep. But my eyes hurt. Horribly. I felt sure that if I could rest, they would feel better. But the pain was so intense that I couldn't fall asleep.

I finally asked Jason to call the office. They called in a prescription for Vicodin, he left to get it. A vicodin & another Tylenol PM later, and I finally drifted off to sleep.

I woke up just three hours later. Looking back, you'd think I'd have slept all day & night!  But no, three hours. My eyes still hurt, but not as badly. I managed to trudge out to the living room and watch some television. For about 10 minutes. It was too bright for my recovering peepers.

Back in the doctor's office the next day for a normal post-op check, and I was informed I had significant inflammation in the left eye, and an inordinate amount of broken blood vessels in the right. Awesome.

Indeed, my left eye did hurt more than the right. And the whites of my right eye were indeed red instead of white.

I was given an additional prescription eyedrop and told to come back again the next day.

The next day I was told the inflammation wasn't any better, but wasn't really worse either. Continue the bevy of drops they'd given me (3 Rx, 1 OTC) and come back in a week.

A week later, I was told that my eyes looked fine. The inflammation had resolved, and the redness in my right eye was essentially an "eye bruise" and was healing just fine.

But still... keep taking those prescription drops, and come back again in a month. Just to be sure.

Overall, while it is very nice to not need glasses or contacts anymore, I can't say I'd do it again.

Maybe I'll feel differently with a little more time between the surgery and my feelings on the subject, and I know it will be especially nice for diving. But right now I just can't say that I'd do it again. If I had known, I honestly would have just kept my contacts.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So apparently my blog was down?


I noticed while posting on a couple of blogs earlier today that used "comment luv" that my posts weren't showing up to link to. I assumed it was due to me not having posted in a few days.

Then I went to open my blog, and it said "blog not found" or something similar. And my heart sank.

Blah, blah, blah. I haven't checked my personal email (including my gmail) account in a day or so (busy, busy, remember?). Finally was able to log in far enough into my account to get a message telling me there had been unusual activity on my account and asking for account verification.

About five screens & answered questions later, we're back up.

My heart is still pounding.

So, as a note of precaution, if you've received any strange emails from KYFIREWIFE at gmail in the past couple of days, I'm gonna go ahead & say just delete them. Just in case. 'Cause right now I'm kinda assuming I was hacked.

Scary. Making mental note to back up the blog...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy, busy

CRAZY busy lately.

I have a couple of draft posts I might be able to complete sometime soon, but if not...

I might be MIA for a while.

Seriously. Crazy busy.

But I'll be back. Promise.

Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I don't wanna be crazy (anxiety related)

I haven't had any serious anxiety in well over a year. Prior to that, my anxiety seemed primarily to be a symptom of my post-partum illness(es).

Until earlier this week.

Sunday night I laid in bed for(what seemed like)ever. Every creak, every noise I was certain someone was trying to break in to kidnap Jena.

I laid there, half of my brain certain my child was in immediate danger, the other half trying to convince myself that I was being completely irrational.

I debated going in and scooping up my sleeping really heavy now that she's a preschooler baby and bringing her in to sleep with me.

Like I may have done on occasion in years past when I was convinced someone was trying to kidnap my child in the middle of the night.

Neither side of my brain ever won that argument. Exhaustion won. I finally passed out in bed, still arguing over myself whether or not my child was in imminent danger, or I was being irrational.


The next night, the same anxiety. Different issue though.

At the last minute (9pm) my sister-in-law called to ask if Jena could come over for an impromptu sleepover, and then go swimming the next day.

Who am I to say 'no' to an aunt who wants to indulge her niece in some summertime fun?

We said good-bye to a way-too-excited little girl around 10pm, and headed to bed shortly thereafter.

I laid awake in bed (again). I couldn't shake my worry that Jena was in danger.

I didn't even realize I'd asked the question aloud until Jason answered.

"Do you think she's okay?"

"She'll be fine"

This time I couldn't envision a scenario, but at the same time I couldn't shake the thought that my daughter was not safe.

My mind began its battle again.

Exhaustion was again the victor.


I hope no one out there with clinical anxiety takes offense to this, but:

I don't wanna be crazy.

I've seen and dealt with family members who struggle with it. I know what it's like from my extended bout of post partum illness.

