Life as Lou

You are currently browsing the Me category

How To Make A Living Succulent Wreath

  • May 9, 2012 4:12 pm

Today, I am going to show you how to make a living succulent wreath.  I got my sempervivums and echeverias from Young’s Garden Center.  They have a great online selection of beautiful varieties of succulents.  I did a big post about them before and you can learn more here.

To get started, you will need sphagnum moss, a wreath frame, a wreath back, and floral wire.  You can use this type of metal frame for your back as well.  Mine is only made to last one season, but one you wanted to last for years you should go with two metal parts, as wood rots over time.  I went with wood because my local craft shop only had one metal one left.

Start out by soaking your moss in water, and one it is saturated, fill in your wreath mold.  Pack it in there pretty tightly.  If you are making a living wreath that you want to have live for years, you can take some old nylons, fill them with dirt, and make a dirt ring to rest in the center of the moss.  We have short summers and long winters here in South Dakota, so I didn’t bother with that.  If we still lived in California, I would have done that step.

Once your frame is full of moss, put on the back and wrap the whole thing tightly with floral wire.

It should look like this when you are finished.  This is a very messy process, so I would make it inside.  I got this far in my project and it started hailing, so I did the rest inside, and wow- was that moss was everywhere!

Once you get your wreath together, it is time to put in the plants.  You can use a pencil (or your finger) to poke holes for the roots. Be gentle with the plants because succulent leaves can snap off easily. I used a combination of blue rose echeveria, carnea sedum (which is the most beautiful sedum I have ever seen in my life, bar none), and a variety of sempervivums, including bronco, pruhonice, sir william lawrence, and several others.  It is important to note that the colors on semps can change due to the season or light exposure, so the semps you get might not look the exact same for a few months, or they may quickly fade and them come back greener or more purple or red than when you bought them.  It is fun to watch the seasonal changes!

You can see how I packed my plants in. Now comes the hard part.  You have to wait for the roots to take hold of the moss, so you need to find a bright, temperate location for the wreath to lay for 2-3 weeks.  If you have plants that fall off, gently tie them in place with some wire.  My wreath had to endure the rooting process inside by a bright window because we have had many cold, rainy days and nights dropping below freezing.  Many sempervivums and sedum are frost hardy, but there is no sense in torturing a plant that doesn’t even have roots working yet. Succulents like lots of light, so being in doors through so many dreary days was tough on my wreath, but it is doing ok.

One of the most important factors to consider is water.  Keep the wreath damp for the first few days, then allow it to naturally dry. Once it seems pretty dry, soak it through.  You will need to do this every 3 days in the beginning, then slowly lengthen the amount of time in between waterings to two weeks.  If you are doing this inside, you will want to let it sit outside during the day for a few days prior to officially moving it outside, just to acclimate it to the weather.  Just as you would harden off seedlings, harden off your wreath.

If you take a close look, you will see that the larger echeveria has stretched out as far as it can.  Now that it is outside getting lots of sun, it will stop being so elongated and go back down into its more natural form.  I think they are pretty either way. Many of the semps changed colors, based on lack of light and a season change.  It will be really fun to watch this as it progresses through a hot summer!And look!  It’s blooming already! Get your plants for your very own succulent wreath from Young’s Garden Center today!

Socially Frowned Upon

  • April 28, 2012 9:31 pm

You know how when something hurts, people have the tendency to grab it?  You stub your toe and your hand immediately goes to your foot, and you end up hopping about on one appendage until the initial shock has worn off.  A woman in labor often cradles her contracting abdomen- this is considered normal.  Hit your elbow on the counter top? Soothe it with the other arm, rubbing the pain away.  Toothache? Hold your jaw in your hand.  Normal pain reactions all.

So what do you do when you’re recovering from a hysterectomy and rectocele?  You get a zing of pain through the afflicted area- and you can’t just walk around clutching your va-jay-jay until the pain wears off.  I chased Gabe around the chapel last Sunday because he was being a stinker before church, then sat down and endured both the sermon and horrible stabbing pains shooting up my girlie bits.  Instinct says- hold the owie.  Propriety says squirm quietly in your seat with tears in your eyes and don’t draw attention to your reproductive organs EVEN IF YOU ARE DYING. That’s what I do.

