Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

from the hospital...

I feel silly blogging about my own health situation. But if one of my friends were going through this, I would want to know all the gory details, so here are some of mine:

Wednesday: I noticed a stomachache; thought nothing of it. It got worse during my day of babysitting 2 toddlers, so by late afternoon I hadn't eaten anything and was in pretty severe pain. I forced down some Saltines to have the energy to put Carson to bed, and then I crawled into my own bed, hoping to sleep it off. That night was horrible; I woke up every half hour in pain, or with a dry mouth, or to go dry-heave in the bathroom. Pain was belly-button level, all around the abdomen. If you guess the diagnosis early, you get a prize.

Thursday morning: I called and went to see my doctor. This is highly unusual for me, as I would usually tough it out for a few days. However, I was very worried about... drum roll, please... our baby #2, 16-week-old Mr. Fetus. (Sorry for the abrupt announcement, but it's necessary for the story here.) So, I told kind Julie that I would only leave Carson for an hour or so, and headed off to the doctor, hunched over in pain. I assured the doctor that it was probably a stomach flu, but that I just wanted to make sure my baby was ok. Wise doc took labs and decided (lots of leukocytes) that there was an infection somewhere. She pressed on the left side of my abdomen--fine. She pressed on the right side-- ouch!! So, I was sent directly to the hospital.

Thursday afternoon: The ultrasound (would be a CT scan, but due to pregnancy had to be ultrasound) definitely showed an inflamed appendix. The ultrasound tech officially added me to his list of "interesting cases." So interesting, in fact, that the whole crew of radiologists came in to take turns poking and prodding me to find my nice big appendix, squished by little baby. So, they sent me over to the Emergency Department, where they said I would be sent right to surgery. I sat in that sinkin' ED for 6 hours, on an uncomfortable bed, in pain. I was visited by many doctors, all assuring me that they were meeting with a team to figure out the best plan to do this surgery and protect the baby. Rick called a friend who works as a surgeon here, and he was SO kind to call and help me get in a little quicker. THANK YOU!! As they wheeled me up to surgery, I spotted another friend from our church. He turned out to be my anesthesiologist! At this point, I was all alone, as I had forecefully sent Rick home to study for Friday's test. The anesthesiology residents all found it hilarious that I had sent him home. So, it was a special miracle to have a friend with me throughout the entire surgery, taking care of me and baby. I think, at one point I told him, "don't let anyone touch my baby!" Surgery was from about 8 p.m. til midnight.

the wee hours of Friday morning: Surgery was successful. My appendix was apparantly "nasty," oozing with puss, as it had burst some. (good thing we didn't wait any longer to take it out, ehh?) As usual, I woke up from the anesthesia a little crazy, crying some and screaming for Rick and my friend Carrie, who was coming to be with me. They put Rick on the phone, and I got a little loopy, cheering him on to, "Go study, honey!!" That loopiness lasted a couple more hours, and Carrie and my recently-arrived parents got to see quite a show. Finally, I slept some, with Carrie being a wonderful friend and nurse throughout the night.

Friday: was quite painful. I thought recovery would go a lot smoother. I guess the anesthesia fills you up with CO2, which results in intense pain all in your abdomen, shoulders and neck afterwards. Breathing is very painful! I didn't eat much, just tried to sip fluids and walk around a tiny bit and deal with the pain. Carrie is so amazing for staying all night and then putting up with me half that day. (During stage loopy, I kept gushing, "Isn't Carrie just so great??" Funny, but true.) Finally, Rick finished his test and came to be with me. This night was especially painful for me, and I was so grateful to have a loving husband there to pray for and with me.

Saturday morning: I was discharged and loved going home to watch Carson laugh and play. He follows my mom around like she is his own! However, my pain wasn't doing too well, and lots of nausea set in. Rick came in to chat with me after eating a burger, and I nearly threw him off the couch for his nauseating smell.

the wee hours of Sunday morning: The nausea progressed to... vomit, vomit, and more vomit. I went back to the hospital in a daze at 3 a.m. After impressing the ER nurse with my ability to continue vomiting at her desk, she admitted me right away. This is the point where I told Rick I was sure I was going to die. I kept sort of fading in and out, and when I was "out," I had the most vivid, pleasant dreams, sometimes like I was re-living my life! Sort of cool, now that it's over. In the ER, a doctor came in and introduced himself as a friend-of-a-friend. He took such good care of me, and once again, I'm so grateful. So, they gave me lots of IV fluid and I started feeling a lot better.

Sunday: I actually felt great once re-hydrated. The only issue was getting my bowels to work correctly... which we're still working on today, Monday, at the hospital. Let's just say, ew.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I hope to be discharged soon and able to take care of my sweet baby(ies) soon after that. I just want to say that I am so grateful for modern medicine, caring friends, my growing faith, prayer, and my wonderfully helpful family.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

crazy carson

Sometimes, this kid gets a little crazy...

