Archive for July, 2008

This is my brain on Lyme Disease…

Had another doctor appointment yesterday. It did not go so well. I don’t think my doc likes me much. I apparently was a big pain and no help at all. Problems with being decisive on whether symptoms were better or worse, etc (to him the problem was lack of decisiveness, for me the problem was: I couldn’t TELL if there was any better/worse). Of course, if he really KNEW me (not that I expect him, to, but you know what I mean…) that alone would have been a big clue that NO, I’m not any better.

The last few months some of the most crippling symptoms I’ve had in terms of getting anything done or functioning on a basic level have been:

  • the inability to communicate verbally (it’s like the pathways from brain to mouth are tangled or closed completely in some cases)
  • the inability to prioritize (for ex. what is the first thing I need to do?, what is the biggest problem I have? , what needs to be taken care of next? etc)
  • the inability to make decisions (and this kinda goes with the prioritizing in a way…) about anything no matter how big or small… and NO this did not use to be a problem for me

Hey lookee!! I just ‘got around’ the not being able to prioritize thing a little, by making this little post. How cool is that? I wish I could do that more often. =( Anyway. These symptoms (especially the communicating one!) are far and away worse when it involves my mouth/speech, ‘on the spot’ or ‘quick’ situations, or when dealing with other people (whether family, friends, professionals, etc.).

In PRINT form I do a little better. That is, if I can sit down just me and the keyboard, I can generally spit out (via my fingers) what I am trying to say…eventually… it just will NOT come out through my mouth, and definitely not in an “on the spot” kind of situation…like a normal conversation. It takes lots of slow, deliberate concentration and lots of had work to get it spit out of my mouth. That doesn’t really work when you are in the middle of a conversation of any sort. =(

The bad news is… typing is fine, but not very practical in a minute-by-minute kind of way. Especially if you factor in the joint and/or muscle and/or bone pain I have (because even though typing might make the communicating a little easier, the fingers/hands aren’t always able to cooperate immediately). The numbness and tingling I get in my hands/arms off and on also makes it more difficult. And then, of course, there is always the problem of the keyboard not always being available to use.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t make a habit of carrying a laptop (that I don’t even have!) with me to church in case someone wants to ask me a question… or to the dr appt so I can better discuss symptoms and medication issues (although possibly I SHOULD in this case????)… or to the… ok, so I can’t come up with another example right now. That’s because any more these are really the only places I go. No stores, no library trips, no restaurants (unless Mike is there to take care of the speaking for me), no anything. Doctor appointments and church. That’s it right now.

The unpredictableness (is that a word? it should be!) is way it is for everything, actually. ALL my symptoms are come and go, off and on, random, sporadic, intermittent, no rhyme or reason, or however else you want to say it. Simply put, at any moment of any given day I can have any combination of a HUGE list of symptoms… and then 5min later the combo might be completely different.

Yes, there are some things that if they are a problem on a particular day tend to stick around most of that day, but even those are not generally every.single.second.of.the.day. The brain not working/thinking right is a real good example of that. On days when this is a problem (most days), most things involving thinking are pretty much no-gos for me all day… BUT since it is generally not an every.single.second kind of thing, there might be a time or two during the day when the brain works well enough that I actual have a 5min ‘normal’ conversation… or I can actually get all the way through a certain task with relative ease (like figuring out how to make a phone call and make a doctor appt for one of the kids).

One of the more frustrating aspects is that even these momentary clear-thinking spells are unpredictable. Not only in terms of WHEN they will happen (so impossible to plan tasks to coincide with them), but also in terms of how long they will last. Some days I’ll have several minute-or-two long spells of feeling clear-headed, and other days I’ll have maybe one or two times but each one is 30min-or-more long.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet… *grin*… the posts on this blog happen during those spells of clear-thinking that have lasted long enough for me to go “oh! I’ll go get a post written up real quick”. Sometimes, the clear-thinking lasts long enough to finish a post, and other times I can feel the brain shutting down and so I have to break it off and go back to mindless roaming through the house…

…like now.

