Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Four years ago today, my baby was born. No matter how old she gets, she'll always be my baby. I think she knows that too. She's my snuggler, but lately she's been taking that to a new level, even for her. This week she's been wanting to curl up on the couch on me & snuggle up to watch a show or read a book. I think the realization of not being the "little kid" so much any more is starting to hit her. For the first time, I think she's realizing that being the little kid isn't always a bad thing, and maybe she wants to hold on to it just a little bit longer.

It's ironic really, Little has been in a hurry to get big since birth. There is nothing more that she wants than to keep up with her sister. In every picture I have of Little, as a baby she is looking at her sister, without fail. While five is the big milestone in which many good things happen, four is a door opener for sure in her book. She's so pleased with finally not being three anymore, you can almost see a sense of relief on her face over it. And, so now she considers herself a "big kid" and while still checking in with me, all. the. time. about how "babies can't do this thing I'm doing right now, right mama?" Her highest priority on her party day was to make sure her sister wasn't left out. We went to a Pump It Up (easiest party I have EVER done BTW!) and the whole time she was keeping tabs on her sister. She would go off and run around with her friends, but would be sure to check to see where her sister was and touch base with her. When it came time for birthday cake, she happily took her place on the "throne" to blow out her candles, but she wanted to "sit by sissy" to eat that cake. We had to scoot kids around to accommodate her. When it was time to open presents, she made sure we knew that she wanted her sister to have a crown like hers, not a problem in our house, and that she wanted "Big to open some of her presents for her, so she wouldn't feel left out." Big, the caregiver that she is, was happy to dote on her sister and provide her every wish. In the end, I don't think Big opened any gifts, but read each and every card to her sister, who hung on her every word. Now, Big wants to write the thank you cards for Little, "because sissy can't write yet." The lovefest that is going on here is almost too much. Later this week, I want to write about the girl that Little has started to become. How three was hard, as expected. How she, and we have all grown this last year, and how excited I am for four for her. But for tonight, I want to relish the memory of the last couple days. When my two girls want nothing more than to make each other happy and are doing just that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kicking My Butt

If most people (my village,) saw what I was just doing, I would get my butt kicked. I bet one of them would seriously consider hurting me, if someone didn't kick it. A few minutes ago you could find me on my hands and knees with a kitchen scraper & cleaning wipe, working on cleaning the grooves in our kitchen floor. I'm sure it was a stellar choice for my back. I wouldn't really know, because it was already hurting and I just "went for it" ignoring the fact that I was in pain. I know what a bad idea it is, I get it. I really do. It's just so frustrating where I'm at right now. The floor was gross, it needed to be cleaned, I had the products to do so on me, so I cleaned it. But I'm gonna regret it in about 2 minutes. I know that too.

I am doing better. Really. I'm still in a LOT of pain. ALL. THE. TIME. But, you know what? That's not new. Since the shot, there's a baseline to my pain that has improved. So, yes, I'm in pain all the time, still. But NOT AS MUCH pain, all the time. My energy level is through the roof. I should qualify that. Normally, I do something and then I have to lie or sit down for an hour. (Get the kids off to school, lay on couch for an hour.) Now, I can get the kids off to school, stop at Starbucks for coffee, start a load of laundry and maybe even make a phone call before I have to lie down. You might think those things are no big deal, but trust me, moving the laundry load can be daunting when you're exhausted and in pain.

It's called babysteps people, and boy do I know about them. Because of this new found "energy" I'm tending to overdo. I have the energy to plan, yet not to execute. Before the shot, I didn't even have the energy to plan. It's progress, but it's progress that puts me on my ass & frustrates the hell out of me. But it's something, right? And it's all I've got for right now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Like Labor, But Without The Pesky Baby At The End

Saw my third orthopedic doctor now. Personally, providing the reason for universal health care here.
I've seen this doctor before, Dr. K administered my epidural shots during the last go round with my back. It was a good visit, surprisingly long. I say that because I was there for an hour and a half, but didn't realize it till I looked at my phone on my way out. I guess that's good. Means I got a lot of good information. Dr. K thinks I have both disc material and scar tissue giving me issues. He's covering all the bases. (Dr. H (first dr.) thinks it's disc, Dr. R (2nd dr.) thinks scar tissue.) He was disappointed that my MRI wasn't done with contrast. If it had been, we would be able to see, for sure, what was scar tissue and what was disc material. So now I'm disappointed it wasn't done with contrast too. As far as my current status, the path I'm on would be the same. If this next step, an epidural shot, isn't effective, then it would be good to know for certain what is going on in there. He explained some of my options if it's scar tissue. I learned that there are some things I can do, beside surgery, if it is scar tissue. That was nice to know, all I've heard from the other doctors is surgery. Gotta be honest, not too keen on surgery again. Wasn't exactly effective for me the first go round. Not really interested in going through all that again, for nothing. I'm crazy like that though. For now, all three orthopedic doctors agree that I should be getting an epidural shot at this point. I suppose that should be reassuring, three of them agreeing on something. At this point, I'm more or less, Whatever, insert eyeroll, about it all. Dr. K did tell me if this doesn't work for me he'll order an MRI with contrast. He also has me scheduled for a nerve test for my right leg again. He's concerned about my lack of reflex in my right foot. (It's been like that since the original injury.) If nothing else, he's thorough.
Then Dr. K goes, "So you want to do it Wednesday?"
Me, "This Wednesday?"
Dr. K, "Sure. Or next. Whenever you're ready."

