Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat Smell My Feet....

Introducing our 1983 Prom Queen, Ms. Arissa Freeman:

I would show you a photo of Isaiah. But he wouldn't show up in the picture. He went as his Uncle Jerry (head to toe camo and carrying a Nerf gun). He went trick or treating at Royal Blue with Aunt Carol and her family. Arissa went to a Halloween party out in Farragut. Steven and I went to a drama production at church and then had 6 trick or treaters at the house.

This year was certainly different than years past. And hopefully won't be repeated next year. I really missed our Annual Freeman Family Roast & Toast. (I will say that cancelling our festivities was a very smart move. Between my current state and the rain it would have been miserable). Next year will be better. There's always next year.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post Op Update Day 8 (with photo)

Today has not been a good day. I saw my surgeon this morning for a follow up appointment and to have the stitches removed. It was not pleasant. It wasn't the worse thing I've ever been through but I could feel it. And I think the apprehension of feeling her working in my ear was just as bad as the actual removal. He is giving me a month off and then I'll see him again and we'll decide then about PT. He said he removed the whole eminence and shaved down the muscle. He does not expect it to regrow although I've proved him wrong before.


Since having the stitches removed my incision has been very inflamed (I'm not sure if that's the correct word to describe it...it hurts, itches, stings, feels raw..."inflamed" is easier to say so I'm going with it). I looked at it when I got home and was rather shocked at how it looks. It doesn't even look like it's together. He said there are internal stitches that will dissolve so I assume that is why it looks like it does. I think it looks pretty bad. And it's much longer than my last surgery.
You can't see the back (and therefore can't get an idea of what I am failing to describe in words)in the photo but here I am after getting home from the appointment:
So basically, I've hit that miserable, cry-baby, irritable, can't be pleased part of the recovery process. And Steven is on vacation for the next 2 weeks! He'll be so excited to spend time with jolly me!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post Op Update Day 7 (with photos)

So I've lived through the week. I have left the house exactly twice in the week. I have done nothing but rest, sleep, eat, drink, Internet, and watch TV. Tonight I was brave and tried to eat a pop tart. HUGE mistake. Here are a few pictures of me taken this morning...







As you can see, things are looking much better. I have an appointment in the morning to (I assume) get the stitches out. The nerve/muscle pain I experienced before has started up. It's like electrical shocks in my scalp.

Isaiah and Arissa are on fall break this week. Sunday night they spent the night with Aunt Carol, Monday night Arissa spent the night with the Bakers, and tonight Alexis is here. Saturday Arissa is going to a big Halloween party at her friend-who-is-a-boy's house. She has a pretty rockin costume this year. I think Isaiah is sitting this year out although I haven't heard for certain.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Post Op Update Day 2 (with photos)

Today I managed a bath and clean jammies. Today was also a day that nothing pleased me and tears came really easy. Panera Bread changed their chicken salad without consulting me first. I have a strict policy that poultry and fruit shall never combine. Their chicken salad USED to be perfect. Then they went and added grapes to it. Panera Bread chicken salad is now dead to me.




I noticed today that the hospital treated me to a brow wax. It's my right brow, in the middle of the brow. Not a good look. Someone really should leave the brow grooming to the professionals.






Today I am more swollen and bruised.






Isaiah and Arissa got report cards today. Isaiah did really well with 4 A's, 1B, and 2 C's. Arissa knocked it out of the park with straight A's. She worked her tail off to get those grades and it paid off. We were both a bit nervous how she would adjust to middle school on top of having an afterschool activity every night of the week but she did it. We've had a deal with her for a few years now that if she earned an A in Math she could go to Wasabi's (Isaiah's deal is all A's and B's). Needless to say, as soon as I can eat I have a date with my girl. I am very proud of both kids and hope that in 9 weeks I'll be able to take Isaiah out for Wasabi's, too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Surgery Recap & Post Op; Day 1 (with photos)

Yesterday went really well. Except for the fact they kept me totally awake (did someone forget my Versaid?) until they put me completely under. Which I really don't like. It wouldn't be so bad if I could have seen everything going on around me (most of what I watch on TV is medical shows so I am always comparing TV to real life. Which is really hard to do when you don't have your glasses and can't make out your surroundings). So yea, back to the point....I was fully awake and aware and had to scoot myself onto the operating table. And I was biting my lip and fighting the tears back. I would have much preferred to have been out of it for this portion of the program. The nice sleepy man (the same man that made Momma coffee the last time) put the mask on my face and his buddy put something into my IV. They kept saying to breath and I would be asleep any minute. But I wasn't. And to prove my point I kept my eyes wide open so they would know I wasn't asleep (side effect of watching some show the other night about surgery's gone wrong. The lady that wasn't out during her operation in which they REMOVED HER EYEBALL was fore front in my mind). Right after I reminded myself to not.shut.my.eyes. something happened. But I don't know what...because I was asleep.

