Category Archives: whine and cheese

I am Here.

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As it turns out, drinking a tall mocha latte at noon makes taking a nice, long afternoon nap all but impossible.  In fact, it makes taking any nap at all impossible, try as I might.  So I figured perhaps it is time to update the ‘ol blog.  Heck, it’s been so long I had forgotten our wordpress password.  I didn’t figure anyone was even still out there but it sounds like there is indeed a small and loyal audience who enjoys the minutia of our lives.

So, where have I been?  In December, I was sewing my hiney off.  In January, I’ve pretty much felt like total crap.  I suppose on the overall crap scale of all the crapiness I’ve felt at one point or another my life, this probably isn’t all that bad.  But I’ve had five migraines this month and a “fibro flare” that has made most daily tasks painful and exhausting.  So I haven’t done much of anything worth writing about, except for online shopping binges, pinning loads of cute bunny pictures on pinterest, and playing lots of Bingo Blitz.  (I’m level 47 now.  That’s almost halfway to level 100, which if you aren’t familiar with the game, means you are awarded complete nerdy loser status.)

I have a couple quilts to show off (or you could just travel over to flickr) and a few in the works.  We moved Leah to a queen bed so I now have the entire attic bedroom for use as a studio!  Devan and I built a table using chairs we found in the attic and an old closet door because we are super creative.  And super cheap.  And super impatient.

Well then, that is it.  Consider yourself caught up, because I’m considering myself caught up on the blog.  I’ll try to get back in the habit, even as my friends abandon their blogs in droves (losers) because I know one day I will thank me when I can’t remember these days.  And also, because Just South of Sanity Volume 4 is going to be a pretty quick read if I I don’t.

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And to think I stayed at home so things would calm down…

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Well, whew.  Whoever thought it would be a good idea to sign up their kid for swim lessons the same week as VBS wasn’t thinking straight. Day two and we are all EXHAUSTED! Our VBS is in the evenings, I leave with the kids at 4:45 and don’t get home until nearly 9.  How are we going to survive 3 more days?  The teaching part of it is not so bad, once I decided to nix all paint and stick with markers for our craft actiivities.  I have groups of 15 students aged five and under come through every 20 minutes and it is pure chaos.  Devan’s group is the quietest and most well-behaved, no lie.  The Kindergardenrs?  Oh. my. goodness.  It’s fun though and Devan is really into it this year.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know other families and teachers as well.

To add to the craziness of the week, I am going to go to my favorite place in the whole world bright and early tomorrow morning, the dentist. To get the dreaded shot and have yet another cracked filing replaced. I can’t seem to avoid that place, and not for a lack of trying.

And then, on Saturday a certain litle girl turns two! Which is awesome, and her party will be awesome as well, I’m sure.  It just means that sometime between now and then, I need to plan it.  Turns out there are lots of details to attend to for even the simplest of parties, not to mention the fact that the house must be clean. I seem to forget how nuts it is until such events are right upon us and then I swear that next year, I will do something else for the kids.

So you might not hear from me for awhile.  And I haven’t been on the internet much and have a lot of responding to do, and a lot of projects to share.  But for the next few days, I think I’m going to need to turn on the survival mode.  Good thing I have so much less stress in my life now that I am not working!

Hail Mary

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I know you all are sick of hearing about our sickness.  I know, I know.  I’m sick of writing about it.  But that is more or less what we have been up to lately so we are all stuck, for now.

So, since I had today off we went to the doctor.  Because that is what we do every single day I have off.  I got smart and went ahead and scheduled Leah with the same ENT I was seeing to cut down on trips, though they still made me pay two co-pays, darn it.

The verdict is that the lymph nodes are not looking good.  Pretty much unchanged since I first discovered the issue and the whole tooth ordeal began.  To review, I’ve had a abscess in my jaw, parts one and two of a root canal, and a raging infection throughout my lymph nodes.  I’ve been on 3 courses of steroids and 4 rounds of antibiotics and have seen 6 different doctors and specialists.  My stomach is raw, and the prednisone and pain-killer side effects have been horrific.  Not to mention that I’ve caught about a cold a week with my lowered immunity.  I’m a mess and I’m running out of options.

The deal is, I have one teensy hope left to avoid surgery.  Surgery that is extremely risky due to the proximity of the lymph nodes to my facial nerves.  Surgery that is painful to recover from and will leave facial scars.  Surgery that I really, really, really don’t want to have.  There is this small possibility that the lymph nodes are still swollen because there is still infection in my jaw, infection that wasn’t completely knocked out by all of the other antibiotics.  So I get this one last chance, 3 weeks on a new antibiotic with the hope that the swelling will start to go down.  If it does, I don’t have to have surgery.  There is also an option that I could do a needle biopsy to see if any weird bacteria culture out from the lymph nodes themselves.  It’s highly unlikely, but thankfully this doctor is willing to exhaust every possible option before slicing up my face. I’ve got three weeks, I need a little miracle.

I want this to work.  I want this to work so badly, you have no idea. This has been dragging on for way too long and I am sick of my face hurting.  Please, please pray for me that this works.  I need to be optimistic, I want to believe it will work.