I don't want to deal with this for the rest of my life. I don't want to have to be medicated to feel normal. Or to sleep at night.Or just to get the scary thoughts out of my head.

Even though prior to my post partum illness I had never struggled with any form of mental illness myself, I have family members that have.

Which I know (now) increased my risk for developing PPD.

And increases the chances that my PPD will trigger a life long struggle with mental illness.

All I know, is that right now I want to understand what's going on. Why did these episodes occur now, seemingly out of the blue? What does it mean?

Friday, June 22, 2012

What are you whining about?

Mama’s Losin’ It

What are you whining about ??

What am I whining about? Seriously?

I'm tired. I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of being on an emotional roller coaster.

I wish my husband were home more this week.

I wish I had someone to help me with Jena so I wouldn't feel so strained all the time. And yet...

I wish I had more time with Jena. Good, long, quality time - not just trying to get life done.

I wish I felt more committed to my job. Or better - I wish I had a job that was more meaningful to me. I wish I could find one.

I want this fat to melt off. And the skin to tighten and the boobs to lift all at the same time. As if by magic. I'm tired of watching what I eat.

Ugh. I'm still gonna post it, but I've decided I don't like this post. I don't wanna whine. I want to be grateful. Let's turn it into that.

I'm grateful for my awesome family. I'm grateful to have so much love in my life.

I'm grateful to be in good health and pain free. I know from experience this isn't always guaranteed.

I'm grateful for my daughter. My amazing, wonderful, daughter.

I'm grateful for my husband, his love, and all he does for our family.

I'm grateful to be part of a good God-focused, outward-focused church.

I'm grateful to have a job with good people, doing good work, that also pays me good money and awesome benefits.

I'm grateful that we are financially stable, and improving.

There, that's better.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Physical Blessings:

1) No serious medical issues yet this year
2) My back is stable (not worsening)
3) Jason is healthy & strong as ever
4) Jena is healthy & growing well
5) All the pets are relatively healthy

Financial Blessings:

1) We can feed & clothe our family, and pay our mortgage
2) We have good benefits, including affordable health coverage
3)  Our car is almost paid off
4) We are on target to be debt free (excepting the house) within 2 years max
5) We can afford a few extras

Mental Blessings

1) My issues with depression & anxiety appear to be (mostly) over
2) So far I see no signs that my PPD will lead into Clinical Depression
3) My job is providing me with enough challenges to stretch me, but not enough to stress me
4) Jena has tested above her age group in all developmental milestones
5) I haven't had writer's block in months

Spiritual Blessings

1) Mine & my husband's salvation
2) So many answered prayers & visible miracles
3) Continued growth in the Lord
4) Finding my "fit" in our church home
5) Spiritual battles won

Answered Prayer

1) TheBoy's miraculous recovery
2) Continued growth & healing in our marriage
3) Promises fulfilled
4) Safety for Jason on the job
5) Unspoken

Today's Blessings

1) We all woke up this morning (and healthy too!)
2) We both have jobs to go to
3) My parents watching Jena
4) We can talk during the day
5) Phone call from a friend


this post inspired by this post

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Before I Was a Mom

Before I become a mother:

I actually had a night day time off, usually at least once a week. Or more. Now I'm lucky to get a couple of hours every few months.

I did not know that moose are horrifying when in dreams. But not when cute little stuffed animals.

I was much better at putting shopping carts back in the cart corral. Sorry cart boys, but I'm a little too paranoid to venture that far from my child when she's in the car, and she's a little too heavy / hard to wrangle to bring over to the corral.

I came into work early & stayed late whenever anyone asked. Even with no notice. Now I have a kid to get ready & drop off in the mornings, and to pick up from preschool in the evenings. "No notice" doesn't really work anymore.

My house was cleaner. Fewer people, no kid, more time = cleaner house. It's really just math people.

I wasn't nearly so creative. Now I can make up songs & stories on the spot. Most of the time.

I was much more reserved / worried what people thought of me. Mostly I thought everyone thought I was weird (I am). Now, I will do just about anything to make my kid smile. Including sing in the middle of the grocery store so she has decent music to dance to.

I was much more modest about my body. Not that I dress immodestly now, it's just that... I think being a mom helped me to see my body for the amazing thing it is, instead of just parts to be covered up.

