17 November 2012

Howzit... from Manas, Kyrgyzstan

While, I've joined the transitioning ranks of many before me. On the way to Afghanistan, I'm stopped over in Manas, Kyrgystan.  My travels started in Nashville, (if you don't count my travel from Honolulu to Nashville over Veterans' day weekend), then to Baltimore. Then Germany, Turkey and now here.  We're waiting for more information about when we're likely to head out to Afghanistan, and I've been awake since about 0330 local time. My body is all out of whack, I was so exhausted around 10am but I tried to press through it, had lunch and then swore I was going to take a nap...and somehow I got distracted.  Anyway, now it's 4pm and I'm waiting for my laundry to be done in the washer.  All I actually have is a brief tonight at 10pm... and sine my laundry is all done, I'm about to get my legs waxed!

Aloha, and let me know if you'd like my mailing addy to send some love ;)

*Update: 2257- I did get my legs waxed, and the poor lady... I used my lotion bar on my legs after my shower (cocoa butter, mango butter, coconut oil, & beeswax)... needless to say I made it very difficult for her to wax my legs.  Thankfully she was gracious, and I gave her a big tip, cause I felt bad for her. She kept teasing me about how much lotion I used :D

And I'll be heading out in the morning. Seems like my next post will be from Bagram!

11 November 2012

Aloha `oe...

It's that time again, when I have to say goodbye to the Islands with a heavy heart.

But this time, it feels a little bit heavier than normal-since I had to leave Marcus and Zeke behind, for the longest time ever. It was the hardest thing to give a hug and kiss goodbye to Z as he was upset he couldn't get on the plane (he loves traveling & they had family passes so they went to the gate with me), and then to kiss my love goodbye as he whispered in my ear, "I love you."

I don't think any military training prepares you for that.

So for now, we will call and skype, and then when I actually leave for AFG, we'll be juggling a 14.5hr time difference and work/school/fitness requirements on my end. BUT... I am confident of this, my God is bigger than all of that... and right now, that's what I'm holding on to.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. - Deut 31:8

20 October 2012


There's a lot of healing that's going on lately.

Spiritually... and physically.

The surgery didn't go as well as we could have hoped.  Apparently I had a lot of scar tissue, so because of the amount they removed and not knowing how the graft would settle, they didn't put the posts in.  I was a little upset waking up from surgery and not having posts in my mouth.  I might have dropped the F-bomb waking up and asking why I had the surgery if the posts weren't in.  buuuut... can you blame me?

Anyway. Guess the posts will go in, when I get back from deployment. And until then, I pray that the soft tissue graft takes, and that between now and then, neither the bone nor the soft tissue get any smaller...

Side note-we're less than 2 weeks away from moving out of the house and heading to Hawaii. What a crazy month it's been... on so many accounts. And life just keeps on rolling!

16 October 2012


It's been a while, yes?

A lot has happened since now and then.

I went to TX for a week, then I went to FL for the month of Sep.

Then I came back to TN... and found out that I needed a soft tissue graft before I could get implants. I was crazy frustrated because no one had said anything about this issue before. Not enough bone, yea I heard that... not enough gums?!?! NOPE!

Anyway, fiasco about 1-having referral from Tricare to pay for procedures (not wanting to fork out $5k), 2-their availability to do the surgery. Because we're in a time crunch...I needed 2 weeks for healing to make sure all went well...

Thankfully, about 24hrs after I had a panic attack-ish and then figured out that God wasn't surprised by the news... I got scheduled for 17 October.

That's tomorrow.

I'm a little nervous and apprehensive.  I've never had a surgery like this before. It's unknown to me, and that is what's scary. I've had bone grafts and all that... but this? They say the roof of your mouth burns and feels like you ate a really hot piece of pizza. Let's just say, I only burn my tongue... not really the roof. And the only thing I can kind of relate to, is killing my mouth when I eat Captain Crunch or something.

So, that's a little update for you (Natasha) in case you didn't know.

Thankfully, I have an opportunity to go to Hawaii and hang out with my mother-in-law (sick with second round of cancer, going through chemo...not really sure how that's going since no one talks about it)... and then I'll come back and stay with a friend for about a week before I fly out again.

That's two thankfully's. Wow.

Alrighty, time for sleep. Early morning to Vanderbilt (who knows about Nashville traffic, too afraid to chance it)...

Peace out.

14 August 2012

Five months...

Is almost how long it's been since my last post. Nah nah, just kidding. It's only been three months. ;)

My faithful reader Natasha reminded me I haven't blogged in a long time, and partially is because I always think of what I could write, and then by the time I get home and stuff, it's just too late.

But today marks a big day, five months since my last (fourth) jaw surgery.

I had a followup appt yesterday, and the doc said it looked almost as good as a virgin jaw. Now that's some good news!  The next struggle is getting the implant process started. Since I'm in the military, and Ft Campbell has the ability to do implants, they aren't likely to "let me" get my implants done at Vanderbilt.  Which is frustrating for me, because I would like to stick with one doctor through all of this.  Unfortunately, my old oral surgeon from Campbell that referred me to Vanderbilt, has moved and we're waiting for the new doctor to take cases... hopefully he starts in September, but I'll be gone all month for training. My best bet to see him is to call the scheduler Sep 17th and try to schedule an appointment immediately when I get back from training.  Implants don't take long to do, and the healing is about a week... so I could get them done right before I deploy... but I really want to get the posts in.

Although my doctor said my bone would be okay if I didn't have posts while I'm deployed... when bone isn't used (like having teeth or posts in them), they start to dissolve...  I'm trying to avoid another surgery in the future because my bone won't support implants... but anyway.

I was graciously reminded that despite doctors and referrals and all that, God is the ultimate Doctor... and I am in His hands.  A reminder I definitely needed yesterday.

Well, my time is up, gotta sleep. Hopefully more to come later.

20 May 2012

Aloha `oe... (Farewell to Thee)

It is with a heavy heart I write this, sitting in our bed in Clarksville, TN.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my trip back to Oahu. I loved it so much, I have a hard time grasping the reality of being back in the Mainland. I wake up, confused being back in TN. It is perhaps doubly hard because the hubby isn't back with us yet... so it's just me and the kid.