But sometimes at home, when I’m all alone, I grab it.  Can’t help it.

Also- I hit the 8 week mark!  I started lifting again! AND NOW I’M IN PAIN AGAIN.


I’m going to go hold my bits and watch a movie.


Time, Energy, Balance- ?

  • April 22, 2012 11:59 pm

I have been feeling inadequate lately.  Part of this stems from two months of sitting around doing next to nothing, and part of this is just me feeling, well, kinda normal.And I am normally inadequate.

I can’t figure out why we just can’t run at the same pace other people do.  I feel like I’m not accomplishing much, and I look at people who are up early, like I am, who go all day, like I do, and then who fill up every evening with meetings and classes and plays and activities- which I DO NOT DO BECAUSE I CAN’T TAKE IT, and then I feel not good enough.

Also, I have set some pretty broad no drama, no muss, no fuss rules in my life and household because I can only take so much emotionally.  This is healthy self preservation. I just refuse to deal with certain types of people and events that I know are going to do nothing but take away from my energy. Some things I have to do.  Right now, I have to have a screaming three year old in my life- I do not have to have high-maintenance, high-drama relationships with people who have a high potential for combustion- so I don’t.  I’m fine with crazy friends who takes as much as they give.  It’s the users I just don’t bother with.

Basically, I know how much energy I have to function with.  I know it isn’t much, and so I try to use it only on the have tos and the want tos, and not the feel-obligated-to-put-up-with-this-crap-stuff.

Even so, I feel like a slacker.

I told Chris that we need to start doing things on the weekends.  Don’t get me wrong, we do stuff.  Sunday is always church, and the house usually gets a little cleaner on Saturday- but we don’t plan a whole lot of fun stuff.  Very few family field trips. We’re boring.

Then this past week came along.  We managed to have an evening activity that kept us out until after nine pm wed-sat, and then a piano recital after church today.  I’m pooped. I don’t know if I can keep up and retain my mental health. Granted, every week isn’t like that.  We usually don’t have more than two nights that get busy, and I protect that like crazy.  My kids aren’t involved in oodles of activities because I will lose my mind if every day has an event.  Am I a bad mother or a smart mother?  Some days I’m not sure.

So I must know- I am a huge wuss because I literally want to just shut down every evening, or is that pretty normal and the handful of overachievers I hang out with are just blessed with a greater capacity to do stuff than I am?

Photos From My Day; A Dog, A Plant And A Grouch

  • April 13, 2012 10:18 pm

Watson and I enjoyed the sun today, while it lasted.  He is growing up and you can really see it in these photos.

While spending the past six weeks basically just healing and being as lazy as I can be, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time watching my plants grow.  This is a sempervivum bloom, from the green planter in my windowsill.  The flowers are small and lovely, and a nice little welcome to spring.  I have a few that are starting to grow their long stalks, beginning the first steps of the end.  Death is rarely so beautiful as with the monocarpic sempervivum plant.  It is a shame people don’t die that way- one last beautiful hurrah celebrating everything lovely they’ve been holding inside.

My doctor appointment went well.  I am on track.  I get my life back in approximately two weeks.  I just wonder if I will have any energy in two weeks.  I’m not optimistic.  I’m wiped out on the best days.

I have given up on attending church this weekend.  It is Stake Conference, but between Chris working all weekend, trouble finding a sitter and the unpredictability of Chris’ schedule I think I will miss both sessions, which just stinks.  I love the adult session- it is the only sermon I actually hear!  For the family session, you have to mix the fact that I have a hearing loss, which means I always arrive about two hours early to get a seat near the front so I can hear and read lips, with three antsy kids who don’t really want to sit for two hours of grown ups talking and the fact that lifting and chasing are still verboten. . .and I think I’ll be home, missing church yet again.  I just can’t make that work on my own.  I wish I could at least get to the adult session, but oh well.

Gabe is in a very foul mood today, which I think has a lot to do with being shuffled to so many different houses over the past few weeks.  He has had a really fun time- so many new friends and toys to explore, and his behavior has been stellar for all of my friends. I think he is home and basically letting all of his frustrations out to me, his supposed freak-out safety net.  I’m glad he feels he can scream and tantrum for three hours and I will still adore him, but seriously, he’s pushing his luck today. Mommy is too tired for major freak outs.

