• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Loss

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write this blog. Ryan and I talked about it for awhile and he finally looked at me and said, "Do you think it would help anyone else? Because that is what I think your blog does. It helps people." I thought about that for a bit and I remembered some of the "harder" things I had blogged about. I blogged about two surgeries, when my marriage needed some extra help, the Birthday Ball, PCSing, bullying, deployments, wedding planning, engagement.... and whether someone said it to me directly or in a comment or an email I know they helped others. So maybe this will help someone too. I know I felt pretty alone for some of this and finding some other blogs did help me. I've had my blog for nearly six years now and this is part of our lives... the good and the bad. 

Ok.

I wanted to blog about our fifth wedding anniversary on May 1st. I wanted to blog about Mother's Day.  But I couldn't.... not this year.

Right before our anniversary I had a feeling. I was late. We have been trying to conceive since July with out much luck. My being sick and having surgery probably didn't help matters but when this month rolled around I couldn't help but get excited as the days continued to pass without my monthly visitor arriving. On a whim I went and got a pregnancy test on my way home from work on a night when Ryan was lateman and on the range and wouldn't be home. I had gone with my friend Donna to buy Ryan his anniversary present (we do the traditional gifts if you remember, so year five is wood and he got a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel) and as soon as she left I took the test. 

Not even thirty seconds later it showed positive.

I screamed. I cried. I scared the hell out of the Dup.

Ryan had mentioned me bringing dinner to him so I texted him asking if he wanted me to bring him food. He replied yes and I was pretty thankful. I am awful at keeping secrets and I knew I was about to burst. Ryan had to be the first to know so I couldn't see or talk to anyone else before him! I wanted to do something cute and special but I was on a time crunch. I found an old bracelet box that I wrapped and put the test inside with a special message.



I had to drive almost half an hour to the range where Ryan was and my heart was racing the entire time. I sent him another text saying I really had to talk to him in private about something that happened today. He agreed. I finally got there and sneakily set up my phone on the dashboard to record his reaction. I told Ryan I had an early anniversary present for him and I couldn't keep it a secret. He was really funny saying he didn't even have mine yet and he had been on the range all day and he didn't think he could properly appreciate a present at the moment. I don't have the heart to post the video itself but you can see from the below screen shots he definitely appreciated the present. I was smiling like an idiot and we both probably cried.
We were very excited. We called our parents to tell them the news but decided beyond that we wouldn't start telling people until the right amount of time had passed. Ryan had to mention it to some of his coworkers when he got back in since he was worried and telling them about how we had to have a "talk". We also agreed some of our best friends could know too. I hung out with Ryan for awhile longer before heading back home and calling my best friend Sam to tell her the long awaited news. As I was on the phone the Dup promptly hopped up on the bed with me and snuggled in on my belly.... something she hasn't done in ages.


For a very, very short time.... things were perfect.

On our fifth anniversary I woke up feeling ok, but kind of crampy. I didn't really think anything of it and I called the Naval Hospital to talk to my PCM about what to do next. They told me just to head in to the lab that day and we'd go from there. Ryan got home after I got out of the shower and we started discussing what to do for our anniversary. My stomach was starting to cramp more and more and I started to feel a little nervous. I went to the bathroom and saw a little blood and my heart stopped.

I called my mom in a panic. Was I overreacting? Was this normal? She told me to call my doctor.

I called my PCM back, choking back tears, and asked what to do. After being passed around they gave me to a nurse who had had implantation bleeding and they wanted to make sure she was the one I spoke with. I described everything and she told me not to panic and to come in and do my test as planned. She also told me other symptoms to look for if things weren't good. Ryan had to go do a height and weight thing and take a MarineNet class and we agreed to meet up after I went to the lab. When I got to the Naval Hospital I went to the lab and they handed me a cup to give a sample. I went back into the rest room and my heart basically stopped. So much blood... it scared the hell out of me. I couldn't give a sample, all that was coming out was blood and clots and it was bright red.... the color the nurse warned me wouldn't be a good sign. I came out of the bathroom shaking and crying and the technicians walked me straight to the Emergency Room.


Not where I expected to be on my fifth wedding anniversary.