It was awesome to see family (my mom, hubby's parents and grandma). To see the Refresh crew, and worship with them. To see the beach, catch up with some old coworkers and friends, and randomly run into different people.

But to leave... was so hard. Emotionally- leaving the church I pretty much grew up in. Leaving an environment that I thrive in (sunny, beach, ocean- things I have loved since living in Pohnpei). And leaving the hubby behind. That made it the hardest.

It's been difficult being back. Today was my first day back at church, and although it was nice to see people again, they said, "Welcome back!" "How was your trip?" My instant selfish thoughts were, "It's not nice to be back, and I wish I was back in HI."  But I smiled and said, "Thank you, it was awesome."

The last song we sang during worship today was "I Surrender All." Kevin talked about something(s) in our lives we need to give up- to let God work. And I was immediately reminded of my "need/desire" to be in HI.

Isaiah 43 is pretty much my hold-on chapter right now. It's all pretty good, but here are some highlights (NASB)

1But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
         And He who formed you, O Israel,
         “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
         I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
         And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
         When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
         Nor will the flame burn you.
7Everyone who is called by My name,
         And whom I have created for My glory,
         Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
10“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD,
         “And My servant whom I have chosen,
         So that you may know and believe Me
         And understand that I am He.
         Before Me there was no God formed,
         And there will be none after Me.
18Do not call to mind the former things,
         Or ponder things of the past
19Behold, I will do something new,
         Now it will spring forth;
         Will you not be aware of it?
         I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
         Rivers in the desert.

For now I hold onto God's promises...that He is enough, that He will sustain me. And I must be faithful with the things He has called me to do right now (another blog).

And right now, I'm glad the next two weeks at work are 4-day weeks. And hubby comes home next Thursday...

 We surprised Grandma (5/8) and took her out to lunch (at Nico's Pier 38)

 Beach Day! (North Shore-Sunset Beach)

 Checking out the water...

 Breakfast with Marilyn at Kaila's Cafe!

 Lunch with my Gecko Ladies (old coworkers)

 Sunrise-ish Mother's day hike with Nadia (Koko Head: 1000+ stairs)

 Getting ready to go down...

 Four generations family picture (Marcus' Mom's Mom)- Mother's day lunch

 Three generations

 Dragging Grandma into the ocean (Kaimana's Beach)

 Mommy-Kid picture

 Shaved Ice with Grandma after the beach

 Ice Cream with Auntie Michelle

 Late night dinner with the Lee's

 Saying goodbye...

Goodbye to grandma (at the airport)

27 April 2012

The Big Day- aka Grand Re-Opening

We're about to leave the house in 20minutes, to take the long drive down to Vanderbilt.  It's exciting, nerve-wracking (what if something hasn't healed right and I need to be wired longer), and... a sense of relief. The time has finally come (the walrus said...) and hopefully by the time I get back home I can brush the inside of my mouth, and stuff some delicious sweet potato pancakes inside my mouth.  I also have to ask some questions about physical capabilities, what I can and cannot do to my mouth, etc.

I'll update this blog later today with pictures through the journey, and today. My teeth will be stained... and slightly British looking... but I'm sure they'll clean up soon (I'm just warning you about the teeth).

**edited** I failed to remember that they don't take the arch bars off right away.  After the wires come off, are a time of using rubber bands. Similar to rubber bands for braces.  Not too big of a deal, and thankfully I only have to wear the bands at night.  Which means my jaw can relax and stuff during the day while I eat and talk, without having to get an extra workout of being banded shut.

Gross note: apparently drinking green juice can cause discoloration of teeth.  I didn't realize that my bottom teeth sit behind my front teeth, so when I use the water pik and toothbrush, I could only brush the top teeth. So my bottom teeth-were... disgusting. I called them British, but they were like Austin Powers x 10. Thankfully after a second brushing some of it went away... and I think continual brushing will help get them clean. I wanted to take a picture, but I didn't want evidence of the grossness.  Pics to come later tonight after small group.

Oh, my dear friend Emily, whom I got to hang out with A LOT because of surgery, hooked up with hubby (to determine favorite color) and she brought me a potted plant! And a $15 gift card to Cold Stone. When we came home from hospital today they were on the front porch. Seriously. I am so blessed!

26 April 2012

Tomorrow is the *BIG* day!

Aka my grand re-opening (as my dad in law put it). I say re-opening because this is the second glorious time I've been wired shut, although last time I had braces on, so the cutting free was fairly different.

Sadly I had a hard time sleeping last night, and again, woke up with a crazy tension headache. After some excedrin, water, and grabbing an ice pack, I headed back to bed. Where I slept for another 2.5 hours. Thank goodness! Because we don't have curtains in our house... I know I know, we're lame/weird or something.. our bedroom gets the morning sun. Which believe me is fantastic, unless you want to sleep in! So I normally can't sleep past 8 and that's pushing it... normally up by 7. But having the ice pack over my eyes helped block out all light... allowing me extra sleep.  I also think tension headache is associated with the increase in talking I've been doing since returning to work (slightly). Yesterday I was feeling like poo after my early arrival in the morning- so I only went in later in the afternoon-just to do some email stuff.

Today I'll be in for a little bit, since I have a teleconference at 2. Hopefully there won't be much talking... cause it's difficult to understand me over the phone :/

Definitely looking forward to tomorrow, being able to yawn, brush the inside of my teeth, and being able to just generally open my mouth and put something in side, instead of having to strain liquids through my teeth, or put food into my little hole on the side.

Indeed, freedom won't come easy... I'll have to do physical therapy to get my muscles used to opening again, and chewing will be hard, and I can't eat hard stuff (aka raw vegetables)... but still so very exciting!

20 April 2012

Seven days... until freedom!

I find it hard to believe that this time next week I'll be in the car, driving down to Nashville in order to get my wires taken off. The process is a little more than just being "cut free," since I no longer have braces... the arch bars are actually wrapped around the roots of my teeth, under the gums. Ho yup yup yup... you think about getting those off... For that reason, I'll be under while they cut and wiggle my mouth free.

