Soo... August 29th I woke up with horrid abdominal pain and tried to take showers, baths, irritable bowel medicine, deep breathing, and nothing worked. So I loaded up R and L (T was at a birthday party) and went into the small private hospital in Huntsville. I waited in the waiting room for almost 4 hours and was eventually given a room where they did an xray of my chest and abdomen and lab work. Everthing seemed normal so they gave me Loritab and Zofran and sent me on my way home (after I slept for 45 minutes.) Luckily, I was blessed by a good samaritain who held Lucas the last half hour before I got to a room and stayed until a friend came to get the kids.
So I went and got my meds and went home for the night. I slept restlessly and the next day the pain was not helped at all by the loritab. I went to Facebook and said that I was in the ER the night before and didn't think the medicine was working. A friend called and offered to bring chicken noodle soup (I wasn't eating at this point).. I was grateful that I didn't have to worry about dinner for the kids. But, when she got to the house she looked at me and told me we were going back to the hospital right then. She took the kids to my neighbor and had me in the car in less than 5 minutes.
She saved my life.
I waited in the ER again for a few hours. Right before I got a room I was unable to stand, sit, lean, or do anything without extreme pain. I didn't think I could go on. Somehow a room came open and all I remember is getting on the bed. (Everything else I tell you is what I have been told) I was apparently conscious and explained how bad I was feeling and my history of gastric bypass. They did more xrays and lab work. (Looking at the xray report today it says there was too much gas too see anything on the xray) and then I waited and waited and waited. I was not out of pain even with the medication they were giving me. I told the nurses that I didn't care if it killed me I needed more pain medicine. I was admitted and the next day late in the afternoon the surgeon came in and knew what was wrong just by looking at me and my history. A u/s confirmed it (I remember the u/s tech getting very scared by what she saw on the screen). The surgeon told me I needed surgery and I agreed (I think I would have agreed to anything to get the pain to go away).
The doctor called P in Afghanistan and told him I was very sick and that she had contacted Red Cross to get him home quickly. My next door neighbor and friends had been by my side or checking in on me all day and they were told to get my family here quickly because I had a slim chance of surviving. My family was here in 15 hours (when I say family I mean the whole crew) and they stayed by my side as I went through a total of 4 surgeries and two procedures.
So what happened? I had a complication from the gastric bypass in October of 2005 (complications are most likely to happen in the period of 3-5 years post op). My small intestine had corkscrewed up between the sutures in my stomach and created a hernia that then became infected. I lost almost all of my small intestine (only 15cm remain) and my left intestine (I had an anurysm in my left intestine and they were not able to repair it with an angiogram). I was intubated for close to three weeks and was on the brink of death's door way too many times. I was transported to the large hospital in town after 8 days at the small hospital (the small hospital did not have the equipment for the angiogram). So.. I woke up on September 14/15th and started to find out what happened.
I am left with a JG tube connected to my stomach that drains my stomach and small intestine contents (and any liquids I drink .. no food for me). I'm home with home health and TPN (liquid nutrition) for possibly the rest of my life. I'm hoping to have a reconstructive surgery that will expand my small intestine to a size large enough to connect to my colon so that I can eat again and not have a tube sticking out of my belly.

The kids have been amazing through all of this and until today Mom has been here by my side. She's still who she is and I have to accept that and go on. So I did. I drove for the first time in almost two months today (with my next door neighbor by my side) to pick R and L up from school. Mom may not come back and other than being disappointed in her and unable to sleep tonight, I know that I'm strong enough to go on and I have a great support system here if I get wobbly at all (even if I don't .. a great neighbor took T to and from karate tonight even though they didn't pick their grandson up.) Oh.. P is back in Afghanistan and hates that I'm not on the computer as much as I used to be.. I even got him addicted to facebook... and now I'm barely online.

So what's been up with you and your life?

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Yesterday a friend asked me if P was second thinking his deployment (less than a month away) to the sandbox. I assured her that he can't back out now due to a contract and the fact that we really need the influx of funds. Her point was that money can't be worth the possibility of P being killed. Yes, there is a chance that P could be harmed while he assists in the reconstruction effort. But, he will not be in any active fighting and we found out yesterday that his duty station is in a safe compound. The thing is.. P would have willingly served over there years ago but did not want to leave when his father was so ill. P believes in supporting the mission of our country. So, yes.. the time he serves over in the sandbox will help us dig out of financial mess. But, he will also be doing what he believes in.

