Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Long and Rocky Three Days!

Boy, I was beginning to think I would never get caught up on my blog readings! After three days of feeling very, VERY under the weather, not being up to sitting for any extended periods of reading, much less posting, since Sunday afternoon, I finally got through reading all the posts showing on my reader! But, at about 2:45 this morning, I finally completed the task -to my great relief. I decided to celebrate this accomplishment by getting a shower and then, being relaxed, I could sit down and write a bit.

The reason for my being under-the-weather began Sunday afternoon shortly before Mandy, Maya and I left the baby shower we were attending for the young lady who was Maya's speech therapist and who now works with Kurtis on his speech issues. After three years of having her come into our home for a hour every week, she has become much more than just the kids' speech therapist but if more like another member of our family. Mandy and I think she's a miracle worker, Kurtis perks up as soon as he sees her, hears her voice and Maya simply adores her! So anyway, just before we were leaving the shower, I started to get these cramping sensations in my abdomen. Thinking it was no big deal -this happens every now and again -we started for home -about a 35 minute drive -and that drive was basically 35 minutes of pure torture as the cramps intensified and seemed to just stay as one huge pain, about the equivalent to having one 35-minute labor pain that never let up. (Picture that one, will ya!)

By the time we got home and I made a visit to the bathroom, Mandy came in asking me if I was sick to my stomach. My answer then was "No, not yet, anyway." But five minutes later, that was a lie as the nausea hit, big time. I know what was on Mandy's mind too as I could read the worried expression on her face. She was remembering what my surgeon in Pittsburgh had told me when I was down there about a month ago for a check up because of the hernia I have. His parting words to me that day were that if I got really intense pains and nausea to call him immediately and head for Pittsburgh.

Now this was the absolute last thing either of us wanted to happen -not then, not ever, for that matter as it would mean emergency surgery to repair the hernia and who knows what else might follow after that.

After emptying the contents of my stomach (wasting all that good food from the baby shower, ya know) I did start to feel a little better except the pain in my side and much of my abdomen didn't go away. I told Mandy to call a family friend of ours who is an LPN but who also had dealt with issues similar to mine for nine years prior to her husband's death as he too had a colostomy from colo-rectal cancer. Kaye came down, talked to both of us, and when she was fairly certain I seemed to be feeling a trifle better, she left. While she was there though, my neighbor and long-time friend down the street -also an RN -called because Mandy had also called her for advice too! I did call the surgeon in Pittsburgh, reached to on-call surgeon for that day and explained to him what happened. I told him I really thought maybe this was all because of a combination of issues from the extreme heat plus I may have also overloaded my digestive tract with a lot of foods (some that I don't eat all that often) and the two had worked my system into a major uproar. He felt that from what I told him the colostomy was still functioning at that point, recommended I call my regular physician in the morning and also, contact my regular surgeon too.

So Monday morning, bright and early, my son (who had just gotten home from his latest trucking run) took me to see my doctor. The neat thing about that was that he needed to take the truck over to Clearfield to park in and pick up his car there so I got delivered "in style" to the doctor's office in the cab of a big semi! Not exactly the most comfortable ride - a lot of bouncing around -in a truck cab like that but at least it had air conditioning plus being able to listen to his Sirius radio in the cab too! Ok, you make the best of every situation don't you?

The doctor checked me over and had her staff schedule me to have a CAT scan then Tuesday morning - also really bright and early too. (I'm not too fond of all this "bright and early morning" stuff you know.) About noonish on Tuesday, my doctor called to tell me she had received a call from the radiologist about my CAT scan which she said revealed I am the beneficiary of a major dose of diverticulitis! The remedy was that she called in two antibiotic prescriptions for me which Mandy's sister-in-law picked up for me and I got the first two doses of this stuff circulating in my system around 6 p.m. and by 8 p.m., I could feel the pain starting to disappear from my left quadrant of my abdomen! Talk about miracle drugs -those really seem to be just that to me! So now, I still have some discomfort but nothing like what I had Sunday and all day Monday and all night last night too! Still have to contact my surgeon though in Pittsburgh, on the advice of my doctor here as she feels he needs to see me sooner than my checkup originally not scheduled until October!

Now, that's my reason - not an excuse -but my reason for being so far behind this week, already!