In the ER things were nuts for a bit. I finally managed to give them a sample, but it was basically red. They took blood samples and my vitals and it was a lot of waiting. I texted Ryan and he told me he was on his way and he arrived just as the doctor came in to talk to me. Based on some of the tests they knew I was pregnant, but early.... but they weren't sure if it was just a regular pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage. An ultrasound showed my lining looked pregnant, but it was too soon to see if anything was there or had been there. They also did a vaginal ultrasound to try and rule out an ectopic pregnancy since I was in pain. Naturally in between all of these there was the endless waiting of the Emergency Room. Ryan crawled in to the bed with me and held me as I cried since I was so terrified. We nodded off for a bit too before all the tests came back... inconclusive. After hours and hours.

My doctor was wonderful. He had me at ease as much as can be but I was still a crying mess, but he was great. He scheduled me a follow up for that Wednesday. He basically said if my blood work went up (my HCG) then I was still pregnant, but if it stayed the same or dropped it would indicate a miscarriage. So with a follow up appointment and prescriptions for Tylenol, prenatal vitamins and zofran, we were finally on our way. Since we took separate cars I got in mine to drive home. I hadn't eaten all day so I stopped at Panera to get some soup at the drive thru. As soon as the bag got in the car and the smell hit my nose, my stomach turned and I felt sick. I drove home with all the windows open while secretly thinking, ok, this can be a good thing. Maybe it means I am still pregnant. And then I got home and threw up just in time for Ryan to walk in the door. Poor guy. I got into bed with some medicine and a movie and essentially napped the rest of the day. I had an ice pop for dinner and then we went to bed by 8:30.
I worked the weekend. I was off Monday. I cleaned and grocery shopped. I worked Tuesday. All along I took my prenatal vitamins. I bled for another day or so, but it got lighter in flow and darker in color. All good signs. By Wednesday I was hopeful when I went for my appointment in the lab to get blood drawn.


My arm did not agree with all the needles. It is still bruised and multi colored weeks later. Ryan had duty Wednesday but he asked me if I was ok to go alone. I was. I honestly thought deep down things were going to be ok so I didn't feel the need to have someone with me. I had prayed... our parents and my best friend were sending good vibes and thoughts and prayers. I thought I was still pregnant and around New Year's Eve (my estimated due date) we'd have a baby joining us for the New Year. My appointment with the OBGYN wasn't for two hours so I went home, showered and then headed back to the hospital for my appointment before I was supposed to go to work a closing shift.

Waiting in the waiting room my heart was racing. Women in various stages of pregnancy were all around me and I kept getting that small spark of hope. The nurse finally took me back and we went over everything waiting for the doctor to come out of surgery to see me. She eventually came in and looked at my blood results.

They were down to 5. Pregnancy is detected at 25 and up. I had dropped a lot. I had lost the baby.

A miscarriage.

Even typing the words makes me start to cry again.

The flood gates opened in the doctors office as they handed me the box of tissues. I had to do another ultrasound (of course vaginally) to double check and they said most of the lining even was gone from comparing to five days ago. Everything basically had already passed and she told me I may continue to spot for awhile but it was almost over.

I basically miscarried on our fifth anniversary. I just wasn't sure until five days later.


The doctor was very kind and I basically sobbed my heart out. Both the OBGYN and the ER doctor told me it was nothing I had done, it was probably due to a chromosome abnormality and something was not right so my body naturally passed it. There was nothing I could have done differently... it wasn't my fault. Logically I understood it all... I really did. But emotionally I didn't want to hear it and continued to cry. The doctor offered to call my husband's command to release him or to write notes for us both and I declined. I left and got myself outside and called Ryan to deliver the awful news. My husband had to hear I lost the baby on the phone and I felt awful for him as I sobbed. He told me to get to the car and stay, he was on the way. Duty be darned. I texted my mom and my mother in law and my best friend... I couldn't say it out loud again at that point. I was devastated.

I sat in the car and sobbed until Ryan arrived. He held me and told me again it wasn't my fault. It was ok. I was due to go in to work but I knew I couldn't make it through the day. Ryan got a call from his CO and was told to finish one thing and then to go home with me. I decided to drive over to the library to talk to my manager and see if I could go home. I calmed myself a bit and drove up to the library. I know I could have called but again, I didn't want to be on the phone either. And I wasn't sure we were covered staff wise either. 