Ah, there’s my good boy again.

The kids just arrived home from school.  Hopefully they will go easy on their mama this weekend.  I’m pooped! I have a few fun (but low key) things planned, so I think we will make it!  And it is only a two day weekend, not the five day marathon from the last go round.

Some Stuff About My Present

  • April 12, 2012 12:59 am

I woke up completely exhausted today.  I love teaching early morning seminary- I really, really do- but the early part of that equation has been extra challenging lately.  I went back to teaching a little before I ought to have, but I was so eager to do something that made me feel like me again that I jumped back in, almost out of desperation.  It really wasn’t from feeling overly-obligated; I had a very good sub lined up and she was willing to keep going.  I just can’t tell you how great it is to start the day off with the gospel and the correct attitude and perspective on life.  I’ve had a hard time keeping that perspective lately.

Today has actually exceeded my expectations.  I over did it yesterday, so I really have been just drained- but I did several of those little, annoying tasks that I hate.  Tasks involving paperwork and phone calls, tasks that jab like thorns until you finally get them done- I barely got off my bum, but I have several of those little things no longer hanging over my head.  Of course, I also spent several hours just laying on the couch doing nothing, and that was good too.

I also washed my bedding, which was a big deal when you consider how hard it is to make and unmake a bed.  I would really like to clean up my kitchen, but my energy for the evening is probably going to be sucked up by getting the sheets back on the bed and the duvet cover re-attached.  I know, what an interesting life I lead!

On another note-Watson didn’t get neutered yesterday because the base vet’s office neglected to tell us the correct time to arrive.  Now we are waiting another five weeks because they can’t get us in any sooner even though it was their fault.  Why even tell us he is having 9am surgery when you want him to arrive at 8 am? Ugh. Frustrating, indeed.

The best thing is that I have had a good mood day.  That may seem silly to say, but there have been a lot of unhappy days in the past week (all those crazy hormones) so I am grateful to have a day where I feel more like myself, proactive, sensible and able, even if tired and not yet completely well.  I have my 6 week check up tomorrow- only two official weeks of recuperation left after that (although in unofficial weeks, we are looking at quite a few more of leveling out and rebuilding strength and stamina).  I’m hoping all is well and that I can progress as planned.

I’m hoping I can move on to something a little more interesting to blog about as well ha!

Ovarian Cysts And Some Perspective

  • April 6, 2012 1:41 am

New shoes-also did the girl thing and painted my toenails. Maggie is so proud.

I was driving home two days ago when I felt some odd twinges of pain in my lower right abdomen.  I didn’t think too much about it (being pretty well distracted by all of the other post-surgical discomforts and nasty, nasty RSV cold symptoms that I caught from my boys), until later that evening when it went rapidly from uncomfortable to so painful I could barely see straight.  It ended up being a very long night.

I was having difficulty moving without making the pain worse, and it was radiating all the way down my legs and to the other side of my middle, as if the location with the actual problem just couldn’t contain that much torment.

The pain wasn’t originating from my surgical site, and given the amount of laxatives they give a person in my condition, I was pretty sure it wasn’t constipation.  The only other things located in that particular area are an ovary and my appendix, both of which can be problems.  I really wasn’t sure what to do.  I just knew that the very last thing I wanted to do was have another surgery.  I’m capable of coping with quite a bit, but starting the whole surgical process over at this point is just more than I can handle gracefully. In fact, I’ve had this recurring, minor panic attack for the past five weeks where I get told something isn’t right and we have to do it again.  These nightmarish fantasies are usually followed by thoughts of changing my position on human euthanasia.

About the time I was trying to decide if I should go to the ER, try to sleep, or just shoot myself, my friend called and asked me if I could take her daughter (one of my awesome seminary students) for the night because she was in a bit of an extended family pickle and needed to suddenly leave town. I agreed to take her, not just because I’m a really good friend, but with the ulterior motive of having a living, breathing babysitter at my beck and call for the increasingly likely chance that I would need to leave the house for medical attention in the middle of the night.  I get no points for altruism. None. What. So. Ever.

By the time they arrived twenty minutes later, I was just about seeing double and couldn’t stand up straight.

