Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On the mend...

Looks like our family members are on the mend.

Mike's hand now has five fingers all pointing the same (normal) direction. No surprise he took off the splint within 48 hours of the dislocation to type on the computer on Friday morning. At least he's taping them. They still look a tad swollen - until you compare it to the other hand. He is already back at the Y 3 days a week for his work out.

Tonya had her surgery last week Wednesday. They were late getting started. She was groggy and in a great deal of pain after surgery. Her scheduled departure on Friday came and went. She wasn't managing the pain well and still using the pump for med distribution. She was hopeful for Saturday but as it turned out ended up not being discharged until Monday morning.

While in the hospital she also had an MRI on her shoulder. She is having difficulty with range of motion in her shoulder. It looked normal.

The doctor showed her the xray. She said it looked like a bicycle chain was in her foot - along with the plate and steel pins. She is 'non weight bearing' for 2-3 months. Please continue to pray for a complete recovery.

I plan to resend the "No Drama in 2010" memo to our family one more time!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just the Cool Kids!

I work with women. The majority of our sites see only women for mammograms. This week I've been working at our diagnostic site and yes an occasional man is seen, as they are not immune to breast cancer. However, the majority of men we see at this particular site are husbands.

Today I want to acknowledge how much we, the Associates who are registering patients, are doing to keep our lovely techs and nurses sheltered from small bladdered males!

We only allow women to use the restrooms in the back area. The majority of our patients are women and some have a great deal of modesty. We respect that about them. The husbands are asked to use the restrooms located in the main hospital - not far from our entrance.

Apparently it's quite a task to walk back out the door, down the stairs and into the hospital (it's not as far as it seems) to relieve themselves. It's preferred to stand at the short wall next to our registration desk and drone on and on about how it's discrimination to keep them from using the restrooms in the back - despite the fact it was explained to them the penis to vagina ratio behind said closed door.

Today after the first delightful gentleman left, his intellectual, chunky friend arrived. When he wasn't having a very loud conversation on his cell with his buddy he was making unsolicited small talk with us. He shared his knowledge of facts on breast cancer awareness in the male populus (not quite accurate) and felt that should be good enough numbers to get him entrance into the back.

Like one of those big city clubs, Megan and I are here at the door with our scanner and velvet rope only letting in the cool kids! Surely it's five o'clock somewhere!

In my head...

I hear music in my head. Or songs. Sometimes it's a song I haven't heard in forever. Sometimes it's the songs I listened on my iPod while on the treadmill.

Lately these songs are in my head when I wake up - or before I wake up - during that stage of the morning when your brain is still fighting the reality of the noise from the alarm and your overwhelming desire to SLEEP!

Sometimes it's the whole song - over and over. Sometimes it's just pieces.

Today must be a short clip day - or I'm A.D.D. One minute I was "fifteen" and "fighting like a girl" and then "I've got a feeling - that tonight's going to be a good night..." and "put a ring on it".

I couldn't resist so I told my coworker. I knew she wouldn't look at me like I was daff - she already knows the truth. Now she's got songs stuck in her head!

What can I say? I'm just a giver!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Working out can be hazardous to your health...

As part of our healthy living, we've been going to the Y to work out. Today Mike and I headed over when I got home from work. Into the Y - up the stairs to the Health and Fitness area. I'm heading for a treadmill knowing I will walk off about 300+ calories by the time I'm ready to leave. I think I hear a whoosh and a metal clang.

Turning around, what do I see but my husband at my feet and his Sigg water bottle rolling away with a large dent. Initially I am focused on the new Sigg bottle - the pretty red one - and the large dent! Then I reach for Mike, asking him if he's ok. He's trying to get up. People are crowding around. The young kid who helps in the area looks panicked and is waving across the room like a wind mill hoping his supervisor will see his need for assistance.

Mike is ok and I help him up off the ground. Suddenly I look and notice something not quite right. He has a serious scrap on his wrist. Ok - so not deadly but we'll keep an eye on it since he takes coumadin. And his hand.... holy heck... his finger is not pointing the right direction! It looks like it's cramping - with a mind of it's own. No blood. No reason to panic. However it's seriously not pointing the right direction. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I haven't even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. But I know for certain it's not natural for one finger to point off to the side. The mere glance at it makes my stomach lurch and my body shiver.

The best we can figure, he stumbled on a metal bar from a piece of equipment, either left out or sticking out. He hit his knee or hip against it - both have bruises. He may have tried to catch himself or hit his hand against some equipment. It happened so fast.

We avoided the converging Y staff responding to the Code whatever... and opted for our own ride to the ER instead of a First Responder and Ambulance from Station 10. Every time I looked over at him in the passenger seat I felt my stomach lurch again. Ok so quit looking! We sent a message to the kids letting them know our work out was cut short and instead we would be visiting the ER.

The drive over was amusing for whatever reason. Mike tested out his ability to 'flip' someone off. He lifted his hand to wave at passer-bys. He tried his Boy Scout pledge with no success. He did have an excellent Vulcan greeting or "V" peace sign. He continued to perfect his Mork impersonation - Nanu Nanu. His concern was not the disjointed, crazy pointing finger but why didn't I keep a nail file in my car because he chipped his thumb nail when he fell. It was crazy. I had no choice but to laugh. If I didn't laugh (and I did) I would have been upset, crying or completely grossed out.