I got to work and to the reference office and my boss wasn't there. Standing in the back hallway looking around like a trapped animal my good friend from work, Jo, saw me. She asked me if I was ok and I shook my head no. I told her I lost it not even realizing she had no idea what I was talking about. She figured it out pretty quickly as I once again sobbed my heart out, not realizing I still had tears left. We sat in the office as my manager came in and filled her in. My manager Tara is wonderful and she and Jo listened as I cried and tried to calm me as I waited to hear if Ryan could go home. I was told to take the day off, we were covered, and I was so thankful for the two of them so I didn't have to be alone. They both asked me why I went to that appointment alone and I told them... I honestly thought it would be the opposite outcome. I truly thought I would be still pregnant and ok. I stayed at work, crying with them, for maybe an hour before Ryan was dismissed. I drove home still in tears.


Most of that day I sat with Ryan on the couch and cried. And as unhealthy as it was, drank. I had a few beers as I sat there alternating between numb and sobbing my heart out. I don't really remember what else happened that day... if we watched tv or what we ate or anything. It all was in a haze. I talked to my mom, Ryan talked to his. I cried a lot. I didn't go to work the next day, Thursday, either. Ryan had to go back to work that second day and I stayed home and cried off and on some more. He dragged me out of the house that night for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings just to distract me a bit, which I appreciate more now than I did at the time.

Ryan was worried for a bit when I said I was angry too... angry at myself, angry at the situation, angry at God even though I knew it was wrong. Sometimes it is just easier to want to place blame. I was angry at the one person who asked me if I had done anything strenuous to cause it, or if I was still on pain medication for something (and the answer was NO to both). I was angry at the one ER nurse who said "Oh don't worry honey, it was only a bunch of cells anyway. If you did lose it, it wasn't a baby." (Note: I am Catholic and we believe life begins at conception... that is my personal belief and I will not impose it on anyone else or make anyone else believe what I do... but wrong thing to say to me.) I was thankful Ryan saw my reaction and held me tightly, in a discreet way, so I didn't punch either of them. 

Anger, hurt, guilt, sadness, devastation, mourning, loss, pain, heartache... hitting over and over again.

My heart still hurts. Occasionally I still cry at the drop of a hat or get hit with waves of sadness. That's the hardest. The hormones make it difficult as I go through the waves of sadness or anger. Friends, family and neighbors have reached out and made me feel loved. Some days are harder than others. Mother's Day I had to work but I fought back waves of bitterness and sadness all day.

I know we can try again. I know this doesn't mean it will happen again... I can have a perfectly healthy and normal pregnancy someday as far as the doctors are concerned. But there is always that chance... what if? What if this happens again? To be honest I do not know if my heart could handle it. I have friends and family members who have had multiple miscarriages and I cannot imagine going through this again and again.

I know it won't always hurt like this. I know it will get less painful and less difficult. But our wedding anniversary will now be tied to this loss. Maybe it won't always hurt this badly, but I will think of it. New Years Eve, my due date, will have these thoughts crossing my mind again. It hurts. I still hate those thoughts that go into my head.  

I lost it. I am not pregnant anymore. I had a miscarriage. I lost my baby.

Ryan told me he tries to see the good in every situation. When situation A happened, situation B was able to... and it couldn't have had the first not occurred. But I cannot see any situation that makes losing a child ok. No good can come out of that. Even if and when we get pregnant again, it will not be a joy replacing a sorrow... it will be something separate. Yes it would be wonderful, but it is apples and oranges to me. I cannot see any possible good and I am trying so hard. I know this is where my faith comes in to play and I am trying to leave my heart open to grace at the moment. I am trying to let go of the anger and the bitterness. I am trying to heal. Even though physically I now feel ok, mentally and emotionally it is much slower going.


