Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Okay, I'm a BAD Jew. I did not celebrate Passover this year with the kids. Yes, I DO believe it is extremely important for them to have these traditions, but I just didn't have the energy. There are very few Jews who live in this area, so I couldn't even join someone else. My University did have a seder, which I was REALLY happy to see, but it didn't start until 7:30 and I knew the kids just wouldn't have the attention span to stay up until 10:00 or so. The seder is already a long process. Growing up, we used to make it really fun...go right to the drinking, eating and singing parts. I'll have fun with it with my kids...hopefully next year I'll put a seder together and invite some of my gentile friends, or at least join the one at the University so we have more tradition in that area. They really are a wonderful part of growing up.

This morning, the first thing E said when he woke up was "Jesus loves me!" What? Where the heck did that come from? Apparently, all that time we're spending at the synagogue isn't quite doing the trick! He must have some religious friends at school who talk about Jesus a lot because he sometimes comes home asking about Jesus songs, etc. I don't say anything to him now, because he wouldn't really understand the difference in beliefs. I just tell him that I never learned the songs he's asking about.

I finally got my new camera so I'll be able to post some pictures soon. How much you wanna bet that I'll find my old one now!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Back in The Saddle

Thanks, everyone, for all the support these last several weeks! I haven't told a lot of people about my surgery, so it's always nice to hear from you! Since I had the hernia fixed at the same time, I'm just telling most people that I just had hernia surgery.

I had an iron infusion (takes about an hour or so to get it through an IV) a couple weeks ago and have started to take a slow release iron pill (decided that part on my own since I was already taking two vitamins each day that should have given me over 200% of my iron, and they weren't doing the trick). All this seems to be helping. I have another iron infusion next week and I'll probably cancel the third. It's an hour each way to the hospital and I'm just tired of making the trip! I'd go if I felt like I needed it, but I'm pretty sure I'm over the hump.

I have to admit that I'm not 100% yet, but I'm pretty close. I've lost about 33 lbs from my high, so I should be bouncing off the walls. Still not quite there, but feeling SOOOO much better! Lordy, that was tough not being able to get off the couch. I don't know what people with chronic illnesses do to get through it.

The kids are doing great. I lost my camera several weeks ago, so I don't have a lot of pictures to upload. I just ordered a new one (finally gave up on finding my other one any time soon -- it's probably in one of the black holes I sometimes refer to as my house or office) and it should be here next week. So, more pictures coming!

I'm not sure if I gave updates from Valentine's Day and e's birthday party. For Valentine's Day, E was so excited that he bought me a gift. He excitedly gave me a small heart shaped box of chocolates, the ones that have four or five pieces of chocolate in it. When I opened it, there were two half eaten pieces left. So cute. I could tell he was just so happy to have a present for me that I told him how happy I was and gave him a hug and a kiss. So thoughtful of him to save the two half-eaten pieces for me!

e had her birthday party at the local roller skating rink. She had a Tinkerbelle theme this year. I will miss these years that her themes can be Disney characters!

They are both growing in leaps and bounds. I keep telling them that they need to stop growing, but they continue to ignore me. Oh well.

I'm in the process of having my basement finished. They are almost done! I'm so excited with the progress. Today, I spent the morning with them going through all the stuff that should go into storage, go to Goodwill, or go in the trash. It's SO nice to have help with these things. With their help, I accomplished in one morning what probably would have taken me several weeks. Okay, let's face it. It might have taken me several years! It's nice to purge. They took a whole truckload of stuff to Goodwill.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Well, things haven't been going quite as planned for the past month or so. I guess because I really had two surgeries in one, my recuperation period was a little longer. I was in constant pain for about three weeks...that has finally subsided, but I have been in and out of the hospital for various reasons for the past several weeks. Mostly from still having pain that has lasted longer than it should have. Last week, they determined that I probably have developed an ulcer. Not totally uncommon with the bypass surgery. They prescribed a super-duper antacid which has really helped. Stupid me, on the way home from that appointment, I decided to have some pasta with tomato sauce. BAD idea. I was in excruciating pain for about 15 minutes while it made its way through my system and past my stomach.

But the fatigue is still here. So much so that I have hardly been able to walk across the room without needing to sit down and rest. Last Monday I couldn't stand it anymore and checked myself back into the ER. Unfortunately, that was my birthday. Not a great way to spend it! They did lots and lots of tests and the only thing that's coming up odd is my iron level. I've been taking supplements and should be getting more than 200% of the recommended daily intake, but apparently it's not absorbing. So, now I have to figure out how to get it. I am going back to the hospital later today (hopefully, they can fit me in) to get an iron injection. Hopefully, my energy will come back with that, but the question still remains how I will get it in the future. I'll have to ask them about that when I see them.

So, I'm still here...just trying to get my energy back. The kids have been great...very helpful and understanding, but they want their mom back, too!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm Tired.....

I'm guessing this is part of the post-surgery recovery process, but I'm tired! REALLY tired. By three o'clock in the afternoon, I'm ready to go to bed! After I pick up the kids, all I can do is sit on the couch. I don't even have enough energy to cook dinner for them. The poor kids have eaten chicken nuggets for about two straight weeks, now!

One of the problems that people run into after this surgery is not getting enough protein to get energy levels up. I'm pretty sure I'm getting in the appropriate amount of protein. Anyway, I sent an email to the online support group to get some input. I'm also still having some pain....I think mostly from the hernia, but not totally sure since all the surgery was around the same area. At least I'm off the heavy duty narcotics and controlling it with Tylenol. Add to that the fact that I got my period yesterday, so period pains are back. Lovely.

This has been a challenging year. I seem to have had one health challenge after another. Nothing major, thank goodness, but when you add them all up, it gets exhausting. Let's start back in June. I broke my foot. Into the cast for three months. When I got out of the cast, the plantar fasciitis started to come back with a vengeance. Then I got a viscous flu bug which lasted three freakin' weeks. Then Shingles. Then the plantar fasciitis got worse. So bad, I couldn't walk at all on that foot. So, back into the cast. Then the double whammy surgery. I'm ready to be a new person...or at least back to normal!

I'm also tired of fighting stupid battles at work. I seem to hit one brick wall after another when I want to do something and there have been several instances of this this year. I sometimes feel like there is some sort of target painted on my forehead that everyone can see. I've lost a lot of motivation to go above and beyond around here. Since I'm tenured, I think that's okay. I will continue to do what I need to do but am now starting to focus more on the things that are more important to me. I guess no one said I had to love my job. I envy people who do. I think part of it also is that I don't think I'm a typical academic, so it's very difficult for me to find people I would like to befriend. Maybe that's just something that happens as we grow older, anyway. But, it's times like this when I miss having my family close by.

Oh, and the bill. I got the bill from the hospital. Not sure it's complete yet. They just sent me a letter telling me the total so far and letting me know that they will be submitting it to my insurance company. How much do you think it was? Now, before I tell you, let me say that the hospital does a really good job at making sure the surgery will be paid for by the insurance company before actually performing it. Thank goodness for that, but I'll feel better when I get the official word. Okay, the number was........over $63,000! Holy shit! How can anyone without insurance afford to get sick? Yikes.