Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye

We found out that Jeff would be flying to Korea very late Thursday the 12th, we got married on Friday the 13th, finished shopping for and packing everything he would need for the next year Saturday the 14th and we said goodbye Sunday the 15th at 6:50am. Needless to say this was one of the craziest weekends of our lives. Trying to get everything ready for him was not an easy task. Yes we knew that most likely Jeff would be going to Daegu, but we were really hoping that he would be able to instead take a job that was offered to him at the elementary school here in town. Unfortunately he did not make it to the interview that would have been today even though Jeff asked them to fly him out on Tuesday or Wednesday. Once he received conformation that his plane tickets were ready, we did not have the option of backing out. At least not without having to repay them for everything they had spent on him, that being over 5,000$.
At first when I woke up Saturday morning I was so focused on getting everything he needed that I did not give myself time to get too emotional. Not only did we have to finish all out last minuet shopping and packing, but we also had a BBQ at his parents house so they could say their goodbyes. A few times his mom started to cry but I found a reason to walk away and stay strong. I did feel guilty in that I asked his family not to come to the airport with us to send him off. I did this for two reasons, first being I wanted to spend that last few minuets together, just the three of us. Second I didn't want everyone to get really emotional and upset Tyson. I knew that it was going to be hard enough for me to be strong for him, I didn't want him to get scared seeing everyone around him crying. I was able to stay pretty strong until his bags were packed and sitting in the car. It seemed like they were just waiting to be placed in the underbelly of a jet, taking my now husband and Tyson's daddy far away from us. I was good about making sure I was alone when I was crying my eyes out. I did not want to make it harder on Tyson or Jeff it possible. Unfortunately that would not end up the case, but I really did try.
Jeff had promised Tyson one last "boy's night" so we all went over to McDonald's for supper. I do not usually go out to eat with them but I did not want to miss a moment with Jeff. On our way into eat, Tyson started screaming that something had bit him on the foot and when I looked, the bottom of his foot started to swell. I am guessing that here was a spider on the ground and it must have become stuck inside his sandal when he stepped on it. He did not want to go home so inside we went, making sure to keep an eye on his foot. All in all supper was great, we even got a surprise visit from Nannie while we were there. After we were all done eating, we all drove around so that Jeff could say goodbye to anyone that he could find. It was sad to see him telling everyone that it was his last night in Millinocket. It was even more sad having some of his students ask me to go to graduation and record it so he would not miss his first class walking. After we went everywhere he could think of, it was time to go home and try to get a little sleep. Tyson was out so fast, but Jeff and I stayed up talking. I wanted to make sure that I had everything set for him to go, along with knowing everything that needed to be done around the house so he would not worry. Just as we both finally started to fall asleep, around 1am, Tyson woke up screaming in pain. Jeff and I were so close to taking him up to the hospital, but with some ice and a new place to sleep on the couch, he was back to sleep. I then let Jeff go sleep for a bit while I stayed awake to make sure he was up by 2:30. It was not a great start to the morning, but once we were all in the car and heading to the airport it was better. I tried so hard to be the strong one, but ended up crying the entire hour's drive. Thankfully Tyson was sound asleep and did not hear me.
Once we finally got to the airport we realized that we did NOT have to be there 2 hours early like they had told him on the phone. It was nice having that extra time to spend together instead of having to just drop him off and leave. I have to say when we got to the airport I was not ready for all the solderers that were there getting ready to fly out. Seeing all of them truly made me feel even more blessed that Jeff was traveling to be a teacher and not going where all of those brave men and women were. I prayed the entire time we were there for each and every one of them to come home safely.
As the time got closer, we all started to feel the weight of emotions building up, I was actually doing good until I saw Jeff getting a bit red in the face. When they actually called for his flight to start boarding it all became too much for all of us. Tyson seemed to suddenly realize that this really was happening and started screaming for his Daddy to come back. Seeing him so upset made it impossible for me to hold back the tears any longer. We got one more quick look at Jeff through the glass and I knew from the expression on his face that he could hear Tyson calling him back. Tyson and i stayed until we saw Jeff's plane take off, then we tearfully walked back out to the car. Tyson reached up and held my hand and asked me if we were ok and I told him of course we were. That we are going to have to be partners while Daddy was gone and help each other not only get through today, but through the next year. That seemed to make him feel better and when we got into the car he was done crying but I had a hard time driving away from the airport. When he realized I was crying again he said, "Mommy are you crying again, you can't miss him already". Thankfully he was so tired that he slept the entire drive home as well and let me be to cry alone.
When I finally got home I checked the computer and Jeff had sent me an email the night before. It showed me Delta's flight tracker and after I typed in his information, i was able to watch his flight in almost real time. Watching that little orange plane move across the screen made me feel so much closer to him. Like I was somehow able to watch over him and be with him. i don't know how I would have made it though that day without that. I was able to see when his plane landed in Detroit and was even able to talk to him with Skype during his 6 hour layover. He finally had to say goodbye again at 2pm to get onto the long flight from Detroit to Tokyo Japan. I was hoping to talk to him once he landed in Japan, before his next flight to Busan South Korea, but after almost 40 hours without sleep, I finally gave in. I missed his message to tell me that he had arrived in Daegu safely, and I did not get to talk to him to know how he really was until about 12am here. Even though there are a few bumps with his apartment, he seems very happy and already at home. Hopefully we will get to talk more tomorrow night (our time), For now I thank God for getting him there safely and giving me the strength to get through the day in one piece.