So, maybe this will help someone someday. Maybe you will see you are not alone, even though you feel like you may be. The hurt, the guilt, the anger, the pain and everything in between... I feel it too. If you found this because of a google search or anything, I am so sorry. I know nothing I can write here will help really, believe me, I know, but maybe it is a start. To any of my friends or family reading this and finding out the news this way, I am sorry I didn't tell you directly... it has been too hard for me to talk about out loud. I know my mom has handled telling some family for me, but I do not know for sure. I told her it was ok to mention it since I just am not up for it yet. Writing this has helped a bit (as all over of the place it is), sort of a catharsis, but I have a long way to go.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dining In 2015

On Friday the MCT portion of SOI-E had a Dining In that we were lucky enough to be able to attend. Ryan and I have been married nearly five years and together over seven and this is the first time we have been able to attend one! Other units had them scheduled and then cancelled over the years so we were looking forward to an evening out together. Plus, I always love a reason to see my husband in his dress blues! Dining Ins are a little less formal than Birthday Balls, so cocktail attire is encouraged, but I did see a mix of dresses for sure. Most women were in cocktail dresses, some were in long formal gowns, and one or two were in very casual dresses. It seemed anything semi dressy was acceptable, but I googled the bejeezus out of it ahead of time to make sure! I rarely have an excuse to wear a little black dress, particularly one as comfortable as the one I did wear, so I was all about the cocktail attire.


We clean up pretty good! I worked half a day and then used the extra hours to work on my hair and make up, always a challenge for me, but I thnk I did ok. The Dining In was held on base and it was a beautiful evening. The last time we were at this pavillion was for our first Ball in Lejeune, and the docks were under construction. A backhoe does not a romantic backdrop make! But three years later it looked really nice. We arrived for the cocktail hour and were early enough to take advantage of the limited open bar... as in we each got one free drink before the free part ended! Works for me! We mingled and I met some more of Ryan's fellow instructors and their spouses, which was nice.


The Dining In is all about rules and ceremony... including lining up and marching in to your seat. Once you are seated, you do not get up until the break otherwise the Vice can make your spouse pay a fine and visit the grog bowl. Other infractions include rudeness, breaking ceremony, uniform infractions, or anything else the Vice and the President deem to be punishable. Needless to say if you have to pee, you hold it! The dinner was nice and once the guys got into the spirit of fining the heck out of one another it was pretty entertaining. The grog bowl is pretty disgusting. The liquid inside almost looked like a bloody mary and was kind of thick with chunks of unidentifiable things floating in it. The poor Marines who had to take shots of it (some only had one, others had as many as five or more) looked pretty green afterwards!
 
Other traditions, besides staying seated, include the President having to taste the beef (to make sure it is "fit for consumption") as well as the wine. The Marines are usually pretty mean and do something to the food and wine to make it gross (I believe ours covered the beef in super hot sauce but I have heard of it even being covered in cat food before) because the President has to eat it. If he doesn't, no one else is allowed to eat anything! So unless you want a hundred or so hangry people, you stomach a small bite.


After the break (and a huge, mad dash to the bathroom) the fines are closed and you do the traditional toasts and the guest of honor speaks. Ours was a Sgt Major who has been in many years and nearly moved me to tears at one point when he spoke about some of the amazing men he served with and lost... including one of his good friends who was killed in the recent helicopter training accident in Florida a little while back.

Everyone is given a cigar to enjoy for when the smoking lamp is lit. Ryan and I have been smoke free for over eight months now, so we didn't even chance it with a cigar... I was pretty proud of us for sticking to it.

 
After the toasts and speeches the President dismisses everyone to the bar to join him for a drink (and a cigar) and you are free to mingle or go home. We hung out a little longer and chatted with some people before heading home again.
 

It was a lovely night and we both had a really nice time. I do have to say, as much as I love dressing up, it was super nice to change in to my sweat pants when we got home. We snuggled on the couch and watched the Simpsons and ate grilled cheese sandwiches.... you can't beat that!
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Stefan's Visit

Last week my 'baby' brother Stefan was on Spring Break and he asked if he could come spend it with us. Of course we said yes and the day after Easter he arrived for the week. I was pretty excited! Even though we are about a decade apart Stefan is most definitely my buddy, especially as he has gotten older. Sadly, Ryan and I both had work, but our evenings and free time were well spent! As soon as Stefan arrived he and Ryan fired up the grill and got their man status established. We had a nice dinner and took Rylie for a walk (which made her absolutely ecstatic... I think Stefan is one of her favorite people in the world!)
 

