Terrifying AND Hysterical?

In November, I pulled a “disappearing act”.  One of my last posts was  Everything is ok, but. It was in regards to my Oldest daughter, Thing ONE.  At that time she was only 27 weeks pregnant. During the course of my daughter’s pregnancy, she developed Preeclampsia, and was put on bed rest.

On December 11, I made a brief post apologizing for my absence and explained (briefly) where I had been. BUT I wasn’t “back” yet.  On January 5th, my grandsons were moved to a new hospital and I made a brief update about that in 30 ambulances and over 100 patients.   Most of the month of January was spent in the NICU with the boys, and February I felt like I was living in my car, which is an improvement from living in the hospital believe it or not.  On March 3rd, I popped in again to post Not all who wander are lost.  I attempted to  say that MAYBE my universe was righting itself again, and that I would like to share some stories with you.

I would like to do that now if you will join me.

Beginning with when I “disappeared”.  (this is the terrifying part)

During the month of November, Thing 1 was sent to the hospital on several occasions because the doctors were having difficulty controlling her blood pressure. During her 30th week of pregnancy, she was admitted. I spent several nights at the hospital with her helplessly watching as the doctors tried to control her blood pressure only to watch it spike again within a few hours.  I heard words like STROKE LEVEL, the only cure is to deliver,…we need to wait til 32 weeks at least.

WHY?!?!?!?!?!  I asked, on more than one occasion.

What’s the difference between 31 and 32 weeks?

“It’s better for the babies” someone would say……..

but what about MY BABY?!?!?!?  I need HER to be ok!!!!

I’m going to pause here and tell a different story for a moment.

The story of Thing One’s birth.  ( a short version)  When I was in labor with THING ONE, I started hemorrhaging and remember yelling at the doctors that they needed to save my baby regardless of what that meant for me.  My parents were in the room with me, and my mom yelled, “NO SAVE MY BABY.”  They took me for an emergency c section and thankfully were able to save us both.  ok back to my original story….

OMG, now I have really become my mother!  How could I tell my daughter that at that moment nothing in the world mattered but saving HER life.  Of course I wanted her kids to be ok, but my first thought was that I needed HER to be ok.

After a few days of being at the local hospital, Thing 1 was  rushed via ambulance to RMH, a hospital with a level 3 NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), where the twins were born via Emergency C-section at 31 weeks.

Thankfully both her and the boys survived!

I have purposefully left out several details about the week Thing One was in the hospital before the boys were born because, while I have no issue writing about MY LIFE, I don’t feel that it is my right to share too much about others. Also, it was one of the most terrifying times of my life that I DO NOT want to relive.

Ok now for the hysterical, at least funny now that it’s over,  part

This is the story I will tell my Grandsons when they ask about their births.

OK, Please picture this….

Thing One is in surgery, her husband Z was with her.

Einstein is trying to hold me upright while I am freakishly pacing the floor (still in the damn boot).

My phone rings……  It’s Thing Two

As I answer the phone I think she might be crying, but I can’t tell for sure over the piercing alarm coming from the phone along with the sound of dogs barking uncontrollably.

Grace : Thing Two are you ok!?!?!?? Where are you? What’s going on?

Thing 2: ARGH &$#*%&@*($#%&W*($%&*$%

(barking and alarm continue)

Grace:  WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?!?  I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!

Thing 2:  MOM I NEED THE DAMN ALARM CODE TO THING ONE’S HOUSE!!!

Grace: Um I don’t know it.  Why are you there?  Dammit make the dogs stop barking!

Thing 2:  I can’t! They don’t like the alarm! Mom I need the code!!!!!!! the police are going to come!!!!

Grace:  The police?!?! Are you ok?!?!?!?  What’s going on?!?!?!?

Thing 2:   Mom I need the code to shut off thing one’s alarm.  I didn’t realize they changed the code and I was picking up clothes for her and z, now the dogs are going crazy, I can’t shut off the alarm and the police are gonna come and I’m gonna get shot.

Grace:  What?  You got shot?

Thing 2:  (now definitely crying) Mom please just help me figure out the code!!!!

(At that exact moment, Z appeared in the hallway in front of us.)

Grace to Z:  I need your alarm code, thing 2 set off your alarm…… OMG wait a minute WHY ARE YOU here?!?!?

Z: Thing One and the boys are ok, they are taking her to recovery and I went with the boys to the NICU, the code is ****.

(Apparently we were standing right outside the recovery room door and I could see them wheeling Thing 1 in the room.)

To thing 2 ……I yelled….. “the code is ****, if the police come just tell them to call the hospital to verify or call me.  I gotta go!”  and to the nurses that had gathered around I yelled, screamed, cried…”please just let me see her for ONE second.”