First a photo to see if you can figure out what the big surprise is?

Can you guess?

If you are thinking those look a lot like wedding rings then, YOU WIN!!!!!

Jeff and I have been engaged for over 7 years now and every time we try to finally start planing a wedding, something seems to come up. With him leaving for Korea, I knew that I wanted him to leave as my Husband, not just my fiance. So, in less then 10 hours we were able to go to the town office and get our marriage licence and find someone who could merry us on such short notice. As soon as we had that done, we went over to my parents to ask if it would be alright if we got married in their back yard, something I have always wanted. They both excitedly said yes and then things were off and running. Mom and I got right to work cleaning up the yard and figuring out where I wanted it done. She and my dad built a beautiful rock waterfall and ponds a few years ago, along with a huge brick patio and pergola made by my dad. I decided that under the pergola would be the perfect place to finally say "I do". As soon as I decided where I wanted it, Jeff and I were off and running to his parents house to tell them the good news. Before leaving I called my grandparents to invite them, knowing how long they have waited to see me get married. Jeff's parents were both in a bit of shock, but very happy. I wanted this to just be a few people, but Jeff really wanted his sister there, so we called up Laurie and told her to drive up north as soon as she got out of work. After she stopped screaming and laughing she promised she would be there. Before leaving Jeff asked if he could invite one more person, W. Linda Wasilauskis has become a very close friend to Jeff and our family since he started working at the school. It was no surprise to me when her first reaction was "Your not already married" lol. She was very happy to be included in our special day and we were happy she could be there. After we left Jeffrey's parents house, I went back to help my mom put up a few decorations. I could not believe when we pulled up to their house that my mom and dad had strung Christmas lights all over the pergola and trees, it was beautiful. The one thing that was missing was some lights around the pond so I ran home and grabbed the box of wedding stuff that Jeff and I have been picking up over the years. In the box we had more then a dozen bowls with floating rose candles. We also had a cake cutting set along with wedding cups. I placed the candles along the pond and along the wall by the house. After that was done, my mom and I went to the greenhouse where she works and she made me the most beautiful bouquet ever. THANK YOU MOM!!!! I could not believe how great everything looked for coming together so fast. The only thing missing was I was that I did not have my sister here with me, so I set to work trying to call her so that she could be there with us over the computer. I went home and got my laptop and set up Skype so that she could watch everything. Unfortunately I was not able to get a hold of her until the last minuet and they were not a home. I did have my mom hold up the phone so they could try to hear everything, but I'm not sure they actually heard anything. I was happy that we were able to Skype her in when it was time to cut the cake. The one thing that I was really sad about was that we did not have time to go buy wedding rings for each other. I was lucky in that I had the first engagement right that Jeff had given to me 7 + years ago and another right that he had given to me for Christmas. Even though I am allergic to the white gold that they used to cover the second ring with, I had one to use. I can not even tell you how shocked I was when we came to the part of "with this ring I thee wed" for Jeff and I had to say he didn't have one, only to be told that yes he did. Jeff's sister was so momentously amazing and had stopped at the mall before heading up to buy him a wedding ring. I have always said that if things were meant to happen they would and this wedding was truly meant to happen. I can never possible thank his sister enough for doing that for us. Almost everything that day was just as perfect as I could ever have imagined. The one really funny thing is that everything all came together so fast that it was not until after I became Jeff's wife that I realized that I never even put my shoes on. All in all it truly was a perfect day, a few things happened that I wish I could have changed, but the joy over shadowed the bad.