My relationship with P has been strenuous. I'd love to say that it's all his fault. But, it's not. He has been very insecure since before I had gastric bypass and he truly believes that I'll leave him for another guy. The thing is.. I've had a baby in the last year and the last thing I'm thinking about is carnal pleasures. I'd much rather have my beauty sleep. Other than that.. it's the financial stress that's bringing us to odds. We both believe that stress will be gone when he gets back. So.. once again. Things are rough right now.. but I believe in fighting for our marriage. I'm not willing to throw in the towel.

I'm a people pleaser. I try to make everyone happy and at times do it without thinking about the reprecussions to my own life. I can't and won't do that any longer. I'm not about to do something that makes a friend more comfortable but leaves me in a bad place with P. I can't and won't hurt myself to please others..

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T is out of school for the summer after the school year was extended due to the swine flu. He ended the school year with the highest marks possible for a first grader (why on Earth do they refuse to use the A,B,C grading system?). I'm very proud of his hard work this year and the changes he has made. He's still a seven year old boy but he's also a considerate, kind, and curious person. I wouldn't want him any other way.

With the end of the school year came R's ballet recital, another belt test for T, and PTA Board Elections for myself. We all did very well and we will not have much down time with all of our interests. The PTA commitments have already started and P is overwhelmed by the amount of time that is needed. I feel for him, but we have work to do and I can't bow out because he's stressed out.

I don't know if P and I will make it after he returns from the sandbox. He left two weeks ago after I tried to address an issue a neighbor had with how P handled a violent situation between our boys. P was ready to pounce the boy but I stepped in the way. The other parents said that the police would be involved if it ever happened again. P thought I was taking their side. I was really just trying to be the devil's advocate and I wanted to protect P and T from future trouble. P was so angry and sure that I was choosing my friends over him that he couldn't see straight. He was able to calm down and come home. But, I'm not able to sweep things under the rug like that. So I've allowed him to come home and we seem to be OK but I have to wonder what will set him off next. The sucky part is that my marriage is rocky right now but so is my friendship with the neighbor. I feel like she is judging my family and if I don't take her wisdom.. well I feel like I'm wrong. What works for her may not work for me and vice versa. I just miss having that close buddy. Maybe we will get better once P leaves and that comment kills her.. but I don't know what else to say.

But.. on a brighter note. R has two new friends who we are playing with and I enjoy hanging out with their Mom too. She's crafty too and made R a few hairbows yesterday and it sparked me to make some more and to pull out other crafty notions. So much for cleaning the house today.

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Momma you're so funny!
I think this is one of my best pictures
I barely give myself time to sit down and think through what will happen in the next year. Instead I'm staying busy with the kids and other projects. I'm increasing my activity with the PTA at T's school and I am working on my garden and yard. I am hoping and praying that P is deployed to Afghanistan so that we can get out of debt. I am so tired of money being the reason why we can't do the smallest things. I've had to be honest with T and explain that we don't have a lot of money to spend on toys right now and that we understand it is disappointing but that we will always try to give him everything he needs and most of what he wants.

We are in the middle of a county wide School System shut down due to swine flue. A school less than two miles from our home has had three probable cases (95% chance of being positive)of H1N1 (swine flu). P and I made a decision to keep the kids at home until we know what the full extent of the outbreak that has hit our area. L is immunocompromised due to his history of RSV at Christmas and he is also scheduled for surgery May 14th. He has a possible undescended testicle. The pediatric urologist is going to go in via his belly button to see what is going on and will find out if his testicle can be pulled down. If it is down and irregular it will be removed and the other testicle will be checked to make sure it is healthy. So, we are already trying to stay healthy for surgery and the last thing we need is Swine Flu to hit our household. So that means no karate, mall, or anything until the facts are all available. I did make it out to Wal Mart this evening sans kids and I have to say that it was a ghost town. There were no lines and I saw more employees than customers. It was like I was shopping at 2am instead of 7pm on Friday, May 1st. Hopefully the shut down of schools and parks has helped stop the spread of the swine flu in our community.

P and I are well. We could be better but I think a lot of our issues are more stress related. I wish he would be more concerned and he wishes I would let him de-stress via primal means. Oh boy. He is getting worried that here will go on without him. I'm worried about how bad our life will be if something holds up his deployment.