I was also much more self-conscious about my weight & shape before becoming a mom. Would I like to lose more weight? Sure. But now that I'm healthy, I love that my body looks like a mom's body.

I never realized a corndog would qualify as a meal. Or lettuce & mushrooms.

But mostly, before I became a mom, I never quite had a grasp on this love thing. Now? I think I'm getting it.


What about you? How are you different since becoming a parent?


this post inspired by this post

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reverse Bucket List

Things I Don't Want to Do:

1. Bungee Jump
I don't have a fear of heights, but I do have a fear of falling. No way I'm intentionally jumping off of something high up in the air.

2. SkyDive
See #1. Also, in college one of my friends decided he wanted a group of us to go skydiving for his bachelor party when he got married. Thankfully, I think he forgot.

3. Get a tattoo
Never had any interest in getting a tattoo. Although I have considered branding...

4. Kill anything larger than a spider.
And really, not even them. But with having chickens, and talking about getting other "food" animals... no, I will not do my own slaughtering. Period.
I also have no interest in ever, ever hunting.

5. Go back to school
While sometimes I think it sounds grand, when I really think about what it would entail... no way.

6. Have a threesome
Sorry babe, LOL.

7. Live in a city
I toyed with the idea as a single twenty-something, even looked at a few places. But... nah. Heck, even the 'burbs stressed me out. I'm definitely a country girl at heart.

8. Get married again
Even when I was single I professed that I was only getting married once. God forbid anything happens to Jason, I have no intention of marrying a second time.

9. Ride a motorcycle.
I get anxious just seeing a motorcyclist on the highway. I have absolutely no desire to get on one.

10. Bumper Cars
I had a bad experience as a child. Never again.


What about you? What's your Reverse Bucket List?


this post inspired by this post

Monday, June 18, 2012

Parenting Don'ts... that I did

or maybe still do.

Because we're all just doing our best.

Because judging one another needs to stop.

Because if I looked hard enough, I could find something to judge you for.

Not that I've ever intentionally hid any of these, but I'm letting them go, being upfront and honest, and telling you that I'm doing the best I can, just like you.

Flame away if you must.


- I got my hair dyed while I was pregnant.
I couldn't find any reliable research to say that it would do anything to harm the baby, so heck yeah, I covered my gray.

- I let Jena play outside. By herself.

If you count 'with four dogs' by herself. I check on her every few minutes.

- I let Jena play in the bath by herself.
Once I get done washing her, if she's not ready to get out within a few minutes, I leave the bathroom. I pick up random crap around the house, walking past the bathroom and poking my head in every couple of minutes.

- We totally follow the 5 second rule in our house.
And sometimes extend it to ten.

- I rarely washed my hands when Jena was a newborn.
Oh, after the potty & before eating sure. But I figured she should be exposed to "family" germs, so never really bothered in between those events.

- I feed Jena all kinds of sugar & preservatives & fast food. And very little organic.
She also eats lots of veggies, and fruit, and whole grains. Whatever.

- I have spanked Jena

And smacked her hand. It's rare, but it has happened.

- I don't follow the pediatrician's recommendation on shots.
Nor do we skip all vaccinations. Nor do we follow Dr. So-and-So's modified vaccination schedule.
I researched every individual vaccine myself and we have followed a modified schedule of our own, making our own judgement on what is best for our daughter, instead of following blanket advice from either side of the table.

- I just found out that five years ago the FDA recommended no cold medicine for kids under the age of 6.

- We didn't really childproof the house.

But I've already written about that.

- Jena's car seat got turned around before she turned one year old.
Not much before, but she had outgrown the height & weight requirement & had good control of her head. She's moved to each level of seat restraint sooner than the recommended age, but never before the required height & weight. And we follow requirements for both Kentucky & Ohio, since we travel frequently in both.

- similarly, I think putting a child's age on a safety requirement is stupid.
Other than for infants (because you have the whole head-control thing), it makes much more sense to use a combination of height & weight. Some children are big, some are small. Going by an age will make no actual impact on their safety. Going by height & weight will. Needless to say, I ignore the age thing.

- I could have breastfed longer than I did.
But I had extremely low supply (3-4 oz per day) and spending all that time pumping for one feeding a day seemed like a waste. Bring on the formula.