Ryan was actually on the rifle range all week so he had some very early mornings, but on the plus side he was home early enough in the afternoon to take Stefan out some places and have me meet them later. One day we went to the beach on base and got to see a pretty neat training exercise. Stefan was pretty stoked about it! The beach was a bit windy and cool both times we went, but the guys still did some skim boarding and had a blast.
 
I am so glad Ryan and Stefan get along. These two are like frick and frack... Stefan has even sort of adopted Ryan's sense of style. My brother has had the high and tight hair cut since we got married and he wanted to blend in with the other groomsmen, and the sperries and cargoes are definitely a staple of my husband's that Stefan borrowed! I think it is adorable. My amazing little brother also took it upon himself to weed and edge our yard and clean out our garage to say thanks for feeding him for a week!


I was actually off work on Friday so Stefan and I went on base to see the Budweiser Clydesdales. It was hot and sunny and we both got a little sunburned, but we both had a good time. Those horses are huge! Plus they had the dalmation (and a dalmation puppy in training!) along for the ride. It was a lot of standing around and waiting for them to arrive and get harnessed up and then they did a lap around the exchange parking lot. After the passed us we dashed out of there to avoid traffic and we stopped by the library so he could see where I worked.
 






Saturday I had to work but the guys had a good day together. After I got off of work we went bowling on base and ended up playing about five games in a row! We had a lot of fun together.
 
Proof I actually WON a game!!! I am the 94 (: and yes we know we are awful
I also used the opportunity to take some rare pictures of me and some of my favorite guys...
 



This is my new screensaver on my phone... I adore it!
Then somehow Stefan stole my phone and was messing with it. He told me to smile for a picture but then I quickly realized he was just holding down the button and taking picture after picture after picture! I think he took about eighty in a row! Below you can see the exact moment I realized it too...

Stefan left Sunday morning after I left for work and drove the long six and half hours back to Westen North Carolina. I am going to miss my buddy when he goes off to college this fall all the way in Vermont! He finally decided on Norwich University (or as Ryan likes to call it, "The North's version of the Citadel") and will be attending as a cadet this fall. I am ridiculously proud of my kid brother, if you can't tell! Thanks for the visit Stef, I will see you at your HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION in two months!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter

Like most of our holidays lately, Ryan and I had a quiet Easter at home. Even though Ryan was not in cycle, he was naturally on the range, so travelling with our work schedules wasn't really an option. I am still trying to earn back leave time from my surgery in January! Bein sick has not been my friend. As you may remember, recently I wrote I mentioned I was getting an endoscopy done. Fortunately my biopsies were all negative, no bacteria or cancer or anything like that. I did have some gastritis and duodenitis as well as some severe bile reflux. Not acid, bile. Ugh. So I am on a new medication that I have to take three times a day to see if it helps prevent my attacks and general nausea. Naturally a side effect of the medicine is nausea, so I have had some yucky moments again, but I am trying to go a few weeks to see if it truly helps. No idea what my options are beyond this though!
 
Anyway, Easter. I went to Holy Thursday mass at the church on base by myself (as Ryan is Baptist this is a normal thing for us! The Triduum is pretty uber Catholic). Good Friday I sadly had to work and could not attend mass. Ryan and I went out for seafood that evening and ended up having some really good conversations. Saturday we scrambled like crazy to get things done so Easter Sunday we wouldn't have to do chores. We cleaned the house top to bottom, discovered a leak under our kitchen sink and repaired it, did laundry and grocery shopping all in time for the Easter Vigil mass that evening. The vigil is hands down my favorite mass of the year. Yes, it is long mass and my husband is a saint for putting up with me to go! We had seven people baptised, four convert from other branches of Christianity and a total of thirteen people confirmed. I am always teary during that part! It is a beautiful thing.
 
We got home that evening and made our pisanki. Ryan is getting to be quite good aafter being with me all these years! His are on the left and mine are on the right.
 
Our pisanki/pisanky (depending on your spelling!)
We were up pretty late but still didn't sleep in too much Easter Sunday. We had a nice lazy day of watching movies and opening the Easter basket my mom sent us. After awhile it got too lazy for Ryan and we decided to go out and play tennis. It was my first time doing anything particularly strenuous (aside from hiking or walking the dog) since I got sick back in October. I did alright but man am I out of shape! After a few hours we came home and I made the pierogies I had been saving for a special occassion. They have sat in the freezer from our last trip to New Jersey and are the made from scratch pierogies my Babci made.... so they are uber special! We had that with her babka bread that I also unfroze as well as a ring of kielbasa Ryan grilled for us.