He went to go check on another patient and told me he'd be right back. And I fell out of my chair. I was kind of freaked out over having it done in two days. I'll be out of commission for a day or two. It's outpatient surgery. Yeah, it's outpatient, but it's still surgery. I looked at my calendar, at first I was thinking this week wasn't good because of the girls being on Spring Break. Then I realized, that was probably better. No one would need to schlep them to school, soccer, gymnastics, art, etc.... I wouldn't be worrying about schedules being kept strait and such. My parents had told me they'd take them for the day, so I could truly get some rest. Little doesn't handle this stuff well, she'll come in my room and want to snuggle or whatever. She's making sure her mama is still going to be there for her. In the process, she tends to get me to do things, like lift her, that are big No, Nos.
I called DaddySpeak (he'll need to be there for a day or two to make sure I'm OK.) He said he'd take of the days either week, but he thought I should do it sooner than later.
Me: "Next weekend is my Aunt & Uncle's (90th) birthday party on Saturday and Little's party is on Sunday. I don't really have to do anything for either, and should be fine for both, but there is a lot going on that weekend. But this Friday is the princess birthday party Big is invited to and I really want to be able to go take pictures at it."

DS: "I'll go take pictures at the party." (I swear I could hear his eyes rolling in his head.)

Me: "It's not the same. But I should be fine." (I know he was thinking he'll kick my butt if I'm not fine, but go eff myself up to 'get the shot'. He's totally right, I would do that, but I promise I won't.)
So on Wednesday, I'm having an epidural. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

My Super Power

That's right, I'm a Super Hero. Who knew, right? Turns out I do something so well, it's not just something I'm good at, I'm freak'n gifted at it. (Besides having babies, which yes, I do happen to seem to be excellent at, birthing hips and all, but I digress...) Turns out I'm really SUPER at...(wait for it)...SCARRING. Yeah, you heard me.

Ok, I'll explain. Went back to the neurosurgeon on Thursday. He thinks I do NOT have a herniated/bulging disc again. He thinks I have scar tissue pushing on the nerve. Not even a lot of scar tissue. He showed me on my MRI how in one picture you can see the nerve. The next millimeter down in that disc you can't (see the nerve), and the millimeter from that one you can again. So he doesn't think it's enough material to be the disc material and is actually scar tissue. Yep, scar tissue on my sciatica nerve. I am nothing, if not peculiar. He is advising me to have an epidural (cortisone) shot (in my back) and has prescribed a drug that should dull the nerve a bit. So why does scar tissue in my disc some how imply I have a super power? Well...

When I was 3 I was run over by a truck (yes, I need to write this post, I will one of these days, I promise). I had to have tubes put into my lungs. The scars resulting from that surgery are still quite visible. I keloid scar. (Warning; the pix they show in this article, is kind of gross, I think. Not for the faint of heart. My scars, while quite visible, much smaller, not so red anymore. You can see them, but most likely won't really notice them.) Anywho, I'm 41 years old and yes, you can still see quite well the scars on my chest from this accident. The scars are 37 years old. (No, I won't make you do math on here.) People who keloid, scar on the outside instead of the inside basically. Not just ugly, this can be a problem depending on where the scar is located. When I had my first child (yes, guys and easily grossed out, you will all want to quickly depart here,) I ripped a little. My doctor gave it one quick stitch. "It's not like it needs to be pretty." Great bedside manner, no? Six weeks later, I mentioned to a few moms in my new moms group that I had never stopped bleeding after the baby, (Bye Guys!) asking how long it had been for them. Later that afternoon in the doctors office....I was informed that I had formed a keloid scar down there. Your welcome. Except that when you keloid in that area, that kind of tissue won't heal. So I got to be "cleaned up" (cut again) and cauterized with a laser. I was assured it was not common for people who had this happen, to have it happen in future pregnancies, and with my second child it did not. She also weighed a pound less, so that might have had something to do with it, you think?

When age 7, I split open my face. My mom (who also has this problem) has had some severe scarring on her face and knows first hand, how they knock keloids down; sand paper. So, she wouldn't let anyone touch me until a plastic surgeon got there. I took 40 stitches (20 in the cut, and 20 out) to close an inch long gash on my cheek. It still "bubbled" and was red, but not the way it would have. And now, unless you know to look for it, you can't tell. But, even with that many stitches, I managed to put forth a small keloid.

Trust me, I have more stories. I think I've proven my point. I scar really well. Or not, depending on your viewpoint I suppose. So, my guess, is that the scar tissue pushing on my nerve, while not necessarily a keloid, is probably more scar tissue than the average person would build. Ergo: Scarring is my Super Power. I'll be taking Super Hero names in the comments.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A True Anniversary...No Joke

Today is April Fools. This is one of my favorite days of the year.

It was on this day 10 years ago,
my husband proposed to me

It was on this day 10 years ago,
I told him, "Yes, I would spend the rest of my life with him."

And it was on this day, 10 years ago,
our "marriage" began.

In my heart, I believe that the day he asked and I accepted, that was the day we were married.

That is the day that truly matters to me. The wedding day, the wedding itself; gravy.
A celebration with others of our love for each other. An official ceremony to declare ourselves to each other. A piece of paper recognizing that love by the government. That day, May 26, is very important too.

But April First, will always be the real beginning of my marriage.

This year is the first time in 10 years that DaddySpeak and I have been apart on our engagement anniversary. He's sailing with the menfolk of the family in the Bahamas. I'm fine with the fact that he's on the trip. I'm happy he got to take the trip, (though I admit I'd be happier for him if I was on the trip with him.) But today I'm sad and missing him, more than most days.