THEY DID!!!!

cheese

I don’t know if it was from the drugs or seeing her children for the first time but this is what I saw when I walked in the room….

(This picture was taken at another time, but you get the point right?  Ear to ear smile without a care in the world….)

That’s all I needed.

The nurses told us it would be a few hours before we could visit, and Einstein directed me to the waiting room.

We sat there for a few moments trying to absorb all that had just happened when my phone rang again.

It was the police officers’ that had responded to the alarm.  They wanted to let me know that they had arrived at Thing 1’s. They believed the story that thing 2 told them ( no one could make this shit up), the code had been verified, and thing 2 would be coming up to the hospital once she calmed down.

Here is thing 2 recapping the events of the night

abby alarm story

While we waited to see our daughter, Einstein and I made our phone calls to our parents and Thing One’s Best Friend.   Z sent us a picture of each of the boys in the NICU, which I will share later this week.

Although the boys were born at 5:24 and 5:27 pm, and I got to see thing ones face and hug her for about a minute, we didn’t get to visit with her until almost midnight that night.  In fact, I think we only stayed long enough for another hug and a few congrats to the new parents.

Meeting the boys would have to wait til the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADL and Toe Mice

So Thursday’s post op visit with the surgeon didn’t quite go as expected.  That isn’t to say I am disappointed with the results, it’s just that he said something  I NEVER expected to hear….. EVER….

My friend Jeri picked me up and we, well she, drove to the doctor.  My appointment was at 2:45, we where shown to a room at 3:45.  (not bad as far as orthopedic visits go)  I climb onto the table and the nurse begins asking me what my pain levels are.  This is a trick question I am sure, because if I don’t walk on it and keep it elevated, my pain is pretty low on the scale.  After I have been walking around a bit, or letting my foot hang down too long it climbs quickly.  I told the truth…. kind of… I left out the part that I had been standing alot.

Do you want more pain pills?

I quickly answered, “NO!!!!!”, and pulled out the bottle of remaining pills that I had asking if she wanted them back.  I can not stress enough, that I really don’t like the way the make me feel ( mood swings, maniac, nauseated etc.)  and I NEED to be able to feel the pain to prevent me from overdoing things.  I agreed to take Tylenol over the counter as needed.  (in my opinion, advil is better at pain relief, but since I am a bleeder and it’s a blood thinner, I will stay away for now)

I took off the boot, the nurse removed the dressing, I took a quick picture, and then looked away.  The doctor, and a student came in shortly after.  As he pulled up a chair beside me to examine the stitches, he asked, “Did your father tell you what we found?”… I replied “um no, not really, he didn’t tell me that you FOUND anything, but what he did tell me was…… “So the doctor took off your big toe, reamed holes in your foot and then your toe, they put in a stud and then screwed your big toe back on”.”  The doctor looked at the medical student and then back at me.  He said, well “Yeah, that’s basically what we did”.

After seeing the horrified look on my face, he said, “No seriously though, let me tell you what we found.”  “When I made the incision, two toe mice immediately popped out.”

ANOTHER Horrified look

“Toe Mites?”, I asked.

“No Toe Mice” he responded. and then continued,  “It’s a medical term that we use to describe what we found.”

I really wish I had a picture of my face, because I can’t find the words to describe all of the things I was feeling at this point.

“Cmon doc, PLEASE tell me the truth, I am gullible as hell and completely disgusted that I have mice?!?!?!? My next step is to cry and I promise you don’t want that”.

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “let me explain.”  “First of all young lady, I can not believe that you were able to walk at all with the amount of damage in your foot.  You had absolutely zero cartilage in your first metatarsal joint.”  He pounded his fists together to demonstrate the bones hitting each other as I walked.  He went on to explain that because I continued walking the bones starting splitting and breaking off into fragments (or mice).  This had been happening for so long that the bones had turned into smooth marbles and kept chipping away more bone.  The combination of those conditions, my unsteady gait, and whatever I was doing to compensate in my walking caused another break.

WOW that’s a lot of information.  Crazy as hell too, but a lot to absorb.

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As I tried to process what he was saying, he re-wrapped my foot in gauze and an ace wrap before sticking it back in the boot.  While he says the incision is healing nicely, I am stuck with the stitches for another week still, but I am released to begin ADL in moderation.

ADL- Activities of Daily Living

Should be simple enough right? But for me it wasn’t….please take a minute to watch this video to understand why, especially if you don’t know me very well.

So this is what Jeri and I were doing BEFORE we saw the doctor.  I get that I can’t use my right foot, so I thought we could just throw the ball and knock the beehive down.  I didn’t realize that to get any “air” with the ball I would have to push off with……you guessed it, My foot….holy mother of……………………………

I was ready to give up, but Jeri was having fun, so I played video  ographer…..

