Friday, February 18, 2011

Appendix Next?

I'm fairly certain that I have the world's best husband.

The card read:

For Rachel. Happy Valentine's Day...And a little extra to replace your gall bladder. You are truly amazing and I love you so much.

See, he HATES these key pendants. I love them. I've been folding the pages over in the catalogues for a while now and then leaving them on the table for a few days before migrating them to the recycle bin because I hate clutter. What a guy.

I also didn't expect a present, so I bought myself one. I was feeling pretty darn low. I was alone. I was mutilated. I was sad. I was hurting. What makes me feel better?

Yes. Of course. You knew I'd go there, right? And don't adjust your monitor, the leather is just that pebbly and gorgeous. For those of you counting, that's four pairs of Frye's now. Yep, it's an addiction. I don't care. They make me, my feet, my soul and my heart happy. Bryon, on the other hand, fully expected me to buy something and thought nothing of it. See, best husband ever. He knew full well that I would do this and STILL bought me a present anyway. Awwww.

Now see, I did feel slightly guilty about the abundance that we can't really afford until the vomit hose that is my son speweth forth at the emergency room on Sunday night and it all started over. And then, when I got it on Thursday, all guilt was erased. Oh, and then when he threw up on Kari's chair on Thursday too, I felt even worse so guilt, all gone. The amount of vomit that I've had to endure sans husband, ick.

I can't wait to see what bounty I bring in when my appendix bursts next week. That's next, right? And we only need one kidney too, right? That's bound to happen too. I'm pretty much on tap for any major health emergency at this point. And I'm afraid to let the dog out of the house or my child go to school. I literally kept him home all week. Worst run of bad luck, ever.

Now, if only I can catch up on the weeks behind I am in this whole "can do grad school alone" thing that I decided to take on. Ack.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bad Luck - The Definition

The gall bladder is an apparently non-essential organ that has something to do with bile and, apparently, pain. And, upon hearing that my husband packed and left decided that it would choose this opportunity to fail in my body. Why would such an organ fail in a thin, athletic vegetarian? You might ask these questions. I also ask these questions. The emergency room doctors also asked these questions--to the point of sending me home with a wrong diagnosis. Alas, it failed nonetheless and required prompt removal in order for me to be able to eat foods other than those that you can see through. A person cannot subsist on a third of a cup of Jell-O and six pretzels at a time.

Did you know that they blow up your abdomen with carbon dioxide when you have surgery in order to "see" all your organs? Apparently, if you are thin, they need a lot more gas than if you are, well, large. Your organs are a lot more smushed together and they can't see things as well. This means that you have a lot more air left over after the surgery and it takes a long time for the C02 to work its way out of your system, so for a week or so afterwards, you have crushing chest pains and random shoulder pains that feel like shooting agony. It was a pleasant combination with the stomach healing. And, since I was hunched over from my abdomen healing, my back ached.

I felt like a baby because Jen Roach got hers done last year and she was up and running in a few days. I went back to the doctor because my chest was hurting so badly, I couldn't breathe and he made me feel much better, explaining that my size had a little to do with it and that I shouldn't feel bad, that despite it being done laproscopically, the internal operation is still an abdominal surgery--an ORGAN has been removed from your body. It hurts. A lot. He normally says two weeks off of work and school, so don't feel bad if it hurts.

But, as if that wasn't enough crap storm for our family, Collin, two days before surgery came home with a double ear infection so bad that his ears blistered and the upper respiratory flu. Yes folks, he is impeccable with timing. No worries, Granny was here to cover us with help until Daddy came home.

Not to be outdone on the pre-op end, he wanted to make sure he covered us inconveniencing us on the post-op end and came home this week vomiting. Thursday, just when I was feeling like I could lift the laundry basket, if I absolutely HAD to, he threw up ALL over his bedroom. Gak.

He stayed on the couch all day Friday. All day Saturday and most of the day Sunday. We took him to the E.R. finally on Sunday night because he had refused almost all fluids and food by that point and I was pretty concerned about dehydration. He hadn't thrown up anymore...until...we got to the E.R. at which point he commenced throwing up all over their bathroom. Nice. At least I didn't have to clean it up.

But, the power went out in the E.R. after we'd already been waiting for over two hours and the place was packed to the gills with people and we were last on the list, so I just took him home. It was a tough call but, believe it or not, puking perked him up a lot. As it is wont to do with kids. He threw up again as soon as we got home and ka-pow he's been better ever since. Eating, drinking and normal. Phew. Knock on wood the worst is behind us and we can press on with our lives now.

Still, I made out like a bandit. I got me a pretty necklace from Tiffany's and a new pair of Frye Boots for all my troubles. More on that later.

But that is our long saga of terrible luck for the month of January and February.

I am trying to make a conscious choice instead to say that I am looking at it instead as being grateful for Donna and John who loved us enough to be here for me during the pre-op phase and for Mary who is here now and my Dad who was here when I was first recovering and for our friends who helped with picking up Collin. We've really needed a lot of help. Even my friends at school have been wonderful. It's been rough and we've been very grateful.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Now, It's Seven

I liked my way of remembering David last year.

So I'll do it again this year. Seven years now. Things I wish I could say this year:

1. I wish you knew that seven years is a long time. You would've changed so much. In that time, I got married, moved and had a family. Maybe it would've gotten better for you. I wish you'd held on just a little longer. I wish you'd known that.

2. I wish you knew you were worth that amount of time.

3. I wish you knew you were worth any amount of time.

4. I wish you knew Collin DAVID.

5. I wish you could answer me every time I talk to you.

6. I wish I didn't feel so guilty for not coming home for the last few years because I know in the back of my head that your grave is probably really grown over.

7. I wish that I didn't hear songs on the radio that made me think, "that reminds me of my dead friend," or have to start stories about fun times we had that start innocently but then end with the awkward sentence, "but he killed himself"when someone asks more about you.

8. I wish that you were here.

9. I wish I'd never seen what bruises on a 21 year old's neck look like when he's in a casket.

10. I wish to never say these things about anyone I love ever again. 

I'm by no means an expert on suicide prevention or mental health. But, if you or anyone you love is at risk, please get them the appropriate help. There are so many services available in your local community, from your church groups to mental health facilities, to your family and friends. It can never be taken back. This never, ever goes away.