So, I have a site that I did some local restaurant and restroom reviews on a while back. I think I'm going to bring it back to life and do more reviews. I'll do anything that I get in the mail via samples, restaurants, and stores. I might also review websites. It can't hurt anything and it might help another consumer. Tomorrow night I'm hosting a House Party for Clairol. I picked out my new shade tonight and I hope the other ladies who come have a great time socializing and changing our looks. There will be a bunch of laughter, pictures, food, and drinks.

Oh and the last way I'm entertaining myself instead of worrying about everyday life? I'm playing Farm Town on Facebook. It addicting and fun and I need more neigbors darn it all.

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I was able to get a new look on the blog to celebrate spring. Spring has sprouted here and my spirit is relieved to see the new growth. I am excited to say that my vegetable garden plots have new dirt and just need a bit more work before I can plant my seeds and young plants in a few weeks (we will be frost free by mid April). I have landscaping modifications to make as well. The work outside is luring me away from all the work in the house. I will have to make a deal with myself to get something done inside before going out tomorrow morning. That is if I can move after the work I did today.

P has a deployment date for the sandbox, July 5th. We got a bit more time than most people because P's current project needs to be wrapped up before he leaves the country. Oh my goodness, P is really leaving for a year. But, he will get three two week morale trips. Plus we will be compensated very well for the "sacrifice" of time and hazardous conditions. T is emotional about it but we are talking it through. R has asked a few questions and said she's not happy but isn't dwelling as much as T. L is going to change the most and I'm going to have to utilize youtube more once P is gone. I just hope we can make it financially in the next three and a half months until P leaves. Because we are soo tight on money right now. It's crazy how junk keeps popping up here and there.

It was spring break for T this week and we didn't do a lot and that was nice. I did get out of the house a bit without the kids. I left them with P. I'm doing that a bit more and not letting myself feel guilty for that. I would be doing this even if P weren't going out of the country. I need to be able to think and breathe without the kids all over me. However the kids and I did make a few trips out of the house too. We went to the Birmingham Zoo and then T and I went out with a few other kids and their Mom's to bowl for a while. It was fun and relaxing.

Now I have a bunch of to-do items before P leaves. I have to learn how to do normal things that I just leave for P. I should be able to do most, but I just don't because then P has to do them *grin*. I also want to get a security system (yes it's an added expense .. but it's peace of mind too) installed and get some sort of insulation on the garage door. We barely used the family room in January and February because it was soo much colder in there. Plus, there is the normal laundry, dishes, clean the garage after a winter of throwing things out there, sort through toys and kids clothes (keep, toss, donate/sell), and paint more rooms. I'm not happy if I'm not pulled a million ways and I'm definitely feeling the pull now. But, I also have to say that I'm not as down as I was a two months or even a few weeks ago.

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I got a wild hair up my nose to change my theme here and it seems I made a big boo boo and blogger doesn't like me. I'll have to try again.. maybe on Sunday. Tomorrow is too busy with dirt (gardening and landscaping) and karate (if T is healthy enough to make it).


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So, I am 3/4 through a glass of wine. I feel disconnected which is really good for a day like today. So whatever I say can not be used against me at another time. I LOVE BULLETS (you really don't want to know how many times it took me to type those three words). :)

1. Things are always less complicated when you add a glass of good wine.
2. P is most likely (95%) going to Afgh@nistan this summer and will be gone for a year. This is great for my family's financial future and truthfully he's at just as much risk here in the states in a building off base.
3. T is still doing great at school but we have doubled his meds because he was distracted easier around PE time and through the evening. Hopefully the increase will help, if not we are looking at a patch type medication.
4. R did not make it to dance class tonight because I could not find her bag with her shoes in it. I have no idea where it could be and that infuriates me (but I have wine on board so I will deal with it tomorrow).
5. Our tax return has been spent without saving for our vacation. Whatever that was going to be a huge headache and if we can still find a way to go it will be after P leaves and well it will cost a lot less. Whatever... I really wanted it but next summer will have an awesome vacation because P will be getting back from the desert.
6. P's bosses are being $h!ts and making our choices complicated. They want him to wait to deploy until a project is done and have told him that he can't have spring break off because of that project. This project has been active for almost two years. I can't put my life on hold because of this project. P is meeting with the big boss tomorrow, hopefully cooler heads will prevail.
7. L is smaller than every other baby I know. I am normally ok with that but.. gggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. In the end he is healthy, happy, wanting to eat a diverse number of things, and meeting/exceeding his milestones.
8. R is great but really wants to be in school. I hope I find the right preschool for her next year. She really wants to be in school now but does not understand why she has to wait until August.
9. I hate that money is tight although I know we are still much better off than so many people in the US today. P has a stable job, we have a house that we love, we have food, clothing, and a roof over our head. We could cut back more but it would be painful. P will go to the desert and hopefully our economic concerns will be behind us. I PRAY!

