Saturday, November 13, 2010

I don't understand

Since I started this blog, y'all have been through the good the bad and the ugly. This post will be one of the latter.

A week ago tomorrow one of my dear friends took his life. I went home to be at his funeral. I have been sad since I found out. I found out a work by a text from a friend who thought I already knew. What a shock. Not the place to find out. I had a hard time keeping it together and how I got through the next day and a half at work, I don't know. It's a blur.

I got to the funeral home and saw many old friends and their spouses. I saw my friend in the casket looking very unlike himself. Just lifeless. You may laugh at that but it's true. I was used to seeing him smiling and cracking jokes and being full of life. Him just lying there with bad makeup on and hands just as lifeless as they can be was just not him.

Then the funeral. Many friends from the night before and some different ones, again, great to see, just not under those conditions. Another friend from childhood gave a eulogy. He said he didn't want to be there. Neither did I. I don't think anyone did. No one ever wants to be at a funeral, but, I don't think people are as sad when it was a life long lived and comes to an end from natural causes or even when an illness is involved. At least you know they are at long last free from the bonds of the illness and whole again, in heaven. To me, this was unnatural, preventable. But was it?

I may have just answered my own questions. I wasn't understanding. I wasn't angry. I was just sad.

I guess if I look at this as though it were a physical illness, I should be happy for my friend. He's no longer in such a black place that even the light of his children couldn't get through. The light of friendships long standing, the light of a mother, sister, wife's love, the light Jesus himself couldn't shine through.

I know God has him. I know he doesn't hold it against him that he took his life. That kind of illness had such a hold on him and he hid it so well, most of the time, that no one could know the blackness that was his depression. I've often heard that depressed people can hide it well. While I don't think there are any of us who knew him who didn't know of his depression, I don't think any of us thought that "now" was the time for him. And, granted, I hadn't talked to him in the last couple of weeks but, I had no idea. Perhaps those closest to him had an inkling, that may be what caused them to send the sheriff out to find him when they couldn't reach him. But, on the whole, I think it caught all of us by surprise.

I think - no - I know that he could have called anyone who was in that chapel yesterday and any one of us would have been more than happy to drop what we were doing to help him. He who had for so long brought us joy and laughter. If only he had reached out. I know that's part of the darkness of depression. Thinking no one understands, not wanting to bother people. It's wrong.

If I ever thought for a second someone I knew was close to doing harm to themselves, I would do anything in my power to stop it. I realize that is me "traveling by bubble", thinking I can change the world or even one person by trying to help. Well, maybe I could. Maybe he just needed one person to say "your life is worth living". I guess maybe I think his blackness was so deep that even that wouldn't help and this was his answer. Being in the light of Jesus sure sounds preferable to that dark hole he had to have been in and I'm not even suicidal.

I guess I have written myself into feeling a bit better. Working out that now my friend is finally in a bright place. A place where he can finally be happy and at peace. I'm still sad. I still miss my friend but, I know at least he can finally smile and mean it.

Rest in peace my friend. At last.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Ok, I have downloaded these pictures twice and lost them the first time and can't move them into the right order. There is NO rhyme or reason to the downloading of photos on this blog. Perhaps this summer I can spend some time figuring it out. Anyone out there reading this who has already figured it out, please feel free to enlighten me.

Anyhow...Today, the baby of my babies graduated pre-school. She is officially a Kindergartner now. They did a really good job of their little graduation at Brennan Academy. She graduated cum laud (with honors) because she turned in ALL her homework assignments (one every month). They were family projects so perhaps we all got honors today, along with her.

Everybody came out for the occasion, Even Nonnie. Thank you, Nonnie! And thanks for dinner at our favorite celebration place...El Chicos!

This is Anna and Tate. He'll be going to ACA next year, too. When he asked the teacher who was testing him if Anna would be going to ACA, too, and she said "yes", he said "oh, you know I'm going to want to talk to her". He's a cutie!

Here's all my babies...big and small!

They sang a bunch of songs before the graduation. She actually sang all of them!

I didn't even cry! I probably will when she graduates Kindergarten. For sure will when she graduates High School. But, that's a blog for another day.
I can't believe all my girls will be in one school next year for the only year that will happen. But, it should make it a heck of alot easier. WOOHOO!
Congratulations, Anna. We're all so proud of you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy admin prof day

So, today was the official holiday known as administrative professional's day. I walked in this morning to a lively potted arrangement that will find it's way to my garden eventually. Then the cookie that I stuck in the arrangement as you can see in the picture. I was treated to lunch, chocolate covered strawberries, a Joann's gift card and two dozen roses. Not a bad for a holiday I totally forgot about.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just ducky

There's a lady who comes in everyday to pick up. A student from Homework & Health (our after school care) and lately she's been bringing me a duck tucked into odd places like her pocket or sleeve. Today, this picture shows where it was.