- I let Jena sleep on her belly.
Once she got up the strength, she kept flipping herself over anyway.

- I skipped tummy time
While she loved to sleep on her belly, she hated being awake on her belly. Would scream incessantly till you picked her up. Seriously. I have one such session on tape. It was torture for everyone involved. So after about the 3rd or 4th time, I stopped.

- Jena never slept in our bed as an infant.
She slept in a bassinet next to our bed for about 2 weeks. Then we gradually started moving her farther away. She was in her crib overnight by 6 weeks of age.

- We let Jena cry it out.

As an infant. And thru preschooler-hood. As in now. I self-imposed a 20 minute time limit when she was an infant, which we still hold to, but she rarely went that long. Like maybe twice in her life. She also slept thru the night (6+ hours) by six weeks of age.

- I changed the kitty litter while I was pregnant.
Jason wasn't doing it, and I wasn't getting rid of the cat, so...

- When she was little, I rarely slept when she slept
I felt like I got more out of showering during at least one of those times.

- We went on our first post-baby "date" when she was less than 2 weeks old
It was our first anniversary. We went to lunch & a matinee. My mother-in-law watched her. She was fine. So were we.

- We went on our first "no baby" vacation when she was less than a year old.

We won a dive cruise. In the Bahamas. She stayed with my parents. She was fine. So were we.

- I praise my daughter religiously
I tell her she's awesome, smart, funny, kind, amazing, and beautiful multiple times a day.

- I still let Jena drink from a sippy.

She's nearly four. She can drink from a regular cup just fine. But walking around the house, or on the go, a sippy is safer for my floors, my furniture, and my sanity.

- I still ask Jena if she wants a paci. If she asks for it, I give it.
She's never been addicted, and it's better for her teeth than sucking on her fingers (which she tries to do).


So there you have it. My list of "don'ts" that I so did. Or still do.

What about you? What have you done "wrong" as a parent?

As always, thanks for checking in!


this post inspired by this post

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

I have a headache. I like to write. I hope Jena's having a good day at school. I wonder if she's up from her nap yet. I like my co-workers. They're funny. Jason's working tonight. Good to have alone time to catch up on chores & do what I want. Bad to go to bed alone. I miss my hubby. Promised Jena a cheeseburger picnic for dinner tonight. She was thrilled. Gotta do something with those McDonald's gift cards anyway, right? She's been super clingy & needing of attention lately. Like all the time. Wears on a momma. One of her classmates asked me to "do work" with him this morning, all sweet and everything. I hated telling him 'no'. But alas, the paying job was calling. Otherwise I would've stayed all day with my daughter anyway. They're learning about the ocean in her class now, so I sent in some pictures from our Bahamas dive trip for Jena to "show-n-share". My parents left today to go on vacation. Jena is devestated. She wanted to go with them. I hope they have a good time. They deserve it. We need to plan our next getaway. We were tentatively planning to go away this weekend for a short weekend family trip, then Jason's mom announced that she had tickets for an event with Jena for Saturday. Thrilled Jena gets to do something fun with Mamaw. Disappointed that our family trip won't happen. But Jason said maybe if Mamaw wants to keep her overnight we can do a quick couple's getaway. That would be nice too.

this post inspired by this post

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why I Talk About PPD

Sometimes I wonder if I should be so open & honest about my struggles with depression & PTSD. Until I get messages like this one (names redacted):

"I know we haven't talked directly in like 10 years, and if what I'm going to ask is too personal, I totally understand.

My son was born a month ago, and I've come to realize that my wife is suffering from post partum depression. I know I saw some post from you on the matter a while back so I was hoping for some thoughts/advice.

I encouraged her to talk to her OB and he suggested going shopping, which felt like he wasn't taking her seriously.

I'm not real sure what I'm trying to ask you, I just feel a little lost and helpless. So if you have any thoughts/ advice /prayers please send them my and my wife's way."

This is why I tell others about my experience.
Because there are still medical professionals telling women a shopping trip will help their PPD.
Because husbands want desperately to help their wives, but don't know where to start.
Because women need to know they are not alone, and there is hope.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Update on my Nephew

He's being discharged from the Neurology Rehab center today.

His recovery is unbelievable.

