Monday, December 13, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Why do enema's come two to a package? I have to use one for my pre-op. ONE.
I will never use the second one. Are they so hard to figure out that I need a spare?
And, why do laxatives come in bottles of 50 or 100? I need TWO pills. I do not need a bottle of 50...
And with that, someone is thinking TMI, TMI!
Catch ya later!
One of the things we did with the folks was to show them around the area. Kev's Mom wanted to have a feel for areas I talk about here, so showing her around was a perfect excuse for Kev and I to run around--something we enjoy anyway!
I managed to grab the camera and had it ready for our first stop--the Ranch. Kev actually wanted to show his folks where he hunts and the ranch is so rugged and pretty that we just had to show it off.
Dad wasn't at the corral when we got there, but he soon arrived, herding some calves back to the pens. These calves came in last week and Dad likes to keep them close for a while just to make sure they all survive the stress of the move.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Now, since the diagnosis, I've been doing a lot of research and knew that this was an option--this and an endometrial ablation--but I kept expecting that I'd just snap back to normal after the D&C. I can't express how I felt when the bleeding started again--after 14 days of no bleeding. So, I called, and went back in, and here we are...
Now I chose to bypass the ablation (which is basically where they burn and scar the endometrial lining which means it can't build up and thus, no blood) because I do have a family history of uterine cancer. If I'd do the ablation, and if I ever developed uterine cancer, we'd not know it until it was in a very late stage. Not good. So, the Dr said my best option is the hysterectomy.
I'm done with my uterus...no more babies from us. And I'm not adverse to having it removed. But I figured we'd do a vaginal hysterectomy. But NO...I have to have an abdominal one because of the size and shape and tilt of the darn uterus, the Dr's afraid my other organs might prolapse. So I'm guessing there's a chance they might anchor stuff...he said he just wants room to actually see what's where and you can't do that vaginally. Which means I'm gonna have a longer recovery.
Have I ever mentioned that I'm not a very good sick person? I dislike being in the hospital, where your every word is recorded and the nurses don't always understand my sarcasm. (note to self: Keep thy mouth shut at all times when any medical personnel are in the room.) I also greatly dislike someone telling me what I can and can't do. I greatly dislike having to abide by someone else's rules. I also dislike people hovering around me and I have to remember to not tell anyone to "Go away and leave me the hell alone." Cause I'm going to want to say that...a lot.
So...all this leaves me with a slight problem...
I have two weeks to get all my Christmas shopping finished.
I have the little kid's shopping done...and that's it. Nothing for Miss Kat, or Andy, or Kev, or my folks, or Kev's folks. Nothing. Kev and I decided that we'd just do something nice for each other. I want my "Mom's Cooking" framed with barn wood. I've asked him to do that. He wants me to get the cushion sewn for the bay window. And we decided to buy a new dishwasher. The one we had quit pumping water in August and the 14 year old dishwasher is mouthy...I want a quiet one. So, I'm going to go look for a dishwasher over my lunch hour.
But the rest of my shopping...no clue.
I guess I'd better get myself in gear and finish shopping and get ready for surgery too. It's gonna be a wild 2 weeks...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
That was the best snack ever. I can still remember the feel of my teeth crunching through that layer of sugar down into that buttery warm bread. (Give me a minute to just enjoy that memory...I haven't eaten bread that way since I was little.)
Kev loves home made bread, so I make lots of bread in the winter months. And now, with the new bay window, I found a new place to let my bread raise:
What? Doesn't everyone stick their bread dough in their living room window to raise? I read in lots of cooking blogs of different ways to cover bread dough, but we have always gotten a tea towel wet --with warm water, and used it to cover the bread dough. So, that's what is on my bowl of dough. It raises quite nicely in the window too.
This mess below is sauerkraut.
Kev and I really enjoyed our home made kraut on our home made brats. It was yummy. so, this year, we decided to make some ourselves. I didn't get much brine when I initially made the kraut, so someone told me to simply make a brine when it came time to can it. I did that, but think that the brine was too much. It's a wee bit salty. But, we've rinsed the brine off and that seems to remove that saltiness. I'm not sure my kraut is as good as Deanna's, but we're all set with 7 jars.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine, but Kev got downright HOT. We never saw Mr. Big Buck. He chose to go somewhere else. But, typical Kev, we walked down to the bottom of the draw and walked back up by those trees and up the cut. It was a workout. I still can't figure out why he thinks we always have to go down before we have to come all the way back UP. Must be a guy thing.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
I don't. Or seldom do. And, I'm bad about writing them too. I need to write to my mentor, and my first supervisor, Ruth. She retired over 20 years ago, and I used to see her regularly, but I haven't seen her since her husband's funeral 2 years ago. I've written twice, but should write more. Does it count that I think of writing her at least once a week?
