Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Latest Trip



We just returned from the Maldives...a group of islands located just southwest of India in the Indian Ocean. It was spectacular! I had a conference there, so I took the kids for about a week. Our hotel was on a small island with nothing else on it...it took about 20 minutes to walk around the entire island. No cars, just sand everywhere. The water was as clear as it could be and the sand just melted under our feet.

We went snorkeling, I went scuba diving - something I've always wanted to do. Everything I read said that this was the best place in the world for scuba diving. Of course, now that I've tried it, everywhere else will pale in comparison! I took a short lesson and was able to go down about 30 meters. It was amazing - hundreds of fish in as many different colors. The anemones were full of bright colors, as well, and we managed to spot a black tip reef shark (harmless - this one was about four feet long, I'd say) and an eagle ray (I'd guess it had about a four foot wingspan).

The kids had the time of their lives playing on the beach and at the pool. It was a REALLY long trip to get there (about 30 hours travel time there and about 36 on the way back!), but the kids did great and really enjoyed themselves. Here are some pix!








video

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sticks and Stones (warning - a lot of detail!)

may break my bones....and, damn do they hurt! Stones of the internal kind and sticks of the needle kind! Last Wednesday I started to have some abdominal pain...I thought it was just lunch taking awhile to digest or something...well, it just got worse. By evening, I was doubled over in pain. I took some heavy duty prescription pain medication I had lying around and it did almost nothing. I knew I was having a gall bladder attack and, in the past, when I've spoken to the doctor about these, there's nothing they can really do about them. They tell me that they are just going to get more frequent and worse until I finally have to get my gall bladder taken out. Well, I finally was able to get to sleep around 4 am.

The next day I was still in pain, so I called the doctor to see how long this should last. I got scheduled for an ultrasound the next day and got some blood tests to make sure it hadn't affected my pancreas or liver. Fortunately, the blood tests came out fine. Thursday night I was in agony. Way worse than the night before. Five doses of oxycodone brought the pain level down to about an 8 and I was afraid to take anymore. Finally got to sleep again around 4 am. The ultrasound showed stones and sludge but no blockages. Also a swelled gall bladder and a distended tube coming out of the kidney.

By Sunday, I was still in pain so decided to go to the ER. They took some more tests and pretty much said that I just needed to wait for the swelling in my gall bladder to go down and that they really didn't know what the problem was. Apparently, when it comes to abdominal pain, they can diagnose only about half the time. To come to this conclusion, they put an iv in and took more blood. I'm a REALLY tough stick...small veins are something I definitely inherited from my mother. The iv lady was able to get in the first try but the blood lady took two and had to go in through my hand. The worst blood draw I've ever had since she was moving that damn needle all over the place. ouch.

Then the pain medication got me constipated. So, thinking that at least some of the pain might now be related to constipation, I stopped the pain meds yesterday and started loading up on laxatives. I can't tell you how much fun I'm having. Still in some pain but at least I can poop now.