I'm updating from my phone so I hope this goes through. If so, you'll be seeing lots of new posts!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bookfair at Barnes and Noble

If you would like to help our school's music department by doing something you may have already been planning to do...

Go to
Pick yourself out a few things you'd like to purchase
Go through the normal check-out process
After you enter the credit card information, there is a small box underneath that says "Check this box if this is a bookfair order". CHECK THIS BOX!

Enter the code: 10158616

finish checking out and that's it! You've helped ACA Music Dept. make some much needed (and appreciated) money!

I will be posting about Sadie's performance last night at the Barnes and Noble here, later. Keep an eye out!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday in the life...

Yesterday was a busy day in WanglerWorld, and it oozed on over to this morning.

First thing yesterday morning, and I do mean FIRST thing (like 6:30 we had to get up) Sadie had her last race of the year for running club at school. It was at the new stadium so everyone parked at our house (because Jerry was charging to park for a race - whatever!) and walked/ran over there. I stayed and waited for the stragglers and off we went. The race just started when I got there but about 8 min. later, two ACA boys come running down the final stretch to take the race. I was so proud! Some big ol' boy tried to put on the burners down the final stretch but our ACA boys kept on and won. Then Sadie comes down the stretch (well, there was a bit of time in between the first place runners and Sadie and several runners) but she finished 3rd girl out of ACA's runners. I was so proud.

They had all sorts of things for kids to do after the race so the girls went over and jumped, ran through obstacle courses and who knows what else and Conrad and Anna met us there, then I walked some people home.

I was hoping that Conrad didn't think I was planning on walking back to that stadium because I wasn't. But as I sat in the front yard debating the idea of going back to bed, it occurred to me that I could cut that stinky tree down that is in our garden. So, I got the hand saw and started sawing. I had that thing down and cut up into "garbage truck take-able sized" pieces before Conrad was even on his way back home. Our garden has now been de-treed and de-leaved (otherwise known as raked) and it is looking pretty good. My dream is to put some sort of stone flooring in it like bricks or what-have-you and put our table on it and leave places for plants in the stone. Like I said, that's just the dream. I'll let you know what we do with it.

Then, after the girls got home, I took Mads for a gift and to meet a friend who was taking her to a birthday party. Then the rest of us worked in the yard and then sat and talked to neighbors and listened to the Ranger game until it was over.

After the Ranger game ended, all Wanglers and Brady walked over to the ballpark to hear Clint Black in concert. It was a really good concert and yes ladies, Clint still looks good in those jeans! While we adults were listening to the concert the children went over to the hillside to roll down the hill. If there's a hill, kids are going to roll down it, right? So, we're watching that and listening to the concert when I suddenly notice Anna isn't with the other kids. Conrad goes over and I can see him really fussing at Mads and I catch his eye and do the universal motion for "so, does anyone know where she is?" and he gives the universal sign for "OMG ANNA IS MISSING"!! So I go find the nearest uniformed men and tell them the 4 year old is missing, what she's wearing, what color her hair is, etc. and they get on their radios and get the word out. Then, a ballpark security guard comes walking up with her. I hugged her and thanked her profusely. She told me that Anna didn't know her name and I assured her she knew her name that she could even write it. I then told her she just doesn't talk to strangers. She acted like I might be trying to pull the wool over her eyes but said "OK". So, Anna didn't leave our sight after that. Conrad was getting on to Mads earlier because while he was trying to find the youngest child, she's all worried because Sadie is trying to use her cardboard to slide down the hill. He's trying to impress upon her that Anna is missing, cardboard doesn't matter!

Then we came home and discussed going to the implosion of Texas Stadium this morning. I kinda wanted to go, the kids really wanted to go and I could tell Conrad wanted to go, too. So, I talked him into letting me sleep in and watch it on TV while he and the girls went out there. I'll be honest, as soon as they left, I decided I wish I had gone. I did watch it on TV...well, I napped during it on TV and had to rewind to see the actual implosion. I have it recorded if anyone wants to watch it. In fact, you can click here and watch it.