As for Leah, she is doing okay, her infection seems to be clearing but both ears are full of fluid.  She also gets three weeks to see if they clear before we schedule her for tube surgery.  Her cough has turned “productive” and I think she is finally on the downhill side of this respiratory infection after almost a month.  She has another few days of antibiotics and prednisone herself, and I’m hoping she isn’t dealing with any of the side effects I’ve been experiencing.  It’s so hard to know, it makes you wonder what kind of pain kids really go through when they can’t pop a pill like us adults. 

Three weeks.  A lot can happen in three weeks.  We don’t want to have surgery (I can safely speak for Leah here), we want to be healed.

Dear God, please let this be over in three weeks.  The Nelsons are exhausted and we’ve spent our Christmas budget on copays. And I know so many others deal with so much more, but they are stronger than I am.  I should pray for strength, but it would be easier if I didn’t need to be strong and this just all went away.  I would like to end this year better than it began.  Yours wearily, Elizabeth. 

Just another Manic Monday

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Yesterday was like a lot of our Monday’s lately, where I load up two grumpy and sick kids into the car so we can arrive late at some doctors appointment or another and wait for over an hour in the waiting room, and 30 minute back in the patient room.  I usually realize about 5 minutes in that the snacks and diversions I have packed are grossly inadequate. Yesterday was especially miserable as our appointment was at 11 but our wait time stretched quickly into lunchtime and I had two bored and hungry kids on my hands.

When we finally saw the doctor we learned that after 2 weeks of breathing treatments through the nebulizer and 10 days of antibiotics, that Leah’s ears are still infected and her chest sounds terrible.  As he started to tell me how to know when to take her to urgent care vs. the emergency room and all the different sorts of inhaler options it registered to me that he seemed to be suggesting she has asthma.  So I asked and he said most definitely, given her clinical history so far, like we talked about last time. I don’t remember talking about it last time, though that means nothing. So, just like that, she has asthma.  He said it was somewhat likely she would develop it after last year’s respiratory stuff, and my own history of childhood asthma.  Okay, another chronic disease to add to our list.  Fine.  Whatever.  Pile it on.

Let’s get this girl her immunizations finally.  Oh wait, that ear infection.  We’ll come back next week, again.  Wait for an hour and pay a copay, again.  I told the nurse- well, maybe the third time will be the charm.  She laughed and said, this WAS the third time, you are on try # four now!  We’ve had so much fun there, I can”t even keep track.

So the next few weeks  we are hoping  some stronger steroids will help open up her lungs, we hope this stronger antibiotic will clear out her ears so she no longer stumbles around like a drunk toddler.  We most definitely are going to get her set up for tubes, there is no sense in repeating this month after month all winter long.  And I’ll get to see the ENT again myself no doubt because this lymph node is stubborn and hard and painful, and seems to be growing despite my own large doses of steroids.

Thank goodness for all this time off for spending quality time with the kids. Ha.

I guess I”m just feeling depleted.  I know it’s just been little things all year long, but when there are this many little things it starts to feel like a big thing.  And I keep saying “when we are all feeling better…” and I keep waiting for that and it is more elusive than I would like.  I’m not really sure how to recharge or how to start fresh with my attitude.  Waiting until we are all completely healthy could prove to be quite the exercise in patience so I need to start to accept that this is what it is.  Like I said, I’m not sure how to do that. This is just getting really old.

On a lighter note, I attempted to dig our house out of 2 months of neglect.  I failed obviously, because it is an impossible prospect.  But now I know I no longer have to do it alone.  While I vacuumed the kids rooms and dusted, I apparently had two little helpers who cleaned my disgusting shower. With wood oil spray and toilet paper. A project that they worked together on, in complete silence.

Hey, I’ll take all help I can get!

That did not go well, but it could have been worse

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This year has been a doozie, any way I look at it.

Some days I don’t know whether I am lucky or unlucky, but lately I have definitely felt to be somewhat cursed.  The root canal/infection situation is finally in the midst of being resolved, I am on so many antibiotics at this point that I don’t think there could be ANYTHING left alive anywhere in my body.  I suppose I should count this outcome in the luck column, because as of Tuesday morning with my face hot and swollen and painful, it was looking like a near certainty that I would be having surgery on my lymph nodes to drain them.  I got a lovely shot in the rear, gave up a few liters of blood, and then refrained from eating the rest of the day before I headed off to the CT scan (my second for the year, ridiculous!) feeling un-hopeful, dejected, and a little bit ticked off at the entire situation. So I’m very thankful to have avoided the surgery, but I’m still wondering what to blame this ridiculousness on. I suppose that’s just life, but it seems like an awful lot of “life” has been happening to us.

I’m incredibly thankful to my folks, who came to nurse me and chase down the kids while I wallowed in misery, even though they had their own things going on this week.  Mom said given how I looked Sunday, and how the kids were behaving (and no doubt how our house looked) that it was obvious I needed a hand and I can not even express how glad I was when Dad showed up at our door Tuesday morning. I do think Leah wore him down pretty good because he ended up having heart surgery this morning.  Just kidding, about Leah.  He really did have heart surgery.  It was planned though, and all went well and we talked this morning and have decided that we are both going to be healthy for November and December.  And since we have decided it, that is how it is going to be.  Because I’ve pretty much had my fill of this junk, and I would like to move on to worrying about something different.