In the middle of that last paragraph, I could feel the clarity go bye-bye. All of a sudden stringing the sentences together was much more difficult. I started making multiple spelling mistakes (at least the computer helps me catch and correct them…), and I started having problems remembering what I was going to type next. It’s probably taken me as long to type these last two paragraphs as it did to write the whole rest of this post. Pots. That’s what I typed first on that last word. That’s funny… though I don’t know why…

Over and out for now… try to pop back in during the next clear spot.

***update a couple hours later***

Immediately after posting this I got a note from a gal who has dealt with speech issues before and offered me this tip: carry pen and paper with me so I can resort to writing things out in a pinch.

DUH! Why didn’t I think of that before?? Easy. Another big brain issue I’ve had is in missing the ‘connections’. You know… putting 2 and 2 together to make 4, kind of thing. Like the other day when it finally occurred to me that Matt could not be in the sun…just like me… because he was taking the same antibiotic I am. He’d been taking it for a week before I snapped on that. Never mind that the whole week I KNEW he and I were taking the same med, I KNEW that it was the med that I had to take with a lot of water and no dairy and also eat with or else get sick and so I KNEW that applied to Matt too and I KNEW it was the med that makes it where I burn real easy and yet I did not make *that* connection for a week.

Why didn’t I mention the inability to make connections in my little list above? Because of another big brain symptom/issue… memory problems. I forget EVERYTHING, and really quick, too. This includes what my symptoms are or have been in the last few hours, let alone the last few days, weeks, months, etc. (Of course keeping other people’s symptoms -like the kids- straight is even more difficult.) I won’t necessarily forget everything, but I certainly don’t remember it all, either. Some of what I can remember gets twisted and put into wrong places on the timeline, too.

So, yeah. That’s my non-functioning brain in a nutshell. And here I just thought I WAS nuts…

****updated about 10min later****

Oh yeah… here is another brain issue… confusion. On all levels, about whatever you can imagine. I guess reading comprehension and auditory processing difficulties would also fall under the ‘brain’ heading, too, huh?

Meagan’s in a tiff, but I got off my duff

Attitude. She’s ALL about the attitude this week and I have to say…

I do NOT like it!

She is so sassy, disrespectful, stompy, slammy, tantrummy this week. *sigh*

I have to wonder if she is feeling ‘left out’ in that Mom and now Matt are confirmed “Lymies” and are taking medicines. This past year it’s mostly been her that has had the medical attention, what with her braces/headgear, the ingrown toenail, the monthly IM shots and then the second daily sub-q shot instead, and the pulling of the 7 teeth, etc…

She needn’t worry. Her dr appt is Mon, and she’ll be getting more bloodwork done that day, too. I’m sure she’ll turn it into another huge ordeal. And besides, it shouldn’t be too much longer before she starts treatment for the Lyme, too.

My girl. She is so weird. lol

Cool note for today- Guess what I did?!! No really… guess!

I did FOUR loads of laundry (well the 4th is going now) and a load of dishes and made dinner. All in one day! AND… I even folded the WHOLE load each time without my arms giving out! Woohoo!!

In the last two months I haven’t been able to do more than one thing a day. Like wash the load of laundry, but not fold it. Folding would be the next day or two… Make dinner, but no laundry or dishes. Most days that I’ve managed to do ANYTHING this has been it… food, but no cleaning. Cleared the table one day, but of course that was it for the day. You can imagine the state of the house. You probably shouldn’t (it would be much more pleasant for you that way), but you can.

I hope I have at least this much energy tomorrow too. I might actually be able to make a dent in the housework big enough to notice. Maybe I’ll re-discover our forks, as they all seem to have gone missing.

Sick much? and also I wanna brag on God, cause He deserves it!

Things have been so busy (and so tiring) the last 3 weeks (or has it been 4?… 5?) that there hasn’t been much getting blogged. It’s not so much that I don’t think about the blog, or posting about this or that… it’s just I’ve been doing a lot of “I’ll post tomorrow” and “I’ll finish x, y, and z and then post” kind of thinking about the blog.