And of course, I won't be able to just go out, and eat a whopper (although, not like I'd want to eat a whopper per say), but you get my drift right? I'll be likely to only be able to open my mouth a few cm, maybe an inch when I'm first cut free, and will have to work on getting my muscles all stretched out and able to open and all that goodness. I am however, plotting to grab some Pancake Pantry sweet potato pancakes (totally not Paleo, I know), and bring them home... in order to enjoy some nice soft deliciousness once we get back to Clarksville.

Anyway. I'm looking forward to being free. Perhaps more importantly, looking forward to being healthy and able-bodied again.  But I have been walking everyday this week. Mostly doing a 1.3mi loop around the neighborhood, and I started doing an upper body workout, then the next day part of Jillian's 6 Week 6 Pack. I'm hoping to continue alternating it over the next couple weeks, so I can build up my strength without seriously overstraining my jaw.

More importantly, I'm looking forward to heading down to my favorite Franklin's Farmer Market on Saturday. We're having some friends (well a college friend traveling with her parents) stop by on Sunday, so I'm making some (grassfed) meatloaf, salad greens, and mashed red potato/cauliflower. I'll be picking up some fantastic greens from the market (I need to get the name of the salad lady), seriously her greens are SO soft, and some meat.

Tonight we have a volunteer event at our community's "River & Spires" an annual event with whatevers. Booths and stuff. That'll be interesting. o_O  anyway.

Yesterday I did a "half" day at work. Although I'm still on medical leave, my boss asked if I was well enough to attend training that was being held, and I said yes. Then we talked about me going back to work part time next week. Seems doable, although I'll definitely need to prepare enough juice for it. (I'm out of greens!) Thankfully today is a day off, cause I think I need it to recover. Anyway. It should help pass the time next week.

That's about it for me. Aloha!

18 April 2012

a Hunger for God

A while ago I meant to write up this blog, but I didn't. I've been slacking in the spiritual department. You know, reading, getting into His Word. But this was profound for me...so I wanted to share.

I accidentally read the wrong Proverbs one morning, but God totally used it.
"The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry (famished), but he thwarts the craving of the wicked." Prov 10:3

And then some cross references were Matt 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom & his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well." And Ps 34:10 "The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." I was convicted this morning as I was thinking about how "hungry" I was. Then to be reminded that we are indeed-made to crave God. When I seek his righteousness, only then will I be satisfied.

Of other interesting note-the word "Seek" in Matthew means to "Crave." Zeteo. I think it also seems like an awesome name for a child.

No, no kid on the way. Just a reminder- I can't get pregnant for a year post surgery otherwise there runs a huge risk factor of complications with development (the bone morphogenic protein they used in my jaw has caused bone deformities in rabbit fetuses within a year of use).

Just sharing.

09 April 2012

Another Crazy Weekend

This weekend was a bit busier than I was originally intending. Starting off with getting up early Friday morning (by my post-surgery standards), to be ready to go walking with some ladies at 8am. Then M & I went grocery shopping, and did some Easter shopping for Z. Then finally home, and then later in the evening our Good Friday service.

Saturday was the first time we got to head back down to Franklin for the Farmers Market. Definitely got some amazing greens for an Easter Salad at the Sims, and then juicing greens, honey, eggs, butter and bacon. Then Whole Foods, some coffee, and picking up the next part of our Made to Crave study-the action plan. Back home to rest up before the Made to Crave Study, and then time to cook two pecan cherry coconut maple pies for Easter dinner at Sims. M made some green juice for me, that included some cabbage... (dun dun dun)

Sunday morning, a dear friend was going to church for the first time, and she needed to go to the 830 service since she had to drive 2hrs to see family... another early morning for us. We get out of bed and rolling, only to find out the cabbage isn't settling in my stomach very well (perhaps, it was a*hem, a few weeks old)... and the runs come on. Get to church on time, still a little unsettled, survive service, see some people get baptized and head home. Time to make some home-made sweet potato chips, carrot chips, and salt & vinegar chips. Other than burning the sweet potatoes and the regular chips, they were pretty good. The carrot chips not so much, they were too thick and were mushy and not crunchy at all. Head to Varbles, then swing by back home to pick up pies and prep salad, and off to the Sims. All I had Sunday was some kefir, some grapefruit juice, a mini reese's pb cup, some nerds...some broccoli and cheese soup... and that was it. My tummy was too unsettled, with frequent BR breaks... wasn't fun. Needless to say walking into a house of delicious my favorite kind of food (thanksgiving) was not enjoyable. I probably ruined it for M, and then while they were prepping the food, and then the kids got to eat, and I was feeding Z (after I originally told M to do it and then yelled at him to go eat)... I just couldn't handle it. So I took the keys from M and drove home.

Yup I drove. Weird. But I had to get out. I was tired, cranky, hungry, not feeling well... you get the gist. So I laid in bed... texting a friend, about how I ruined Easter dinner. Then finally got out of bed, made a shake, and started reading the Word. (did I mention I burnt the palm of my hand trying to move the cast iron skillet out of the stove?) Totally convicted:
I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice (not in circumstances); I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2

After a final trip to the bathroom, headed back to pick up M and the kid. I felt horribly bad for storming out, and poor M was left with the awkward explaining... and emotionally I was just spent. I think had I been able to really eat and fill myself up, it wouldn't have been so bad. You know, but seriously. I was miserably hungry, and miserably having to go to the bathroom.

Anyway. I'm grateful His mercies are new every morning... cause I definitely needed them this morning. I slept for 14hrs last night, and definitely enjoyed every minute of it. Guess I was a bit more pooped than I thought. :D

03 April 2012

The end of a weekend

This weekend seemed a little busier than normal. Saturday M had a mens' group meeting, so I watched the kid from about 9-1130. It wasn't too bad, although the 9 part was rough since I normally sleep in. But Z minded his manners with his ipad until I could function. Then up to get Z some breakfast, and me some juice. Then I started cleaning a little since the owners of our rental home were coming by around 3 in the afternoon. Sadly it was smack in the middle of my "Made to Crave" study that I normally go to at 2... but I decided it was best to stay home with M & the kid to help out. After the owners came by, noticed that the siding needs to be cleaned and the deck redone (thankfully they'll be replacing a warped piece of wood, slightly dangerous)- I mentioned the blinds, but I don't think they're likely to replace them any time soon. I guess we can try right? Afterwards we headed to our friend Viv's house for her bday celebration. A couple hours of hanging out, before her and the hubby went to a movie. I made deviled eggs for her, with a twist. Used greek yogurt instead of mayo, and then added mustard and dijon mustard. It was pretty tasty. And.. way healthier!