No, really. As in the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other experts in the area of traumatic brain injury are incredulous.

He's being released home. And will need no special care.


He can walk, although he is at times unsteady.

He can talk.

He cannot drive.

He has lost 60% of his hearing.
This one is interesting, as it's a brain issue, not an ear issue. Essentially, hearing aids will not work because the problem is in his brain and how it processes sounds.

The psychiatrist has cleared him mentally, as being fully capable of functioning and making his own decisions.
Ends up a huge part of the issue was his hearing. So realizing that, plus some additional healing on his part, and ta daa! His mental facilities are now considered "normal"

He has been advised that if he chooses to partake in any amount of alcohol or illegal drugs, or suffers the slightest head injury, he risks death.
Not by his own actions as a result from altered judgement, as is usually the case, but because he has such a large amount of brain damage that anything that kills any additional brain cells has the potential to literally kill him. Even one drink.

5 weeks ago

2 weeks ago
at his sister's HS graduation last week


I thank you all so much for your prayers. We have truly seen a miracle done here.

And I ask you for your continued prayers.

He admits to being an addict. Which means his struggle to avoid death is only beginning.

And his first major decision is (what I believe to be) a bad one. Instead of moving in with his parents (who dropped everything to move back to Ohio to support him - but that's another story), he has decided to live with his aunt & uncle. The uncle who gave him the drugs and is an addict himself. Two unemployed addicts living in the same house. Surely I don't have to spell out the issue here.

He is an adult, who's psychiatrist cleared him for making personal decisions, so legally his parents have recourse. Other than prayer.

From what I understand, his reasoning is that his parents have too many rules. His dad tried to reason with him, pointing out that he had already agreed that his girlfriend could live there with him, and that the other rules (no drinking, no smoking, no drugs), are the same things doctors told him could kill him, and he says he's going to not do any more. So what rules are the problem? TheBoy had no answer.

Please continue to pray for TheBoy. And for the entire family, but I do believe his situation is still urgent. If I'm being honest, with his medical situation, and the living situation he is putting himself into, assuming he stays in that situation, I do not expect him to live more than 3 - 5 years.

Please pray.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

No, they're not "magic pills"

I've stopped telling people about my endocrine / metabolic disorder.

Why? Because 90% of the people who ask me how I've lost weight, when I tell them, have one of the following two reactions:

#1 - I wish I could take a magic pill and watch it melt off.

How me going thru years of struggling to lose weight, busting my butt with a personal trainer, trying various different eating plans, and nothing working, then going thru tons of testing, being diagnosed with a disorder, and going thru intensive drug therapy while watching what I eat is the same as "taking a magic pill and it melting off"... well, that's beyond me.
And, quite frankly, it kinda ticks me off. It completely dismisses not only the work I've done to change my lifestyle since being diagnosed, but also all the work I did in the years prior trying. And yes, if they weren't there to actually see it, I make sure they know as I'm telling my story.
But all they hear is "drug = weight loss". Grr.

#2 - I think I have that too. What's your endocrinologist's name?
Okay, yes, other people have this disorder. Having talked to people about this, there have been 2 others just in my circle that I honestly believe may have the same / similar disorder, and I recommended to each of them that they see an endocrinologist to get checked out.
But... if you are shoving a 2nd piece of cake into your mouth while simultaneously telling me why you don't understand why you keep gaining weight or why your sugar isn't controlled despite being diabetic & being on medication, and you admit that you haven't tried any sort of eating plan or physical activity in years... and especially if you have a history of being thin (most people with this disorder struggled with their weight their entire lives, as did I), and it's only since getting older / becoming less active / eating crap that you've gained weight... I'm not saying you definitely don't have a disorder, but I am saying that you should try using some common sense before subjecting yourself to the testing required to find out, and the embarrassment of trying to convince a reputable doctor that you're not just lazy and/or disillusioned.

Because that's where I was when I made the appointment. I reached a point where I was so fed up with trying & failing to lose the weight, I was so distraught over my trainer yelling at me in a gym full of people that I "must be lying" about following their plan, because if I followed even half of it I would have lost a ton of weight by now, I was so fed up with myself, with my weight that I had to know for sure.