Root canals are evil

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In case you’re waiting in suspense to hear about the root canal part 2, I’ll fill you in.  I could just say that it was really bad timing on my part with the whole “no longer relying on conventional medicine” thing and leave it at that.  But I must elaborate because complaining is therapeutic. 

Without conventional pain killers, I can say with certainty I would be dead from this pain.  Only a slight exaggeration, but seriously, I am the reason root canals get a bad rap because this has been HELL.  The endodontist helpfully said he’s never seen this before.  (He’s youngerish, but still.)  So, I’ll see an oral surgeon on Monday.  I would be on my second round of steroids right now but the pharmacy was closed.  So tylenol, ibuprofin, moist heatpacks, and biofreeze.  And clove oil. I’m not ready to touch the narcotics yet, but I’m getting close. I’m about to try whiskey.  Are you just supposed to drink so much of it that you pass out?  Because that sounds lovely.

I’ll keep you updated, I know you all can’t wait to hear more.

Back to Me, Briefly

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Or not so briefly.

If you let me tell you complain about my root canal, I swear that the next few posts will be filled with cute things I’ve made and pictures of our newly painted house, and new landscaping, and other fun, positive, non-whiny things.  I promise.

But first, this abscess, oh my goodness.  I think there is little question in my mind it is the root cause (ha ha) of my misery this past month.  My swollen lymph node, sore jaw, and bone numbing fatigue all seemed to hit at the same time.  So no lymphoma, thank you very much doctor.  Just a gigantic, puss filled abscess under a tooth which I paid good money to have a root canal on five years ago, because the original filling had been botched.  Apparently, given my prior x-rays and sensitivity in a tooth that has no nerves, it’s probably been infected for years and my body has kept it contained to a small area under the tooth.  And then for some reason, the infection started to win and has filled a crater in my mouth the size of a golf ball.  Maybe a marble.  And I feel awful.

So, less than a week after the doc tells me my stomach is in bad shape and I need to stop taking painkillers, I’m put on antibiotic that is hard on the tummy.  Because I’m terribly allergic to amoxicillin.  Though this lovely antibiotic, in addition to laying waste to my tummy has caused several itchy rashes to crop up, but that is the least of my concerns. Yesterday I was feeling really horrible.  And it was a really long and emotionally draining day. And then I had car trouble after work and thankfully Eric came to save me and I scored some awesome deals on gluten free granola bars at Green Acres while I waited but it did take forever (though no fault of Eric’s) and I almost ran out of gas and had to stop at the ghetto downtown station where I always think I will most definitely get robbed and I didn’t get home until 8:30 and by that point my head was throbbing and I was pretty sure I was going to vomit or pass out but instead spend 45 minutes per-registering and detailing my medical history on the endodontist’s website, which left me feeling like a  unhealthy loser who answered “yes” to a quarter of the questions and spent 10 minutes gathering and typing in all of my prescriptions. Why do they care? (This whole paragraph is largely irrelevant, but I figured I might as well get it off my chest while I’m complaining.)

This morning I woke up and felt terrible.  And then I remembered I had to go get those shots and my stomach started doing flips.  I hate getting shots.  So, I managed not to cry (barely) as he gave me THREE SHOTS and then they covered my mouth with a rubber dam and leaned me back.  At which point, all the nasty drainage started running down my throat.  I think that having your mouth forced open and drilled in while having a plugged up nose and drainage down your throat is about as miserable as dental work can get.  And just for fun, my stomach felt hideous from those antiobiotics.  I tried my yoga skills to “melt” into the chair and relax and picture myself on a warm sandy beach but I eventually gave up and just sat there tense and feeling miserable.

Finally, he’s done.  I’m thinking I survived, glad this is over.  And then he says- “it looks okay, I’m betting that we are going to be able to save it.  Come back in a month and hopefully this infection is cleared up and we can fill it.”

@#^%^&WHAT????  I just payed you $600 and I might still have to get this tooth pulled?  And I have to come BACK?  But that’s not all.  He gave me a prescription for Loratab and told me that I’ll probably feel worse than I have been for the next few days and I should keep it iced and stay on some pain meds.  (That again, I’ve been told to avoid by doctor #1.)

So to summarize, I endured this terrible agony, payed $600 out of pocket, and I’m going to feel WORSE, and I have to come BACK for more.  And if it all works, I get to return to my dentist and pay even more money to have my crown repaired.  All because 10 years ago some dentist did a crummy filling for a small cavity. 

I tried to think of a silver lining to end this post, like, if I lived in a  third world country they would have pulled the tooth with no pain meds, but if I lived in a third world country I wouldn’t have been eating all the crap that gave me the cavity in the first place.   So pretty much, it just sucks.  And now I’m going to go take the pain meds, get an ice pack and a bucket, and go watch some bad day time t.v.