 
Our neighbors also shared a special Easter treat with us. He found some baby bunnies abandoned on his job site and did not want to leave them. They all waited for the mother to come back but there was no sign of her. He brought them home for the evening and they decided to feed them and care for them for the evening until they could bring them to a wildlife shelter the next day. What that meant for us was that we were able to cuddle some furry little baby bunnies who had barely opened their eyes!

 
They were so cute and tiny and they made the tiniest little jumps. They had four of them total and I loved being able to snuggle them, even though it was pretty brief. A friend of mine recommended a good place to take them and the next day our neighbors dropped them off.

 
Monday we went back to work but that evening my brother came to visit us for our Spring Break! The Dup is in heaven, Uncle Stefan is her best buddy, and I am pretty psyched my baby brother is here for the week. Even though I work during the day we have been having some pretty awesome adventures at night and I hope we can get a beach day in before he goes. I hope you all had a Happy Easter and warmer weather is officially headed your way.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wine Cork Wreath

So, one of my favorite bloggers (La Tache over at Smiling is Good For Your Teeth) posted awhile back a Wine Cork Wreath DIY that she found here. Ryan and I have been collecting wine corks for ages and I have been trying to think of something to do with them... this seemed perfect! We love our red wine, so much that our kitchen is even wine themed! We save corks from special occassions (and write on them what they are from) in our bottle shaped cork saver, but our everyday corks were just getting thrown into my old jars until I found a project for them.

I was pretty excited so I sat down to do our wreath about three weeks ago. I got the first layer done pretty quickly too.

 
It was looking great and I hadn't burned myself yet. All good things for sure as hot glue and I tend to have a rather bad history together. The scar on my left hand from third grade can attest to that.

 
So for the whole first layer you do a flat covering to hide as much of the straw wreath as possible. Now you remember I said I started this three weeks ago? Well... I ran out of corks. So I ordered more from Amazon. Ryan made fun of me for spending money to buy used corks online but hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. So I waited a week before starting the next layer.

 
The next layer was a lot more fun so a week ago, when my 130 extra corks came in, I began the hodge podge second layer. And I ran out of corks again. The initial site said she used about 180 corks for her wreath. I used heck of a lot more. I had close to 100 to start, ordered another 130, ran out of corks again, and just did another order of 130. I did end up with some corks left over but truth be told, not many. So yes, you will more than likely need more than 180 corks. I did anyway! My second shipment of corks came in yesterday and I finally finished my wreath and proudly hung it in our red wine kitchen.

Ta Da!
I was debating getting a red wine colored ribbon to add a bow to it, or maybe a large L for our last name, but for now it is proudly hanging in our kitchen. I enjoyed doing something crafty again, it is definitely something I think I need to get back into! Have you done anything crafty lately? And not too hard? Share in the comments, I need some more ideas!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Not Done Yet

So since my stomach issues still seem to be unresolved I'm not done with doctors and testing yet. Although it isn't as bad as it was when I first got sick back in October it still isn't normal. 

I woke up on Saint Patrick's Day not feeling well. I had terrible pain in my back and felt nauseous. I ended up getting sick and forcing myself to get ready for work. On the way to work I was in so much pain I was sobbing on the phone to my mom. I knew once I stood up and got out of the car it would be better but that commute was utter hell. So I called the doctor again. I was done with this. 

I went back to the gastroenterologist on Thursday and they scheduled me for an endoscopy on Monday morning. They will put me under, insert a camera down my throat and take pictures plus a small biopsy in my stomach. Hopefully this will provide some answers. My doctor seems positive it is something we can resolve and I hope he's right. I'm tired of wondering if I'm randomly going to get nauseous and sick for no reason. 

So more tests. More medicine. Let's just hope I get some answers this time and I can be done with this once and for all. I can't believe it's been six months of this. Sometimes it feels like it will never end. God I hope that's not the case! Keep your fingers crossed for me please.

