Saturday, December 20, 2008
I woke early Friday morning because I was so excited. The kindergarten classes at McKenzie’s school were putting on their first Christmas program. They were seven classrooms of 5 and 6 year old filing into and standing in the front of the gym when I got there...just over 200+ children. It was amazing to see; they were so excited and were dressed in almost identical white t shirts. The shirts were just simple white t shirt but each shirt was personalized by the child wearing it. The teachers and parent volunteers had taken each shirt and used the child’s own foot and both hands to make Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the front of each of them…at the heal of the foot which was toward the bottom, they put a red pompom to represent the Rudolph’s red nose. The hands were to the side at the top by their toes representing the antlers. Absolutely gorgeous little shirts. The shirts were identical but so individualized. The children sang Dashing Through the Snow, Jingle Bells, We Three Kings of Orient Are, The First Noel, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Away in a Manager, The Night Before Christmas (each verse done by a different classroom), Up On The House Top, Deck the Halls, Joy to the World, All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland, Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, and Here Comes Santa Claus, Their closing song was We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Several of these songs were done also in sign language. It was a beautiful experience. I know the teachers as well as their music director had to spend hours on these songs as the kids knew all the words as well as the signing. The gym was filled with over 600 parents, grandparents, siblings and a nanny. The program lasted about 45 minutes. After the program was over, all the parents, etc. were invited down to the classrooms to enjoy cookies and punch with the children. McKenzie’s parents were both able to attend as were her maternal grandparents. Having everyone there just made her day. My getting to be there just made my day!
God and all my blessings
All the family members who were able to attend today
All the kindergarten children and their varied personalities
The beautiful weather we had...just 1.39” of rain
Everyone who helped with today’s performance
The rainbow I saw and took a picture of as I was going home
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Although low back pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equine syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.
An extension of the brain, the nerve roots send and receive messages to and from the pelvic organs and lower limbs. Cauda equina syndrome occurs when the nerve roots are compressed and paralyzed, cutting off sensation and movement. Nerve roots that control the function of the bladder and bowel are especially vulnerable to damage.
If patients with cauda equina syndrome do not get fast treatment to relieve the pressure, it can result in permanent paralysis, impaired bladder and/or bowel control, loss of sexual sensation, and other problems. Even with immediate treatment, some patient may not recover complete function.
Cauda equina syndrome may be caused by a ruptured disk, tumor, infection, fracture, or narrowing of the spinal canal. It may also happen because of a violent impact, such as a car crash, a fall from significant height, or a penetrating injury, such as a gunshot or stabbing injury. Mine was caused by the surgeon who did my back surgery in 1984 and cut into the spine cord covering at the L4L5S1 and destroyed these same nerve endings. (Same effect as the stabbing injury.) I was paralyzed in the beginning and had to learn to walk, etc. again. I still deal with lack of bowel and bladder control. I have no feeling in the area of kidneys..therefore I had nor have any way of knowing if there is ever an infection or anything else wrong. This can be a blessing or a major problem...in my case it has been both. I didn't know I had anything wrong because I never have pain, but at the same time I have not experienced what is supposed to be debilitating pain in passing this blockage. Of course they used the laser and took out the scar tissue. Now I just have to finish passing the blockage.
When I say God has blessed me multiple times, I am very serious. I did learn to walk again, drive my car, take care of my two daughters by myself and found there are many things you can use if you are incontinent (pads, diapers, etc.). I just do what I have to and continue on with my life. My girls grew up with my problems and are much stronger women and much more sensitive to people who have problems or who are different from the "normal". Even McKenzie is aware of the problems and just accepts it because that just the way it is and has been from the word go. If I run into a problem, I deal with it. I keep clean clothes with me and I just clean up, or take a shower. and continue on. McKenzie will get towels, etc for me...whatever I need depending on the situation. But she is also very aware of other people and their handicaps or problems and works very well with them. She is very special in many ways...She is a very giving child and is nice and helpful to everyone. God has truly blessed me and no one could ever possibly know how much. I have been the recipient of several miracles from our God!!! Praise him...for what he brings me to, he always leads or carries me through!!!
Never forget that:
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
I just have to tell it like it is...without God in my life, I would truly be lost. He is my lifeline everyday. I truly have looked around and see others who are so much worse off them I am and I just count my blessings one more time. I could have been paralyzed permanently and wasn't. I retrained myself to do so many things, and I always know that God will bring the sun shining right back into my life and is the one doing things for me and with me. He brought me through total kidney failure the week of Thanksgiving and two subsequent surgeries with flying colors. I am truly a miracle child of God and will always remember that. We are all miracle children of God and if we just look around we would realize that. Today is a new day and each day is one to remember and praise Him. Daily...not a special time of year or any certain day...but every day...He gives us a new day every 24 hours and we need to remember that and make the most of each one of them. We are still to celebrate His birth and His death but also need to remember Him every day of the year.