I realized when I made the appointment that this was it. I'd researched my doctors, and knew this one would figure it out. And I knew there was only one of two answers: Either
    a) he'd find out what was wrong with me & I'd get treatment, or
    b) he'd tell me I really was just a lazy fata** and needed to get off my butt

It was scary. Terribly scary. I was so worried he would tell me it was "b", and I'd be right back where I started, feeling like I'd tried everything and nothing worked, but apparently I just wasn't trying hard enough.

For me, it turned out to be "a" - but 2nd-piece-of-cake complainers... you know, deep down, that it would be "b". You know it would. When you're shoving sugar into your mouth in the form of cake, ice cream, pop, sweet tea and the like and then while doing it complaining that you can't get your diabetes under control... don't tell me you don't know why.

And so I stopped telling people. I don't want to feed into our society's obsession with "magic pills" (there's no such thing!) and I'm tired of trying not to be cruelly blunt when faced with people in denial about their own bad habits.

So when people ask me now, unless it's someone I really trust and am close to and who knew my weight loss struggle intimately before - I just tell people I've been watching what I eat. Totally true. Just omitting those months of being on 7 different controlled substances and the maintenance meds I'll probably have to be on my entire life. You know, those "magic pills". Grr.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Looks like we're going to Haiti

Surprised ya, didn't I?

Surprises me too.

My father-in-law went on numerous mission trips throughout the years, but it was Haiti that stole his heart. So his sons wanted to go on on a mission trip to Haiti in his honor.

They contacted the group he used to travel with, and whaddya know, they're going later this year.

Jason & his oldest brother are definitely going. The middle brother is trying to work things out. His 17-year-old nephew might go as well.

And so might I.

After much thought, consideration, and prayer I've decided that I will go as long as it won't hurt our family financially. The cost is roughly $1300 per person, and yes, you pay your own way.

We had already sat down & figured out that we could probably scrimp & save & reallocate some funds and pay for Jason to go without too much struggle.

But $1300 is tough to come up with in less than 6 months. Let alone $2600. So I told him I would only go if we could pay for mine out of extra money (bonuses, overtime, etc.) and that I wasn't taking any money away from bills or out of savings to cover it.

So Jason is definitely going. And I might be going as well. I guess we'll see...

As always, thanks for checking in!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Got my results from the pulmonologist

After a chest x-ray, several breathing tests, and an entire panel of allergy tests, we have the results.

My chest x-ray was perfect. He said it's rare that they see such healthy lungs (yay me)

My breathing tests all rated me above the 100th percentile in lung function (yay me)
I'm crediting playing the trumpet for 20+ years, as well as never having so much as tried one puff of a cigarette.

Allergy tests were clear. They tested for 170 of the most common allergens in this area, including outdoor, indoor, and food allergies. Negative for all.

Final diagnosis is Reactive Airway Disease. The way the pulmonologist explained it to me (for my case at least), is as being like a very mild case of asthma, but so mild that he can't even really diagnosis it as asthma. Maybe that's just to help my understanding, but that's how he explained it.

He prescribed an inhaler.

I've been trying to get a cold the past few days, and had my first coughing fit last night. It wasn't that bad, really. Normally I would have barely noticed it.

But just a few days before I had gotten my inhaler prescription filled, and thought it would be good to test it out.

It worked.

After my 3rd coughing fit of the night, I decided to try it. I didn't have another coughing fit for five hours! After the 2nd one that time, I took another puff of the inhaler, and went seven hours without a coughing fit!

I've also noticed that within about 10 minutes of taking the inhaler, I really do feel a difference in my breathing. I guess in my world, it was just part of having a cold, something I didn't really notice. But now I can actually feel an improvement in my breathing, almost as if my lungs are actually able to take in more air.

And that's it, isn't it? They actually are able to take in more air, right?

This is so cool. While a small part of me laments not getting a proper diagnosis until I was 35, a much larger part of me is thankful that we have a diagnosis that I can give to FireGirl's pediatrician if her coughing fits ever progress to being as bothersome as mine where.

Here's hoping the inhaler does its job, and will continue to work even when the day comes that I'm having one of my trademark big are-you-gonna-die coughing fits.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big Ole Belly continued

Mommy, today Timmy* told Ms. Nancy that she had a fat belly!

He did?

Yes. And Ms. Nancy told him that she had a baby in there.
Jena's teacher is pregnant. When the big fat belly comment first came up, I thought that's where she was headed with it...