And, the last bit of the weekend, Mrs. Froese (Sadie's running coach) ran the race this morning over at the stadium (adults raced today) and won! We're so proud! I only know this because she parked at our house this morning and she came to get her car and told us. Way to go Mrs. Froese!

So, now we're taking it easy, even missing church to catch up on sleep and sanity. I am doing laundry and will grocery shop and get all this stuff picked up outside but, other than that, I'm not doing much today. I'm hoping God forgives for us skipping church one day.

So, how was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Opening Day of the Texas Rangers winning 2010 season (hope springs eternal!) has come and gone and it did NOT disappoint. My hot dog bun was even fresh! Read why I wrote that one here:

The only thing that isn't good is that my traditional "walking to the ballpark" pic I took got deleted due to a glitch in my camera. Meaning, I purposely deleted all pics on my memory card before we went so I'd have plenty of room for pics and I got two, 2, count 'em, one...two, pictures on there before it told me my memory card was full. Blasted memory card! So, I did the only thing I knew to do and that was reformat the card which meant I lost everything on there. (All two pics.) So, unfortunately you won't see the traipsing through the neighborhood on the way as you usually do. Is that a collective "awwwww, shucks" I hear? I know, I feel your pain.

Here's a link to the first blog about opening day '06

But, a great time was had by all, with the possible exception of Anna who did NOT like the fireworks that went off before the game started, nor the loud cheering of the 40,000 + fans at the ballpark. But, after awhile she settled in and everything was good.

Here's everyone lined up before the National Anthem. Sung by Neil McCoy (again). I think he sang it the year I was so upset about not hearing the flyover, remember that? (see the first linked post above)

The big flag. I love the big flag. It's

Here's the end of the National Anthem along with the big flyover!

The a paraplegic, who lost his legs in a training exercise, parachuted (yes, I said parachuted) in with the game ball that Roger Staubach threw out. Roger was asked to do it to promote Superbowl 45 to be played right down the street. Like it needs to be promoted, right? Anyway, he did a great job throwing it out.

And the Rangers won in the ninth inning. How could you beat a day like that? Beautiful weather, not too hot, not too cold. Sun came out about the 5th inning so not too much sun. I wasn't at work, I'm thinking it doesn't get much better than that.

Say it with me..."GO RANGERS"!!!!!!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!! This is one of my favorite holidays. The church services are so inspiring and reminders of why we serve God. He gave his ONLY son to save us and today we celebrate that HE conquered death and evil, thereby giving us eternal life if we only choose to believe. How cool is that? The church is decked out in it's white finery and beautiful songs are sung. I just love it.

Another reason I love it is that it's a family thing for us. Last year, Aaron was here as well as Jon Michel. This year it was just Jon but he carried on in the tradition of being here and participating in the egg hunt, although this year, I delegated the stuffing of the eggs so he didn't have to do that.

The morning started off with a visit from the Easter Bunny. Anna got her stuff out of her basket and Banda quickly took over.

Then to church, as I said, beautiful flowers, lovely Mass, beautiful music. Then, the traditional Easter egg hunt. Anna was off to the races as soon as they said "go".

Then home for the traditional Easter dress pictures. Here's Sadie...brown, hmmm, how different for her...NOT!

And Anna...cutie patootie. Mumsey, I know you will notice the shoes. Yes, she has her Easter shoes, we're just not sure where #2 is. Earlier, I had found one so I put it on her dresser. Then, last night, I decided to look for the second one so I wouldn't be in a tizzy this know, not gettin' my blood pressure up and I go look in the closet in her room and lo and behold there it is. So, I go to put it on the dresser and the first shoe I put up there isn't there. I looked for awhile, but I finally "let it go" and told Conrad he'd have to find it because he was the one who let her wear them before Easter. This morning she went to church in these pink sandals which looked cute but, that's not the point is it? "Let it go"...

And, Madeline. Not really surprised about the dress, looks just like something she'd wear. Nonnie took them Easter dress shopping so I didn't know what they got until they got home. Mumsey, you did good!

After the picture above, guess what Mads had to do?

Yeah, "that".

A neighbor saw us out taking pics and offered to take all of us together. Thanks Hillary!

Here's Jon!

Peggy (Conrad's mom) also came but I just realized I didn't get one picture of her while she was here. Major shame on me.

Dinner was a group effort. I had food cooking in my oven and so Lisa cooked the rolls. She also brought the salad, which was really yummy. My friend Jackie came and brought chicken, potato casserole and banana pudding. Conrad smoked a ham and I made corn casserole and cupcakes. It was a delicious meal shared by great friends.

