Monday, February 28, 2011

I am alive!!!! (with the grace of God!!)

Wowza!!! I know that alot of people who knows me just figure that I jumped off the computer and dissapeared. Wellllll....I kinda did. Not by choice, but by a major medical emergency!! What happened is still somewhat of a mystery, because I certainly don't know everything that happened and never will! So, lets go back to August 2009......

Patricia and myself went on a weekend trip to Mendocino. We just hadn't gone anywhere all summer and we needed to get away for awhile!! We had both been working so very hard. Myself on our new home, awaiting for the rest of my family to get moved out of Arkansas to Calif., and my sister at her job as a social worker. We were just tired. So, I was the driver on the journey. We made good time, and we actually found a nice motel for the weekend.

So, it came time to leave, again I was driving. About an hour or so from home I started feeling bad and had Patricia drive the rest of the way home. We got unpacked and all and I went on with life.

Sometime during the next week, I was talking to my husband on the phone and he remembers that I told him that my head was hurting and that I was going to lay low that day. As the day rocked on, I was doing my thing and finally I hit the bed for a much needed rest. I thought that I was still tired after our trip. The very next thing I knew, for some reason I had called 911 and told someone that I was in trouble and that I needed an ambulance RIGHT NOW!! That was the last thing I remembered at all for 4 months!!!!! Much of that hppened to me was told to me by my husband after that fact. Even now, when I ask him about something new he recalls something new sometimes.

My aunt phoned my husband and told him to come NOW because I was in bad shape. According to what was told to me, nobody knew if I would make it through the night! He got here the very next day, not knowing if I was alive or not. Once he got here, he took our youngest son to the house, gave him some money to eat on etc. He went to the hospital to see about me and where I was at. He made arrangements for me to be transfered yo UCFS--which is the University of California at San Francisco.

Apparently I was basically stuck in a holding pattern until he got here and could make decisions about me. Transferring me gave him some time to deal with Preston and getting arrangements to get him started in school etc. The poor guy had his plate full from the moment he hit the ground.

Finally the diagnoses was truly made. I had a cerebral brain bleed. Kinda like a stroke but different. Nothing actually ruptured but what happened was for some reason my blood vessels started spasming. The doctors told Tony that there wasn't anything they could do for me at the time. All they could do was just watch me and moniter whatever they monitered. If I had known I would have been scared to pieces!!!

So, there I was. Not conscius at all. Didn't have the first clue about what had been happening with me or what people were going through in my family. My kids were scared, my family was scared friends were scared. meanwhile I didn't know anything about anything and couldn't care less!!

As time rocks on things were being done to me. I was improving somewhat, even though I had no recollection of it. I had passed through the point of dying, but still it was unknown how I would recover of if I would ever recover. As I am typng this, I can say now that I am well on my way to the big recovery! My husband tells me a lot of stories that are amazing, funny and sweet. Apparently, one day it was PT and OT day. My therapists were working with me and were asking me questions along the lines of person, place and thing. The asked me if I knew where I was at. I told them completely the wrong answers. Really, I didn't know where I was or anything. I thought I was still in Arkansas at the old ''local'' hospital. The therapist eventually told me that I was at UCSF and been in the hospital for x days. I apparently was blown away by the info because I said just as clear as a bell ''shut the fuck up!!'' The girls with me told Tony (hub) that I was going to be just fine one day because of what I said. They were totally cracked up. I had no clue about what I said, and if they hadn't told me, I really wouldn't have known really where I was at! At that time I wasn't clear on my location on the planet. I was kinda going along to get along at that time I guess.

So, again time was passing. The progress I was making was very good and it got along to time to leave the hospital, but I still wasn't ready to go home yet. The next thing I knew, I had been transferred to another facility. By the time my poor little brain caught up to actually thinking clearly, remembering things, being able to communicate etc etc etc, I was never so shocked in all my life!!! My husband had admitted me to a nursing home!! You see, I myself had worked in a nursing home for 9 years!! I was the administrator of the nursing home I worked at, knew everything about nursing homes!! I had done my tour through the trenches wih nursing homes. I didn't want to be in another nursing home until I was an old woman! I tell you, I was beyond pissed off!! How dare they do that to me! Of course now, I totally understand. I had to go there for the kind of care on the 24hr basis for the time being. My poor hubby felt bad enough having to do that to me. He totally didn't have an alternative until I got better. And better I did get! In January 2010, I finally got to go home!! But, as I found out later, I was no where out of the woods.