So... the other day when you asked Mommy why she had a big ole belly, did you think maybe I had a baby in my belly?

{{ nods head }}

Oh... well, you know that I don't have a baby in my belly, right?

Uh huh.


Did you want there to be a baby in my big fat belly?

{{ looks away }} then {{ nods }} while saying uh huh

You were hoping Mommy was having a baby?


Oh, hunny. I'm afraid not. Mommy just has a big ole belly.

'Cause you ate too much, right?

That's right. Besides, if we had another baby, you'd have to share all your stuff. You wouldn't want that, would you?


{{ looking at Jason }} Well, that didn't go like I planned it.

{{ laughs }}


*names changed to protect their privacy

Monday, June 4, 2012


It dawned on me as I was writing one of the latest posts about my nephew, that this blog will be a good chronicle of his journey. No, I'm not at the hospital every day like his family is. But I am the only person writing about it on a near-daily experience.


You guys know I pre-write most of my posts, right? Well, I do. Most of them. I write them, then schedule for them to be published at 12noon each day.
It works really well for me because I tend to have bursts of writing mojo, followed by writer's block. So if I pre-write them and schedule them out, there's no gap on my blog.
Right now I have the next 3 weeks scheduled out.
99% of the reason behind that is because updates on my nephew kept pushing other posts out further.


Sometimes I think it'll be weird if I die suddenly (okay, I guess that would always be weird in some way), but in relation to my blog it would be weird because my posts would keep showing up every day at 12noon, even though I was already dead.



The other day Jena told me Tootsie had a week or less before she died.

Mostly I'm writing this down in case it happens.

She is old...


I guess that's all for now.
As always, thanks for checking in!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

And now I have a big butt too. Apparently.

Mommy, why you have a big ole butt?

I do not! (seriously, my belly may be big & fat, but my butt is not)

Yes you do! Just turn around and look!

{{ sigh }}

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bullying in Preschool

No, really. Actual, real bullying. In preschool.

The other day when I picked Jena up from school, her teacher met me in the parking lot before I entered the building to let me know what happened earlier in the day.

From what the teacher saw herself, was able to piece together from speaking individually to everyone involved, and what was later corroborated by Jena herself, here's what happened:


Jena was playing with Elena, Katie, and Kelly* - three of her best friends - on the playground. Jena decided she didn't want to play the game anymore and attempted to leave.

At this point, Elena and Katie blocked her path and cornered her. Jena managed to get away and the girls chased her. Elena pulled on the back of her shirt slowing her down until they caught up to her. Then Elena grabbed one arm ("with both hands and squeezed so hard my arm hurts!") while Katie grabbed the other.

They knocked her to the ground and Elena ordered the other two girls to hurt Jena. She gave them specific instructions as to what to do, and when Katie refused, Elena told her they couldn't be friends anymore unless she hurt my daughter.

So all three girls took pieces of mulch and poked Jena repeatedly with it ("it hurted bad!"), hit her, took her shoes off, and threw "beads" in her face, which went into her mouth & nose.

When the teacher arrived she found my daughter, lying on the ground crying and yelling for them to stop while the three girls had her surrounded.


I cannot express to you the emotions I had following this incident. I honestly can't. I have no words for what I was feeling. What I am feeling.

Jena is three. Three. Did you hear that? She's only three years old.

The girls involved? One three year old, one four year old, and one five year old. Yes, Elena was the oldest.

Yes, I've met with the director to discuss how in the world this could happen without a teacher knowing. I'm actually baffled. Because I've been there, I have seen how the teachers operate. They are so good about counting kids repeatedly, making sure they have the proper child/teacher ratio, calling to other staff for assistance. I've seen it with my own eyes. So I am so confused as to how this even happened. I mean, clearly, this didn't take a second. This occurred over several minutes. Jena was crying & yelling for them to stop. How did that not draw attention?

Katie's mom stopped me at the door going in the next morning and apologized profusely for what happened. She said Katie got in big trouble at home, and they talked to her about why it's not okay to hurt someone else, even if someone tells you to do it.