I have been trying to gather up gifts so that Ken can take to our little neighborhood get together for the kids...things that I bought throughout the year...I am also giving the kids new Bibles for their Christmas presents and several for the parents that I know don't have any. That just makes my heart fell so good and full knowing that they will make good use of them and read them. They just don't have the extra money to buy them and all their extra money goes to their kids and other family members, heating their homes and food on the table. This is the best gift I have been able to give to anyone!!!! Please pray for them and everyone as they celebrate the meaning of the life of Jesus.
Fresh air to breath
Food, etc., enough to share with those less fortunate
My neighbor who has taken me under her wing and has become like a mother to me
Too numerous to list even those from just today
Friday, December 12, 2008
A very strange thing happened to me this week…I mean, when doesn’t it??!!! Monday morning I changed my bath soap from the regular Irish Spring to Irish Spring with Microbeads. Not a big deal, right? Well Monday night, my legs started breaking out and the itching was so much, it woke me up and kept me awake…from my ankles to my knees. This actually is still continuing and I continue to take benedryl for it…with the doctor’s approval, of course. At nigh time this is worse because of jammies and blankets keeping my legs warmer. Anyway at my doctor’s appointment Wednesday, I mentioned it to the nurse. She said maybe it was a reaction to the antibiotics I had been taking or after telling her about switching bath soap maybe it was that…however it is not anyplace but on my legs so I didn’t think that was the answer…would have been on my torso as well as arms, etc. Anyway my MD license wasn’t renewed so what do I know…lol. She said to be sure to mention it to Dr. K which I did. He looked at it and said, “When you shave your legs did you use a new razor? You didn’t, did you?” I told him no, I didn’t. He responded with, “If you repeatedly use the same razor, bacteria builds up on it and you can spread the germs. Also did you shave with the soap you bathed with?” Again, I answered yes. I didn’t take time to use my shaving crème. Well with the microbeads removing all the dead skin, etc. from the surface of the skin already, then putting the soap back on and shaving with it, I removed part of the top layer of skin letting it open to bacteria from the razor and anything else. (Works like the scrubs people use on their faces, etc.) It is truthfully just on the area from my ankles to my knees exactly where I shaved...Amazing. So now I am dealing with that what consists of hives and who knows what but definitely multitudes of raised rash bumps and hives, which are driving me out of my mind with the itching. No amount of washing or anything else is helping. Benedryl may be helping a little...at least it is making me sleepy. It just all has to heal on its own I guess. Dr. K. checked my legs again today and said maybe they were a little better. I hate to say that although I shower every day, I don’t shave my legs often, the hair is blonde and can barely be seen…what my jeans haven’t rubbed off. ..so I never changed my razor very often… I guess I never thought about it. However, that razor has since been replaced with a new one. You can bet this won’t happen again. He advised that I change it weekly or as frequently as I shave my legs…sounds like good advice after this fine mess I have gotten into. However I am also sharing this will all my local friends and relative as well as all my sparkers….Just a little F.Y.I. and so it doesn’t happen to you. I always thought I had very good personal hygiene…
Can you tell I was a towhead when I was very young…didn’t get darker until I was about 13 or so. But it is getting white again. Once a blonde, I guess you always remain a blonde no matter what color your hair changes to. Lol
Love and hugs to all my spark friends and family,
Being smart enough to see the truth when it hits me between the eyes
God for He is so wonderful
Doctors for their advanced training and knowledge and a lot of common sense
Everyone who didn't laugh when I told them and was doing the same thing...also never thought about it...Aren't we women wonderful!!!
The rain which we received today and is truly needed
The snow when it comes, especially if it stays off the road and sidewalks
My hair which I am getting cut shorter as it is falling out rapidly from all the anesthetic in the last two weeks... It will grow in again quickly.
My neighbor who cried when she saw me come home today...so happy for me
Spark and all the members who have encouraged and supported me from day one so that I was healthy enough to have two surgeries in two weeks!! God bless you!
Too many blessings and positives as I look around...they are everywhere!!!
Thank you to all who stop, read my blogs and leave comments. I love you all!!!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Good evening everyone. Hopefully this will make sense and isn't a legal document. Dr. K said that I wasn't to sign any legal documents for at least 24 hours after surgery because they would be invalid due to the heavy meds. lol
Anyway, my surgery started right on time at 11:45. Those guys were right on schedule time wise with everything...it was wonderful. My surgery took a little longer than they thought because they used lazar and sound waves and the size of the blockage was 11 x 8 and just seven weeks ago was 7 x 3...so it grew by leaps and bounds. I am starting to pass sand like particles already, nothing big and actually looks like sand and grit. I have to keep drinking gallons of water so just remember 8 cups of water is nothing when you have to put out at least 2 quarts a day. But I am a water drinker so this is ok with me. It is just hard to eat when everything in you is sloshing around...lol. God has truly blessed me again. He continues to carry me when everything seems to darkest and bleak...drab and dreary. He loves me and is always there for me...Praise him my Almighty God!!! He was the guiding force behind Dr. K's hands again today and everything is fine. We have to catch and save all particles, sand or stones, that are passed and I have to take it to Dr. K to find out what they are made of so my diet can be adjusted accordingly. There is a lot of old scarring, no cancer, and a huge stone and several small stones still in the kidney itself. They may remain there forever and never cause a problem. I still have the stent in and it will remain until all the blockage is gone. I will have another x-ray in a couple weeks to see what the status is (I pray it will all be gone). When it is all gone and I still have no infection (all gone at the moment), then he will safely remove the stent. That has to be done in the OR room at the hospital but I don't think it is any big deal...just safer that way if something would happen when they pull it out of the kidney, ureter and bladder. I guess you never know what could happen. But all will go well with that also. God is guiding the hands of my great surgeon.