I didn’t really anticipate using this blog as a means to update anyone on things going on around here in any kind of family newsletter kind of way, but it seems that the last few posts have ended up that way. I’m going to sink real low and pull a “it’s because my brain has been too sick to think/do anything else” with the posts problem.

Since the posts have taken the newsletter-y turn to an extent, I suppose I should continue that to an extent, just in case there actually is a lone reader out there somewhere following along. I’d hate to leave them hanging going “ohmigosh! She has Lyme and got some meds and thinks the kids have it…WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?! Did she ever find out about the kids? Did she ever get better? What about the whole freakin’ out about going to a dr thing? Or the telling her family and folks about what was going on?”

Of course, I don’t really expect that anyone is following along. And certainly if they are, they are doubtless NOT concerned to the extent of sitting on the edge of their seat with bated breath to know what happens next…

BUT I’m living in a reality of my own choosing at the moment and so I’m going to go with the whole exciting melodramatic scenario and make-believe that there really is a valid reason for me to continue to ‘update’ in the dreaded newsletter-y fashion.

Thus…the long awaited (humor me and edge forward on the seat, would you?) update of the last few weeks…

*drumroll*

I’ve had 2 appointments with my Lyme doctor so far. One week apart. I go back in next week for the 1 month check-in. It will be interesting on so many levels.

I never did list a complete rundown of all my symptoms/problems because that would be TOO boring and complainy but suffice it to say there are/were a lot. Before going in for that initial appointment I kinda figured I had at least one of the infamous co-infections of Lyme (Lyme in this case referring specifically to the infection of the borrelia burgdoferi bacteria as opposed to a more generic all-encompassing name for the condition of multiple infections of which the Bb is only one). I highly suspected…to the point of pretty much took it for granted… that I also was infected with bartonella (one strain is responsible for an illness commonly referred to as “cat-scratch fever”). At the initial Lyme appointment, my doctor decided to test for some co-infections, but in an effort to save me (the uninsured and BROKE) some money opted to NOT test for bartonella since my symptomology (is that actually a word? it should be…) was so strong for it. He decided that if I was ok with treating based on symptoms (i.e. based on a clinical diagnosis) then, in a sense, the testing for bartonella was unnecessary. I don’t think, though, that he actually wrote bartonella down as a guaranteed. Semantics, I guess.

Anyway, I digress. I had blood pulled and sent off to be tested for only 2 different co-infections. There are many, MANY more possible (even outside of the bartonella), but for now anyway, we were only testing for 2. Erlichia (or HME- Human Monocytic Erlichia) and Babesia (specifically just the babesia microti strain… there are many strains but the test only looks for the one…). I also had a CBC done to check my kidneys and liver.

Now… it doesn’t seem like there is a point, but there actually is…

I’ve had 2 appointments, but I’ve spoken with my dr on the telephone (yes the DOCTOR how awesome is that?!?) twice since my last appointment.

Lemme back up (only the teensiest amount) to catch-up on what happened between the blood draw and the first phone call…

Aches, new meds, tired-so-tired, brain-fry, July 4th at Bro3’s (shout-out to my wonderful snow-buddy… LOVED the whole thing… you did great at hosting, gal!) complete with exaggerated startle reflex (by-the-by… exaggerated startle reflex + fireworks = heart-that-feels-like-it-just-may-EXPLODE), more aches, more new meds, more tired. Absolutely no grocery shopping, very VERY little cooking/cleaning/laundry/etc, and only a teensy bit of crocheting and a little MythBusters (thanks Netflix!) thrown in.

Ok, that covers the 2wks between the appt and the phone call that shook things up a bit, sotospeak…

The phone actually woke me up that day and it was my doc. Wow, I thought… the DR called with the test results. A positive and another positive. Hmmm… The Erlichiosis was already being treated with the doxycycline I’d been given, but the babesiosis? Not so much. Babesia is a malaria-like parasite. In the same sense that borrelia is a ‘cousin’ to syphilis, so babesia is a ‘cousin’ to malaria. Its presence means the probability of needing to add a whole different class of meds to my cocktail at some point…anti-malarials.