Since Friday, when I posted about the snake visiting the front stoop of the house and disappearing behind the maple tree into the rock retaining wall there, we've had more little creatures trying to invade our space here.

Monday morning, Mandy was sleeping on the sofa because since I wasn't feeling quite up to par, she felt she needed to do that in case Kurtis decided to raise the roof -plus, the living room was just slightly -maybe all of five degrees cooler than the upstairs bedrooms when Bill came downstairs, carrying Maya, who was crying, frightened and very upset. She had begun crying and screaming -loud enough that it woke her dad up, which is somewhat of a miracle because Mandy and I both believe Bill could sleep through an earthquake of an 8.0 caliber on the Richter scale if one ever took place here in central PA. He deposited Maya on her nap-pad she has here in the living room and then explained to Mandy what happened when he went to check on Maya.

She was sitting in her bed, screaming "Black bird in my bed," Black bird gonna get me," and "Black bird gonna eat my feet." Turns out the black bird she was talking -or screaming about - was a darned bat flying around her room and scaring the living daylights out of the poor kid. It took a while for Mandy to get her calmed down and back to sleep but at least she wasn't afraid to go back up to bed tonight and so far, no nightmares either from the event.

Later on Monday afternoon, we had company here too. I'd known all weekend these guests were going to be coming by and it was something I'd really been looking forward to so I was determined too that I was going to be able to visit with them for a while. The guests were a nephew of my oldest uncle -by marriage -his wife, their son, another great-nephew of my uncle, his wife and their daughter. Now the first three -Mel, Mary Ann and Eric Gustafson -had come all the way out here from Phoenix to visit family and friends in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York and when I learned what day they would be here, in this area, I had e-mailed the other family who live in Carlisle, PA to see if maybe they would be able to slip away on Monday and come up to meet their cousins. Luck was with me on that idea as Rev. Dan Nagle, his wife and their daughter just happened to be returning Monday from visiting their older daughter in Mentor, Ohio and would be coming across I-80 to return home and they were going to be able to stop by and visit then too. What was really neat about this whole thing was the fact that 1) Dan had never before met his cousins, Mel and his son, Eric much less Mel's wife and 2) it was the very first time Dan had ever been here - to big old Grassflat - the village he'd heard so much about all his life and 3) it was the first time I'd seen Dan in well over 50 years!

Dan's grandmother and my uncle were sisters and they lived in Jamestown, NY where I also lived with this particular aunt (my Mom's older sister) and her husband for a little over a year when I was between 7 and 8 years old plus, I had spent at least a month, sometimes more than that, every summer from 1952 until I graduated from high school with that particular aunt and uncle in Jamestown so I had come to know my uncle's siblings, nieces and nephews all quite well during those years.

Here's a picture of us in front of the house as they were preparing to leave.
From left to right: Donna and Dan Nagle, Eric Gustafson, me, Maya, Mary Ann and Mel Gustafson. (Dan's daughter, Meridith took the photo of us, using my camera.) I have to confess I was not feeling all too shiny, fighting both the pains of the diverticulitis and the intense heat too -sat in the house talking while they were here while holding ice packs to my head and back to thwart as much of the heat issues off me as I could. I felt really remiss too in that I wasn't up to fixing some type of beverage and snack - kind of a tradition generally within my family when company stops by -but all the problems aside, it was such a nice and fun-filled visit to see Mel, Mary Ann and Eric again (I'd seen them a year ago when they were here) and to finally get to see Dan after so many years and meet his wife and one of their daughters -along with their dog, "Padre" too! (Kurtis, by the way, really enjoyed Padre -who seems to thrive on being around people of all ages but especially little children -and Kurt was playing under the dining room table with the dog every chance he got! The only one not really impressed with the dog's presence was -naturally - good old Jorge, our mama cat!)

And, since I mentioned the Mama cat, here's something else for your viewing pleasure too -some pictures of these four little kittens. If anyone is interested in a really cute little kitten, they should be ready for adoption in oh, about 4-6 weeks I would imagine. Just leave your name in the comments section if you're up for that!
Here's the best picture Mandy got of the four of the babies, all lined up but of course, wouldn't you just know it, typical of little kids and babies, one of 'em always has to look away from the camera just as Mandy snapped this picture!

