Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Six Days!

Originally uploaded by Nikongirl's Photoshop
They will be here in six days - I can hardly stand it! I miss them so very much and I can hardly wait to hold Brian in my arms again! Although I know he's grown quite a bit! This is one of two of my all-time favorite photographs of the two of them. Here's the other:


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am back...

...not quite in the saddle just yet. But I cannot describe to you how WELL I feel. I just had my hysterectomy yesterday morning and I arrived home today at 3 this afternoon. I have some aches and a bit of cramping, both from the gas they put into my abdominal cavity. I am walking slowly and surprisingly upright. I feel a bit light-headed from the medications (which my doctor INSISTS that I take for the next few days) but I have no pain and I am quite alert which is another surprise given how low my tolerance for narcotics have been in the past.
My surgery was done laproscopicly and I have four incisions that are approximately one inch each. I am so thankful that Dr. Bryant was able to do the hysterectomy this way. She said my ovaries looked beautiful and seem to have at least 20 more years of life which was another relief because that means NO HORMONE REPLACEMENT!!!
SO I just wanted to give a quick update - I promised to rest and walk slow for the next few weeks. I also promised not to lift, drive or do housework (how hard is that gonna be?). Brad is home for a week with me so he gets all the fun jobs - everyone I know knows he's better at them anyway.

Talk again soon!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Need a Shave!

Originally uploaded by MommyFooFoo

Bubble Boy

Originally uploaded by MommyFooFoo
How can I stand it? He's absolutely precious. He reminds me of his mommy so much. What a gorgeous grin.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Change in My Life

So I am sitting here contemplating that in 3 weeks and 5 days, I will have a hysterectomy. I am not sad about it - I actually feel relief that it is about to finally happen. One of the concerns I have is that it's major surgery; regardless of the method they use to remove my uterus. I am hoping for the Laparoscopy-assisted vaginal removal but am mentally preparing for abdominal. I have had 2 C-Sections so I know what it will take for recovering from this type of surgery - and I was 20 years younger and about 70lbs lighter. I also plan on keeping at least one of my ovaries so I don’t go into menopause but am also preparing for the possibility that I may not be able to. I still need to do further research on the pros and cons for keeping or removing my cervix. I am pretty sure my tubes will be removed and since they have been tied since 1989, don’t really see the point in keeping them. I have some anger about this whole experience; not because I am going to have a hysterectomy, but because I have been through a lot over the past 9 years; tons of tests, procedures, hormones and repeating medical history to over a dozen medical professionals, not to mention all the radiology techs that have had the wonderful job of looking at my uterus and ovaries and cervix. Until 2 weeks ago, no one could actually give me a solid answer or prognosis. I still won’t have an accurate diagnosis until my uterus has been removed and examined but at least I have a possibility that makes perfect sense. Adenomyosis, a medical condition characterized by the presence of ectopic endometrial tissue (the inner lining of the uterus) within the myometrium (the thick, muscular layer of the uterus). The condition is typically found in women between the ages of 35 and 50. Patients with adenomyosis can have painful and/or profuse menses (dysmenorrhea & menorrhagia, respectively). Adenomyosis may involve the uterus focally, creating an adenomyoma, or diffusely. With diffuse involvement, the uterus becomes bulky and heavier. Then I begin to read about the symptoms and that’s when I realized, this is what I have! I am relieved to have an answer and when I came home and read about it - I swore all the case studies could have been written about me! The condition manifested itself with me on my 35th birthday weekend (which is the age at which most women start to produce less progesterone and begin having an excess of estrogen) and I was doubled over in pain from the cramping and subsequent ULTRA HEAVY bleeding. I went to the doctor thinking I might have a tumor or cancer or BOTH; to which I was told No, you're just experiencing hormonal changes and what you need is birth control to regulate and minimize the bleeding. BTW, I had had a tubal ligation so I wouldn’t have to be on birth control pills. 60 pounds later I went off of them and decided to deal with my “problem” on my own. But it got worse and back to the doctor I went. Two D&Cs and more pills, then we moved to Alaska and I had to start all over with a new doctor, who wasn’t actually a doctor at all. She was a Physician’s Assistant and said I needed to lose weight and I would feel better. I lost about 20lbs and did feel better except during my cycle, which had begun starting to occur every 15 days. I saw another doctor who put me on a new pill and had me take it 12 weeks in a row, stopping for a week for a cycle and then back on for 12 weeks. This worked great initially and I was maintaining my weight at 200lbs not gaining but not losing. But then I went in for my yearly checkup and my blood pressure was through the roof. I had no clue! Of course, I was offered BP medication, to which I said NOPE – I wasn’t going to take a pill to take another pill. I was already taking NSAIDS to deal with the pain and taking Aciphex to take the NSAIDS. I wasn’t about to take anymore pills. So I asked again about a hysterectomy and was sent to a surgeon. She suggested an Endometrial Ablation and after reading about it and talking with a couple of women who had it done in October 2006. I was upbeat and encouraged that this would be the solution without major surgery too! I had 8 months of NO PERIODS and was ecstatic! My BP was back to normal and life was good. But then the spotting started happening and then the cramping, the pain and then the feeling of having the flu for 2-3days. Then more weight gain. Needless to say, I was getting discouraged. So during my next yearly exam I discussed with my doctor about having a hysterectomy and then my husband got orders to move. That was back last November. Now I am in Kentucky with a wonderful doctor who has listened and reviewed my records and given me some hope and answers. I cannot say I am EXCITED about it, but I am looking forward to being pain free so I can get on with my life. I have read a lot about the life after hysterectomy and I am doing all that I can to be as healthy and physically ready to resume my activity as soon as I am able. I try to focus on what I will be able to do once this surgery is done and I am back to normal routines. I am defining normal for me. I have always been active and engaged and I am looking forward to having my days back to do all that I can. I am so fortunate to have my loving husband who supports me and rubs my back and legs when they hurt, who will take vacation time to nurse me, to walk with me to gain strength and to someday run with me when I am ready. He has totally embraced my challenge to change the way we eat and live so we can BOTH be healthier and live longer. The reason I wanted to share this today is because this morning I was talking with my neighbor who I just met and had mentioned that I would be having surgery and she asked me why and then I told her. Then she said she had been experiencing the same symptoms and because of our discussion, she is making an appointment with her doctor to get help and answers. That’s when I realized that I had had few women to talk about this with over the past nine years and maybe the reason it had taken so long was I did not know what to ask. So if my story helps anyone to ask those questions and not suffer in silence anymore, then it is all worth it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Wonderful Mess!