Anyway, I’m not sure that this is considered an activity of daily living, but since I do dumb shit like this all the time, I asked for further clarification.  More specifically….

I am allowed to….

1. stand/or walk for no more than 5 minutes at a time.  to be followed by a minimum of 1/2 hour break  AND ONLY WITH THE BOOT ON

2. Take the boot off except for when walking or sleeping

3. I can resume sexual activities, so long as my toes don’t curl during orgasm (yes this was discussed)

I am not allowed to

  • Curl my toes
  • get the stitches wet
  • put any weight on my foot without the boot
  • specifically throw a ball at a bee hive
  • mow my lawn
  • go grocery shopping without a scooter
  • drive 😦

I will call that progress……though not as much as I hoped

 

 

 

Laughter is the BEST Medicine

Yesterday I let pain and confusion cloud and take over my judgment and mood.  I was so focused on what I couldn’t do that I forgot to use all the powerful tools I have at my disposal…..the biggest of which is the ability to laugh at myself.

I want to share some things with you that I hope will make you laugh, smile, or at the very least shake your head.

I wrote before about all the prep work you should do before surgery,  While I was getting groceries …….. a woman walked up to me and said, “Excuse me ma’am. I hate to tell you this, but your boots don’t match.” your boots dont match.jpg She was right.  I have no fashion sense.  It made me laugh.  Thank you random friendly stranger.  🙂

I was also racing around to make sure my house was clean, nothing to impede my movements in a wheelchair, etc.  I lost my balance, tripped, or something and came down hard ON MY GOOD leg….smh

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When I was trying to pull myself up (very difficult with the stupid boot on) I again lost my balance and hit my eye on the counter giving myself a black eye.  I swear you can’t make this shit up!!!!  I can only imagine what I looked like when I walked into the surgery center.

 

 

After surgery, when my dad was telling me what the doctor said and did, he told me and I quote, “So the doctor took off your big toe, reamed holes in your foot and then your toe, they put in a stud and then screwed your big toe back on”.  I was horrified, but I believed him. That is SO NOT what they did!!!!!  The sad thing is, when I was explaining to a couple of friends what the surgery was for, I told them exactly what my dad had said.  If they were laughing at me they didn’t let it show…..SMH….. I hope my father remembers he will be having his other shoulder replaced next year and karma is a bitch! 😛

plateBefore I continue, I THINK this is what they DID do to my foot.  Again, I won’t really know for sure until I follow up on Thursday.  I will try to take a picture also, but I have a tendency to pass out or get sick when I see or feel pain.

Ok so now let’s talk about hindsight being 20/20.  Before surgery, I wrote about “practicing” for recovery.  I went through my entire house with the wheelchair making sure it fight everywhere I would need to go.  I FORGOT that I would have a leg support on the right side of the wheelchair which adds almost 3 feet to your turning radius.  DOH!

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This has come in handy though for getting my dogs to move out of the way.  Poor things haven’t left my side since surgery.

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20180908_122505There was also this ONE time, I forgot the catheter bag was hanging under the wheelchair when I was trying to transfer back to my bed.  I only forgot ONE time, and I don’t know if I will ever find it funny, but I don’t mind if you do.

 

I’d like to share a couple more pictures, but first I need to thank everyone for all your thoughts, well wishes, moral support and encouragement, and a special thanks to my dear friend Jeri for the 4 containers of ice cream you delivered!!!!!!!

swollen

 

This picture is from this morning, and although, it looks kind of gross, the swelling has gone down tremendously from the first couple days, and I do have faith that there are better days ahead.  BABY STEPS!!! literally with my GIANT boot.

Chris and Tom commented earlier about signing my cast.  I am not that technologically oriented to figure out how, but if you can feel free…. It’s a great reminder that I am not alone 🙂

My best friend Gary virtually signed my cast from my wrist surgery a couple years ago.

tiggerifficI hope you all have a great weekend!!!!!!

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One step forward, two steps back

Do you ever feel like for every step you take forward, you take two backwards?  That is the best I can say to describe the events happening in my life right now.  I did think of using a hurricane or other storm as an example, but while those things ONLY cause disaster the things happening in my life are only causing me grief, and I haven’t given up just yet.  So what’s been happening here….

Instead of re-writing, or copying and pasting things from previous posts, I am going to add links to my previous posts if you want the back story.