To those who did not get to enjoy in our day, I am so very sorry. I never wanted to exclude anyone or hurt any one's feelings. I never imagined that I would ever get married without my family, friends and all the people that we love there with us. This was something that was put together last minuet, once we knew that Jeff would not be able to try to get the job here in town. We also wanted to make sure that we were married in case things worked out for Tyson and I to join Jeff over in Korea. If we were not married then I would only be able to stay 2 months on a tourist visa. I really hope that you will all join us on our first anniversary to renew our vows in a more traditional ceremony, complete with the wedding gown I have always dreamed of wearing, so that we can share in the joy of becoming a true family with all the people that we love.
Also if anyone is wondering why we would get married on Friday the 13th, I want you to know that the 13th not only is my birthday, but has always been a lucky day for me. The other reason is because my parents wedding Anniversary is the 14th and I did not want to take away from their special day together.
Here are a few more photos from our day.......

Monday, August 2, 2010

2 Days Post Op

I have to say this is not the recovery I expected in my wildest dreams. Not only have I not taken anything more then a few Ibuprofen since Friday, but I am already up and walking without crutches. I can honestly say that I am in less pain now then I was before surgery! I am still taking it easy and most of the day is spend in bed with my polar care on. Polar care is something the hospital gave me after one of the knee surgeries last year that put me in the hospital for a number of days. It is a looks like any hard cooler you might pack your lunch in, but this one you fill with ice and water and it has a circulator that moves the cold water through a long flat tube through a pad that I wrap around my knee. This way I don't have to worry about using messy ice bags that melt after a short time. I will try to post a photo of what it looks like when I am feeling a little better.
Anyway the polar care has really been allowing me to control my pain without medication and I could not be happier. I am still really swollen but hardly bruised at all. I am really hopeful that this last surgery is finally going to give me back my life, pain free.
Tomorrow I go back to see my doctor so he can check on my incisions and go over everything he found during the surgery. There was one thing that he saw that he referred to as "concerning" but at that moment, I was starting to feel everything and did not pay any more attention to what he was saying. I think he will also be surprised to see just how well I am doing. Maybe now my nightmares will finally stop and I can once again dream of going on long bike rides and maybe even getting back into running.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Surgery day run down

This is a run down of my oh so fun day thus far.