As I said earlier, I delegated the Easter egg stuffing out to my neighbor Andrea. Then she and Kelsey hid the eggs in her backyard and the kids found them all.

Jackie's husband and son also came and took part in the festivities.

Hunting eggs.

Jackie got a new car! It's a beauty! Congratulations!
I was so happy Jackie and her family could join us.

I hope your Easter was a lovely time, shared by family and friends.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary, Dear!

13 short years ago, we were standing before James Armstrong, a man of God, professing our love and promising forever to each other before family and friends.

13 years ago, how could we know we would have 3 beautiful children together?

13 years ago, who would have thought we would be more in love now than we were then? Shouldn't that be the way love goes? Your wedding day is the day you love each other more than you think you ever will but in reality not as much as you ever will?

13 years ago, who would have known we would make every home opener of the Rangers since our marriage?

13 years ago, who would have known all the firsts we would experience together? First steps of all three girls, first words, first opening day for each of them. First day of school for two of them and this year we'll see the last one start Kindergarten. First overnights with friends. First lost tooth, first haircut, first Christmases - Easter - Thanksgivings... First race at TMS...first game at the new Cowboys's stadium...I'm sure there's more but that's enough for now.

13 years ago, who knew the people we would bury, the illnesses we would see each other through.

13 years ago, how could I know that the man I married would surpass every expectation and every wish I could have for a husband?

13 years ago, I married my best friend. I'm still married to him...

13 years from now, I will read this and think "you only thought you loved him then...".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Last post about this heart stuff

I'm sure y'all are tired of hearing about all my illness stuff but I want to share with you the things that have happened lately.

One thing is that I realize I am not nearly as young as I think I am. I thought I would just bounce right back from this. Not so much. I am proud of myself for knowing my limits and instead of working until 6 on Tues. I went home at 4. I did work until 6 today and it did kick my hiney but I didn't give out until close to 6 instead of the earlier 4 and 5 of earlier in the week. I came home and went to bed and let Cornad worry about dinner. I'm still in bed and will be until I take my shower, then I'll be back there until I get up in the morning. Yep, Mumsey, I'm learning how to slow it down.

Another thing is that for whatever reason people are happy to see me back at work. I'm guessing they're happy when they say "You're back". Maybe it's the "Ewwww, you're back? I thought we got rid of you" but they're hiding it? Mostly, I think they're happy to see me and it's a little weird because I always think everyone hates me up there (not the staff), for making them do what they're supposed to do, like signing in, not going back into the school in the morning, you know, just following the rules up there. I've found people don't necessarily like that - finding out rules apply to them. Anyway, I digress - see why parents don't like me? I get off on that "the rules are for you" tangent and everything else fades to gray. OK, back to the subject at hand.

It's nice to feel the love/concern from the parents and staff of ACA and I have to say that while I wouldn't want to go through this again (I was going to say "to save my life" but that would have been stupid - of course I would do it to save my life), it has been nice to see how much people do care about me. Touching even.

Thank you everyone, family, friends, students (yes, I've had my fair share of hugs and "welcome backs" from them), parents and staff for all your sweet comments and concern. Sorry if I'm redundant but I truly am appreciative.

No one deserves more thanks than my mother. I just realized yesterday she was here for a whole week!!!!!! She cleaned, she washed clothes, she watched kids, she sat with me endlessly, she worried over me, she kicked my hiney at cards (more than once). She loved me like a Momma does. Thank you, Mumsey. I truly do appreciate what you did for me. I'm thinking I thanked you in my last post but I don't think I can thank you enough (besides, I doubt I said anything about the hiney-kicking in cards). I love you!

And, Conrad, you continue to support me in my recovery and I love you for hangin' tough! I see bright and wonderful days ahead! I love you!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Yesterday morning, I woke up at 4am or there abouts and couldn't go back to sleep. I knew the nurse would be coming to prep me for my "procedure" at anytime and I was a little nervous. By the time the nurse came in I had worked myself into a big bundle of nerves and was crying (not that sobbing cry but quiet fearful tears). My nurse, Nana, once again to the rescue. When I grabbed her hand and said "no one has died from this have they?" she didn't say no (because I'm sure that would be an untruth. She said "people have died from NOT having it done". In an odd way, that made me feel better. So she prepped me and then let me take a shower.

While I was in the shower, I thought things like: Surely this isn't my last day on earth and here I am taking a shower in this hospital room. Did I do everything God put me on earth to do? Is he going to say "Well done my good and faithful servant"? Does everyone know how much I love them? Is this going to hurt? What are they going to do to me? When do I get my Valium?