Anyway. Pain is mostly manageable. Had a crazy headache Sunday morning before and during church, I think it was because I was dehydrated! I've gotten lazy and don't necessarily enjoy drinking stuff. You know? When that's all you can do... it gets old. Fast. So it's been another battle of trying to get water in...

Time to get ready for the day! We're gonna swing by The Settlement to see if we can turn in an application, and if I can check it out. It's only slightly more for full-time care, and they said they had openings for Z's age in May. I think both M & I want him in a more structured academic setting... perhaps someplace that doesn't play "I'm sexy & I know it."

Fantastic note, I made some broccoli and cheese soup last night. Amazing. Used the raw organic cheese, some homemade chicken broth, and frozen broccoli (we were running low of food funds)... nom nom nom. Looking forward to eating some today.


30 March 2012

Doc Follow-Up

Well, today was the two week post-surgery follow-up appt. And the doc (resident) was pleased with the swelling that has started to go down, and the healing that is happening on the hip incision and the neck. However, (BIG FAT COMMA) he said they'll see me in FOUR weeks.

Read that as: not getting cut free until four weeks from now. As opposed to the hopeful 2 weeks from now (4wks post surgery) as I was dreaming for.


I am grateful that the healing is going well. We'll know by end of six weeks if the graft took. And the doc was pleased with my juicing that I've picked up, he said he wished all his patients would do it.

So I suppose it gives me an additional two weeks of juicing + healthy choices to perhaps get down to my goal weight, 140lbs (which is 15lbs from now). We'll see. 145lbs would be pretty sweet.

But the cool thing is that I am cleared (by the doc, not the physical therapist) to do walking/low impact walking up to my tolerance. Sweet. And I can go in a pool (water jogging, don't think I can do laps yet-movement of neck not there), and I can take a bath.

Funny story- when scheduling my followup, the nurse was like, "Okay, a month from now- April 30th." I responded with, "Um he did say 4 weeks, how about Fri the 27th?" Seriously lady. It's bad enough to be wired shut for 6 weeks... and then I already add 2 days to that since my surgery was on a Wed and I'll be cut free on Friday... AND then you want to add TWO MORE days to that?!?! And make me wait til Monday!?! PFFFT. Silly lady.

Thankfully the appt is for the 27th. :)

It's late. Time for sleep. Night night. :D

29 March 2012


I have to say, if you do some online stuff (like searching, and watching some videos), you might as well do it through swag bucks, and earn $5/month doing it!

Check it out clicking the link above (or here) and maybe all you do is download the search bar and use it to search. But hey... those points add up! :)

Search & Win

27 March 2012


We got our bill from the surgery in the mail recently. Boy am I grateful for Tricare!

26 March 2012

I'm okay!

Relatively. My dear Aunt reminded me that my last post was a little dramatic... talking about passing out and then I kind of dropped off the radar. So my last post was the 22, since then I had an appt on Friday, hung out with friends, and started drinking about a quart of green juice a day. And gotten a little depressed about food. :/ it was only a matter of time.

The followup on Friday went well. Said healing is going well, and swelling will continue to go down. At four weeks they'll re-evaluate to see if they can cut me free at that point (4/13) if not, it'll be another two weeks. Honestly, seriously expecting to stay wired for 6 weeks. Although that sucks for work life, because I am no happy camper at work wired shut :/ but we'll see. They reminded me that I'm not in the clear for infection. So prayer for the bone graft to take (I'm not sure when that is in the clear). And we have another 2-3 weeks until we're in the clear for an infection. But right now... we're doing well. Physically.

Emotionally, I'm going through that, 'UGGH I just want to eat!' phase. Which. Is always difficult. Yesterday after church I was just so desperate for food, I made some egg salad and pureed it and put it through my little hole on the right side. Which of course was appetizing, (although crazy messy)... but I woke up this morning and my muscles were pretty sore. So... I'm not sure if I'm too fond of that.. but in desperation I just put a billion little cheerios in my mouth, and I think I'm already suffering for that. :/

Guess that's about it for now. :)

22 March 2012

What a douzy!


Yesterday was full of highs and lows, hence the no blog being posted. But, let me give you a little rundown.

In the morning, I woke up at 3am with a killer sore throat, and pain. Too early for pain meds, so I could only change out my ice packs. Tried to drink some warm water to calm the throat and then hobbled back to bed. Woke up again at 6 am. This time able to take pain meds, changed ice packs, texted people to pray because my pain was like 6/7 and I was miserable. Tried to drink some more warm liquids. Slept until about 9. Most. Amazing. Sleep. Ever. To include a dream about eating cookies.

So the day was going a bit better, was able to try and drink almost a whole 16oz of juice (room temperature ish). Emily came to visit. Took an afternoon nap. Took the kid outside to play with his tricycle for a little bit...then hung out a little before heading to bed. I started to make my hot tea to take to bed with me, and then I thought I'd go check out my neck. I see some green (gross color to see on your bandages right?!) so I was bold and took it off, but it was attached to another one, so two ended up coming off. Definitely pussy underneath. I was thinking this wasn't a good sign, so I went to the master bathroom, and added some bacitracin. I start to feel a little nauseas at this time, and I think that I'm seeing discoloration going down my neck and into my chest (sign of infection) so I think I'm freaking out. I also think I might get sick (oh no, not that clamy feeling again!). I sit on the john (sorry guys, but it's kind of part of the story), and I'm still... not...feeling very good. So I start pounding on the bathtub, trying to get hubby's attention.

I keep hitting the bathtub, I get off the john, trying to kneel to see if maybe I can let the getting sick feeling pass.. not so much get back on toilet. Hubby comes into bathroom not sure what I'm doing. I tell him to get down on the ground in front of me (my head was feeling really heavy and it was difficult to lift it up) so I had to use him for my arms and my head while I had some... projectile excrements (sorry, TMI again?) Poor M, I can't really talk at this point, beyond moaning and groaning about how much this sucks. And then, when it's all done I get up to wash my hands...

