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We fight…

November 11, 2019

2019 has turned out to be the year from hell.

On August 23rd, my husband had a significant injury caused by sturgeon fishing.  Sturgeon are prehistoric fish normally weighing in around 100 pounds; my husband caught an almost 9 foot, 250 pound sturgeon.  It was the catch of his life (well, outside of me).  During this fishing adventure Steve used his stomach to leverage the fishing rod while battling Moby Dick causing life threatening internal bleed in his stomach.  His blood pressure stayed above 200 for one week resulting in a spinal cord bleed and multiple brain bleeds…leaving my husband forever changed.

Steve’s spinal cord bleed caused him to loose all feeling in his legs below his navel for a few weeks with full paralysis of the legs.  His brain bleeds caused a traumatic brain injury.  Once again, he faced a fight for his life.  The night I got to Canada, where he was, I was told he would never walk again and most likely would fall into a coma and possibly never wake up.  But our God, The Great Healer, continues to show His Mercy to us.

After 12 days in the ICU, 38 days in the hospital, 28 days in in-patient rehab and 7 days and counting in day-program rehab he has had some huge wins and still has deficits.  Steve is still in a wheelchair, but able to stand on his own and take a few steps while holding onto a counter.  The feeling in the right leg is for the most part gone except for the feelings of fire when touched; now he has other medical complications he didn’t deal with before.  He has decreased executive function now due to the traumatic brain injury.  Despite his drastically changed health, we pray with gratitude for what has been restored. He is expected to be able to walk again, but it might be a little slower…we are not a 100% sure.

When you marry “for sickness and health” is part of the vows.  I am not sure I was prepared for the already complicated health (made my liver transplant look like a walk in the park), but now this ads a whole new layer of learning how to be his best advocate.  I take this job on with honor.  He is my husband, my best friend and he is fighting like hell to get back to normal. Why would I not thank God for the opportunity to serve this man while asking Him why did He have to assign this to me?

We are tired.  We have both cried multiple times (and I still cry).

For me, life has become measurably busier.  I have had to give up 50% of my business time in order to take him to outpatient therapy at Shepherd Clinic.  I have to now manage all the meal planning, taking care of pets, house chores and our son for the most part.  Conceptually, I didn’t feel like it would be that much more, but in all reality it is a lot more.  Now, there is no one to help me unload and load the car when we have tons of boxes in the back, no one to share litter box duty with, no one to share two loads of clothes a day with, and the list goes on…all while worrying about my two greatest gifts.

Steve busts his ass 7 hours a day at PT.  Every time we leave to go anywhere I have to take apart a 56 pound wheelchair and put it in the back of our car to get it out again in half an hour.  Every single action we take now has become significantly more complicated and nothing is simple and fast anymore.

Steve is now battling to get back to where he is.  Now he has to sit back and watch me handle most of the house duties and he can feel a bit useless.  While the hope he has is great for a recovery, he worries he will never recover enough.

We are so, so tired, but we continue to fight for future and not lament for the past.  Scratch that, we have our days that we wish for the past.  Oh, how the hard days I have wept asking God to return everything to normal.

But, we have decided to fight.  Fight for Disney World trips with our kids, we fight for a 2nd child through adoption, we fight for being able to dig in the dirt with Max…we fight for the joy that God promises is our’s if we ask Him for it.

We need prayers…for full walking capability, God bringing us another child, more clients for me and more energy for all of us.

Strange Musings Uncategorized

Dr. Venus Flytrap knows what’s going on in my bedroom? I doubt it!

August 14, 2013

Adoption baby mommy stiletto blogger

As a person who works for herself, I get the joy of working from home. What does this mean? I sit on my happy butt on the sofa every morning without brushing my teeth or my hair, if I so choose, while I cry over my bank statement. In fact, many people who work for themselves, or own a small business will nod their heads in agreement with me. People decide to work for themselves and forgo a steady paycheck for a variety of reasons. Personally, I gave up the stability of that money in my bank account every two weeks for an easy commute. Read on and you can decide which choice gives a higher quality of life – as I have no idea.

Many days I tackle certain parts of my job, while the television drones on in the background to trick me into believing that I have an office full of minions doing my dirty work. This afternoon I turned on Rachel Ray (don’t ask me why, as I do not cook and I cannot stand her) while answering emails. Sherri Sheppard, the guest co-host, introduced the topic of sex advice and how to spice it up in the bedroom. Instantly, I perked up and had to listen. Why, do you ask? No, I don’t have a man in my life and, sadly, no sex either. More than that, I find these segments exceptionally entertaining for multiple reasons:

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Dating Jack Sparrow Uncategorized

The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia

June 24, 2013
A vision of my personal life.

A vision of my personal life.

As I sit in the dark waiting out another infamous tornado weather night in Georgia, my mind drifts back to my own tornadic/traumatic events in my personal life.  Yes, we all endure bad boyfriends/girlfriends, unfaithful lovers and fantastic relationships.  Luckily, I had an incredible love in my life and kissed a few frogs along the way — even frogs can teach lessons.