Remember I said I never threw out a whole list of symptoms, but that it would be long if I did? Well now it’s beginning to make sense as to WHY… I now have 3 different ‘for-definite-because-the-test-even-came-up-positive’ infections and 1 ‘symptoms-are-such-that-its-presence-is-so-obvious-we-don’t-really-NEED-to-test-right-now’ infection on top of that. That makes 3 big-bad bacterial infections and 1 malaria-like infection. Sheesh! No wonder that list would be so long and varied, huh?

Anyway, doc said at the next appointment we’d look at my symptoms again (re-assess, kinda, to see how the antibiotics, etc are working out) and if they’re not all being addressed we may add the anti-malarial. My initial thinking the first few days after that phone call was that even with the positive for babesia, the anti-malarial meds were probably still months away since it wasn’t currently responsible for any of my symptoms. This, however, was before I did much looking at babesia symptoms. The only ones I was really thinking of were night sweats and air hunger (feeling like you can’t get enough air)…neither of which I have or have had any time recently.

Then I did a little more looking into the babesia symptoms and discovered that some of my new-ish symptoms the last couple of weeks or so (lightheadness/dizzy, loss of appetite, nausea, base-of-head headaches…) could very well be the babesia rearing its ugly head. So the next appt. should be interesting on that note…

I said I talked to my dr twice. That was the first phone call. The second needs some other updating first…

I think I had mentioned that I had gotten the new pediatrician to sign the orders to test Matt for the Lyme, but that Meagan’s first appt with the new ped wasn’t for another week or two, so she still needed to be tested. The week of Meagan’s appt, the kids both ended up sick with the chest congested, asthma stuff. In calling to get them a sick appointment (to possibly end up on a short course of steroids and antibiotics) I discovered the ped. was on vacation that week. We tried to get them in to Urgent Care and that was a disaster. We ended up just giving them neb treatments at home and they’re doing much, much better now. Anyway! I cancelled Meagan’s check-up appt. that week because I thought she’d be seeing a dr at Urgent Care… and anyway I didn’t want the fill-in… I wanted the actual ped… because of the whole issue with the Lyme testing.

Well, the next week when I still hadn’t heard from the ped’s office on Matt’s test results by Wed, I called to check. I figured it’d been 3+ wks by that point, so I needed to do a little squeakin’ perhaps to get things movin’ again. They’d look into it and get back with me.

Turns out the results HAD come in the week before, but the fill-in doc didn’t know what to make of them or do with them or what-have-you, so they didn’t call. The ped. got them out and read them and lo and behold… he came up positive. I’m so shocked…NOT! haha

Doc didn’t really know what to do about it, though, and since she knew I was seeing a Lyme doc suggested I have him look at Matt’s results. Our kids’ insurance being what it is, though, that would N-E-V-E-R work as far as any kind of ‘official’ look-at-and-treat, so I suggested that perhaps the ped could call him for info and/or suggestions on what to do or where to go for info on what to do.

Today my dr called (yea HIM) again. Said he’d gotten a phone call and he’d passed on a little info along with directions on where to find more. He said the ped was going to send Matt to a dr who specialized in infectious diseases, but the reality is most of those docs don’t treat long or well enough (IF they even concede that you could, in fact, have Lyme since we don’t live in… you know… Connecticut. Those ticks must be very obliging to respect state borders or something, huh? UGG). Anyhow. My dr also said that it sounded like the ped would be treating Matt soon. He was basically REALLY shocked and REALLY surprised and dare I say… really EXCITED that this ped here in our little podunk town was actually… maybe… going to look into this and learn and TREAT.

I went about ‘business’ for the day (that means I called my mom…again… more on that in a min.), totally figuring ok… in a couple of days we’ll get a call from the ped’s office to make an appt and bring Matt back in to talk about what to do. I figured it would take at least that long for her to be able to get started on the looking into things.