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Life hasn't been awful - just consistently frustrating. I'll start with the good things though.. L is starting to crawl (army style.. but still he's moving), R is getting ready for her ballet recital and is sooo tall that she's too big for her scooter and bicycle (we're going to get a new bike at least), T is doing awesome in school and at home (he started @DD medication 2.5 weeks ago), ALL 3 kids sleep in their own beds which are in their own rooms EVERY NIGHT, and last but not least I'm getting my own computer (keep reading to see why this is AWESOME).

However there are clenchers in my life right now:

1. I hate WLS/Gastric Bypass/PCOS/Infertility/Hirutism. My body has betrayed me my entire life. Why should today be any different?
*I'm trying my damnedest to nurse L but he needs supplementation. It was the same with T and R.. so why am I frustrated? Because I want to be NORMAL!
*I hate that a pass gas without any warning. This is embarrassing around my children. How can I be a good role model when I'm letting out air rockets? This doesn't count the times when my gut just decides to start talking to whomever is around. (this is caused by RNY)
*I hate that I have to be conscious of everything that I eat and that I bring it up so often. I don't want to be a martyr. But I feel like I need to let people who are around me what's up in case I start getting all weird. I have to get my protein and vitamins and if I don't I'm a weakling (even more than I've become.. ugh I can't pull the carseat out of the van some days). PLEASE don't serve me pasta as the only dinner option (I'll be in the restroom trying to retch if you do). WLS was a tool to allow me to get to a size that is healthier. I'm at the doctor MORE than I was pre-op. I'm so frickin tired of it. T told me today that he's sorry that I ever had to have the surgery. Right now.. I am too. I'm not happy with my flabby body.. I'm glad I'm skinnier.. but the cost is almost too much. I'm not even sure that my blood pressure is down. I'm just burying my head about that right now because I've got too much other crap going on.
*So I lose 120lbs and you would think everything would be hunky dory right? Nope.. my body is still infertile (and irregular) and my face gets new hairs every day. I've tried laser treatments that caused the hairs to get darker. I'm embarrassed that I may have a 5 o clock shadow some days. How F'd up is that?

2.We entered credit counseling. It will be a great thing in 5 years. But.. today it still sucks. We are in another dry spell of P's overtime and my babysitting is sporadic at times. P has applied to go over seas to work for a year. I'm actually excited about him going because it means that when he gets home we won't have to worry about money as much.

*We did our taxes and already have our federal return. Wohoo! We lost soo much money on the house in VA that our tax return doubled. So we get to pay off some debts, go on a small vacation (because I demanded a vacation), and buy my laptop (because P wants me out of the office and off his computer)

*Money is tight and I'm torn as to whether I want to go back to school, stay home with the three kids we have, have more babies, or just go back to work now and school later. So many options and none of them seem to be the right one for us. Ugh.

3. P is a prick. 90% of the time lately I can say that P has been doing an awesome job. But he's back tracking and he doesn't SEEM care what it costs me. I'm treading water emotionally but I know he would flip out if I said I wanted to go on something to help me out. I can't describe how I feel other than to say I felt the same way a month before I went into the hospital for a week with IBS (only IV morphine and nothing by mouth for a week seemed to work). Needless to say I don't want to go through that again .. however I'm at a loss for what to do.

*P hears me and seems to try.. but he's not really .. and if he does.. he's keeping score.

*I'm constantly trying to please everyone around me and I never please my biggest critic (myself).

*I really want to go to Walt Disney World (this could be almost 50% of what we pain in 2007 due to my brother being in the Air Force Active Duty) this year but my sister is whining that she doesn't want to go with us (she'd rather Nick Suites and Universal) and i really wanted this(a merging of siblings and families to a "neutral destination") to become a family tradition every few years. Now whenever I bring it up she says I need to get a life. The only response i have for her is that this is my escape and I need to plan this escape so I can look forward to it.

* I have to know every possibility and make contingency plans. My life is not allowing that right now.

I'm exhausted and done. The kids are finally all asleep in their own beds.

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