Last year this time, I sat in my bathroom water closet, with a new friend from southern California, teaching him all of the safety measures in the case of a funnel cloud.  As I shared stories of Georgia’s own Dorothy experiences, my phone started ringing with warnings from friends and family to take cover.  One particular message popped up saying “While I do not like you as a person  – tornado headed your way” and my laughter howled through the night louder than the thunder.

Did I really think that he, who shall remain nameless, cared about my location in the storm path? NOPE.  I had not spoken with him in 3-4  years and the last time we had communicated I had turned him down on getting back together.  Why did I turn him down?  He lied. Lied about having a girlfriend at the time.  Lied about his interest in me.  Lied about everything.  If his interest ever rang true then he wouldn’t have insulted me with a backhanded statements.  My confusion still remains about what happened in our 3 month relationship over 5 years ago that left him bitter enough to take that opportunity to sling an insult me, but I digress….

As time in my life has passed I started to wonder if I were the one with the issue?  Am I so dumb when it comes to men that I buy into the lies for that New York minute?  Yeah, not possible because 20 years of dating has bestowed copious amounts of knowledge on me — which I am quick to share without my audience’s solicitation.

Take for an example the guy I dated last year:  Nice guy, financially stable, and beautiful home that I visiting multiple times in our relationship.  No sign of a mistress, wife or a closeted gay lover — or his sister for that matter.  Yep, this sucker told me his family tree ended at him  — no siblings.  Who am I to question an only child status?

Six months later, I cruised his facebook page (no judging —you have facebook stalked someone yourself ) and I find out his sibling status included a sister.  Who lies about a sister unless little Jenny turns a trick on the block?  Not the issue — this raven beauty’s jewelry showed no signs of suffering cash flow issue.  Maybe his sister was his lover instead of me? Who does that…who lies about their sister?

Weathering the storm of dating equates to weathering the storm of attending one of my family functions — exceptionally painful, un-enjoyable, but fruitful when it comes to acquiring knowledge.  Yes, we all might need a therapy to deal with both, but the money well spent in the end.  So grab your raft and get out there and date some crazies to find that perfect someone — and don’t forget your lifejacket!



It’s Not Fashionable to Wear Shame

May 7, 2013

Recently, my friend, Kylee sent Baby Beloved her first gift basket.  The basket included a stuffed monkey, “Go The F**k To Sleep” book (I love laughing at the name of that book) and “20 Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew”.  When I flipped through the book I noticed the topic of “shame” prevalence.  My heart broke feeling my child’s future shame knowing her birth parent’s decision to give her up for adoption.

Over the years, I clothed myself with shame many mornings before I leaving home.  I’m not ashamed of my scars, but ashamed about how my body failed me twenty years ago.  I’m ashamed of the long term impact my anti-rejection drugs have had on my joints and bones.  Every time I think a hospital visit lies in my near future, I cringe with humiliation knowing those expected to step up to plate to help me never will; instead, I am having to lean on others to pick their failures.

Clothed in Shame

When I suffered from appendicitis, I drove myself to the hospital to avoid having to humble myself to friends and ask for their help.  I walk in shame knowing that twenty years after my transplant, my body fails its basic purpose – to give life to a child.  I am ashamed of how I feel like I have little to offer a future husband (even knowing that I do have so many amazing intangible traits to offer): My body — beautiful in sight; fails me constantly in function.  I will fail to give my husband children.  I am ashamed that I do not have a family that gets together on holidays or calls to check in when someone in sick.  I clothe myself in shame.

As women, we often search our bodies for stretch marks and crow’s feet.  But the signs of aging never compare to the internal damage of our shame; as a society, we fail to acknowledge that many of us walk with shame — shame often birthed out of failures in marriage, child rearing, careers and relationships.

Whispers too Deep for Words

What would happen if every time we felt ashamed, we whispered a prayer of forgiveness to ourselves?  Giving our inner self permission to forgive all of our failures, preventable or not.  Love would happen.  Societies ability to self-love and love others would blossom.  The future of my child has already begun to change me. How?  I am learning how to accept the things I cannot change about my body, but taking pride in how strong it has been to bring me this far.  Every morning, I choose to NOT dress myself in shame.  I choose gratefulness for learning this lesson because one day…I can teach it to my daughter.  Hopefully, I can inspire some other women to teach it to themselves.


The Case of the Morphine Loose Lips

August 14, 2012

It seems I’ve spent much of my life in emergency rooms and doctor’s offices having medical tests and procedures. My body sports over 15 doctor’s signatures on it in the form of scars. On average I have at least one doctor’s appointment a week. What am I trying to say here? I’m not immune to pain brought on by illness; nor, am I threatened by a guy in a white coat or his scalpel.  I do not have a passive tongue or wallflower attitude in dealing with my health issues. I tell you this in order to lay the ground work to share a little personal story with you.