Imagine my surprise, then, when the phone call at 15min till 5pm was NOT one of the kids’ friends, but was in fact the ped’s office calling to say that the dr had talked to my dr and what pharmacy should they call the scripts for the 2 different antibiotics into?

WOW! How cool is that? =)

Meagan’s check-up is this comin’ Monday so I’ll be able to at least briefly ‘check-in’ with the dr about Matt then and tell her way THANKS, while talking about getting Meagan started on treatment also of course.

Now, I said I’d talk more about Mom in a min, but I think for tonight I will leave that updating off. Why? Because this post is already long enough and I want/need to do this instead…

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

I don’t want to go any further without making good and sure that anyone reading and going “wow, what an amazing set of good fortune/coincidence” is fully aware that it is SO MUCH MORE than that. It is the work of an amazing, wonderful, powerful, loving God. Nothing less.

God has been leading me through all this from the get-go. From my first looking up my symptoms online, through giving Lyme a second glance, finding a doctor to sign the orders, finding a doctor to treat me, and now finding a doctor for the kids and ever-so-much-more in between! In so many big and little ways. Big scary leaps of faith like my going to a doctor for the first time in nearly 10yrs and telling my mom what was going on even though I was terrified of her reaction. Little, tiny, but-oh-so-important-and-specific details like exactly what bands need to show up positive and exactly what words/phrasing to use at the dr’s office and exactly what date to go and shirt to wear and a billion other things.

This whole health/Lyme/etc. journey for myself AND the kids has already involved a lot of prayer on my end… and I’m so thankful for it… a lot of guidance and answered prayers on the Lord’s end.

I can’t even begin to fully or adequately express just how blessed my family and I have been… and continue to be. ALL the glory belongs to the Lord Jesus in all of this. Again…

PRAISE THE LORD!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here till the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

-from the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Clash

Found this morning on a crumpled piece of notepaper left on the table:

WWW.MUSICLYRICS.COM

Gary Allen “Empty Glass”

Kevin Fowler “Hand me to love”

Grechin Wilson “Come to Bed”

Tim McGraw “Like We Never Loved”

Kasley “Never Should have let you go”

Tank “Please don’t go
Maybe I deserve

Sisgo These are the times

Slipknot “Lest we forget”

Guns and Roses November Rain

Bon Jovi I’ll be There for You

Boyz II Men “End of the Road

Bon Jovi “It’s my life”

It appears to be my husband’s handwriting. I do not know what to think. Mike’s musical taste (as in the ONLY things I’ve EVER heard him listen to…) are pretty set… the ‘oldies’ (especially Peter, Paul, & Mary) and a few select ‘others’… like the Bangles and Harry Chapin. He definitely does NOT do heavy metal or country. In fact, when we first got together and I listened to county music, I was forever getting teased about it. He despised the whole genre and would not put up with it on the radio in the car (or CMT either!). Heavy metal wasn’t really teased, but only because neither of us liked it… at all.

So here we have a list of ‘mushy’ songs (at least I assume they are all mushy… I don’t actually recognize any of them, but they all seem mushy), at least one of which is by a country music artist, one of which is by a young ‘hip’ boys band, and three of which are by heavy metal artists. The other artists I’ve never even heard of!

I don’t know what to think. I have tried all day now to come up with some ‘explanation’ or ‘story’ behind this list… Here are 3 very different explanations I came up with:

  1. A list of song titles for an “I love you and hope you feel better soon” CD for me (wow! talk about my self-centeredness coming through, huh?)… that was compiled either through the help of musiclyrics.com itself or by one of his coworkers with the suggestion to “look them up on musiclyrics.com”.
  2. A list of song titles for an “I love you and am really sorry to do this, but really it’s better this way…I’m leaving you because I don’t love you anymore (or I love someone else)” CD for me (ok, and this one would be the paranoia coming through…) that was compiled either through the help of musiclyrics.com itself or by the good-for-nuthin-husband-stealin other woman with the suggestion to “look them up on musiclyrics.com”.
  3. A list of song titles he heard, liked (probably for one of the above reasons), and wanted to know the complete lyrics to… all played on a single radio station he was listening to at work.