This one, below here, is the one who is the fattest of the brood and Mandy and I just call her "Chubster!" She's such a little cutie, don't you think?

Then there's this cute little tiger baby. Don't you just love the pleading look -like, please take me home with you?

Here's the smaller of the two grey kittens -this one is the cry baby of the lot but still so sweet and lovable too.

And, last but not least, here's the other tiger -I love the markings on the face of this kitten!

And finally -here's another picture of the chubby one that Mandy and I both just thought was such a cute picture of her! Now, who can possibly resist such cute little furry babies like these? I know, I know -lots of people can but we're hoping that at least four families will come forward and open their hearts and homes to welcome one of these charmers into their lives! Actually, the last anyone here reported in on potential adopters, it appeared that we might already have four homes ready, willing and able - much to the 16-year-old's chagrin, as she's been insisting all along that we HAVE to keep one of 'em! To which I say if there's someone waiting at the door with open arms, the kitten goes with them, doesn't stay here and Mama's gonna have an appointment as soon as possible with the nice doctor to make sure she never gets saddled with raising a family of four (or more!!! maybe) ever again! Yeah, I'm turning into a regular scrooge now aren't I?

But anyway, there's the latest report on the kittens, a run-down of my great visitors yesterday and I'm gonna leave you now with some pictures of Maya, taken on Saturday at the Children's Fair over in Bellefonte -complete with her ladybug face painted sweet little face! Actually, I lied - this picture of Maya was taken on Sunday at the baby shower - but she still had the face painting ladybug on her cheek and was so proud of it - showing it off whenever and where ever she could!

Here's Maya, standing in line with Mandy to get to play in one of those bubble things where the kids can just jump and play, have a good time. We weren't sure how Maya would do with this at first, but once she got in there and got accustomed to it, she had a great time.

And here's Kurtis, enjoying his balloon he got at the fair too! He seemed to enjoy seeing all the people and lots of little kids at the Fair too! So, a good time was had by all, you could say!

I have a couple little videos I took at the fair too of a group of girls who performed Irish Step Dancing but I just don't have time - or enough energy now this morning (or night -whatever you care to call this hour) to wait for old Blogger to load any of them so I'll have to save them and share them, hopefully, in my next post! These kids were really terrific though and was so neat to watch them perform!

Later, my friends!


Maggie May said...

Many thanks for your kind words on my Blog, Jen.
I do feel better now & it does help to rant & people have been SO kind. Yes, it feels like you are not a stranger, even though we have not known each other for a while. That's how it is sometimes!

Now don't go showing me lovely pictures of little kittens! I have vowed not to have anymore. I like the little grey one. BUT I DON'T WANT IT! My grand daughters would have different ideas!
Your blog is friendly & homely!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've been through the wringer the last few days! Glad you got to enjoy time with family. That's a great picture of all of you, even if you weren't feeling 100%!

Keith said...

I'm very glad to hear that the meds worked for you. I've never had diverticulitis, but have heard about it from some who have had it, and from what I hear and what you can sure attest to, it ain't pretty.

Glad to hear you were able to visit with the friends and family too. Stay cool out there. I've heard you guys have been under a heatwave.


Smalltown RN said...

Oh awful for you....I feel your pain...I haven't had divirticulitis but I know how I feel when my colitis flares up...and then you entertained...I can appreciate you not wanting to say no to their visit...that is a very nice picture of all of you...and there you are in all of your glory...feeling like crap but putting on a happy face...

What a trooper you are....I hope you are able to get into the surgeon sooner rather than later...please keep us posted...

As for Miss Maya and Kurtis...oh they are so darling...Kurtis looks hot and tuckered out but like he is having fun.....

I hope you continue to mend...please take care of thoughts and prayers are with you my friend...hugs!!!!

Anonymous said...

i am sending hugs to you and many heart-felt prayers.

Thinking of you,

Linda Murphy said...

Wow, Jeni-I hope you will be feeling much better and I know diverticulitis was what they thought maybe I had over Thanksgiving-not fun at all. Rest up-as you obviously are keeping quite a schedule!

I love the kitty pictures and the kids look so happy at the fair. I love Kurtis looking at the balloon-so cute.

Feel better!
Thanks also for your book suggestions-I need to look at Count of Monte Cristo-never thought about reading that one, but I might!