Then I hear M saying, "Are you okay? Do I need to call the ambulance?"

Ho yup yup yup, I totally passed out. Like a light. Had a dream too!

I come to and M gets me into bed... and at this point I'm fading in and out of coherentness... he puts some ice packs on me and takes my blood pressure (99/60) and then goes to make apple juice. I fade in and out, and then slowly drink the fresh apple juice (awesome). Slowly start to feel better.

Finally get out of bed, "brush" my teeth, and head back to bed to lay down.

I know right?!?! Crazy!

Anyway. Thankful it's over with. And to be doing okay. The hubby is a good man, I just felt bad for scaring him. We think what happened is that with this blasted sore throat, I haven't been drinking nearly as much as I was planning on. You know, all that Juicing I was going to do? (remember, cold stuff feels like a million razor blades down my throat). By drinking mostly warm tea with honey and ginger, I went from 170lbs morning of surgery (yeah, a good 5+ of where I wanted to be!) to 156lbs yesterday morning... in a week- not the best weight loss program. Totally not intentional, but it's what happened. So today it's been a little bit of keifir, and some homemade butternut squash/apple/carrot soup :)

20 March 2012

Not enough ice...

Sadly, our freezer has actually run out of ice cubes.

And I'm exhausted. Slept from about midnight3o until about 6 this morning, took meds, changed ice pads, slept til about 830. Haven't slept all day. Didn't take a nap yesterday either.

Starving. My tummy is empty. It's sad. Throat needs to get better, would love to drink some cold juice right about now. Tomorrow I will probably drink some chicken broth, but tonight, just too lazy. See second paragraph.

Resident emailed me back, saying that many patients complained of sore throats up to a week after surgery. It makes me think, "well, this is the first time I've had this nuts of a sore throat after surgery, so maybe you should change something!"

Vivian came to visit me today, pretty awesome. I do enjoy visitors, definitely make the day go by faster... it's nice to have SAHMs as friends!

However, don't think I'm walking tomorrow with the ladies. Did some stuff with Z in the driveway today and his tricycle and bike... think it got worked enough. Plus, at this rate- I need my sleep yo!

Sadly, I missed a seminar last night I was supposed to do online :/ Kinda bummed about that. Should probably email them and tell them my reasoning, since I'm not just a *total* flake.

Hungry. Did I mention that already?

Guess I'll catch you laters all. Night night!

19 March 2012

Another one of those days...

I realized reading back on my blogs (gonna get a little TMI right now)- that antibiotics jack up my stomach. I was getting all frustrated because every time I drink something my stomach makes these mad gurgling sounds. Also, I have crazy mad diarrhea... It's ironic cause you're plugged up the first few days because of steroids and narcotics, and then the antibiotics kick in and give you the runs. And then you lose like 10lbs in 5days. Seriously. Anyway, I forgot the antibiotics jack me up... until I was rereading some of my blogs from the last surgery.

Also of note, my sore throat is incredibly annoying. Irate is more like it. Let me describe it for you- it's like I have an itch in the back of my throat, and then when I try to drink cold drinks... it's like a blade is cutting my throat. So. Painful. And makes me frustrated.

When I thought about it, I was thinking that this time around, the surgery was going well- you know. I could move around with my hip- this morning I even went for a light walk (about 1/4mi) with minor additional pain. And I was all prepared for this wired shut business this time- getting all into juicing, and stocking up on some fresh juice... and now, I can't even drink cold juice. It feels like nails going down my throat!

Okay. That's my grumbling. Here's our Sunday teaching from service. Pretty relevant. I should listen to it again....

In the end, I am grateful for friends. The Stanleys came over to visit again today. This time the kid was home, so all three boys ran amuck in our house... which is nice since we have no furniture. Or, at least it's pretty limited. I feel like we have all this room in our house but nothing in it. But it's okay right? Who needs stuff- I just want a guest bed for our bedroom. I just enjoy having people over to visit and chat...and take my mind off things.

And for my head to not feel like a bowling ball. x_x

18 March 2012

Woe is me!

I am so easily depressed. Or distraught. Well, I guess, most people are easily distraught. Seriously. Imagine an upset tummy...and a terrible sore throat. And your stomach makes all these gurgling sounds... all the time. Just in general, today was a struggle. Perhaps because it was Sunday, so naturally Satan wants to throw his best at me. I knew we would have to make to service, but I didn't realize it would be such a struggle. The nature of the teaching today was struggle & hardship, and very timely for me (of course). Although during service I wasn't feeling the best, I knew it was a really good idea that we were there. Perhaps I should have stretched my leg out (and kept it elevated), as well as ice it during the service. Coming home was difficult, mostly I think because of my throat. Whatever is going on in my mouth was killing me... it made me feel so gross, and then it really made it difficult to even *want* to drink anything, which I think totally jacked up my stomach because I wasn't drinking anything and then taking meds and antibiotics... I don't even know where my mind was the whole day-just not anything exciting or beautiful... just survival.

Thankfully, toward the evening Marcus made some tea- green tea with ginger and some honey. Definitely helped make me feel much better, until I had to take my antibiotics. So battling it a little bit more right now, but thankfully- still not as bad as I was earlier today.

Almost time to get ready for bed, going to try and meet some ladies for a light walk in the morning. Hopefully I can get up :)

17 March 2012

Blog 250!

Well, it's been three days since the surgery, and the swelling has definitely taken its toll on my face. I can feel the skin stretching, which is slightly uncomfortable. And I keep trying to put ice on it, but sometimes the ice packs feel like they're choking me. So I asked Marcus to go out and get some frozen bags of veggies to make it easier on me (and him) hopefully in the middle of the night.

Now, this whole dangling thing in the back of the throat... man sometimes it's okay, and sometimes it just acts all mad and swollen. Like right now, it kinda feels like I need to spit it out but it won't come out.