Oh, you can bet I asked about that Valium. I mean, I enjoyed that morphine, why wouldn't I like Valium? Surely that would calm these nerves.

After I was all showered and ready for my big procedure, Joan came and got me. I was hoping I would get to see Conrad and my mom before I went in but it wasn't looking good on that front. They weren't there when I went down to the Cath Lab.

Joan is a lovely nurse who came and talked to me and told me everything they would do to me. Calmed my nerves and also reiterated the fact that people had died from NOT getting this done (WAY more often than from getting it done, her tone suggested). Then, she did give me a Valium and benedryl. Talk about a calming effect on someone, by the time Mumsey and Conrad got there I was feeling no nerves about this.

Then they took me back. A large man, Mark, came and got me and he was so nice and turns out, he's a nurse and did the final prep work for this Angiogram. He introduced me to DeeDee and Pam and apparently they had been on the TV the week before introducing this robot that only they had in this surgical room. Don't ask me what it does but they were talking about needing to name it so I asked if I could help. "Of course!" they said. So I came up with "Robbie" and they liked it. I'm not sure if they were just blowing hot air up my hospital gown or if it's really going to be called that but, I believe they are so, that's enough for me! I feel like I did something good while lying on that table.

I don't remember alot about it, except that it did hurt (I think someone said something about the anesthesia not working quite as well as it should have with me) but only when they poked me and plugged me. Not the inbetween part. I didn't get to see my heart on the 6 monitors they had going - very disappointed in that. They know how to warm a blanket in that hospital. And, it didn't take long at all. I have no idea how long I was back there but it didn't seem long at all.

The Doctor went and talked to my family then came and talked to me. And, oddly, they have a different recollection of what's wrong with me. He told them that I have an almost non-existent artery, a congenital condition that I can do nothing about. He told me that I have a mitral valve prolapse which there's not much to be done about that as long as the valves aren't leaking (which they aren't). So, no blockage, no stints, just some foreknowledge that can come in handy if i should ever get leaky in my valves.

I became aware of some things while in recovery. I know 3 hours spent on your back will make you hurt like nobody's business. I know one of those nurses in that Cath Lab can flat rub a back. I know two darvocet will make me not care that I'm lying flat on my back for three hours and it takes about half an hour* to get them and another 20 minutes for it to work. I know you can have all the cranberry or cran-grape juice you can drink in recovery and they have good ice, much like sonic drive-ins. I know it's alot harder to go on a bedpan than one would think. I know that Joan has to be one of the kindest people I've ever run across and I so appreciate her wisdom, kindness and humor.

Finally, it wast time to go home! First, I got to get up - slowly but surely, then I got to walk to the bathroom and clean up a little. I know that sounds like not that big a deal. But, that bathroom was a million miles away when you'd just been lying on your back for 3 hours and had just had something jabbed/plugged into your leg (and up into your heart). But, then I got to put on my new "New Orleans Saints Superbowl Champions" shirt my Mumsey brought me and walk out that hospital door and back to my house. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see my house...EVER!! My bed was a welcome sight and a place I haven't left too often since I've been home. I'm to be a couch/bed potato for 2 days so I'm happy to stay here, as long as I'm HOME!

I'm happy to see my cats (and even a little happy to see Paco - as long as he's not jumping on me). Happy to be available whenever my children need a kiss or hug. And, really happy to be lying beside my sweet husband again who has been a real saint through this whole ordeal.

I want to thank Conrad from the bottom of my heart for being there for me and the kids during this time. Not complaining, not ever making me feel like I have put him out by asking for him to bring things (mostly clean underwear - in case you want to know) up to me. For just being the strong rock of a man I've always known him to be but tender enough to show emotion and show me how much he loves me at the same time.

I love that my children's face lit up each time they walked in the door of my room and in turn warmed my heart just by seeing them.

I so appreciate all the people who took the time to come see me or phone me or send me emails and prayed for me. You will never know how much I appreciated those.

And Mumsey? Thank you for being there for me. You just don't know how much you need your Mom until something like this happens. Sure, I could lay in my room all day by myself, but would I have really just laid there? No, I would have gotten up to make myself something to eat or what have you. Well, today I wouldn't have gotten up, I didn't have the energy. I anticipate tomorrow having a bit more energy so I may try to cheat a little. Mom is here to make sure I keep it in check and don't do too much. Thank you, Mumsey for taking time out of your life to come take care of me.