IMG_4368 (1)
Originally uploaded by MommyFooFoo
There's just no taking a "bad" shot of this beautiful child! He's so cute!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bittersweet Day

I am having a bittersweet day. My son is leaving this evening for the US Army. Yep, that's right, he's joining the Army. He is going to basic training in Missouri and then to Texas for his advanced training. He's going to be a firefighter. Now, I am happy and proud of him for making these choices and it's a great sign that he is growing up. I have been waiting for this for awhile now.
But I am still sad that he's leaving. He's such a great kid with a great heart and as any mother would, I feel very protective of him. I don't want him to get hurt even though I know he will. I don't want him to be lonely but he will at times. I know this is a right of passage for him and it's not much different than if he went off to collgege (which I really wished he had done, but he isn't ready for it yet) but then again, his father and I weren't either.

Ok, it's August 15th and yesterday was one of the most difficult days of my life. I woke up crying and felt incredibly sad all day. I miss my son. I worry for him. I love him so much I cannot even describe. He sent me a wonderful message on my phone and it means the world to me. He said the exact words a mom longs to hear her children say to know that they have become that amazing adult you always knew they would become.

I feel a little better today. I still miss him and worry for him, as I probably will for the rest of my life. I know we will see him in 9 weeks as we will be there when he graduates Basic Training. I know he will come home for Christmas break and we will see him when he graduates from the Firefighter's school in February. But I will miss him every day.

I thought this would be easier, to let him go, than it was to leave my daughter and my grandson in Alaska. It isn't. I never really realized how much of myself has been defined as their mom. I thought I was the woman who had many definitions, a degree, a successful career, individual interests, etc. But when it's all said and done, I am their mother and that is who I am. It's the biggest role of my life and for now, it's completed. Most mothers would envy me to have raised two high school graduates who have made the transition into adulthood and self reliance (for the most part anyway, the economy is killing our young people). I even dreamed of this day when my house would be a quiet sanctuary, or when I cleaned, it woul remain that way. It's not all it's cracked up to be. And it's harder than I ever thought it could be.

Add to all this drama, my wonderful husband got promoted, which means we will not be retiring and most likely means we'll be moving within the next 3-6 months. The silver lining? I haven't finished unpacking yet. I feel like a feather (I wish that was literal by the way) in the wind. I am surrendered to these events. Talk about powerless over that which I cannot change. My dad would be proud.

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