And... it ends up last summer Katie was the victim of Elena's bullying. Apparently last year Elena spit on Katie & poured an entire bottle of water on her. So they reminded her of that, and how bad she felt when it was done to her, and blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I didn't want to talk to her. What am I supposed to say? It's okay? Because it's not. It is not okay that your daughter participated in hurting my child.

Yes, I know at this age they are figuring out their social boundaries, but after talking to several child care professionals I've confirmed what my initial instinct was: this is extreme behavior for children of this age. It's not okay.

And... for a bit more history... about two months ago Jena told me Elena had tried to get her to pinch another child. Even led Jena by the hand to this other kid, and when she wouldn't pinch her, Elena did it herself.

At the time, I didn't like it, but shrugged it off as normal social development stuff, and talked to Jena about how I was proud she didn't do it, and it's not okay to hurt other people, blah, blah, blah.

But this? To turn on your friend because she doesn't want to play with you anymore? To gang up on her? Restrain her? Put her on the ground and beat her up?

This is not normal. Not for preschoolers.

I didn't expect to have to deal with this level of bullying until she was at least middle school age, if ever.

It never dawned on me that preschoolers would be this cruel.

I'm worried about Jena. My extremely shy and introverted little girl, who has such a hard time even playing with other kids, let alone making friends... what's going to happen to her social development now? She finally opens up, finally has "best friends" that she talks about playing with every single day, and they turn on her in such a cruel fashion for such a silly reason?

Will this stick with her? Even after she forgets the actual incident?

What is the point of sending her to preschool? The entire reason we initially enrolled her in preschool part-time was to help increase her social abilities, because she was struggling. And so far, things have been great. But now I'm wondering if it were the right decision. I can't imagine this will help her ability to socialize with other children.

And what about this Elena? I'm sorry, but this is not normal behavior for a five year old. Where did she learn this? Is she being bullied / mistreated by someone else? Older siblings? Parents even? It's clearly escalating. Spitting / dumping water = no pain. Pinching & telling someone else to do it = pain & control. Convincing two others to gang up on, chase down, and hurt my daughter the way they did = major escalation. And those are only the three incidents I know about.

The director said she was sending a memo to all teachers reminding them that they are to spread out and walk the playground anytime they have children out there, and that if they are caught not doing so & an incident of any kind occurs, they will face disciplinary action. She is also going to instruct Jena's teacher that if Jena & Elena are seen playing together, they are to remain in her direct line of sight and within earshot. Period.

As for Jena... I asked her how this makes her feel. She initially said "very ANGRY". Now she alternates between "very ANGRY" and "it makes my heart sad".

We talked a lot about how it wasn't right, how you don't hurt people, how you don't have to play with kids if you don't want to, and no one has the right to try to force you to play with them. How that's not a real friend.

She said she didn't want to play with any other kids ever. How can I blame her? I told her I understood, but also tried to remind her of all the other kids in her class that she could play with. I guess only time will tell...

And... and I seriously can't believe I had this talk with my three-year-old, but I told her that I was really proud of her for not hitting them back, but... if she ever needed to push or shove someone to get them out of her way, so that she could get to a safe place, then that was okay and Mommy & Daddy would not be upset with her for it.

I reiterated several times that that was the only reason she could push or shove someone, but that if she was ever being hurt by anyone, and needed to push or shove them to get by so she could run to a safe place or trusted grown-up, then that was okay.

Ugh. My baby girl. My poor baby.

What do you do? Have you ever dealt with bullying? with your kids or yourself? At what age? How did you handle it?

*names changed to protect the innocent children. Also, as a point of clarification - Jena told me their names. The teacher was very careful to not reveal the other kids' identities.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stuff Going On

Work is blah. I told Jason to buy lottery tickets. Lots of lottery tickets.


I just ate an entire bag of chips. PopChips. But still, an entire bag.


Having one of those days when I can think of a million things rather than being at my job that would better benefit my family than actually bringing in a paycheck. Maybe.


Jason has decided he wants to try his hand at selling used cars. True story.


Chief chewed up and completely destroyed one of our patio chairs. We're not talking chair cushion, we're talking the chair itself.


I need a vacation. It has surpassed the "want" stage. Moved into "need".
Yet nothing on the books yet. Usually by this time we've taken at least one weekend trip. But with all the drama in our lives lately, things have been up in the air.
Need. Vacation. Now.
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