Sunday, September 15, 2013

Florida–Sept 15, 2013

I’m back in Florida, the place where I was born and raised. I got here on Wednesday afternoon and Mom had surgery on Thursday morning.

We had a little stress before I left because the orthopedist didn’t cast Wild Man’s arm on Monday. He wasn’t thrilled about how the XRays looked, so he scheduled a CT scan on Tuesday to decide whether or not he wanted to do surgery and put a plate across the fracture. We didn’t hear until Wednesday (when I was already in Florida) that the CT looked OK, but the doctor wanted to keep a close eye on the healing of the fracture. Wild Man got a cast placed on Friday and has another visit with the doctor on Monday. Whew!


Photo: Got the cast on.

Mom had her surgery Thursday morning. It was supposed to take 2 – 2 1/2 hours and be done completely through the laparascope, although the surgeon said that he might need to do the procedure open (with an incision into the abdomen) if it was more complex than he expected. Well, it took 3 1/2 hours because Mom has lots of scar tissue in her abdomen. This wasn’t completely unexpected because Mom knew about the scar tissue from previous surgeries.

What was unexpected was that her anticipated 1 1/2 hour recovery room time took 4 hours! Apparently, she wasn’t taking deep enough breaths, so they weren’t ready to send her out to her room, even a monitored room. (What was a little distressing for us was that no one came and explained why it took so long. Not taking deep enough breaths is a lot different than having complex ventricular arrhythmias or something like that. We would have been much more comfortable if we had had a clue of what was going on.)  Eventually, Mom got moved to a room and was settled in.

Since then, she’s been progressing quite well. I’ve been sitting with her for several hours each day until today. I got a migraine Thursday night and it still hasn’t gone completely away, so I’m just vegetating and watching football games today.

Some things I’ve noticed around here:

  • My mom is in the same hospital where I was born. That feels kind of strange. Everything else has changed so much, but that hospital is still there, even if it has been extensively renovated.
  • It takes me as long to get from my parent’s house to the hospital as it does to get from my house (in WI) to my daughter’s college (in Steven’s Point, WI). So, visiting my mom every day is like driving to my daughter’s college every day.
  • I remember a lot of the roads that I drive to get around, but most of them are a lot bigger with a lot more traffic. The road that was a 2 lane road right near our house, is now a six lane highway.
  • Traffic laws aren’t even suggestions around here. I grew up driving around here and am a bit aggressive for our small town in WI, but am positively timid compared to the drivers here.
  • It’s HOT in Florida. Just a reminder.
  • I’ve had Dunkin Donuts and Chick-Fil-A since I’ve been here. I’m happy.

We’re still praying for Mom’s continued good recovery. I hope to be back at the hospital tomorrow and, hopefully, Mom will come home in the middle of the week next week. I’m doing lots of knitting and reading. Once she gets home, I’ll do some cooking and put things in the freezer for the next couple of weeks.

While I’ve been here, Wild Man has been busy. For some reason, YouTube won’t embed in my blog, so I’ll just leave the links here. He’s trying to become famous before I come home. I wish him luck. (They’re worth watching – he’s hysterical!!)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Our Week In Review–Sept 7, 2013


Our week was going along just fine till Wild Man crashed his bike on Thursday and broke his wrist. Now everything has just gone to hell in a handbasket. So to speak.

I think Wild Man is caught up on most of his reading assignments and he’s answered his History and Literature questions from Thursday and Friday orally. He was supposed to write a short paper in Biology, but I canceled that since he can’t type till he gets the splint changed over to a cast on Monday. I also canceled his paragraph writing in Bible that was due on Friday. He finished the assigned reading.

The big crisis is his writing assignment for WriteAtHome. I sent his writing coach an email explaining the issue, so he’ll turn in the paper on Monday. The problem is that he’s going to dictate it to me, which means that his grammar and punctuation will be better than usual since I don’t really know what he knows and doesn’t. I’m using the dictation time to teach comma rules and fragment vs. full sentences since those seem to be his areas of weakness. He should be able to type his next assignment because he’ll have a cast on which should give him almost full use of his fingers – or at least enough to type.

Today seems to have been a better day than yesterday. Wild Man hasn’t needed much pain medication and has been able to move his arm and fingers without too much trouble. After some serious covering of the splint with plastic bags, he got a shower. I still had to cut his meat for him at dinner, though. We see the orthopedist on Monday when he gets a cast and we find out how long we can expect the healing process to take.

In the meantime, I need to schedule three weeks of schoolwork because I leave in the middle of the week to go down South and be with my parents while my mom has surgery. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow!!

How was your week? Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how other homeschoolers spent their week!!

Friday, September 06, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday–September 6, 2012


1. Wild Man crashed his bike on the way home from band yesterday and broke his arm – technically, he broke his tibia at the wrist. He and I had a fun hour and a half in our local emergency department getting x-rays and a splint. He gets a cast on Monday. Yay.

2. With Wild Man’s injury, our school schedule has gotten messed up. He didn’t finish all of Thursday’s work, and he was intermittently taking sedating medications today, so he didn’t get today’s work done, either. Not only that, but the splint makes it impossible for him to use his right hand to type. Thankfully, he’s left-handed so he can still write. But, he still mouses with his right hand. Hopefully, he’ll be able to do more with the cast.

3. We’ve survived Rosie Girl’s first week of college. And I think Rosie Girl did, too!! She’s coming home tomorrow to do laundry – we’ll see how often this happens. But, I’m glad to have her back for a day or two.

4. I’m going down South to be with my parents because my Mom is having surgery next week. Unfortunately, she has bronchitis which needs to get better before her surgery date. And nobody really wants to put off the surgery. And I’ve already bought airline tickets! Please pray!!

5. Right now, I’m sorting out my reading and knitting materials for my trip South. Not only will I have travel time, but there will be plenty of time when Mom is just recovering that we won’t have much to do. Mom likes to knit with some novelty yarns, so I’m taking those for her to keep her from getting too bored.

6. PWM fixed my computer today!! My computer has a design flaw and it tends to get dirt and dust around the air intake and fan. Then, it overheats and I have to shut it down till it cools off. So, PWM took it all apart and cleaned out the HUGE amount of dust and cleaned out the fan and put it all back together for me. He’ll need to do it again in 6 months or so, but it’s better than buying a new laptop!

7. Wild Man’s biggest activities in the next few weeks were going to be playing percussion in the high school band for Homecoming and Horse and Buggy Days as well as playing guitar for the church youth band. Sadly, his musical activities will be curtailed for several weeks. I feel really bad for the kid.

So, what’s up with you? Check out 7 Quick Takes to see what others have done this week!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Roller Coaster Ride


I don’t like roller coaster rides. Unfortunately, my headaches make my life a roller coaster. On a good few days, I feel like things are going up. Then a migraine starts, and things start crashing down really fast. And I stay at the bottom for a while. And the cycle starts over.

Understanding the cycle is helping me prepare for it. When the migraines come, I know that I’m headed into a trough and I lower my expectations for what I’m going to get done. When I feel myself headed up, I’ll try to get more checked off my to-do list.

I may not like roller coaster rides, but I think this analogy may help me cope with the ups and downs of chronic headaches. If you deal with chronic illness, what coping mechanisms work for you?