Party in the Operating Room Like It’s 1999?

From what I remember, 1999 started off as a fairly healthy year for me. I had already received my liver transplant and had yet to develop osteopenia (a condition that has led to over 10 fractures in the past 4 years). Unbeknownst to my 23-year-old self, I had started to develop cysts on my ovaries (clearly, a foreshadowing of my future infertility).

If you’ve ever known a woman who has had a ruptured ovarian cyst, then she can attest to the incredibly painful nature of the experience. Imagine that someone reached inside of you from your back, grabbed your belly button and tried to pull your navel and guts out of your ass (yes that is the only appropriate word here).

My first experience with a ruptured cyst proved my most painful one to date. One morning, in the wee hours, I woke up feeling that something just wasn’t right in my stomach…almost like something inside me changed during the night.  I got up ready to greet the world with my lovely shining smile and glorious morning personality that people know me for (sarcasm, folks).  I started getting ready for work and decided that makeup, styling my hair and brushing my teeth did not fit into my chosen routine that morning.

Instead, I poured myself into a pair of jeans and headed to the hospital so my doctor could evaluate what felt like either a very bad case of gas, or the world’s worst case of spontaneous stomach cancer.  On the way I made the necessary calls to my doctor, mother, boss and jackass boyfriend to notifying them of my pending death.  While the phone call line up might not seem important now, remember this piece of information for later.

I showed up at the hospital where they whisked me back into the emergency room to have me model their version of backless lingerie. Due to my transplant status, I got to skip-jump to the front of the emergency room line — ahead of snot-nosed adults and old guys having chest pains. They put me into a room with only a curtain separating me from the 60-year-old guy on a heart monitor. Once again, note this piece of information for later. The god of all that is doctors, my transplant doctor, Dr. S (his name not given here for his protection) came in the room to speak with me about my symptoms, thump on my belly, and told me that he would send one of his fellows in to conduct a further examination.

Here’s where the story starts to get interesting.

You see, transplant surgeons understand that their patients usually have a high pain tolerance and I’m no different. So, if I say “I need pain relief drugs STAT”, I mean it and they listen. Then, within a matter of minutes, I will start to smile again due to the help of my friends, Morphine or Deluadid. On this particular day, the staff gave me two large hits of morphine within 20 minutes of each other to take the edge off of my pain.  My standard response to morphine involves an incredible desire to go to sleep as well as loss of control as to what comes out of my mouth.  A time or two, I might have said some inappropriate things while wearing my morphine lips.

Just Lay Back and Relax

My doctor thought that I might have appendicitis and, apparently, a simple, accurate way to diagnose this involves a pelvic exam. If you don’t know what a pelvic exam involves, then Google it…I’m not explaining it to you here. My doctor and I have an unspoken agreement that he will not personally perform any examinations involving my private parts. So, he sent in a Fellow to do his dirty work.  (Remember: mom, boyfriend, co-worker, and old guy next to me and two hits of morphine.)

So, Dr. McYoungfellow walks in and, of course, it’s the one time that I find a doctor really good looking – ok, honestly, he was hot. Damn hot!

I am pretty sure he felt the same about me because; all of the sudden, a little sexual tension seemed to settle in the room — or a lot of sexual tension and lot of smiles between us.  He proceeds by asking me some questions and then asks my entourage to leave the room (yep, mom, boyfriend and even my boss showed up at the hospital to watch the show).

Cute-doc-boy proceeds to pull out the portable stirrups and perform the pelvic exam.  Even though I’m high as a kite at this point, it doesn’t mean I’m immune to pain and that exam has the distinction of one of my most painful medical exams – ever.  There were tears, screams, yelling and swear words so loud that my entourage surely heard it in the waiting area and became aware of my little-known ability to use diverse, colorful language that rivals that of any sailor.

Though drugged, I heard the heart monitor on the old guy next door pick up in speed because he probably wondered if some type of ritual patient killing was taking place and if they were coming for him next.  Doctor McCutie told me about his findings, asked if I had any questions, and asked if he could do anything else for my pain.  I responded with, “Nope, and thanks for the best 5 minutes of my day”.  Yes, even during my hazy, pain-filled state, I tried to be funny and charming. Instead of returning my overtures in kind, Dr. Pretty Eyes was horrified, dropped his eyes and practically ran out of the room.

Seeking Doctor Sexy

My transplant doctor walked in a few minutes later shaking his head (which he seems to do very often with me) and asked me exactly what happened. “Yes,” I told him, “I want Dr. McSexy to hand over his digits.”  Thankfully, Dr. S has a fairly laidback personality and wasn’t nearly as horrified as his Dr. McYummy. He and his feisty wife both have a special place in my heart. In fact, I’m pretty sure he just considered it part of the initiation ritual involved in becoming a fully trained doctor. Now, do you have Dr. Sexy’s digits for me? Perhaps an email or social media handle?