So, now this ordeal is over. I will, in 10 days, clear up exactly what the Doctor told me as compared to Conrad and Mom and I'll let you know what the final diagnosis is. But, I thank each and every person who had a hand in helping me through this. I love you all.

* I don't know for sue that it took half an hour to get the darvocet, but it seemed like an eternity.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Heart beats

This morning I did something I didn't think I would ever need to do. A stress test. And, when I thought about a stress test, it didn't stress me out. I really thought it would be a get hooked up to electrodes and take a spin on the old treadmill kinda thing. Well, let me tell you it was NOT.

They injected me with some sort of radio active isotope thing in my IV and immediately I felt like a big steaming bowl of crap. My stomach hurt, my head felt tight, I felt like I could projectile vomit (if it wouldn't have gotten the lady in trouble that told me it was OK to eat a little something when I went to my room to wait - yet again - on the Dr. so I could take said stress test) and I was scared. And when I say scared, I don't even mean I think I'm going to die scared. It was a I have no idea what is going on and all I can do is cry scared and that's what I did. And it all hit me at once, not a slow little creep up on you "I don't feel good" creep up, a rude minding my own business and someone pops out of nowhere and slaps me across the face with a cold wet hand kind of thing.

After the radioactive stuff ran around my body for a few minutes I got pictures made 360 degrees around my heart. They had me hooked up to a monitor that I could hear my heart beating out loud in the room. It took me awhile to figure out that was what it was but once I did, I thought "that is a fast heart beat, I wonder if I can slow it down?" So I thought about Conrad, slower it got, all 5 of my children's faces went before my mind's eye, slower still. Then "the" urge came over me and off to the races went my heart because I didn't want to do that on that table. (For those of you confused ones, if I said "BM" would that help?) Apparently, radioactive stuff is a laxative for me. It was cool listening to my heartbeat. I tried to keep it steady and slow but that didn't always work.

After the test, we had to wait for the Doctor to come give us the results. We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, he came and delivered this little bundle of joy...I have to have an angiogram/heart cath, whatever you want to call it tomorrow. Yeah, again, I'm not going home. But, I have meals, complete with desserts, ordered until lunch tomorrow so I'm good.

I've had my moments of panic with this. I won't deny it. But when my Mumsey left this evening, she said a prayer for me and a peace and calm washed over me. Jim from the church came and read from the Bible and gave me communion and prayed with me. I have nothing to worry over, I can't do anything about what's going on so I'm going to leave it in God's hands.

My nurse, Nana, and I had a conversation about being grateful about this. And, I am. I am grateful that my Doctor didn't give up where some would and ordered this test which I thought was pointless yet may have found the reason behind the problem. Thank you Dr. Taylor (best Cardiologist in Arlington - do I get a discount now?)! Grateful that we found this while I am young (quit snickering - I am) and can do something about it and that I didn't have a heart attack because we got it early. This really could have all ended much worse so I am grateful that Jackie made me call my Doctor because, trust me, I'm not the kind that would. Thanks, Jackie!

So, worry not for me my friends. Worry, instead, for those Doctors who have to see me naked tomorrow. Couldn't possibly be a bright spot in their day. Pray for wisdom and clarity for them while the procedure is going on. Pray for peace and calm for my family during this time. And, thank you all for the prayers, visits and phone calls. They are all appreciated!

Oh, one more bright spot...I get to have my first Valium tomorrow!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nice little respite?

So, on Thursday I felt a pain in my shoulder and it kinda went into my chest and really, I thought I had indigestion. I had just eaten a sandwich, so Jackie offered me some gas-x. Took the gas-x and some advil liquid-gels for the pain in the shoulder and neither one made a dent in the pain. It go so bad at one point that it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. At that point, Jackie made me call my Dr. who told me to go to the ER.

Well, I'm really not the ER type. I don't want to go to the hospital for anything and I always think anything going on with me is minor and will fix itself or go away, I just have to endure it. So, I called Conrad and all I could get out was "can you come get me?" before I broke down and couldn't talk anymore. I handed the phone to Jackie and she told him what was going on and he was on his way. Jackie then sent me down to the nurse's office to lay (lie?) down but it hurt more to lie down so I just sat there then there was a knock on the door.

Mr. Simon (the principal) and my boss, Dan were there (talk about scary!) just to keep me company and calm me down. Mr. Simon took my blood pressure (note to self: Don't let Mr. Simon take your blood pressure!) and I don't remember what the top number was but the bottom one was 115 the second time and I think it was higher the first time. That was crazy! I think my blood pressure was up because I was scared and in pain.