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

All Over the Place

Time has been a tricky thing for me lately. With Ryan in cycle and me back at work it feels like there isn't really a set schedule for anything anymore... it's strange. I am now almost six weeks post op and feeling much better. On two occasions (naturally at four in the morning) my stomach rebelled something and I was up and sick for awhile and then off kilter for a few days, but I am just watching what I eat and going from there. Red meat and I may never have the same relationship, which kind of stinks. I only seem to handle the very expensive ground beef or burgers (93% or 97%), but roast beef, steak and anything else is a no go. I guess I can live with that.

Ryan is now in his second cycle as a combat instructor and this one is much better than the first (which was his training cycle). We still have periods of time where we don't see each other for a few days but there are those wonderful few that we get to hang out and spend some time together. After this cycle he will have some time on a normal work schedule since the busy season for SOI is over, which I am looking forward to.

I've been doing a lot of meal prepping on my days off, trying to cook lunches and dinners for the week for two people and doing the laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping; let's just say I remember days off being more relaxing than they have been as of late! Sometimes I feel like he is deployed again, but instead of maintaining a house and a life for just me it is for him too. He ghosts in exhausted; eats, showers and sleeps, and is gone again long before I wake up. I try to keep food in the fridge and the laundry clean and the house not a total disaster. I try not to get frustrated when mud tracks across the floor I just vacuumed or the laundry pile magically reappears as soon as I fold the last load, but it isn't easy. Not trying to complain by any means, I'd rather have him home in this capacity instead of deployed, but it can be exhausting at times trying to keep all the plates spinning.

Besides that my poor blog has been suffering for the past year or so. The community I was welcomed into years ago has drastically changed. I never have been one to blog for profit or into the business side of things, but I wonder if I missed out by not doing that. All the bloggers I started out with have pretty much stopped blogging. My readership is way down, comments and page views alike, and it is a bit depressing. I unfortunately do not have the time (and truth be told motivation) to go on a social media blitz or do some of the other things that extend into uber readership. I remember when blogging was more about sharing your story and personal relationships than networking and graphs and such. It's intimidating. I see blogs with thousands and thousands of followers and almost feel dizzy! That's a lot of pressure! Sometimes I think, I want to blog about this! but before I know it a week or two or three has passed and I have no idea what happened. How have I not come back to the space that was once my ultimate sanity?

I know this is all over the place... but I am still here. I am still trying to find my voice and write it down.

I hope you're still here too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Valentine... a little delayed

So, this was scheduled to post a week ago and didn't actually post. Just when I think I am getting back into the swing of things.... Ah well.
 
Our Valentine's Day was a really nice one, I have to say. Ryan finished his first cycle as an instructor and had a long weekend and I was finally recovered enough from being sick from my surgery to go out and do things. We woke up in the morning and I gave Ryan a small painting I made him. I did not photograph it because it wasn't that good but he seemed to like it! We got ready and drove down to Topsail Beach to walk on the beach a bit. It was absolutely freezing so we only walked for maybe five or ten minutes before retreating to the warmth of the car, but it was still gorgeous to look at!
 
 
After the beach we continued on to Wilmington where we had a late lunch/early dinner at an all you can eat sushi place we kept seeing but never actually went to. It was absolutely delicious and we were full to the brim by the time we at our six or so special rolls! We then stopped at Trader Joes for some munchy foods for later that evening. My parents also sent us some Georgetown Cupcakes to celebrate me feeling better, Ryan's upcoming birthday, and of course Valentine's Day.

 
I also redecorated our mantle for the occassion. After my surgery my mom and I had made a trip to Hobby Lobby and everything (aside from my angels) came from there. It was my first time ever in a Hobby Lobby and I must say I need to avoid it lest I spend a TON of money on a regular basis!

 
We ended with a low key evening at home with our stuff from Trader Joe's. We had a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers, and a chocolate lava cake with frozen raspberries for dessert. Ryan lit a fire in the fireplace and we put the Frank Sinatra station on Pandora and had a nice evening together. Dancing may have been involved.





 
Overall it was a very low key Valentine's Day, but we spent it together, which is always a bonus in my book!
 


