Monday, July 28, 2008

We may need a few history lessons ...

My nine-year-old niece is here visiting this week. She, along with my two girls, loves nothing more than to write, produce, and perform "shows" for us. The production the girls are working on for tonight is based on The Great Depression, they announced earlier this morning.

They've been hard at work on costumes, script, and songs, and just a few minutes ago I heard the (very loud) strains of this song coming from the living room:

"The Great, The Great Depression
It really was so great.
The Great, The Great Depression
It really was so great!"

Hmm ... I'm thinking when we make our usual Tuesday visit to the library tomorrow, I'm going to make a few selections from the American History section for their, um, enlightenment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tooth Fairy Humor

Not too long ago, Middle C was beginning her last week of kindergarten and from out of the depths of her six-year-old imagination, a vision occurred to her. She would join the ranks of her snaggle-toothed friends for the final days of school.

Never mind that she had already lost multiple bottom teeth.

And never mind that none of her top teeth were loose. Much.

It was destined to become reality, that snaggle-toothed vision of hers.

And so, one night during that final week of kindergarten, C shared her glorious dream with me and went to work with tissue and dental floss to remove the unwanted dentition.

Here's a play-by-play description of how things went down:

Just getting started

Looking a little like Nanny McPhee

Mission accomplished!

And so on that note, I leave you with a little Tooth Fairy humor. Watch to the end ... the last line is worth it all!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The adoration of a child

I was curled up in bed tonight beside the little man, and he was reading to me. Suddenly, he rolled over toward me and with complete adoration in his eyes, he placed his hand on my face and said, "Momma, I sure like the way God made you."

My heart dissolved in that moment, and I was just about ready to say, "Oh, G, I sure like the way God made you, too," when his expression and tone completely changed, and he pointed to my lip and added, "except for that bump on your lip!"

Aw, the honesty of children!

Bye, Bye Betsy

After having my constant companion for 17 days, Betsy is gone. She did the work she was asked to do, I recharged her batteries nightly, and now we are moving on to another form of wound closure.

As I passed through the wound center waiting room today, I walked by a man about my age who was strapped to his own Betsy. I gave him the most sympathetic look I could and then, for some reason, felt compelled to share the news that I WAS FREE FROM MY WOUND VAC, OH HALLELUJAH.

I wasn't sure whether my news would make him feel better or worse, but it sure made me feel better to share my glee with the waiting room. And now with you, all my friends on the internet.

Betsy even went with me to the firing range a couple of times to shoot my new handgun. I'll have to do a separate post on that sweet lil thang.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I love this age

With the addition of a wound V.A.C. to my care, the visits to the wound clinic have slowed from daily to just three times a week. For the first couple of weeks after surgery, my mother-in-law was driving over daily to take care of the kids while I made the rounds between my various and assorted doctors.

In case you haven't noticed, gas prices aren't cheap these days, and I started feeling a little guilty about all the fuel I was costing her.

So, over this past weekend, I decided to try taking The Musketeers with me to see if they might be able to manage themselves in the waiting room during my dressing changes.

We went through the whole list of "be on your best behavior" rules, and they assured me that of course they would behave, so I was a little caught off guard when The Little Man walked through the doors of the clinic and within 2.4 seconds was plastered against the fish tank in the waiting room, yelling, "LOOK, MOMMA, IT'S A DEAD FISH! A DEAD FISH! DO YOU SEE IT???" I tried without much success to divert his attention to a nearby table where his sisters were already setting up a game of Hi-Ho Cherry-O, but the fish corpse had all of his attention. "SO, MOMMA, DO YOU THINK THAT FISH IS DEAD OR JUST DYING?"

There were probably a couple dozen patients waiting, and I'm sure you can imagine the smirks and snickers we got.

Fast forward to my appointment today. I went through all the rules again in the car, being sure to emphasize the "No Yelling" rule. All nodded their heads and affirmed that they would behave like perfect angels.

The rules were forgotten, however, the second The Little Man walked through the door and spied the aquarium again. He raced over, noticed another black fish in the tank, and I watched as his eyes grew wide. He turned and yelled, "MOMMA, LOOK, IT'S A MIRACLE! GOD RAISED THE LITTLE FISHIE FROM THE DEAD! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???"

Oh, the wonder of being five.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sporting the latest in summertime fashion ...

I got my wound V.A.C. yesterday. It wasn't at all what I was expecting.

My assumption: A tiny little thing that I could wear inconspicuously on (or under) my clothing that would be silent and, well, inconspicuous.

My reality: A purse-sized pump that must be worn across the shoulder that makes periodic noises that sound like farts.

The doctor and nurse who put on the V.A.C. assured me that once patients get used to carrying it around, most of them "love" it (no kidding, they really said that) and just carry on, business as usual.


I had a prescription to fill last night, so I swallowed my pride and made up my mind I would ignore any sideways glances or staring I might get and headed off to Wal-Mart after dinner. As I stood at the pharmacy counter, handing the tech my prescription, Betsy (I figure if it's got to be a part of my life for several weeks, it might as well have a name) decided to start growling and tooting. Not certain whether the guy heard it or not, I figured my best bet was just to raise the volume of my voice and hope that he's familiar enough with medical devices to know one when he hears one.

Almost as bad as the gassy sounds is the fact that this thing is continuously pumping blood and other gack from my incision, and if you happen to look at the wrong time, you're likely to see all manner of nastiness surging through the tubing.

And I'm going to learn to love this thing like a dog loves ticks.

The one positive is that they taped me up so securely yesterday when I got Betsy that I no longer have the creepy sensation that all my innards are about to fall out. That's the thing about open abdominal wounds. You can know in your head that an incision is only 3 cm deep, but there is an irrational fear that it is much deeper, and if you lean in the wrong direction, all kinds of essential body parts are just going to tumble out. It's very disconcerting and a sensation I've tried to control by wrapping my midsection very tightly with an Ace bandage (over all my other dressings).

This is a part of the recovery process I could definitely have done without, but I'm going to give Betsy a real chance today, on this our first full day of partnership, and perhaps this arrangement can be terminated before too long.