So Conrad gets there and I have him take me to Care Now (Doc-in-the-box) and that Dr. told me that if I were his mother, I would be in the ER. I couldn't really find any argument to that because as he said if it's your heart (which all indicators were pointing to) you don't mess around. So, Conrad took me to the ER.

I just had him drop me off because we had all three girls with us - I mean really? What are they going to do but hang out in the ER waiting room and collect germs. I sent them home. My friend Chrstina called and asked where I was and she said she'd be right there. I told her she didn't need to come but she was having none of it. I got called back pretty quick, had an EKG then was sent to a room and Christina was there not long after and after another minute, the phone in the exam room was ringing.

Now, me? I was thinking "why is the phone ringing?" The nurse lady answered it and handed it to Christina. Then I thought "how does anyone know she's here?". Not thinking real clearly, I don't think. It ended up being my mother and my first thought was "Oh, Conrad called Mom" and then I thought "but he's going to worry her needlessly". And then I thought "quit thinking, just get better". OK, I really didn't think that last part but I'm tired of the quote marks. Anyway, I couldn't understand how my mom got the number for the ER exam room and I was a bit confused about all the things going on around me.

Here's what I remember about the ER exam room visit: Star Trek was on the TV and there was no sound. Christina was there and being my advocate and I was happy she was there. I was told I'd be spending the night in the hospital - a first since the only time I'd ever been in a hospital, since I was about 5, was to have a baby. I was scared. I had my first dose EVER of morphine and I liked it.

So, up to my room, we met Conrad and Madeline on the way up because for some reason when they move you to a room, they wheel you - in your bed - through the halls of the main hospital. My room is actually very nice. I have two windows (although I am above the garbage dumpster which gets emptied at 4 am - just in case you wondered) and wooden floors and very grape leaf looking wall paper. It's large, I think. Of course, I don't go to the hospital much so I don't have much to compare it to but it's home until tomorrow.

So, I thought I would go home on Friday but the cardiologist came in and wanted to do a stress test and an echocardiogram. Bad news - they dont' do stress tests over the weekend so I have to stay until Monday. Great. Not happy about that. I told him I'd happily stay if I could have some more morphine. He said "NO". I think he thinks I liked it a little too much. But, my cardiologist is nice and has a good bedside manner and made me laugh which is more than I can say for any of the other doctors I've seen (or not seen) in this hospital.

So, here I sit, in a comfy hospital bed, watching olympics at will, playing on my computer and phone and taking it easy. Yeah, I would actually rather be home but since I'm not, I'll make the best of it and treat it like a mini vacation (expensive mini vacation).

OH, mom knew about my episode because Sadie promptly went home and posted on her Facebook that her mom had gone to the ER. My cousin must have seen it immediately and called my Aunt, who promptly called my mom. So, FB has it's usefullness. I didn't think to call anyone because I wasn't really thinking clearly. But, it's obvious to me that an emergency plan will need to be in place in case this ever happens again. Hopefully it won't!

So, right now, we're in a holding patteren just waiting for the stress test tomorrow. I'm sure I'll get to go home on Monday so my incarceration is almost over! Mom is here and I plan on beating her at a few games of cards and I'm involved in about 7 games of "words with friends" on my phone. And, of course, there's a constant stream of people in and out of my room daily. Some more welcome than others! So, I'm keeping busy. Please feel free to stop by if you're in the area - you'd be one of the welcome ones!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today is Madeline's birthday. She turns 9. It started out with a whimper and ended with a bang. This is one of those times when we just really didn't have the money to do anything before-hand so we had to scramble to get it all done in the 2 hours after I got off work and had to work in getting Sadie to and from piano theory class during that time as well. Not easily done but managed. And, of course, I found myself almost out of gas during said running around so a stop at the gas station was a must. Anywho...

Several things impressed me tonight as Madeline and her friends played during her sleepover birthday party. One was that Mads has a really nice set of friends. I don't think she's ever had all the same people over for any particular party/sleepover which means 1) she's got many different friends and likes to spend time with all of them or 2) she doesn't keep the same friends for long. Well, I happen to know #2 isn't true so I'm impressed that she spreads her time with friends over all of them.