Walking a minimum of 4000 steps a day

On July 13th, in the post let’s get moving.  I talked about making it a point to walk everyday to increase my endurance, strength, and stamina, even though I am afraid to walk alone and have had some pretty bad experiences.  The positives are that I have finally reached my goal of walking for a full mile at a time, and have had some days that I have reached more than 8000 steps (not at one time though).  I was doing good with the whole weight loss thing, ( I haven’t written about that yet), until Birthday week hit….yah cake?  My neighbor (who works nights) even started setting an alarm to wake up at 8 am and walk with me everyday.  I bought a rollator walker to help with my balance, which I used in the evenings to try to get a few more steps in.

One day after getting lots of steps in, I came home, took off my shoe and saw this…foot oww

Awww, shit. I had broken my foot a couple years ago, and had attributed the pain to “an old sports injury”.  The fact that it was so discolored told me that I couldn’t ignore it any longer.  I reluctantly called the podiatrist I had been referred to in the past.  I don’t want to be “one of those people” that claim that doctors treat patients without insurance differently, but after the office visit I have to be.

The doctor physically examined my foot, said it felt warm to the touch and was obviously very inflamed, but since I hadn’t suffered an actual injury “this time” he was going to call it GOUT.

reallyHe sent me to the lab for a uric acid test, gave me a prescription for indomethacin, and told me to keep ice on it for a a couple days, then to start doing stretches for it.

NO Xrays?!?!?!?  That’s it?!?!?!  Not even an order to stay off of it…..

I went to the lab and had the uric acid test done, which came back as negative for gout.  Ya think?!?!  I did not take the prescription because NSAIDS, cause my blood pressure to go through the roof, and make me sick to my stomach.  I instead have been living on advil and tylenol.  (also not good, but the pain got to be pretty bad even at rest).

Yesterday, I broke down and went to an immediate care center.  The first step while there was to do XRAYS.

GUESS WHAT

It’s broken AGAIN!!!!  Is anyone really surprised?

So now I am back in a boot, yah that it’s a short boot this time, but a boot nonetheless.  I have an appointment Monday to see a surgeon. If I end up spending any real time in the boot again, I will be ordering an “Even Up” from Amazon this time.

I don’t have the time or the patience to figure out why the link to amazon isn’t working, but if you want to see what I am talking about please click the link below or google “even up”.

<a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Procare-EvenUp-Shoe-Balancer-Small/dp/B00YBP7N9Q/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&qid=1534367535&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=even+up+womens+shoe+balancer+for+women&th=1&linkCode=li2&tag=gracefullnot-20&linkId=b708949e806607bddd4b94e1c2521092&language=en_US&#8221; target=”_blank”><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00YBP7N9Q&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=gracefullnot-20&language=en_US” ></a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=gracefullnot-20&language=en_US&l=li2&o=1&a=B00YBP7N9Q&#8221; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

Basically, it’s something you attach to your other shoe to help not cause further injury by walking “crooked” or unevenly when you are stuck in a cast. IMO well worth the $20.00.

When I began writing today, I had envisioned telling you about all the fun ( said very sarcastically) I had trying to switch to self hosted, and updating you on Me and my shadow, but this post is pretty lengthy as it is so I will write separate posts….later.

It’s good to be Back…. I have missed interacting with everyone and feel like I have alot of catching up to do.

So THIS happened today

The other night, I was making a pork chop on the stove, and my smoke detector went off literally saying.  “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE”.  There was no fire, there was no smoke, but because it was 10 pm at night, I did have an angry kid who had to be up for work at 5 the next day, running into the kitchen yelling at me.  WHOOPS…

I kept hitting the button to turn it off.  It did stop yelling Fire, but then it started saying “Carbon monoxide warning”.  Thing 2 got angry and took the batteries out before lecturing me about making food so late etc and then she went back to sleep.

Yes I did 😛 when she closed the door.  I ate my pork chop and that was the end of it, so I thought…..

This morning I woke up, made my normal path to the bathroom and stepped in dog vomit.  SMH….cmon really?  Why do animals always have to puke on the rugs or carpet areas?

I kind of hopped into the bathroom to clean my foot off, only to step in cat vomit.  You have got to be fricking kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ( well at least in the bathroom it was on the newspaper that is still down on the floor from my last incident).

After cleaning everything up, I walked into the kitchen to start the coffee…. want to guess what happened there?

I am not kidding….. MORE animal vomit!!!!

When I finished cleaning everything up, Thing 2 came into the kitchen complaining of a headache and feeling like she wanted to be sick as well.  You know, come to think of it, I have been feeling nauseous myself which I just attributed to taking wellbutrin to quit smoking….but what if…..

I googled what to do if you suspect a gas or c02 leak and called the number for our utility company.  They advised me to take all the people and animals outside (2 dogs and 3 cats).  Within minutes,  emergency vehicles started showing up from all directions.

It turns out, my stove is broken and there is indeed Carbon Monoxide leaking from it.  SMDH!