...Like when he puts everything on his head. In this case, the headband works.
*Should I be worried about those ribs??

...Like when he crawls inside of the end table...

...and sometimes even pushes the door open to burst out the other side!

...Like when he climbs into boxes.

...and like when he opens his mouth so wide that it takes up half of his entire face.

I guess we all get a little crazy sometimes...

P.S. I had two cute, crazy videos to share, but they're not wanting to upload. Sad. In one, Carson laughs so hard he gets to the "silent laughing" stage. Another day.

P.P.S. According to several sources, by Carson's age there is no chance of the eye color changing any more. So, I have a child with GRAY EYES??? Is that possible? Sometimes his eyes have a little dark blue tint, sometimes they look more brown, but usually, when asked to identify his eye color, the answer is, "hmmmm. ummm. gray??"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

tractors, nascar, and goodwill shopping

It was a true southern weekend.

Rick and my dad attended an event at a Nascar race. (Mostly so our good friends in the Army could throw Rick up on a stage and say, "Look, everybody! This good-looking guy joined the Army; don't you want to too??") They visited all sorts of interesting booths and attractions. Their favorite? A row of tractors that performed a synchronized dance to music, their lights flashing, their shovel-things swinging in time to the music.

Nascar + dancing tractors = a redneck event for sure.
They also got to do a simulation of sky-diving, called a wind tunnel. According to their description, there was a huge fan that blows you up in the air, and apparantly it feels the same as sky-diving.
(In picture to the left, that's NOT my dad, or Rick. They didn't let them go that high, thank goodness.)

While they were busy flying, my mom and I found a redneck activity of our own. We discovered North Carolina's largest Goodwill store!! Here are the goods:

Gap green cardigan: $3.75
Express tan sweater: $3.75
set of 4 Pottery Barn bowls, that perfectly match our dishware: $2
Banana Republic shoes: $3
(not pictured) books for Carson: $.50 each

Go Goodwill!!

And, to cap off the weekend, we discovered North Carolina's very own fast food chain: Cookout! None of us are regular fast-food eaters, but we fell in love with Cookout. Their burgers taste like they just came off your backyard grill, barbeque was equally delicious. And when your choices of sides include not only cole slaw, but chicken nuggets and a corn dog, how can you go wrong? Amazing shakes complete the huge meal for only 5 bucks. Mom and dad vowed to stop for dinner on their way down next time they visit, so we can enjoy Cookout as soon as they arrive.

So, I guess we're really southerners!

Now we just need to get Carson hanging around the right people so he can develop a Southern accent.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

to create

A leader of our church recently stated that women "sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are."

Then he talked about how, if we want to enjoy God's happiness, we should do two things that God does: 1.) create. 2.) be compassionate. "He is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father's perfect happiness."

When he said this, I thought, "what does he mean, create??" Well, here is the list of things that I created today (or helped to create):
  • Carson's giggles.
  • understanding in a church class, with a comment.
  • a big bowl of popcorn, currently being devoured. Perhaps a Sunday night tradition?
  • Rick's smiles. Along with his "smile wrinkles," which I adore.
  • compliments to friends.
  • an incredibly nutritious lunch for Carson: yogurt, flaxseed, and squash.
  • the opportunity for someone to go to church, by giving him a ride.
  • a dinner featuring 4 different colors.
  • memories for my parents.
  • another happy day for my sweet baby.
I know I could have done a lot more creating, but we're just focusing on what has been accomplished, right?

President Uchtdorf is right on when he says, "Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty."

I am glad that even those of us who aren't great singers or artists can still create things of beauty with our own unique talents. (Even if that talent is something as simple as making a baby laugh!)

Now, to work on that goal #2., of being compassionate...

a pillow obstacle course, created especially for Carson

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

he sure looks good in white!

Rick officially received his (short) white coat last weekend. Nice ceremony, lunch, and presentation by his professors. We heart Wake Forest.

the pre-ceremony behavior discussion.

man he looks good.

family photo:


in front of good old Bowman Gray, founder of the med school. This is where Carson and I often meet Rick during his lunch hour, or to walk him home from school.

We so enjoyed our visit with Rick's dad, "grandpa Sam." THANKS for coming!!

awaiting the delicious Sunday brunch! We had dreamed about the food for days prior to the event.


bowling ball with legs? (a very cute bowling ball.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

wall o' pictures

Finally finished the wall o' pictures in our "family" themed front room.

I cannot get enough of chocolate brown and blue. Apparantly I'm not the only one: there's a website called, dedicated to all things chocolate brown and blue.

And a shot of the other side of the room. Curtains are the next project, but can't find any fabric that tickles my fancy. Any suggestions? Would brown be too much... brown? Would blue be too much... blue?

All photos taken with this kid hanging onto me. And, what a coindidence! His pants are blue and brown! So was his shirt, for the short time he was fully dressed that day.