And those friends are just plain nice. They all thanked me for having them over, used their manners when asking for more pizza, etc. Included Anna in all their games and during one game when Anna didn't win, the girl who won offered Anna her prize (which Anna promptly turned down). I thought that was incredibly nice (or the girl doesn't shop at Dollar Tree - the prize was a gift card from there - I choose to think the best, she genuinely wanted Anna to be happy).

Another thing was that Madeline is genuinely nice. As she was opening her gifts, she got some cool things, a gift card to Target, a robotic drawing thing, some cool girly things and some make up from her big sister. Anna got her a play fishing pole with plastic fish from Dollar Tree that she picked out herself. When Madeline opened it, you would have thought she gave her a pot of gold. She gushed over it and Anna asked her if she liked it and Mads said "Yes, I was going to ask for one of these" then thanked and hugged her.

Most of my birthday posts include pictures of the child celebrating their birthday. But, because Madeline has shown her most beautiful part tonight, I want to honor that by sharing with you those things that can't be captured on film or in digital form.

Madeline for the reasons stated above and for so many more, I am now, and will forever be, proud of you.

Happy Birthday - I love you,

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas '09

So, I'm a little late in my Christmas blog. Well, what's new? Even with time off I can't seem to find the time to sit and write my blog. Hmmm, what's up with that?

OK, well, one of my favorite finds of this Christmas season, and I didn't find it until almost too late, was this Chex Mix Muddy Buddy. It's like puppy chow (for people - that our family loves to eat) that you don't have to make! How much better can life be? I got the last bag Wal-Mart had and I haven't found it anywhere since. But, it was delicious and I guess I could always actually make some if I really got the hankerin'.

I accidentally just deleted the picture of Anna as an angel at the church's Christmas pagent. But, as always, our Christmas Eve includes this tradition (when we're home). This year, Sadie opted
not to participate. Oh please, does this mean she's growing up? Egad! Anyway, Mads was a reader this year and Anna was an angel. This pic is of Mads reading and I thought she did a great job.

Apparently the pics loaded in whatever order they wanted to so we'll just take it pic by pic, OK?

The girls and Nonnie made gingerbread houses this year. I was given one by my secret pal at work and then a parent also gave me one as a gift. Very thoughtful, I thought. So I left to go grocery shopping and left my Mumsey to handle the construction. Teehee...they actually have fun doing this and if I were here I'd be all perfectionistic wanting to put the icing on myself because they weren't doing it right, etc. and Nonnie just lets them do it. Of course, sometimes the result isn't exactly what you expect (see photo at right).

And then sometimes, you get it right. But, either way, the quality creative time with Nonnie is priceless.

I guess now, we're on to Christmas morning. Here's Anna in what Santa brought her. Oh my, thank God it came a blizzard here on Christmas Eve, thereby eliminating the need for Santa to go to Midnight Mass, allowing a two hour head start on this cute little jeep. But, hearing about Santa's 2 hour ordeal putting the stickers on and the rubber "rims" (they actually go in the middle of the tire - for more traction) and all the other little pieces and parts which were apparently not expected by Santa, was a jolly tale, indeed.

I know it was a labor of love for Santa to do this but, man, it sure took a long time!

My Sister and her husband were flying in from Detroit on Christmas Eve and almost didn't make it in but finally did after a harrowing flight into the blizzard of '09. They had been up visiting friends and timed it just perfectly to spend Christmas with us. Here Greg is reading the girls the Night Before Christmas (on the computer since somehow we have not one copy of this book in our house). My Opper (beloved grandfather) always read it out of the paper for us. If we weren't at his house, he read to us over the phone.

Jon Michel spent the night with us Christmas Eve. I love that. All my babies under the same roof (except Aaron who got left in Natchitoches due to poor planning on his part, but I digress). It just warms my heart.

Our white Christmas. Maybe it didn't snow on Christmas but there was fresh snow on the ground so I (and probably 90% of the population of the DFW area) consider it a white Christmas.

The snow on Christmas Eve before anyone stepped in it.

Christmas Day, snow angels!

And, of course, snow ball fights. Conrad has his new robe on.

I show you these new shoes of Anna's because when she steps and leaves footprints, it's of the animal that the shoe is. (Anna's are cats.) And...

...ta da...can you see the paw print in the snow? How cute is that? They're called pollywalks I think.
All in all, it was a great Christmas. Exept for Aaron not being here and us not knowing if he was even alive for a little while there, it all went swimmingly. The Aaron story is one for a different day. I'll tell you about it some other time.
I hope your Christmas was blessed, family and friend filled. May we all have peace, prosperity and joy in this coming year.