The ER staff at St Lukes was wonderful. (Of course!) We were quickly checked in and seen in a small room. In between staff visits Mike continued to entertain me. I think he was testing my tolerance for gross. We couldn't help but notice the posted sign promoting Fall Prevention for Elders... (which immediately set me into a giggle). Mike received pain meds. They took xrays - no fractures - so the finger could be put back in place. It was just dislocated. Whew. The Doc took Mike's hand in his and gentley maneuvered the finger straight. Honestly I didn't watch. He used words like pull, ease and slide. They put a splint on his finger, wrapped his hand and sent us on our way - with all his fingers pointing the same direction!

I pointed out to Mike what restrain I had as I hadn't even blogged or posted a message on "My Face" about his tumble. He laughed (pain meds I'm sure) and said "go for it"... So I did!

Once again I have confirmed my inability to ever be a nurse. Beyond the lurching stomach and the queasiness I was still laughing at inappropriate times... including the stoplight on the way home where we couldn't help but notice the billboard proudly proclaiming "Disasters Happen".

Some people will go to such extremes to avoid a work out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Attention Shaw Family Members

I feel it's important to remind our family that there is a 'no drama' clause for the 2010 year. You have a genetic obligation to adhere to this binding agreement!

Remember we talked about it? We were going into the new year with a clean slate, fresh outlook, new start.

So right off the bat, the family Patriarch sets the stage. Two weeks into the new year and my husband had a doctor appointment to investigate a problem he's having only to come home with an appointment for surgery! Ahem - that's not part of the 'no drama' agreement.

Fortunately the doctor feels the discovered growth is not malignant and we trust his instinct and are not fretting. It's day surgery. A day of coffee, reading and knitting (and a small amount of fretting) for me while Mike endures the procedure.

Yesterday we got a morning call from Mike's oldest daughter in Texas. Renee said that her sister Tonya fell through the ceiling from the attic to the garage. She was putting Christmas decorations away and stepped off one of the rafters thru the ceiling. Goodness...

Fortunately Dan, Tonya's husband, was not at work but at the nearby school with our granddaughter Mikayla for a Father-Daughter event. (By the way it was Mikayla's 10th birthday.) Tonya came to on the cement floor next to the car in great pain. The ankle looked broken, the arm was suspect and she had a bump on her head.

In the ER they did xrays and a cat scan. She indeed broke her ankle, crushed the bone in her heel, has a contusion and sprain to her arm and a knot on her head. No concussion. Tonya will be on crutches for 2-3 months. She's immobile for now as she can't use the crutches because of the arm trauma.

The orthopedist wanted to see her too. She's scheduled for surgery next Wednesday. She'll sport a new 'bionic' heel with steel plate and pins. They will inject bone marrow from her knee into the tissue to help with the regrowth in the heel.

It could have been SO much worse. We feel so blessed to know God was with her. Dan was going to put the decorations away but Tonya didn't want the cleaning lady to have to work around them. The thing is - I can see any one of the Shaw women doing this exact thing themselves instead of waiting for our husbands.

The knot in our shoulders from worry yesterday is diminishing. My husband and I are both so grateful to know Tonya wasn't more seriously hurt! It was impressive the way our family rallied around her (no biological lines drawn in the sand) - sending love and support from afar. Everyone learned a huge lesson... slippers work well on a balance beam and not so well in the attic.

And in the future we'd be greatly pleased if our family would refrain from further drama! It's only January!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And so it begins...

January. The first month of a new year. This is the last year of the decade (though it's been said it's the first). I turn 50 this year and for some perverse reason I'm excited about this event.

Perhaps I'm happy to be the first of my siblings to reach this milestone. Duh. I'm the oldest. Maybe because soon my mother will have to admit her oldest child is FIFTY YEARS OLD! No matter - Come July I will have survived a half a century. Wow! It's an amazing feat when I stop and ponder some of the not-so-intellectual things I've managed to get myself into.

Last year was a very emotionally trying year. We inched our way, passing the days one at a time, with a renewed outlook and strength and guidance we received from God.

This year I want the changes to be physical. I've slowly been shedding a few pounds here and there. My chin has fewer friends. I've reduced a size in my slacks. It's time to take this a step further. I have six months. Realistically my goal is 50 lbs. but my ultimate goal is 70 less Deb pounds.

I joined a team of 13 people from work and signed up to participate in the Treasure Valley Weight Loss Challenge. There are very large monetary prizes. I figure it couldn't hurt to see what happens.

Mike and I rejoined the YMCA. I enjoyed the Total Body Conditioning class from last spring but even more have enjoyed my new evening routine of walking on the treadmill and catching my favorite 9pm TV show. There are so many options and with my varied work schedule I need to find a routine.

Tonight I stepped outside of the box and tried the Eliptical Machine. I've spent two days watching this little anorexic, hyperactive adult/child fling her skinny wing-like arms and bird legs for 30 minutes so thought I'd give it a try. I didn't last long - the 'burn' was quickly a sharp pain in my knee. Good thing Mike set us up with an appointment this week for 'how to' instructions on the machines. In no time I'll be burning away the calories and doing my best to keep my not so skinny wing-like arms from flopping in the wind like a flag. Ideally we should have taken advantage of our youngest's month long home visit and thrice weekly trips to the Y to work out. Can't you just imagine how excited he would be to give instruction to his uncoordinated mom?! I can see his eyes rolling from here!

Yes - to quote the Momma who just left the Biggest Loser tonight - when I'm done you will see a new, sexy senior citizen... ok so I'll just be happy with less.