You see, I was still missing part of my skull. I had to back eventually and get it repaired. So life rocked on and it came time to go back to the hospital and repair the hole in my head. In mid June I had my appointment for the repair. Apparently, my body did not like getting fooled with again and I had a bit of complications. Soon enough though, I got over all that and went on to the next phase. I was scheduled to receive a month of intensive physical and occupational therapy. I was doing all right in the speech therapy area so I got to miss 90% of all of that.

While I was again in a facility where Tony didn't need to do anything but be there for support and stuff, we determined that it would be a fantastic time for him to go back to Arkansas and get all the rest of our stuff that we had still in the other house. Finally he got back to Calif. and shortly after that, I got to back home forever!!

So, thats my story. Why I've been gone so long and where I've been. I still do physical therapy every week which really works my butt off!! I am pretty much amazed how much I acomplish. I've always admired the various therapist's I've known much of my adult life for different reasons, but now, I truly have a lot of admiration for them. I'm busy doing my thing as like anyone else does. I'm looking forward to spring and getting into my garden again.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

2 Finished projects!

Simply Stripes pattern knit with Brown Sheep Naturespun. Cranberry Fog and Dark Olive colorway. I started this sweater way back in Sept. 2007 and made real great headway until I got to the sleeves. Then, for some reason, I guess I got bored with it and set it aside for a while. The worst part of the whole sweater was weaving in all the ends! This will be a nice warm sweater for next winter.

Simple crew length socks knit from Urban GypZ yarn in the Olive colorway. Love this yarn! Socks are way more green than they appear in this photo.

I've got so many projects in my que that I'm not sure what I'll be working on next.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Momma's go a brand new bag!

Isn't it pretty! What doesn't show really well in the photo is the color along the top. It is a very deep auburgine purple. The whole bag is made of a chenile tapestry fabric. The front there as you see in is a magnetically snapped full pocket. The top has a hidden metal clasp type closer. Inside both the front pocket and the body of the bag are small side pockets for assorted knitting gadgets and accessories. I LURVE this bag. I have always loved tapestry fabric and this is sooooo soft and lush. It even has little metal feet on the bottem to protect it. Squeeeeee happy dance!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My parents farm distroyed in last weeks tornados

As if losing my dad last October wasn't bad enough. Last Tuesday when several states in the Southeast were ravaged by tornados and many, many lives were lost and many millions, perhaps billions of dollars of property damage was done, my parents farm was also distroyed.

My mother was alone in the house with her two little dogs when the storm roared through Cleveland, Ark. She took shelter in her small wood frame home in a central hallway. Only God and his angels know why she wasn't hurt.

Both of the barns were totally blown away. All of the trees that were in the immediate surrounding area of the house and in the yard were either uprooted or broken off and striped of limbs. As far as we could see on the 48 acres all the way down to the wood line, there wasn't a tree left standing.

Thankfully, a neighbor who is an EMT, came up to the house and ran through the pasture and up to the house and got her out safely. The driveway up to the house, which was once tree lined was unpassable. They literally had to lift/carry/toss my mother over a fence row of broken brush to get her to a vehicle to take her to safety so that we could get to her to bring her to my house that night.

The next morning, when we saw what the storm left in the daylight, we were all just stunned. The thought that kept going through my mind is that I was SO glad that daddy wasn't alive to see all the distruction to his beloved farm because it would have just killed his soul. They lived and loved on that place for 25 years.

Tonight is actually the first night that I have had an opportunity to really sit down and write about all of this. Thankfully, my mother had already been planning on moving away from the farm into the town where I live because she knew that she couldn't live so far out from "civilization" by herself. So, because of this, she actually did have somewhere to go as she had already purchased a new mobile home. The problem was however, that it had just gotten delivered and was no where near finished being set up. Plus, she hadn't even begun to pack the first box! We worked like mad in the freezing cold, and mostly in the dark inside her tornado damaged house just to try to get her belongings out before another rain came. Luckily, I think as it stands right now, we have 90-95% of her stuff out. All of the major important stuff is out anyway. She still has pantry canned food items and some kitchen cabinet items, but those won't be damaged it they get wet.

We are all just so overwhelmed at the daunting task ahead of us as far as the clean up goes. She was going to eventually put the farm up for sale, but now with all the damage, I just don't know how that will effect the value of the property. It used to be so beautiful with huge oaks and cedar and pine trees. Now it's just a jumbled up mess.

