Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Funny

A guy shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped.

Furthermore she kept staring at him. She finally overtook him at the checkout, and she turned to him and said,

"I hope I haven't made you feel ill at ease; it's just that you look so much like my late son."

He answered, "That's okay."

"I know it's silly, but if you'd call out 'Goodbye, Mom' as I leave the store it would make me feel so happy."

She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man called out, "Goodbye, Mother."

The little old lady waved and smiled back at him.Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone's day, he went to pay for his groceries.

"That comes to $121.85," said the clerk.

"How come so much ... I only bought 5 items."

The clerk replied, "Yeah, but your mother said you'd pay for her things, too."

(I love little old ladies! ;)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We got back from the doctor a few hours ago. He did listen. I didn't have to throw a punch. He sat down and listened to everything I had to say. He suggested the nerve stimulator (since this last surgery didn't help... and made things worse). He suggested a spinal tap to measure my fluid and drain some off. He suggested a shunt revision. Then he listened some more when I told him I didn't want anymore surgeries that were going to make my problems worse (i.e. the chiari decompression and the last operation... greater occipital neurectomy). I told him two other doctors no longer felt comfortable doing spinal taps or even taps in the shunt in my brain because the fluid is "thick" and "sludgy" which means leaving me open and drainging for an hour and a half increasing the risk of great infection.

Then he asked me what I wanted him to do. I told him, "Nothing." There's nothing he can do to make it better. He quietly nodded and agreed and said the suggestions he made were just that. He didn't recommend any of it. There's nothing he has that can or will fix me. But he did have a full box of Kleenex to kindly share... and he handed them over with a regretful smile.

He wants to see me every six months to a year.

So that's that. There's nothing left to do. This is the second neurosurgeon to say (admit) what I've known for years. And this one sure didn't like admitting defeat. But there comes a time when even modern medicine can't cure. Another shunt will fail because my ventricles are too tiny. It's like putting a straw under a tire and expecting it to drain water.

The only thing left is to have my skull removed. I just can't have that operation. The three small sections I have right now without skull make me paranoid. I've been to the emergency room twice after being hit in one of those spots. I'm not ready to live with a helmet for the rest of my life. And if were only that simple. If wearing a helmet was going to take the pain and nasty symptoms away I'd do it in a heart beat. But there's more involved than putting on my son's old football helmet and living life up.

So I'll continue to be my wacky little self. I'll continue to experience the symptoms just as if I had an actual brain tumor. I'll continue to live with severe pain daily, at times excruciating. I'll continue to hold my own head up because my neck's too weak to do it. And with humiliated and humbled expressions I'll continue to ask my baby boy why the sheets are covering the couch or why the milk is under the sink. And he'll continue to hurriedly run back to my bathroom to ask if I'm okay when I'm falling in the shower. We'll continue to clean up water because my hand can't hold the glass. (And I'll switch from glass to plastic so I no longer break 8 glasses a day.) And I'll continue to depend on my parents for most things and sit in the house 24/7 and go to the grocery once a month because that's all I can physically manage.

And I accept that. I don't like it. Any part of it. I don't like that it not only affects my life, but my Jacob's. That I can't do things with him or take him places or have his friends come over. I don't like that I can't even stand long enough to make him dinner or fix him breakfast. I don't like that my parents have to cook for us. Or take us places because I'm not able to drive (for the past four years). I don't like that I can't visit my sisters just an hour away and play with my niece and nephew. I don't like that I don't get to visit with my friends because I don't feel well enough to talk and laugh. I don't like a lotta things about these horrible symptoms or the diseases that cause them. But I do accept what God has given me. And I try my best to honor Him and witness for Him and use my life as a testamant of His love and grace. I am drinking from my saucer because my cup has overflowed!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The swelling is down. The pain and numbness is improving in my hands and feet. I can feel your prayers and feel comforted by your many loving thoughts.

I'm still experiencing confusion. I'm finding items in wrong... and weird places. Today I opened the drawer to get a spoon and found grocery bags. The other day I asked Jacob why sheets were covering the couch. He looked at me like I was crazy. (We covered the couch after Snicker's bath... new couch!)

Jacob hasn't been here since Friday afternoon. He's been with my parents and today he is at a friend's house. I miss him. I hate being alone most of the time, but especially when things are wacky... when I'm wacky. My mind goes to places I don't want it to go. And I can't bear to think about leaving Jacob. Or him caring the cross of loss the rest of his life.

Tomorrow I see my neurosurgeon. If he doesn't sit down and listen to me do you think I could get away with punching him? Could "brain problems" get me off without charges? Hmm. Bet not since I just typed that. I do believe that's what they call premeditation. Is there such a thing as being charged with premeditated punching? ;)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Answer Is No

I've posted more this week than I have in an entire month. I've visited blogs and even participated in Thursday 13. It felt wonderful! I've missed it so much. I've missed leaving silly comments (and receiving them :p). I've missed my friends. Being back in the blog world has been so nice. But it's come to an end once again.