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gall Bladder

So it has been over a week since I finally had my gall bladder removed and I am finally feeling up to blogging a bit about it. My recovery has been pretty crappy so far.... bad nausea and lack of appetite (sound familiar) have plagued me since the Super Bowl and I have been pretty miserable. Today marks the first day I put on jeans and ventured out of the house (to the grocery store) in almost two weeks.

Back to last Wednesday, the 28th, when I had the actual surgery. I was supposed to be there at 9am with the surgery at 11am. Anytime I have surgery I have bad luck with timing. The night before they call me and tell me not to come in until 1:30pm due to back ups in the OR with a surgery at 2:45. Goody. Especially when you can't eat or drink after midnight! My mom flew in the night before and we had a nice dinner at Olive Garden together before heading home. Ryan surprised the heck out of both of us when he managed to get off work for my surgery. We were convinced the SDA meant it was impossible but I was glad he was able to be there. So we get to the hospital around 1:30pm and the wait begins.


We waited and waited and long story short I didn't get into the OR until almost 4:30 that afternoon. Sigh. I was pretty hungry and thirsty by that point. I sat in a room with my mom and Ryan and watched TV for a few hours as we waited and once it is go time it is GO TIME. I felt like we were waiting for ages and suddenly I was kissing them goodbye and getting wheeled up the hall. I vaguely remember seeing the OR and then... nothing. My next conscious (and quite embarrassing) memory is waking up in recovery sobbing. I mean full on sob fest. My throat was scratchy from the tube and obviously my midsection hurt and I just remember sobbing my heart out and apologizing to the recovery nurses for sobbing. 

Ugh.

I was supposed to have an outpatient surgery but because it started so late the surgery center closed and they wheeled me into the actual hospital for the rest of my recovery. We thought that meant a few hours but then they mentioned keeping me overnight and that was exactly what happened.


My goals were simple... drink, pee, walk and eat. I couldn't go home until all of those were done. I was horribly itchy and in pain so they had me on morphine, then percocet and benadryl as I drank a ton of water. Ryan eventually had to go home since he had to be at work at the crack of dawn but my mom stayed with me. Actually when Ryan left they hadn't mentioned keeping me all night yet and he was quite surprised when he woke up the next morning and I wasn't there.


I had a nice view of the sunrise from my bed at least? It was a long night. I hate hospitals and my poor mom was in a chair... they didn't offer her anything more comfortable until about four am and at that point she didn't want to bother. I did eventually walk and use the bathroom... and when I did I nearly fell over. Blood pouring out of your bellybutton will do that to you. Apparently that's normal after my surgery so a well placed bandaid stopped that problem. Ugh. I finally ate breakfast in the morning and to my surprise my husband walked in as I was eating oatmeal and jello. Work let him go since I was still in the hospital. We eventually got discharged and I was able to go home by 8am or so. We all basically went straight to bed and slept until midafternoon.

I spent the next day or two on pain meds on the couch watching Friends on Netflix while my mom cooked and cleaned and was awesome just helping us out.


The Dup was a little put out at having to share her couch at first but she quickly became my snuggle buddy.

 
 As you can see she just squirmed right in between my mom and I and made due. At 90lbs, give or take, this is no easy task for a Dup!

My view.... she is cute luckily!

And the Dup loves her Granny, my mom, so they snuggled a lot too.

Saturday, the night before my mom left I started feeling nauseous. Saturday we went to the store and I was eating normally but sore... Sunday the nausea was worse. I barely ate all day before taking her to the airport and I was feeling awful by the time I got home. I got on the couch with the Dup to watch the Super Bowl but she wasn't too interested....


By halftime Ryan was home and I felt awful. Before the third quarter started I was throwing up and Ryan was giving me medicine and dragging me into bed to go to sleep. The next four or five days were miserable. I was on anti nausea medicine like crazy and eating nothing but fruit and toast and light bland things and just trying to stay hydrated. I went back to my doctor and they basically said it had only been a week post op and to give it more time. Very frustrating. Finally today I am feeling a little better. Good enough to at least put on jeans and go to the grocery store. I am still taking it easy and watching what I eat, but here is to hoping I am finally on the up and up.

Adios Gall Bladder. You will so not be missed. Here is to hoping I can have my long awaited cheeseburger soon. Really soon.