I was in the recovery room from 3:00 until 3:55, drank two very small cups of diet ginger ale, and was able to keep it all down. No nausea whatsoever. However they did put a patch behind my right ear which remains until tomorrow afternoon...can't touch it and have to wash hand immediately if I do...definitely don't touch it and touch eye area because it will dilate my eyes immediately...amazing. They also put four shots in my iv's to prevent me from getting sick. Two weeks ago I became deathly sick from just two ice cubes. I told them that today and they made me a mixed cocktail of drugs (shots in iv's) to prevent that. We left the surgical area about 5:00 to come home. All I wanted after surgery was Shorty's Hot Dogs ( a hot dog shop in Washington) French fries/beef gravy...no hot dogs just the ff/gravy. So my DD and Ken took me there and that is what I got. Then when we got home Ken heated three ff in the microwave for me and I had them dipped in the gravy...yummy. The doctor sent me home with an icebag and percacet pain meds because this is supposed to be so painful. I have a lot of bruising on my left side, but absolutely no pain...due I am sure because of my Cauda Equina Syndrome where the doctor cut into the spinal cord in 1984 and left me without feeling in many places below the waist. But you know what, I learned to walk again, I am alive and I believe in my Lord God Almighty and he has made me a wonderful person...nothing like blowing my own horn. But I am a much better, stronger person today for all that I have gone through because of this and my belief. My daughters are much stronger women also because they had to go through it with me...it was the three of us as they were growing up. And we are all three very strong women with strong personalities capable of caring for ourselves if necessary. I have to remember though that while it may be a blessing for no pain, it is also a disaster waiting to happen because I can't tell when anything is wrong also because of no pain. So I guess this is a win/win, lose/lose situation.
However today's surgery is over...I am in great shape (for the shape I have)...and the doctor is proud of me, himself and God...another happy and healthy patient!!! He also said something today that made me laugh and is so very true... READ AND REMEMBER!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!! People do not choose their doctor based on the doctor's looks. That is so true and you have to see Dr. K to appreciate it...little short guy with very receding hairline (totally bald on top I think, probably about 65-70 years old, graduated from grad school in 1972, black rimmed glasses, about 5'5" tall and possibly 180 pounds (probably really bad guess), grandfather to 3 wonderful kids ages 2, 3 and 5 whom he loves to death, a wonderful wife and two adult children, but I love him to death or life... whichever.
He knows what he is doing, is outstanding in his field and is a God loving, very respectful of himself and his patients...always ready to go the extra mile for his patients for their needs...doesn't guess on anything, believes in testing to make sure and LISTENS to his patient's fears, whatever they are. Just wonderful!!! I am so blessed that God brought him into my life when I needed him. If he was not happily married and I didn't have Ken, I could probably chase him and catch him because I am so much younger. lol Remember you can't hold me to anything I say because of the influence of drugs. lol
But I am so fortunate and blessed for God to have led him to me when I needed both of them so much. I can't praise God enough or thank Dr. K enough as they together saved my life...although I know that God was the leading force and he is the one who guided Dr. K's hands through everything. I am so thankful...you cannot begin to imagine.
Now the hard work begins...I am looking forward to getting the left kidney kick started into working at least 25% and I know with lots of prayer this will happen. Together with the left kidney totally blocked, I was brought back from total failure to 49% with the right kidney. So if anyone is looking for something or someone to pray for, please try to remember me. I know I will not get full function from the left kidney as it has atrophied quite a bit and will probably never be full-functioning again, but I am only asking for it to become the best it can be again. I praise God that with his help, this will happen. If you have time for a quick prayer, try to remember me...just briefly if that is all you have time for. I will be keeping all our Spark members, friends and families in prayers for all your spoken and unspoken needs. God knows you all and knows all your needs whether they have been spoken or not. My prayers will continue to be lifted for you.
Forgive me if this seems to ramble a bit but it is all from my heart!!!
Love and hugs always,
God for being and staying in my life
Dr. K for coming into my life
My DD and Ken who are always there for me
My DD co-workers and bosses who have called to check on me
Our spark members whom I have personally talked to or chatted with, emailed, spark mailed, etc. I love you all. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement always.
Too many blessings and positives to list, but know that I know that all!!!
Thank you for stopping by, reading and/or commenting on my page and blogs. I love you and I won't forget you!
Get An Email Alert Each Time MOMMA_BEAR_69 Posts