Many of you've commented on my three (in a row) posts. Naturally you assumed I was feeling better. And I was. But not anymore. And this is one problem Blogger can't be blamed for!

I've been having a lot of increased back and shoulder pain over the past few weeks. Sunday I started experiencing more pain in my back. I couldn't stand. I couldn't sit. I couldn't walk it out. I've had a herniated disk for years (since '99). I also have pieces of an old deteriorated LP shunt floating in my spinal column (the one that was in for almost 9 years... and when the surgeon tried to remove it pieces of it shot up in the spinal fluid.) So who knows what's to blame. I've also been sitting for 4 years straight.

The big problem started a few days ago. My feet and hands started swelling again. But not like before. The right side is worse. The symptoms change throughout the day, but for the most part of the day it's bad.

I have no feeling in the last four toes or on the top of my right foot. I can't bend my toes or even my feet. My hands are the same way. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep. It was 2 in the morning. All of a sudden I couldn't feel my feet and it felt like I was walking with tree trunks. I tried to grab for the nearest chair, but I couldn't get it. My depth perception was off. I was dizzy and my gait was unsteady. I grabbed a pen and paper to write down the symptoms, but I couldn't grip the pen to use it. What I was able to write I had to move my entire arm to write with and not my hand.

The symptoms were better the next morning, but still present. They gradually worsened throughout the day. I dropped things or couldn't even grasp them to begin with. I dropped a glass of water. It's like it slipped right through my fingers. When I walked to the other side of the coffee table I wacked my right foot really hard on the table leg (three inches+ of thick wood). I didn't even feel it, but could see the indentation in the swelling of my foot.

Later that day I started noticing problems with my vision. I was having black areas (not spots) in my vision. My eyes weren't adjusting to light/dark as quickly as normal... and I'm talking 20 minute intervals here! The swelling continued in my hands and feet and with the same symptoms as the night before. But I started having problems with my right arm. It was numb and felt weightless yet I could feel deep within my arm. It was strange! I also started having more and more difficulty concentrating. I just felt blank or empty. The dizziness was worse, but the depth perception was better.

I see my neurosurgeon Tuesday. The egotistical one that "knows" more about what I'm feeling going through than I do. Oh gosh. How I wish I were going to see Dr. Luciano. I trust him and believe him. And he believes me. I hate this other doctor and don't feel comfortable with him. But there's no way I could handle the drive to go to Dr. Luciano. And there's no way I could handle the "pressure" of flying. My head feels like it's about to explode as it is... added pressure wouldn't be my friend!

I know I'm leaving you with more questions than answers. I can't write any more right now. I will let you know how I'm doing so you don't worry. I can't guarantee more than a single word depending on my symptoms, but I know after this you'll worry. If you don't hear from me don't panic. I'll have my friend Brandi post about the doctor's visit if I'm unable to.

Let's pray it's just that stupid medicine and not my pseudotumor cerebri or arnold chiari malformation or complications following the greater occipital neurectomy I just had. Let's pray! THANK YOU!

I leave you with this video of the father/son triathlon team, Dick and Rick Hoyt, to the song "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. (Visit them at Team Hoyt)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Funny

(This is an email my sister, Nickey, sent me.)

An 80 year old woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge he asked her, "What did you steal?"
She replied, "A can of peaches."

The judge asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry.

The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. She replied,"6."

The judge then said, "I will give you 6 days in jail."

Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment the woman's husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something.
He said, "What is it?"

The husband said "She also stole a can of peas."


.... .... .... .... ....
And just for the (Friday) fun of it...
Our new nicknames are:

Git yer own racin' nickname on :p

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My second post this week... whatcha think about that? ;)

Thirteen movies watched this week... either with Jacob or by myself.
(click link for movie info/trailer)

1. Nanny McPhee (YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!!!!! We've watched it more than half a dozen times within the past two weeks. "Did he say without supper?" HA!)

2. Fantastic Four (I enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would. Let's just say I was looking more forward to scrubbing the kitchen floor!)

3. Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (Can't top the first one... not the original one... the first one )

4. The New World (could it be any slower?)

5. Superman (the old one)

6. Secondhand Lions (for the umpteenth time. still love it.)

7. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (still hilarious! "Do not seek the treasure!")

8. My Fair Lady (again... never grow tired of this movie!)

9. National Treasure (it's great. And Encore's been playing it several times a day.)

10. Surviving Christmas (trying to cool things down here!)

11. Bad News Bears (the new one. HI.LAR.I.OUS! Can watch it back to back.)

12. Garden State (Great Movie!)

13. Junebug (Awesome!)

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Are you one of the hundreds of millions registered to jump tomorrow on World Jump Day? Jacob suggests I drop something heavy since I'm physically not able to jump. Any suggestions? Be nice! ;)

Mad Physics shares ...uh... the physics to debunk the idea of jumping our way to a better orbit. Ah. If jumping was the only thing to do to fight global warming!

(But it is pretty cool to see the seismograph of the simultaneous jumping at the 2002 World Cup Final.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Funny?

What would you do if you found this in your living room????? Oh me oh my! And I thought I had problems ;)