I tried to go to bed after that, unsuccessfully, as every tiny movement left me just writhing and moaning. I finally vomited because the pain was so intense.  That has only happened once before, and it involved natural childbirth, a situation where being in so much pain that you puke isn’t so much of a stretch.

I tried to get to sleep, miserable in my bed, but almost incapable of moving to anywhere else when it dawned on me that I had leftover hydrocodone from the hysterectomy.  I managed to half walk- half crawl to the kitchen, pop two pills and then settled back down where a sweet, fuzzy bliss settled over me.  The pain wasn’t gone, but it was so much less, and after another hour or so, after some very drugged high- very, very high Facebooking in which I shared my pontifications on the blessed state that would befit the inventor of narcotics, I fell asleep.

The next morning, the pain was significantly reduced, but still pretty uncomfortable, so I visited my PA, who did a great job of inducing panic when she read my chart and then told me that my ob/gyn had taken my ovaries along with my uterus. Medically speaking, “total hysterectomy” does not mean ovaries too. It means both uterus and cervix, as opposed to a supracervical hysterectomy which means they leave the cervix.  Oophorechtomy, on the other hand, is the removal of the ovaries, and is technically a separate procedure.  (Yes, I am geeky enough to know this, and even knew it before I had to have surgery.  I am that nerdy, folks).  Now, you and I really don’t need this information, but medical professionals who read people’s charts really should know this, so they don’t freak out their patients. Thank heaven I knew what total hysterectomy meant, or I would have been forming a malpractice suit in my head, rather than focusing on the pain.

My PA sent me across town to the radiology center, so they could take a CT scan of my abdomen. The radiology people wanted me to not eat for four hours prior to the scan which would be in four hours. So even though it was past lunch time, and I hadn’t eaten since eight am, and I had been vividly imagining downing a Frosty all the way through this appointment, I was good and ate nothing except a quick tic-tac out of sheer spite.  I suppose being hungry was a blessing since I had to down a huge, fairly repellent barium smoothie before they could do the exam.

The scan proved that I do, indeed, have ovaries, and that one of them had a cyst.  Dr. Buehner confirmed the cyst the next day by poking it with an ultrasound wand.  I’ve had many ovarian cysts, so this wasn’t that big of a surprise for me.  I had one that was seven cm when I was expecting Gabriel, which I jokingly referred to as Gabe’s little “cyst-er”.  Ovarian cysts are wickedly painful, but I’m used to those and can deal.  Cyst small enough to avoid surgery? No problem!  In fact, since the possibility of an appendectomy and all of the other horror story options my PA had brought up were off the table, I was completely stoked! Just an ovarian cyst! Just mind blowing pain for a day or two, nothing surgical- LET’S REJOICE!

It is all about perspective, isn’t it?

The One Where I Officially Cry Uncle.

  • March 25, 2012 3:30 am

It's me with a new haircut- the cute doesn't make up for the uselessness, unfortunately.

My children returned home yesterday at about eight o’clock, courtesy of my friend Lisa who was brave enough to drive all the way from Utah with double her usual amount of kids in the car. Impressive, no?

Gabe threw up all over his car seat when he was less than a mile from home, but seemed ok, albeit a bit smelly.  Within minutes of their arrival, I had taken Jonas’ temperature (101.6), heard him cough and sent him out the door to the ER where he was diagnosed with double pneumonia. At 11:40, about the time Chris left the hospital with Jonas, Gabe started throwing up again and spiked a fever just shy of 104 degrees. I am not supposed to be lifting 35lbs of listless toddler, per hysterectomy recovery rules, but when he throws up all over himself and is too weak to voluntarily get out of his puddle of vomit- what do you do? I gently lifted him out of the mess to a clean swath of floor, and visualized positive outcomes where no internal stitches came undone. I did this three times before Chris got home.

Chris got home about thirty minutes later, after I had tried to get Gabe to keep down Gatorade and Motrin (not happening), and after a prayer, Chris put Gabe in the car and went back to the ER.  Gabe has a bad ear infection and some viral thing that causes vomit.  They got home sometime around three am.  Chris was supposed to work all weekend; his shift started in a mere three hours from then, so I was about having a panic attack.  Luckily, he managed to get out of it so he could stay home and deal with his health-challenged family.