These were the three ‘most likely’ scenarios my mind came up with. From those three, my highly reasonable, list-making, option-weighing mind tried to objectively narrow down THE most likely…

  1. Mike has made me ‘mixed tape’ type things in the past. Inevitably they contain a mix of oldie-but-goodie songs, and although they are generally meant to say something like “I love you and think you are special enough to make this special mix CD for you“, they have never really been the kind that says “these songs express my feelings for you”. More like “these are songs I know, or at least THINK I know, you like and most of them I like too and that may actually be why I think YOU like them or they have the word love in them and so therefore are mix-CD worthy“. Things like “Purple People Eater”, “Tom Dooley”, “Love Potion No. 9”, “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane”, “Alice’s Restaurant”, “Great Balls of Fire”, and anything by Ray Stevens, etc. So, while he has been known to ‘mix-it-up’ to show his love for me in the past, this particular list is so far from his standard modus operandi it makes Option #1 highly UN-likely…even if he did have help from a co-worker.
  2. While there have been times in the past 12 years that I have questioned/doubted/wondered his sincerity when he says “I love you” and have even wondered whether he was wanting/planning to get rid of me, I’ve never had any REAL reason to suspect that his leaving me was an actual possibility.
  3. Seriously. Heavy Metal, Country, and R&B/Pop all on one radio station?!? Gimme a break!

So the MOST likely of the three? Obviously that would be Option # 2. Which just goes to show my psychosis. Granted, it is not helped by the contradictory allusions towards the end of the list… “I’ll be there for you”… “end of the road”…. Aaaahhhhh!!!! The confusion!!!!

Think I’ll go search up a good chicken recipe to make for dinner for the husband that may or may not be hurrying home to his seriously-screwed-up-in-the-head not-so-little wife tonight after possibly, but possibly not, having listened to every mushy song from every imaginable genre while working either in the Texas heat or in an air-conditioned guard shack all day. (Thus a new dilemma…hot chicken? or cold?)

My Husband Needles Me

A few months back Mike and I had a rare night without kids. We did what most red-blooded-married-for-almost-twelve-years-American couple would do in that kind of situation…

He pulled out a movie and headed to the new TV in the living room and I headed to bed… to sleep.

Except I didn’t get to go to bed. I ended up having to watch the movie that I wasn’t interested in at all. Why? Because our bedroom floor hated me that night. Maybe it was mad at me for tossing my shoes a little too roughly… or maybe it was upset that I hadn’t given it a good mopping in awhile. I dunno. For whatever reason, as soon as I stepped into the bedroom, the floor stabbed me!

It did! A huge, gigantic LOG of the floor lodged itself in the bottom of my foot. (Probably because lodging itself in the top of my foot would’ve been too difficult for it… the stupid log!)

I gasped and hopped into the bathroom to find the tweezers whose usual job it is to keep the hair off my chinny-chin-chin. I flopped back over to the bed and pulled my leg up to inspect the carnage bestowed upon me by the evil wood floor. Yup, sure enough a GIANT log of a splinter that was starting to sting like crazy. Burn, really. Something about the fact that these floors are close to 100 years old…

So there I was with an antique telephone pole stuck in the bottom of my foot, but no worries! I had my trusty chin-hair-plucking tweezers! Alas, the bit of the redwood-sized piece of flooring that was sticking OUT of my foot trembled in fear of the mighty tweezers and promptly broke and fell off. Victory!

Or not… now there was nothing left to grab… or at least, not much. Yikes! I knew that if there was any hope of grabbing the teensy bit still on the outside of my skin it was going to take a steadier hand and eye than mine, so I hopped in to the living room and handed Mike the tweezers. He tortured me tried unsuccessfully to grab at the splinter with the tweezers, so I decided to soak my foot. The idea was for the splinter tree to kinda be drawn out and when I took my foot out of the warm, salty water…wahla! No more foreign object.

