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.