Last night we had quite the scare... well I did. I thought I was about to get sick, but thankfully after some breathes, kneeling on the tub, and all that hooplah, I didn't get sick. I did frantically text a bunch of people asking for prayers. Man, it was the worse- chills, clammy, sweats... and then finally got back into bed. and fell asleep. Some of you might remember my last blog entry when I mentioned "In case of emergency, cut wires," so I'm not excited about the potential of having another reaction. Thankfully I'm on a different antibiotics than the last surgery, so seemingly it doesn't really make my stomach as upset, but my tummy does rumble a lot, and sometimes the green juice is the LAST thing I want to drink. I think of yummy milkshakes, and soups, and deliciousness... but I'm trying to hold strong to the theory that the juice is not only healthier for me, but it brings healing with the nutrients. Unlike milkshakes... which bring... crap?

Random thought... the docs said that if my bandages got soaked then I should remove them, but that one young buck was soo confident in his taping up bandage and making it waterproof... so I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Bad idea. Looking at it tonight I realized a part of it was green...so I had Marcus help me cut it off... and man, it was gross. Seriously, when your bandage smells, that cannot be a good sign! Probably, TMI for you-- but, I should have taken it off Thursday night. Now we wait for the little ties to come off... and in the meantime... trying to keep it clean I guess?

I think this is all babbling..and I shall end it. Night night!

16 March 2012

Day 2...

Well, technically it was the first full day at home, but day 2 after surgery I suppose. The last time I was wired shut I wrote a blog every day, and most of it was whining probably. But this time, I'm also reading "Made to Crave" and prayerfully the focus on Jesus will help decrease my whining about eating real food. Although, tonight, at our small group there was cookies (and some juice and smoothies they made in honor of me)... but man, I wanted to shove a cookie in my mouth! I do have a slight hole on the right side of my mouth, from where I don't have teeth. Last time that was where I stuffed a lot of vienna sausage and donut holes... however this time I don't think I'll be doing that. Mostly for health reasons (really, what nutrients do those things have to help me in my healing process?!) and also because my mother- for whatever reason- ALWAYS mentions how I screwed up my healing from my last surgery because I stuffed food in this hole in my mouth. Fantastic right? Anyway. The intern did say that it was okay to put pills in there- but he didn't want me to because he was scared I would choke. Well, that's nice... but liquid motrin tastes like poo- so guess what I'm taking in pill form? That's right, motrin. And I'd totally take tylenol as a liquid, but they didn't give me any. And my prior experience says I should alternate motrin with tylenol to help keep the pain down (although they use the motrin for swelling). At any rate...

This morning there was lots of sleeping until about 10, and then I'm not sure what I did until Ms Emily and the boys came over to visit. Then there was a little napping before small group. And then the pain started to get bad, so it was time to come home. Although, some of this pain is more the muscle soreness of being on the operating table, so I just put some horse bengay on it (seriously, this stuff is amazing)... and that helps a little.

My face is starting to swell more than it had in the hospital-as totally expected. It's just not the most fun having my face warm and stretching out, you know? They said to keep ice on my face for a week, it's really hard to do that. Plus some of the wrap arounds for my face that they sent me home with- give me a headache from being too tight. Thankfully, we have a few things we can use for ice in our home, to include a couple flaxseed bags that my Aunt Sharon made for me a while ago. They sit nicely around my neck.

Still not taking in as much juice as I would like. Ideally I'd take about 4 quarts, but today I probably took about a quart of liquids total, or a little more. Still using the bathroom as normal, so not too worried about that... but still. Need to get those nutrients in you know? It's all about juice feasting and not fasting... but my appetite is not there yet. Plus there is something humbug about having to drink with your mouth wired shut. Meh.

Got a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers (and some roses!) today from my sister and brother in law. Super sweet and a big mood lifter. Also got to skype this morning with a friend, she mostly talked and I did a lot of typing.

Anyway. Thankful for all the prayers and support through this. Looking forward to even more healing and God's power!

15 March 2012

Home Safe & Sound

Just a little update on little old me. We made it safe and sound back home today around 1 or 2ish. Let me tell you, this whole check-out from the hospital was a fiasco. Holy. Smokes.

Okay, let's start from the beginning. We got to the hospital around 6, on time and good to go. Started checking in, doing vitals and all that. She messed up some of my IV stuff... so like always I have crazy bruises on my hands and arms from attempting to get some good IVs. I don't know about this hospital. I mean, I know Vanderbilt is supposed to be impressive, like regarding their quality of care- but their patient bedside manners are not that impressive. They didn't seem very conducive to trying to keep Marcus updated with surgery things (as opposed to when people sit in the lobby waiting for text updates on a monitor). I dunno. It went okay, they did the billion questions making sure I knew what was going on, and then Marcus kissed me and they wheeled me into the operating room. It really freaked me out because I didn't want to be awake for that part, but I don't really remember much of it. The next thing I know they put an oxygen mask over me and I was out.

Then I wake up in the recovery room... in and out of consciousness.. trying to wake up out of the anesthesia, and getting frustrated because Marcus isn't around. I finally start coming around, asking for some water cause my throat is crazy dry, and then ask where my husband is. They said they'll call him. After I hang out in recovery for a couple hours, they give me some pain meds, and then some anti-nauseaus meds... and then wheel me into my hospital room. Pretty cramped, shared bathroom, no shower, and poor Marcus has a humbug sleeping recliner thing. We finally got into our room around 6 or so. Thank goodness for juice! I started drinking last night, some zing and c-ya... and of course some coconut milk. Man, like I said, so glad that we brought juice with us, because I was getting over their water. Through the night, I had to keep using the bathroom (I suppose that's good right? hydration) but it was humbug because Marcus would have to unplug my IV and then help me to the bathroom, then call the nurse to empty the liquid so they could keep track of how much my outtake was. But, at least he was able to get some sleep Wed night, since he definitely didn't get a lot of sleep Tues night before surgery. Speaking of sleep- we're soo crazy grateful for the Petersons for opening their house to us and letting us stay with them, and giving us an opportunity to have a place in Nashville for Marcus to hang out.