I woke up at 6:00am to finish getting myself ready for the day. It was kind of nice having that time with the house to myself while Jeff and Tyson slept. Even though the sun was already starting to shin, there was just a bit of Stormy look to the outside. Because the hospital has had too many cases of staff infections, I was not allowed to shower or even wash my hair, instead I got to use these wonderful prep clothes provided by my doctor. Now you would not think using something that looks more or less like a think baby wipe would be a problem, but they made me itch to the point of tears. They are suppose to clean your skin of any bacteria and continue to do so for about 6 hours. The night before I had used them for the first time and the itching was so bad I had to soak in a cool bath until it finally washed off. I did feel guilty for not doing exactly what I was told, but I could not stay like that all night. When I used them again today, the itching was not quite as sever.
After I finished washing up, brushing my hair and teeth, I got dressed and woke up Jeff and Tyson. I felt bad because for once Tyson really wanted to sleep in. He was so tired and begged me to let him sleep. He was even more upset when I told him that we had to get ready to go to the hospital. He was understandably upset with the idea of me going back to have more done.
Anyway, after everyone was finally dressed and ready, we headed out the door and got to the hospital at 7:59 exactly. I was surprised to see how many people were already in the waiting room. This being a very small town, I just didn't expect that many people to be there that early waiting to go into surgery. Even though they were busy, I barely had time to sit down before they called my name. Tyson even told the nurse that she called us too fast and that he was not ready. Ready or not, it was time for prep. I was once again back in one of the 3 surgical prep rooms and it was a bit early how nothing but the photograph on the calender had changed. The nurse came in with a choice of 2 very stylish hospital gowns, one being the normal one you see and the other a paper gown with a port in the side to be hooked up to a bear warmer. I chose the paper gown, even though it is uncomfortable and leaves you feeling like your wearing an overly starched paper table cloth, the warm air is always nice in the freezing OR. So after I was dressed for the ball, it was time to answer a ton of questions and get the IV. As of last year I now have a true fear of the IV and was in no way looking forward to this step in the process. I explained to the nurse before hand that I have small veins that tend to blow very easily and she said she would do her very best but she could feel that they were small. Then came the countdown and the "here comes the pinch and burn" and to my grateful surprise she got it on one shot. Tyson was excitedly watching the entire time, to my relief he did not ask to help this time. He has become quite fond of seeing mommy get stuck with needles and in turn he has no fear of them. So after I was all prepped, the doctor came in one more time to go over everything and to sign off on my leg. I still think it is funny that both a nurse and the doctor actually write on the limb that is to be operated on with permanent maker so the wrong one doesn't get hacked into. You would think the large scar on my knee would give it away, but not so. After the doctor left, I was able to get a few more cuddles in from Tyson before being knocked out. Even though I was awake during surgery, they put me to sleep long enough to put some medication in my knee, along with the spinal block. Originally I told them I did not want it, but after they showed me the needle they were about to put inside my knee, I agreed. By the time I woke up, I was already on the OR table and numb, or so I though, from the waist down. My knee was up in the air and the doctor was dressing it and applying the tourniquet. I was then asked if I wanted to watch and of course I said yes. So they lowered the blue sheet in front of me so that I could see the TV screen and before I knew it, I was looking at the inside of my knee. That day there happened to be someone visiting the hospital so to my advantage, my doctor was explaining everything he was doing and what he saw to this person, so I kind of knew what was going on. Unfortunately not long after they started, I started to feel everything the doctor was doing. At first I could only feel pressure but soon I could feel the instruments moving inside my knee, along with everything he was cutting and shaving. The nurse noticed I was really in pain and asked if I wanted her to put me to sleep. I can't even put into words how much I hate being put under so I said no. Instead she gave me some Fentanyl and tried to control the pain. The overall surgery did not take that long, but the pain made it seem like forever. The worst pain was when he was cutting the tendon from the inside of my knee. It felt like he was cutting right through my leg. Soon the lights came back on and I knew it was over. I was taken to recovery where the combination of medications caused me to start shaking uncontrollably. It did not bother me so much, until my leg started to shake. The post op nurse told me that she would tell the doctor and soon came back with Demerol to stop the shakes. This did work, but left me completely exhausted. Once I finally left post op and got back to my room, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. Before that happened the nurse had to hook me back up to the blood pressure cuff and pulse ox. I was a bit surprised to see my blood pressure at 101/54!! My mind was soon taken off of everything when I heard Tyson's voice in the hall. Because I was still unable to feel most of my lower body and I was so out of it from all the medications, Jeff and Tyson did not stay long. They went out to lunch while I tried to sleep off some of the drugs. When I woke up, they were just coming back into the room. Not holding back anything here, I will admit that when I picked up Tyson, I was so numb still and the fact that I had 2 bags of IV fluids, I apparently peed. I had no idea that I had done it until I noticed the blankets were wet. I can not even say how embarrassed I was, but when the nurses came in, they informed me this was a very normal occurrence, but even out of all the surgeries I have gone through, I have never experienced anything like this. The nurses were just wonderful though and tried very hard to reassure me that it was ok. One of them even told me that this was always worse for the patient then it was for them. So even though Jeff had just gotten there, I sent him back home for some dry underwear. In the meantime I got cleaned up and moved to a chair. On the way to the chair, one of the nurses accidental kneed me right in the knee, so out she went and when she returned she had a Vicodin in hand. The anesthesiologist then came in and seemed a bit surprised to see how numb my lower body was this long post op. Usually I bounce back really quickly and because I could feel what was going on in surgery, it was not expected for me to still be unable to feel my stomach, bladder, butt and thighs. After all I left the OR around 9:45 and it was already after 1:00. It was almost another hour before I finally started to feel strong enough to try and stand up. Once I could do that, it was just moments that they had me getting dressed and ready to go home. Tyson was so excited for me to come home, although he was very upset he could not push me in the wheelchair out to the car. Somehow being run into a wall on the way out didn't sound like a good time. Once we got home, I put my pj's on and climbed into bed. The only thing I wanted was to finally get some real sleep, but sleep did not want to come to me. I was still really feeling drugged and just could not find a remotely comfortable spot on the bed. Tyson was trying to be such a great doctor, bringing me drinks, fluffing my pillow and pushing on my knee to see if it hurt. Well, the last part was getting to be a bit much so I told him he was allowed to spend the night at his Nannie and Papa's. He was really not happy about having to leave, but I told him it was because I needed my rest and it would not be fun to just watch me sleep. So like a good boy, he went over, but he made sure he called me 2 or 3 times an hour to check on me.
After I was finally able to get a little sleep, I started to feel better. The pain really was not bad, until I got up to pee. Only then did I have to take something for the pain. That first night was a bit rough, but overall the pain was not that bad.
So I guess that is my surgery story, I will continue to update and let anyone reading this know how I am doing. Hope you enjoyed my latest trip to the OR, please just help me pray that this will be the last!!