Mom is very much in shock. She doesn't understand why God took her husband and then took her home like that. Me, I am just very, very sad. Sad for her and sad for the distruction of such a beautiful place that was so special.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Good, The Sad, and The Ugly

It has obviously been a loooooong time since I have posted here on my blog. As you can tell from the title of this post, it has been anything but "normal" around here. It has run the gamut from very happy to incredibly, inconsolibly sad, and painfully ugly. Why you ask? Well.....

A very happy day was when the UPS man delivered 4 ginormous boxes of processed fiber for me from Stonehedge Fiber Mill! I tell you, Deb McDermott does a wonderful job! I sent her 6 fleeces in my first order. I was pretty much just sending my largest fleeces out at the time to be processed. I was also sending them out to "test run" the mill to see how I liked their work. I was completely and totally satisfied. And let me tell you one thing.......she packed the finished fleece so tightly into the boxes she sent back to me, that when I cut the tape to open them up, the fiber literally sprang up and exploded out of the boxes! It didn't take me long to decide to box up the rest of the fleece that I had and send it to her to process. SO much easier on my back and neck! And for the price, I don't think I can get it washed for what she charges. The worst part of the whole deal in my opinion is the shipping! THAT is highway robbery!!!!!

Now......much to my dismay, onto the sad. Unfortunately there is a couple of things that fall into this catagory. One is a sort of sad, but in the big scheme of things -- not so much. The other -- LIFE ALTERING.
1. my German Shepherd female, Jade has been sick. For the past 4 weeks she has been having 1 grand mal seizure in the middle of the night one week apart. Since she finally had 4, she established a pattern and the vet said to bring her in for a full work up. Well he ran every single solitary test on her from stem to stern and everything came back negative except for one. Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever. We have no idea when she got a tick bite since we never SAW a tick on her (she probably bit it off before we saw it), and we have no idea how long she has been sick with it. But, with the diagnosis in hand finally, now we can treat her. She'll be on antibiotics for 6 weeks. Since she is young, we'll just have to watch her in the future and hope that her brain can repair itself where it's got the lesion or "short" in it that is causing the seizure. FYI - you can't immunize against Rocky Mountain Tick Fever, you can only treat it. Both in humans and in animals.
2. My dad had an accident on his farm involving a tractor and a bush hog (a big mower) and died on Oct.31st. Needless to say, this has ripped the guts right out of the whole family. A neighbor called and notified me, but he was using my dad's cell phone and for a few moments I couldn't figure out WHY the neighbor was calling me on dad's phone. After the news sunk in, I literally lost my mind for a few minutes. I am still in somewhat of a "shock" state. I'm supposed to be able to pick up my phone and be able to call my daddy. My mom is beyond lost, but I really think that in time she'll do ok. She's alot stronger than she gives herself credit for. It's just that she's depended upon dad for sooooo very long for nearly everything.

That, my friends, is the UGLY!! What you are looking at there is a photo of what was hanging out of the middle of my back between my shoulder blades last week for 5 days. I underwent a "trial" for a Spinal Cord Stimulator. What a Spinal Cord Stimulator is, is basically a pain pacemaker. Since I suffer from chronic pain ever since I wrecked my spine back in '03, and have just about exhausted every other medical avenue avaliable for the relief of pain, this is now the second to the last stop on the road. Why would a person want a "pain pacemaker"? Well, for me it's because I hope to not get as much "break through" pain even though I take pain medication. I also hope that I can keep the amount and the dosage of pain pills that I have to take a day down to a minimum.

But, too.......I am kinda scared. The surgery to put the thing in is rather strange because they put the electrodes in at the back of my neck. Then, they have to take and run the connecting wire that hooks to the battery pack down inside under the skin of the back all the way down to my lower back. At that juncture, they make an incision and insert the "pacemaker" looking part of the aperatus and hook everything all up together. Since I'm right handed, the pacemaker part will go into my body below the skin on the right side of my hip. Apparently, you can adjust it from a controller that you simply touch to the inside thing from the outside of your body once the incision has healed to either increase or decrease the level of pain control. Then somehow to recharge the thing, you plug into a wall outlet and just sit there and touch some kind of charger thing to the pacemaker inside. It's some sort of high tech weirdness that's for sure. After that, I hope above ALL hopes that I am DONE with people cutting on me for a good loooooong time. Personally, I am sick to death of it.

Next up in the batter's box will be Tony. He survived his mylograms and his diskectomy but whoooo boy was it ever painful. He is still sore! He couldn't get home from St. Louis fast enough. We aren't sure just yet when his surgery will be.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! It will be a quiet affair for us. I don't think the holidays will be quite right this year without dad. It's just too soon.