This morning the nurse came in around 7 or so and said they wanted to discharge me around 11. I don't really know what that means in the civilian world, but apparently it means they want you OUT of the room by 11. I didn't quite understand that, so after they finally gave us our prescriptions, I sent Marcus down to the pharmacy, where they took forever, I took a nap. Then Marcus went to the Petersons to get the rest of our juice from their fridge... and while he was gone they decided they wanted to get me out of the hospital room, and down to the clinic where they would take my xrays, and the docs would look me over one last time. I just felt like I was cattle, being herded from one room to the next. So this guy puts me in a wheelchair and carries one bag, and puts the rest on me and the wheelchair, and wheels me down. Halfway down I realize I left my pillow in the room, so he calls someone to bring it down. Then he takes me to the clinic- checks me in, and then unpacks all my stuff and leaves me in these chairs inside the clinic. Seriously, it was so random. Just sitting there, in a chair, with all my stuff in two other chairs. Just waiting. For xrays. This lady asks me if I've checked in, I said yes... and then she said she'll be with me as soon as she can, they're really backed up or something. Then she asks me if I have a hip graft, because I needed her help getting into the xray room, and she was mad that the dude just dropped me off without the chair. Then she called for another wheel chair, takes my xray, and puts me in a dental room waiting for the docs. And she brings all my stuff to me. And I wait. For Marcus to come back, for the doctors...

Dr. Press (the attending) said the xray looks really good. They used a small piece of hip bone, then added some bone shavings (cadaver, or bovine, not sure which one), then used some BMP (bone morphogenic protein). Prayerfully it all takes, and this will be the last surgery (minus adding the implants), and all of the graft will take. The small piece of hip bone was less than originally expected, so my walking around is much easier than the hip graft done in March of 2010. Praise God!

Next appt at Vanderbilt is next Friday around 11ish, and hopefully then they'll give me some of my surgery pictures, as well as all of my goodies from surgery (the titanium bars, the models, etc). For now, just waiting. He said physical therapy shouldn't start for at least a week, one patient insisted on starting early, and he actually broke his hip at therapy. Totally sucks right?

Pain-wise, mouth is doing okay, more my throat is super sore. They said they put gauze in the back of my throat to prevent any hardware from going down my throat, my but little dangling thing feels super swollen. A resident said sometimes when the suction thing catches the dangling thing, it gets all swollen and stuff. *great*. Anyway. Hip is sore, probably more sore than face/neck. And I guess that's about it. Other than my throat being sore. I feel like I need to hock up a lougy, but nothing is really coming out except some bloody stuff did come out during my shower. I did get to take a nice shower when we got home.

Well, I guess that's it. Super grateful for all the prayers, I definitely feel like this is the best surgery so far (even if the patient care wasn't that great). Sorry if this is babbling, but I took the narcotics but haven't taken a nap yet... so trying to get ready for bed and wanted to get it all out while I still remembered a little bit of it.

Catch you on the flip side!

13 March 2012

Twas the night before surgery...

When I stuffed my face- quite literally. We knew we were spending the night at our friends' Bekah & Gregg in Nashville, so we had asked them to join us for dinner at the Melting Pot. Delicious cheese dip, and the meat part was okay, and then the dessert--was totally awesome! We had a ying yang with dark & white chocolate sauce. Totally awesome- with the strawberries, banana, marshmallows, cheesecake, rice krispies, pieces of brownie and red velvet cake. Definitely blessed by their willingness to eat with us, and more importantly- open their home to us. Such a HUGE blessing.

And of course I wanted to enjoy a Chick-fil-a spicy chicken sandwhich before the surgery-since we normally eat one on Saturday after the Farmers Market- but it didn't work out that well... so I had half of one tonight.

Of course, I cannot end the night without a huge mahalo to the Stanleys. For taking in our little man. There was definitely a fiasco with our original plan having a potential illness, and of course with The Uprising all of our church friends which would normally be totally willing to watch Z under normal circumstances, but as one friend said, "I'm not even watching my own kid for 48hrs." :D

Anyway. Prayers to not be a cranky patient...and to focus on Jesus through this time. Many thanks!

11 March 2012

Sneak Peek: Family Pictures

Our awesome friend Angela took our family pictures today. We didn't have a chance to take "Christmas" pics with the move, and I wanted some decent pics before my surgery on Wednesday. Selfish, but she did an awesome job, and I love them. Enjoy!

06 March 2012

The Hard Reality of it all...

I had my pre-surgery appointment today. The last chance to ask a bunch of questions before the big day...so I asked...

-about the reality of being wired for three weeks
-what antibiotics would be used afterwards
-when I could get in the pool for some physical therapy
-if they'd be using staples on my neck

The answers were
-unrealistic. It's gonna be six weeks. Anything less would be a miracle.
-thankfully not augmentin, likely clendamyacin (augmentin made me sick last time)
-give it a couple weeks for wounds to heal
-NO STAPLES! instead some sutures that should look good healing (which is nice, since they're cutting open my neck on the outside)

And this whole time I've been saying, "Oh three weeks, but I'm preparing for six." But that's a lie. Kind of like how I didn't take into account the leap year, and today I swore up and down it was the 7th, but it was actually the 6th (my watch has the date).

So there it is folks. The hard reality of it all. Not to mention there are some complications with our childcare lineup for Zeke... so as of right now, we're not too sure where he'll be Tues night through Thurs night. I know God has a plan... but it's interesting in the waiting.

Prayer requests:
-That I suck it up for healing: the doc says I should be able walk out of the hospital after surgery. I laughed at him and asked if he did miracles, cause I could barely move my leg. Needless to say, if I could walk out of the hospital, that would be awesome. :)
-To focus on Jesus through this. Above my pain. Above my self-conscienciousness of my swelling and scars...
-Childcare for Z. I know God has a plan, but it's just waiting for it to unravel... cause all my ends are loose!


At least Marcus and I have discovered juicing... and this awesome place in Nashville. But most importantly... Marcus is TOTALLY behind the juicing thing.. and I'm supposed to be drinking like 4 quarts of juice a day.. and he's been a total blessing. I am crazy grateful for that!

17 February 2012

God Anoints the Time & Place...

Whenever I want to doubt that God is in control, I need to remember this story. I'm sharing it with you, because it's totally GOD.