So I sat down to watch the totally boring movie (actually it was You’ve Got Mail, which is actually not-so-boring, it’s just I’d already seen it 5,392 times and so sleep sounded WAY more appealing) and soak my stinging, burning, ouching foot.

Notice I said the idea was for the splinter to be drawn out. The reality ended up being that all the warm, salty water did was soften the skin a tiny bit and wrinkle my toes. My foot was still impaled by the bedroom floor’s weapon of fierce owie-ness.

Now I have to stop this suspenseful (haha-hoho) tale for a moment and make a note that in the days just prior to being attacked by the floor, I had been worrying about my health and more specifically about what would happen if I got sicker before I got better and who would take care of me, because Mike was obviously not going to. After all he was all disinterested and seemingly unmoved any time I mentioned feeling achy or what-have-you. Any time anything medical or remotely so came up with the kids it was always left to me to handle… so obviously this translated into “I will be on my own and no one will take care of me”. Because my brain likes to put random conclusions on things that really make no sense.

Then Mike asked for a needle. He was going to have to perform surgery dig it out. OY VEY!!!

I have always hated splinters. Even just the real simple, little-bitty, out-on-the-first-try-with-tweezers kind. Once, as a kid, I got a splinter of GLASS (can you imagine the horror??) in my foot and I carried on so and screamed so much, that my mom was petrified the new neighbors would call the cops for child abuse. Splinters always seemed to mysteriously disappear anytime Mom even mentioned a needle. Not once did she manage to get near me with one. Come to think of it, there are probably some splinters still in my feet or hands that I didn’t let her get out with the needle and so the skin eventually grew over it. Yeah, I probably should not have let my thoughts wander in that direction… now I’ll forever be wondering just how much wood I’m carrying around under my skin…

Anyway. So Mike asked for a needle because the floor had done a doozy on my poor, size 7.5W (so not so little) foot and the chunk of wood was completely under the skin, inaccessible by tweezers. Great… not! Somewhere between the thoughts “AAAAAAHHHHHHH!” and “No, no, no, no, NO! NO NEEDLE!” I had the thought “there is even a reason for getting splinters and this time it might be an opportunity to show you that you can trust Mike to take care of you”.

And so, I gritted my teeth and tried with all my might to hold still while Mike dug at my foot with a needle equally as big as the log he was trying to dig out. (Or at least it felt that way.) My might wasn’t enough to keep me completely still or quiet, though. I did squirm and squeal, or at least Mike claims I did. (I think maybe he’s just foolin’…)

The thing is… Mike did get the splinter out… and he was VERY gentle in doing so. Yes, I said gentle in reference to a needle. I don’t know how he did it, but he did. I immediately declared him the World’s Best Splinter-Taker-Outer and have since referred the kids to Daddy at least twice with rave reviews of his splinter-removal skills.

Better than that though, I saw the whole episode for what it was… an opportunity to see that I could trust Mike to take care of me. I know that sounds hooky, but it’s totally true. It was hard for me to trust him with that needle, but I knew I needed to and I knew God wanted me to. So I closed my eyes and ‘handed’ over my foot instead of declaring the splinter miraculously gone and running and locking myself in the bathroom like I used to do as a kid. I’m glad I did, because I learned so much. Like how gentle my husband’s great big hands can be and how careful he is in trying not to hurt me BUT also totally capable of ‘doing what needs to be done’.

It’s a lesson that immediately came to mind a few weeks ago when my doctor told me I’d need IM (intramuscular…as in IN THE MUSCLE and so therefore very LONG and FAT needle) shots of B12 every day for awhile.

Somewhere between the thoughts of “AAAAAAHHHHHHH!” and “No, no, no, no, NO! NO NEEDLE!” I had the thought “It’s ok. Mike can do it and he’ll be good at it. It’ll be ok with him doing it.