Woke up in pre-op with a very sweet yet annoying voice nurse tending to me. I wanted to tell her to please clear her throat. Then the pain. Oh Lord, the pain. Dilaudid to the rescue. I fought to shake off the sleepy feeling still taking me over but closed my eyes for a little bit. Mary, the very nice patient advocate person, came over with what I really needed...my glasses! She remembered my concerns and had gotten them from Steven and put them right on my face. I looked around, never missing a chance to people watch, and noticed a man beside me...who was without his big toe and complaining that his leg was itching..something about a skin graft. And the middle-aged lady across from me who was whining like a baby. And moaning. I'm not real sure what her ailment was. I mean, I was fairly calm even though I had this



attached to my face. The pain....more Dilaudid. Nice nurse lady was on top of my pain. I asked for something to drink and instead I got ice chips. Which she dropped down the front of my gown. And then went to get out. But I didn't care the 4'11" 250 pound lady was feeling me up because she had the good drugs in her pocket. I really had to pee but kept that information to myself b/c I knew they would bring me a bed pan. This lady doesn't 'do' bed pans. More Dilaudid. It's amazing I was still breathing at this point. Nurse lady said in the next department they have oral pain meds and she wanted to make sure I was loaded up before they sent me over there. She called for transport and then pushed the rest of the Dilaudid. I was moved over to another room with my own restroom to sip on a soda and Mom and Steven could come back. Twenty minutes later they finally appeared. I was not happy at their delay. They got lost (though not 20 minutes lost; I think the message didn't get to them at the speed I wanted it to). The rebel flag hat wearing transport man had to help me to the bathroom. I'm pretty sure he saw my butt. Again, I will lobby for proper fitting hospital gowns. Why must they all be made for people that are 6' around?


Anyways, I decided I was ready to leave. Which in Anne time means RIGHT NOW. I swear it took them forever to come take out my IV and let me get dressed. Steven brought me home and I dozed most of the day. Never more than 15-20 minutes at a time but did manage a fairly decent nights sleep. I woke up 3 or 4 times. The Dilaudid of yesterday is way gone and now I am very sore. It even hurts to smile. The good news is that there doesn't appear to be any nerve damage this time. The swelling isn't too horrible. Here are some photos from today....


Me last night icing my face:




This morning:



Somehow I think whatever dreams I had of being an ear ring model are dashed:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Migraines can SUCK IT

Not a very nice title huh? Well, I really don't care at this point.

I have been in pain since Monday morning. I tried all my usual tricks (3 different migraine meds, caffeine, hot tub, protein) to no avail. I slept the majority of the day and thankfully Steven was off and able to take care of both me and the kids. Tuesday dawned with my head still pounding so I called my primary care for an appointment. I got in at 11 and was walking out by 11:30. He gave me a shot in the hip of Demerol and Phenegran and sent me home to sleep. When I woke up at 4 with the headache no better I called him back and he sent me to the ER for IV meds and fluids. The wait was minimal and the nursing staff was very kind. The doctor on the other hand? Easily the worst man I have ever dealt with. He said everything short of coming out and saying that he thought I was there just looking for drugs. It still amazes me how in this day and age people are still discriminated against based on their illness and who is with them. Needless to say, I left the ER still in pain because this fellow refused to give me the meds I know work for me. I came home and slept through the night and woke up again today with my head still hurting. I managed a shower and trip to the pharmacy. My self medicating has numbed the pain to a manageable level. I am hopeful it stays that way.

While I know this sounds just horrible, I often wish I had a tangible reason for these headaches. Something that the doctors can SEE so they will believe me when I am in such pain. Something that gives a reason. Something that gives them something to say "yea, no wonder this girl is so miserable." Migraines suck. People who have never had them just don't understand how a "headache" can literally turn your world upside down. How the pain is so bad you can't take care of yourself, much less your children/family. Migraines don't just affect me. They affect my children, my husband, and even my parents and sisters. They cause me to have to cancel plans with friends; have appointments that have been on my calendar for months not even register when I miss them; have my children tip-toeing and whispering in their own home, scared of disturbing Mommy. It sucks. There is no other way to put it. This sucks.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weddings and Surgerys

First off: Super excited to tell everyone that Carol (my oldest sister) is gettin' hitched!!! We've already procured her gown, mine and Kathy's gowns, floral designs, cake design, and centerpieces are settled. Now we just need a venue and a menu. So basically my event planner hat didn't even have a chance to cool off since Mom & Dad's bash. Which is fine with me...I really like planning these things (especially for people I love).

My surgery date is set for October 21st. He told me he is probably going to remove my entire eminence on that side. He won't know for sure until he gets in there. I will, once again, have to do several months of physical therapy to avoid scar tissue and maximize my range of motion. He told me my incision will be bigger. And he threatened to shave the whole side of my head (I whined that I just got the shaved hair to grow out from his last surgery. He said he likes giving haircuts). Temporary nerve paralysis is pretty much a given since I had it last time. I am not at all nervous/scared about the operation. I am, however, nervous/scared about what happens AFTER I wake up. I've actually teared up a few times thinking about it. Which is so unlike me. I treated myself to 3 new set of jammies (yeah for the clearance rack at JCPenny's!). Although I doubt cute jammies will make me feel better...it's worth a shot though.

Isaiah's football season is over. He got in for a whopping 5-6 plays the entire season, worked his butt off, never complained, was a great support to his teammates but in the end, he was done. He was still very upset to lose the final game that ended their season. I couldn't be more proud of how he stuck with it, kept his grades up, and didn't quit.

Arissa still has 3 or 4 more games left in her season of cheerleading. She is back to dance twice a week, plus cheerleading twice a week with games on Saturdays. She keeps us pretty busy.

Steven is still working super crazy hours. He has been working back to back double shifts, going in on his day off, going in early, and flip-flopping hours. His poor body doesn't know when to sleep and he is really struggling with getting enough rest. I have tried to take all of the house duties off of him, as well as running the kids back and forth. It's the least I can do for a man that works himself crazy to provide for us.