Saturday, November 28, 2009

not the plan I had

Last Friday I made the plan for Thanksgiving. I knew the cooking and chores that needed to be done each day. I had the menu ready and the grocery list made. Duane and I did the bulk of the grocery shopping, even got the turkey. I knew what I was cooking in the meantime to plan to have minimal leftovers by the time Thanksgiving arrived. I even knew I was working Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday nights. I had it figured out how I would get it all done. I even made Grandma's cranberry relish recipe.

But Friday night I didn't feel good. I started getting a pain in my lower right side. So after dinner I took a nap before I went to work. That night I had a hard time sleeping when the baby was asleep. I just couldn't get comfortable.

Saturday morning Duane had to take Aleena to a rehearsal. I still felt lousy and now really tired. I gave the other kids some chores to do. We were going to a brew party in the afternoon and they were motivated to help before they had some fun. My pain was not going away. I didn't want to do anything but stay in my bed.

I talked to a friend of ours who has more medical knowledge than we do. He thought it might be the big A word like I was dreading. But I was still in denial.

D took the kids. I made it to the couch and watched TV. Chores hadn't been completed but I didn't care. I didn't knit or crochet. I just laid in front of the TV. Family came home. D felt around in my belly. He could feel the same lump on the right side that I could feel. Not good. I went to work, still feeling lousy.

I still didn't sleep much. And I wasn't eating much.

Sunday morning I went to church and sang like crazy. I was in pain but I focused on what I needed to do. Home, napped, hung out with my brother for a bit. Consulted with a HCP. Starting to run a fever, and the lump was getting bigger.

Now, yes, I am crazy stubborn, but that's not the only reason I hadn't gone to the doctor yet. We are some of those people who don't have insurance. Our kids are covered by a state subsidized program, but there's nothing like that for adults. We barely make ends meet the way it is, and we just can't afford insurance. And most of the time we don't need it.

Our fabulous HCP talked with hospitals and surgeons, networking to help us get care without going broke. (Hospitals and doctors can be quite generous it seems.)

Finally at 11 on Sunday night, we headed into the hospital. Had the dreaded ct scan. Not dreaded because of the procedure, but dreaded because of the cost. (Hopefully radiology departments will be generous too!)

My appendix, normally the size of an average thumb? Now it was 13 cm, or over 5 inches. No wonder I could feel a lump. The ER doc didn't think it had ruptured yet, but it was only a matter of time. I was scheduled for an appendectomy at 6:30 Monday morning. The surgeon came in to see me around 5:30. He looked at the ct scan and could tell it had ruptured...that was the mass. But it was contained. That was very good to hear.

Everything went well. I did fine other than having a lingering fever off and on. I came home Wednesday late in the afternoon. My wonderful family took care of Thanksgiving dinner and all the prep work. They cleaned the house and all.

Our friends and neighbors have been wonderful. I think the kids are getting tired of having a sick mommy. On Thursday morning, when I was getting more water, Jack and Kelli asked what I was making for breakfast. Um, nothing, sweetie! And Emma wants to know when I will start cooking again...when the food will be normal again.

Now I wait until Monday morning to get my drain out of my belly. (Surgeons don't have office hours on holiday weekends apparently!) And we wait to hear from the hospital regarding the financial assistance they can offer us.

Now I'm going back to bed for a nap!

Monday, November 16, 2009

They're dropping like flies!

My oldest daughter stayed home from school feeling icky. My husband woke up an hour later feeling icky. Near lunchtime, my oldest son called from school still feeling icky (he had felt bad in the morning, but wanted to go to school).

My kindergartener is home for the day, and the preschooler doesn't have school today.

I have more kids home than at school.

Hopefully the 2 still at school will be feeling fine.

And I'm pretty sure that H1N1 passed through in October with fever, chills, coughs and aches. This seems to just be a cold with lots of drainage to upset tummies. Lots of tea and broth soups today I guess!

Friday, November 13, 2009


The past couple of weeks, folks have been asking us if we have plans or if we will be "alone" on Thanksgiving. Um, alone? There are 8 of us in this house. I hardly call that alone. We may have some friends over, but it may just be the eight of us. Either way, I will still make a feast.

Thanksgiving is a favorite day at our house. D and I both really enjoy cooking. And all 8 of us really enjoy the eating. The girls have been helping more with meal prep too. Making pumpkin pie and that kind of thing. It's a day of just eating, being together, holing up, watching parades and movies. We don't dress up for dinner. We are doing well if no one is still in their jammies. We like to eat around 2. That makes it perfect to have pie at our regular dinner time!

And the menu? Nothing really out of the ordinary, but it all has to be there. Turkey, stuffing (made with sausage, apples, cranberries and pecans), mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, corn (cooked forever on the stovetop until it is a little "browned"--Just like my MIL who started the corn when she started the turkey used to make!), candied yams, rolls...those are the MUST haves. I often do another vegetable of some kind too. This year I will probably make onion pie and some kind of green beans.

Then there is dessert. Pumpkin pie, Cranberry Streusel Pie, pecan pie and maybe sweet potato pie or carrot pie.

Before you think that is a ton of food, remember I am cooking for 8 people. And I have those kind of children who can eat enough to fill a hollow leg. And what's Thanksgiving weekend without tons of leftovers?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

finished project

Here is a picture of the finished umbilical cord hat. Modeled by baby doll Chili...

I sure hope they like it!

Monday, November 09, 2009


I have been knitting A LOT lately. I made this sweater for Jack E.

It gave me a lot of confidence as a knitter. It is simple as far as stitches go, but it was just the biggest knitting project I have done as of yet. It really only took about a month to complete too. I literally finished sewing it all together one morning at church. There are a ton of knitters in our church. Two of them asked where I got the pattern and a third told me I did a perfect job getting the sizing right for him. Talk about a confidence booster!

After that Kelli wanted a sweater. I got her to settle on mittens and a matching hat. After doing those, I realized that I am a much more proficient knitter than I used to be. So I made a hat and mittens for Jack E too. He picked out his own yarn!

That hat is the first time I ever used double pointed needles. I was terrified of trying them, but they are really simple to deal with. The best part? No seaming things together afterward. I finished Jack E's hat, sewed in a couple of loose ends and he put it on. LOVE that.

Last night I started a hat for my soon to be born nephew. It's called an umbilical cord hat. I'll post a picture when it's finished, but here it is in process.

Monday, November 02, 2009

It snowed!

Some pictures from last week

This is from Saturday. Snow was already starting to melt off a lot. And my Colorado born girl was enjoying the snow with her her nightgown!