I have had the pleasure of seeing Shane & Shane perform in concert two times. I was determined to take Marcus...so as a belated Valentine's, we were heading to a concert 3hrs away in Lawrenceburg, KY after dropping the kid off at our good friend's parents' house. Upon our arrival there the dad informed us that the town, was in the Eastern Time Zone and I now I had half an hour to be on time... to make at least a 2hr drive!

We bolted out of Princeton, KY to head up to the concert. We make it to the church, and after grabbing our tickets from these sweet older ladies, get inside for the closing prayer... :(

Then a young girl cries out, "When I think about the Lord!" and they finally brought her up on stage, and sang it... an awesome song. Then they get off stage. All of that chaos...for Marcus to hear ONE song.

The lady in front of us is like, "Um... did you get lost?" Exasperated, I tell her that we were coming from Ft Campbell, KY didn't realize there was a time zone change, and yeah... sad day. Then one of the older ladies that greeted us at the door, asked us to come with her, because she wanted us to meet them...after all that trouble.

So we go back to their "green" room and meet the Shanes! In our midst of talking, I mention their songs are super anointed and if they ever played in Hawaii, our entire church at home (Refresh) would be in attendance. And they were definitely interested in going to Hawaii, and then mention that Bethany Hamilton has been trying to get them to go out there too... Then somehow I mention Waxer, and they're BOTH like, "WAXER?!?!?!? WE LOVE WAXER?!?!"

Literally, walked out with two emails of gentlemen that organize their shows, with the mission of bringing the Shanes to Hawaii. Who knows if it'll be through an HIM event, through a One Love event, or a Momentum event... either way, it looks like GOD is sending the Shanes to HAWAII!

28 January 2012

Answered Prayers

I posted this as my FB status Friday I think...
I really want to thank all of you for your prayers. God has totally answered them and given me an absolute peace about the surgery being postponed. As I was reminded today during my quiet time..."Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things. Look again & think, keep your mind on the 'much more' of the heavenly Father." (my utmost for his highest) then again in Prov 27:1 commentary by Chuck Smith, "Don't be all worried or concerned about tomorrow, or don't boast about tomorrow...you don't know what God has in store for you..."

I was super convicted about the worrying, the anger, the planning I had done without God.

So I thought I'd share this with you...in case you don't have FB or something. :D

24 January 2012

Let's be real...

Moving is hard. Leaving a church family that you've known since its beginning, is hard. Missing Momentum nights and screaming your heart out worship is hard. Having someone who knows your background, your struggles, you...and then only really talking to them through texting... is hard. Realizing that you might have gotten mad at people for not "caring enough" about your birthday then and that now no one will really care AT ALL about your birthday because you do not have one *really* close friend.... SUCKS. It's that whole, you don't know what you have until it's gone.

What else is hard... surgery. Knowing you've had something like this before, and it totally sucked. Then knowing that they're gonna put something relatively experimental and it causes massive swelling (as if I didn't swell up enough in all my other surgeries) kinda is not fun either. Knowing you're gonna wake up from surgery not able to move your other leg...fantastic. (not).

We're having a worship night tomorrow night at our church. EVERY ounce of me wants it to be like momentum, lights out, loud music, people with their arms raised, on their knees, SCREAMING to the God of most high... and yet a small person in me just shakes its head and says, "don't have such high hopes."

I think what might suck the most... is everything is so different this time. Different surgeons, different hospital, different "friends" (more or less) trying to be there to help you. But these people don't know. They may or may not care. I have to walk into a church Sunday morning, all swollen, and only a handful of people will know what happened to me. And everyone else will just try not to stare... There's nothing in me that even wants to go to church Sunday after surgery.

I think what made me think of all this, was a few events this past week... someone had a birthday gathering on Sunday- I thought perhaps we were "friends" or something with said person-nope. Not invited. Another person had a surprise baby shower for them...nope not invited to that either. Someone else had another birthday...nope. Not there either. These people, that I thought I had a relationship with... not there. Not really there at all.

There is perhaps one person, that I think truly desires to love on me...and she. Is a gem. I probably don't dump enough of my issues on her... but. I dunno. I should probably call her to hang out more than I have. I just... she has three daughters. I'm not used to being super close to other moms. All my other friends were single, or married without kids... I dunno. I like my friends to be all about me... I guess. Super selfish, I know. :/

Yup, I think the hardest part, is going through this surgery without my Refresh ohana. Just thinking about it again... brings those tears streaming down my face (again). No young adults to write scripture on index cards for my wall, no Tricia or Angie to bring me flowers, no Natasha to read to me after she gets off work, no Sherri to bring me soup, no Marilyn to make that delicious soup that is sooo smooth and can be sipped through my teeth, no Michelle to text me scripture...

LORD... please be enough. PLEASE. cause right now... I just don't know.

14 January 2012

Surgery #4

Well folks, it's that time again... to prep for surgery. I had an appt on Tuesday and after much internal debate, prayer, broken worship, I submitted my body to the surgeons. I told them they could cut a chunk of hip out (which I was so adamantly against earlier). We went over my CT scans...

This is a scan that shows my titanium bars that are in my mouth right now. You can see that my grafted bone has dissolved and my larger bar is no longer even screwed into any bone, it's just sitting underneath it. You can also see that my right side is mishaped and sinks in more than the left side. You can also see that where they cut my bar in the last surgery, sticks out... which makes me feel better. There were days I literally felt like my bar was going to stick through my skin... now I know why. Thankfully, the doctors will be removing both bars.
In this picture (the doc drew over to show what he wants to do), but beyond the ink marks, you can see the red and blue bone. The red bone is my grafted bone, and where they meet there is a fracture. Yup, I'm walking around with a fractured jaw.

Their procedure is this: cut on both sides of the fracture to give a clean break, then add a chunk of hip into that hole, use that piece of hip to help lift up my soft tissue, and then stuff the sides with the BMP. Yup, my doc is gonna use the controversial BMP.

Side effects: Pain in the left hip, wired shut for at least 3 weeks, soft foods/no chew diet for 2 months afterwards.

Waiting for a surgery date, either 25 Jan or 1 Feb. Hoping to know on Tuesday. I'll keep ya'll updated... (ah*hem, Natasha).