Between the sleepy, feverish crying and the soul shaking hacking, I woke up quite a few times last night. The finale to that endless chorus of needs was definitely Miss Margaret at 6:30 am.  Maggie is known in our family as being the last person to voluntarily get out of bed in the morning. She is an early to bed, late to rise kind of person.  Today, however, she was the very first person awake and she was so excited about waking up before everyone else that she came and woke me up so she could share her joy. I. Kid. You. Not. Chica has clearly missed the entire point of being the early bird, which is that you have the whole, quiet house to yourself. She could have raided the Easter candy and stuffed herself silly while playing video games, but nooo, she has to wake me up. To brag.

Over the past few days of alternatively being excited to see my children and freaked out having to try to care for them again, I kept going over this ridiculous scenario in which I just didn’t call any of the kind individuals who had volunteered to help out.  I would soldier on, the very model of self sufficiency, making due and being JUST. FINE. OKAY?   I would do this because I don’t like to ask for help, and I don’t like feeling needy and even though I am well aware that we all have times when we need to be the helpee and not the helper and people who give help get blessings and blah-blah-feel good-blah. . . (go ahead and roll your eyes at me, I know you want to).

Kind of funny that within just a few hours of getting my kids back that I get a harsh reminder that I am healed enough to take care of approximately just me and absolutely no one else, isn’t it?  Running on about five hours of heavily interrupted sleep makes things hurt more and makes me more impatient and snappish in general, and so I have been sore, cranky and emotionally volatile all day.  One day of in your face, real life motherhood, and people, I’m toast.  I’m dead on my feet. I’m completely wiped out and worthless.

And humbled enough to ask for the help I now fully realize I will need if I expect to survive the next month. Ugh.

If you would like to help me by praying that these kids get hurry up and get healthy, and that Gabe will continue to sleep in his own bed (Gabe has put himself to bed in his own bed two nights in a row people- HOLY COW- this is a certifiable miracle), that would be just great.

That Other Thing They Don’t Mention Much About Hysterectomies

  • March 20, 2012 1:47 pm

Did you know that when you have a hysterectomy, even one where you leave the ovaries so you don’t get thrown into instant menopause, you still turn into a big hormonal wreck?

It’s true.

And it sucks.

I have been so off the past few weeks. I can’t sleep. I have hot flashes and cold sweats. I have at least ten new pimples. I laid in bed and sobbed for an hour straight at midnight the other night, because I’m just that tired, and that over this whole one-problem-after-another-life I’ve been leading. Add that to feeling totally alone and a little sucker punched by the Universe, and some of this hysterical, snot producing, ugly cry makes sense. Then I wake up in the morning, shaking my head in exasperation, wondering where that strong, sensible, faithful, hopeful person I used to know went, wondering who this new person with her eyes swollen half shut is, and when she’ll leave.

I have seriously considered doing things that are crazy. Maybe I’ll leave my religion. Maybe I’ll get a divorce. Maybe I just don’t care about my family. Maybe I’ll run away. Maybe I’ll go get totally drunk and just see what happens. Maybe I’ll take all those pills at once. Maybe I’ll just give up. We’re talking dark, wild impulses and suggestions that are so fundamentally opposite of who I am and have always been that it is at once terrifying, and yet, thankfully, insane enough for me to spot the hormones at play. What an odd thing to be grateful for. At least I’m ridiculous enough to realize it, eh?

I spent days wrapped up in my brain, fixated on what ifs and changes, afraid by how empowered these hormones made me feel to do all the wrong things- make all the wrong choices.

So I temporarily rescinded my life-altering decision making privileges.

And I shut my mouth to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.

Apparently, your ovaries can go into shock and just forget to work for awhile or go to work overtime. Add that on top of a pregnancy and a miscarriage all in the space of a few months and well. . .I definitely need to be cut some slack.

The past few weeks have been really hard.  But people don’t mention the emotional side of this recovery. They say you might mourn your womb, your childbearing ability, or somehow feel less feminine. They forget to mention the fact that you may, and likely will, feel like you are losing your mind for awhile.

Well, it is true. And it is normal. And they say it passes.

I am feeling a lot more myself now, but the first two weeks were like a trip through the looking glass, into the bell jar all via an upside down roller coaster.