Surgery tomorrow.

I am in bed realizing feeling completely unprepared for surgery tomorrow. The house is not as clean as I would like, the bed sheets need to be washed, I did not get meals prepared for Jeff and quite frankly I am not ready for my summer to end. Now I know this must sound beyond stupid, but the last time I had surgery, I spend almost an entire year unable to get around. I had my first surgery in February and I did not walk unassisted or without a cast or brace until almost December. I can not help but be fearful that this surgery could possibly leave me in the same condition. Now I know a lot of people (if anyone actually read this) must be asking them selves why I am even going to go through another surgery with such possibilities at hand. Well it is because it has been over a year since I have been able to walk without pain, to play with my son and not have to tell him "sorry mommy can not do that", or to ride my bike, hike the mountain, or even go up and down the stairs to do laundry without having to take something because the pain is too much. For over a year I have taken pain medication almost daily and cried more times then I can count. I have gone for long walks, trying to do what I can to finally loose some weight and come home and screamed into a pillow because the pain was too much. That is if I even made it for a walk without crying on the street. Yes I did have good days and yes there were many times that my knee did not hurt, but it is all the times that it has that makes me so desperate for this surgery. Desperate that my doctor might be able to go in there and finally once and for all fix what ever is causing this. So for now I am praying for the very best, but preparing for the worst. So tomorrow at 7am I will go to the hospital and with all my being, believe this is going to finally be the one to get me back to doing what I want, minus the pain.