And truly… as much as I squirmed and squealed for the couple of weeks between hearing this news and actually getting everything in place (medicine, syringes, training) to start the daily injections… deep down I really wasn’t worried about it. That’s not to say I was looking forward to them or that I wasn’t a little curious as to just how it would feel, but I really wasn’t worried about the shots… as long as Mike was giving them.

I knew I could never give them to myself, which was actually the dr’s first suggestion. Needles are sized according to ‘gauge’. Kind of like wire. So the bigger the number gauge, the thinner the needle. Then they also have a length. The needles that Meagan uses for her growth hormone are super-thin and short. They barely go under the skin and they are just barely thicker than a hair. Seriously. They are 5/8″ long and 31 gauge.

I have a SUPER hard time poking those needles through skin… basically? I can’t bring myself to do it at all… which is why we use the Injectease. We put the syringe/needle in the Injectease, put the Injectease on Meagan’s skin and push the button. The Injectease pops the needle in her skin using spring-action and then I just push the plunger to deliver the meds. I don’t do any poking, though.

I use a big, fat 20 gauge to mix her meds. It’s almost as thick as the innards of a ballpoint pen. The needles I was going to be using? 1 1/2″, yes that is ONE AND ONE HALF inches, and 22 gauge!! You’ll notice 22 is closer to 20 than 31. There is a reason. They are THICK! Then the stupid pharmacy didn’t have 22 gauge and so Mike came home with a week’s supply of 21 gauge! Also, because they are so long and so big they won’t fit in the Injectease. Yeah… NO way I was going to be able to stick that in anyone, let alone myself.

Mike can, though. And very well, I might add. These are monster sized needles (in my opinion and since it’s my backside getting poked, it’s my opinion that counts), but the shots really, truly don’t hurt. He is THAT good! From the very first poke!! You’d think he’s been giving IM injections for years. I kid you not, his technique is better than the technique of most of the so-called professionals whom I can remember giving me injections.

Then today… oh my man is so good to me! He volunteered to take Meagan to her orthodontist appointment and then to go get the groceries…while I stayed home. How sweet, right? When he got back from the pharmacy (his 3rd trip out) he declared that “No one can say I don’t take care of my baby” and handed me a new pretty for my kitchen (a metal Coca-Cola tray) and a box of 22 gauge needles!!

Oh the romance that was in the air! Ok, maybe it wasn’t very romantic but it did make me remember the whole splinter/trust thing and prompt me to get on here and brag about how my hubby is taking good care of me despite my worries that he wouldn’t or couldn’t.

I am so thankful for my hubby and his gentleness!

Super-Secret Crochet Project Unveiled!

Woohoo!! It’s finished. Signed, sealed, and delivered. Well, ok, not signed, and not sealed, but delivered, nonetheless. I made this for a very good friend of mine as a thank-you for all she’s done for me. It actually doesn’t come close to saying thank-you enough, but it’s a start. =)

Babette in blues and greens

When I gave it to her, she said, “I have these colors in my house.” I was like, “I know.”

Then she said, “My favorite shape is squares.” and I was all like, “I know.”

HAHA

I saw the pattern for the Babette blanket online and knew I had to make one for her in her colors. So I did. I had to adjust the pattern slightly, though. I couldn’t afford $300+ of wool yarn, so I used RedHeart SuperSaver. Not as soft, but definitely more kid and washer-friendly. Also the pattern called for something like 17 different colors. I wanted to stick with blues, greens, and browns, so I think I ended up with 9. That meant re-figuring what colors went where in the chart. ugg!

I’m not crazy with some of the bigger blocks. I think they should have had more color changes. Oh well. At least it’s finished. =)

It’s pieced!!

I can’t say what is pieced, because that would be spoiling the secret part of my super-secret crochet project, but I can say it’s pieced! That, by the way, was/is about 95% of the project. So in other words… it’s almost done and time for the unveiling! hehe

I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get this far! I’ve just had too many hands-hurt-too-much or way-too-exhausted days to work on it much. C’est la vie!


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