I’m mostly ok now. Happy again with a lot less dramatic swings.  But I wanted to put this out there in case someone else felt the same way and needed to know she was ok, and normal, and that it does pass.

(If you are new here, and want the whole story click here: my hysterectomy story).

Step Right Up And See The Amazing Hysterectomy Survivor! (And Get An Earful of TMI- Also, A Link To An Actual Photo Of My Actual Uterus!)

  • March 15, 2012 6:06 pm

Parts one and two should be read first, thanks.

The next day in the hospital my new nurse Sherri took over. I slept most of the day away, just as I had before, but I triumphantly got out of the bed and ate my breakfast in a chair because Sherri made me for my own good. I even combed the rat’s nest out of my hair and brushed my teeth.

I also discovered that despite my best efforts, I could quite literally not pee once I was in to the second half of my anti-inflammatory medication dosing period, because it wore off and left certain parts too swollen to function. I told Sherri that something was not right and a quick ultrasound that showed a very full bladder proved that right. More pressure equaled more pain, so I was pretty stoked to take the next dose of Ibuprofen and get things working again.

Once it kicked in, Sherri was very helpful, both running water in the sink and handing me a copy of the Ladies Home Journal for me to read while I tried really hard to do what used to come pretty naturally to me. This entire situation had me laughing my head off, which was painful, but oh so funny. Nursing! Not just sponge baths and shots; sometimes you get to cheer people on when they pee! As silly as it sounds, I really was grateful. It hurts to not pee!

That night, after sleeping all day, I woke up to another really great nurse, Marietta.  She helped me start walking around outside of the room and humored me when I decided to take a shower at 3am.  I really liked her; I think we would be friends if we knew each other outside of the hospital. I felt my strength and balance returning at that point, and I had finally kicked the vertigo that had been spinning things in circles every time I dared move.

The next day I got to go home, but not until after my friend, Melissa came to see me and bring me food from Ruby Tuesday. It was sad to see her because when I hugged her goodbye, it was probably the last time I’ll see her because she just moved down South.  The great thing about both Melissa and Tanya is that when their friend says, “so, you wanna see my uterus?” They both jump up and say, “YES!” Like of COURSE! How COOL is that? Those are some good friends.

I asked my doctor to put the uterus in a jar for me, but apparently, they needed to send it off to pathology where they would slice and dice and determine if it had any dangerous abnormalities.  Dr. Buehner took a picture of it for me instead, and if you would like to see the very womb that once manufactured a Jonas, a Maggie and a Gabriel – well, click here to my flickr page and prepare to understand the KFC comment my doctor made after surgery.

Chris picked me up and the drive home was horrible. I get very, very motion sick on a good day, so being driven home when I was already fighting serious nausea was not a good experience. I learned that I can manage pain or nausea, but I cannot cope with both without wishing I was dead. Obviously, being all cut up inside and feeling every bump made the thought of puking with those muscles sound like a nightmare. When I got home, I went straight to bed.

The next several days passed in a big blur of sleeping, eating just enough so I could take my pain medication, adjust my heating pad, and go back to bed. Somewhere in there, I checked Facebook on my phone a lot and read the Hunger Games books one day, which I didn’t think were all that great.  Not bad, just not great either.  That was about all I did.

My parents came to visit during this time and they took care of all those things I usually do and then some. It was nice to see them, but I wish I had been a little more conscious to enjoy it.  I was really only present for the last two days. My parents brought me the most beautiful silver, Norwegian solje necklace to commemorate my womb.  It has a beautiful design of three open spaces and three spoons, the first to represent my three losses, and the second to represent my three children. It is so beautiful, and so special and very, very me. I will have to share a photo sometime.

The very worst part of the entire recovery was dealing with the pain from the incision in the rectum. You do not EVER want to have stitches in there. Now, I was, of course, on three different types of laxatives and stool softeners, but there was still one, completely normal, average sized turd making its way through my body, and when it came time to come out- well- I will sum up roughly 12 hours of intense discomfort with: WORSE THAN NATURAL CHILDBIRTH. MUCH WORSE.  And, all you get for hours of sobbing on the toilet, clutching a pillow, and trying not to die is poop. When you push out something that painful, you’d think you’d at least get to name it and give it a christening, but no, I just flushed, took more painkillers and went to bed where I hoped to never poo again.

That complication cased me more pain through this whole ordeal than anything else. The hysterectomy was a piece of cake by comparison.

At about one week post surgical, I woke up and realized I wasn’t in pain.  This was great, because I had had timers going off all night to keep me on top of my meds, and I had hardly needed them because the pain usually woke me up before my alarms.  Feeling very encouraged, I slipped out of bed and headed to the bathroom when I felt a very bad sensation of warmth running down my legs.

There was blood everywhere.

Understandably, I panicked just a tish, and I started hollering, “Mom! Chris! Mom! Chris! Mom! Chris!”  It was six am, and no one was up yet, and there I was, blood dripping all over the bathroom tile, feeling frozen in place and freaked out. I silently assessed the situation, realizing that the blood wasn’t bright red, which is good. I wasn’t light headed, which was good. I also mentally reminded myself that a little blood looks like a lot of blood, and so even if that scene from Carrie at the prom was flashing in my brain, it was really nowhere near that bad.

My poor son was the first one to come running, and I am sure he is scarred for life after seeing his mother half naked with blood everywhere, but he was pretty cool about the whole situation and we had a long talk about it later that day about how sometimes that happens. Egads.  Jonas, when you read this in a few years- I am so sorry. Maybe you’ll grow up to be a doctor?

My husband and mother were there shortly and we figured things out, my mother being practical, “It was probably not more than a few tablespoons; it always looks like more than it is!” and my husband being. . .my husband and responding with a lovable and slightly funny over-protectiveness amounting to “we should go to the hospital right now!”  I called the Same Day Surgery Center and got to talk to my nurse Sherri, who confirmed with me that it was likely no big deal, and gave me details on what would be a big deal.  I spent the rest of the day as a borderline big deal, chatted with my doctor’s office and didn’t worry too much.

The next morning my doctor’s nurse called me back, after having pow wowed with Dr. Buehner and realizing that my surgery had been a bit more exciting than is standard, and that this bleeding could be more problematic than is typical, and I ended up being seen right away.

Dr. Buehner said the bleeding was all from places where that sort of thing is classified as “ok”, so that was really good. I gave him crap about the exam, since he was the one to specifically tell me both verbally and in writing “nothing in the vagina for eight weeks,” and here he was bringing up speculums and the like. We got to chat about how the surgery went and his take on things. I told him I thought he handled a bad situation very well, and I was glad he was capable enough to take on a body that was breaking the standard laws of anatomical correctness. He said I was very nice, and then I said, not really, and told him I would probably always refer to him as my pain in the ass. He then agreed with me that I wasn’t nice, and laughed. Yes, I do get punchy at the OB/GYN. Sorry, Dr. B.

Now I am at the two week mark after the surgery and I am feeling pretty well. I didn’t take any pain medication, narcotic or over the counter today, went out for lunch, bought shoes at Target and even walked around the whole block.  That sounds like a lot, until you consider that that was ALL I did ALL day long, not including a nap and several episodes of Friends and hours sitting here playing on the interwebs.  Doing almost nothing is completely draining, and it doesn’t take much physical strain for things to ache, so I am just living this slowed down life until I can continue on at my usual breakneck speed.

My parents went home, and my in-laws came and took my children, so it is very, very quiet here. I miss them a bit, but I am loving the quiet and grateful for some time to just heal and focus on myself.

I am getting better.




Chickens? What?

  • March 15, 2012 1:18 am

Today I laughed really hard.


My husband was getting ready for work and I was trying to make some small talk, so I thought I would tell him about how my lovely sempervivum plants, otherwise known as “hen & chicks” were coming.  I was quite pleased because I counted 23 new baby plants that popped up, so I told him, “I have twenty-three hen and chicks on the way!”

The look on my man’s face was priceless- a mix of shock, horror, confusion and the clear question of whether or not I had lost my mind.

I interpreted this look in seconds, and quickly clarified by adding to my previous statement: “those plants over there are referred to as hen and chicks, and they are growing little, baby plants. I did not mean real chickens.”

He insists I did it on purpose, but I didn’t.

It made my evening though. Ha!

(These aren’t my hen and chicks pictured- I just want to do this design some day- sure is pretty! What a great use of the top of a low fence!)