My Grandma Woodruff was a great letter writer. She's send a letter to all of her kids every week. If she'd seen you in person during that week, then you didn't get a letter, otherwise, you could count on a letter from her every week.
As a kid, I looked forward to her letters. When I was going to school at Texas Woman's University, I enjoyed them even more because they were a symbol of my roots and I knew that Grandma loved me enough to make sure I got mail every week.
Grandma typed her letters, and we all got the same letter. She used this typewriter for years and years and gave it to me when I was in High School, and when she upgraded to an electric typewriter. She's use carbon paper (remember carbon paper?) and onion skin paper. Onion skin paper is very thin paper. Since she usually had 7 letters or more in the typewriter, she used the onion skin paper to keep the bulk down in the typewriter. Typo's and all were still there...she'd try to correct them, but we'd just have to interpret what word she'd messed up. Typo's didn't matter!
Sometimes, she'd add a small short note to us at the bottom of the letter. And she always signed each one by hand. I still have a few letters saved. They are a very special memento.
Friday, November 05, 2010
I received the Traveling Conq last week. Here it is:
It's grown over the years. I'm told that it started out as one trophy. Now, it's 4 trophies tall and is covered with a memento from everyone who's received it. I received it from the Maintenance crew who wanted to acknowledge my hard work and all the changes I've made in the library making it a "warm and homey" place for students to enjoy. It means just a little something special coming from the guys who've hauled out ump-teen loads of crap that I've eliminated from the building. They are special guys--almost as special as the maintenance staff at Colby.
I still haven't figured out who to pass this on to. It has to be someone in another building. I've got a couple of ideas, but haven't decided who deserves this award. I do know what' I'm adding to the trophy:
Monday, November 01, 2010
Ham--processed, smoked and baked at home.
Potatoes--from our garden
Corn--from our garden
Tomatoes--from our garden
Cherry Pie: homemade. Cherries from a friends tree. Pie crust, courtesy of Pillsbury...
Pumpkin pie: Homemade by Mom...probably NOT from her garden since she didn't grow any pumpkins :)
It's very satisfying to know where your food comes from.
The meal was for Mom and Dad's 48th Anniversary which will be Tomorrow, November 2.
Good times, Good food, Good Company.
It doesn't get better than that.
And, Dad's hearing aids must be working, I didn't hear him say "what's that" all day!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
But still, it's a nice memento of a very cute little girl and her innocent looking brother who was never innocent.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It dawned on me just last week, that I had never posted a "finished" picture of our pellet stove/rock wall project. Maybe I never posted those pictures because
- we finished it 6 months or more after we started the project
- Miss Kat had the camera
- I never got around to it?
Let's face it, with me...any of the above reasons could be accurate.
So...without further ado...ta da!
We halted our initial project about 1/2 way up the wall...because Kev wanted a "chunky" "rustic" mantle. And, living on the High Plains...an area also known as the "Great American Desert", chunky, rustic wood mantles are hard to come by.
Let's face it, trees are hard to come by...well, trees of any size. And sawmills are non-existent. But, after looking several months, and after preparing to drive several hours to Eastern Kansas, we discovered that there's a sawmill 30 miles away from us. The sawmill owner is a tree trimmer and he has it just for fun. Kev talked to him and he happened to have recently cut up a Black Walnut tree. Kev drove up, and for $50, brought home a huge chunk of lumber.He decided to leave the bark on, and the white wood that is usually tossed. He then cut the mantle and the supports for it. We sealed the bark with polyurethane and Kev placed a few finish nails in it. He hopes that will keep the bark on our mantle for all eternity.
Kev has at least 1/2 of his chunk of wood still in the garage. He say's he's going to make a coffee table out of it...someday. I'm not holding my breath. But, I have to admit, our mantle is pretty. I like it and I'm proud of what we accomplished.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I imagine it was actually built by my Great-Grandfather, Harvey L. Woodruff. It hasn't been used to store grain for years and years. Instead, it's become a storage shed. Because, you know, old farmers never threw anything away. They stored most of what they stopped using--just in case.
I like the grainery. I like exploring the stuff in it, and I think it could be restored and made into a little cabin. It just needs repair and a roof and windows and maybe a little extermination, but it's in pretty good shape for as old as it is. Kev refuses to consider remodeling. But, he does think the foundation would be a great foundation for a new "hunting" cabin. But I'm not holding my breath that we'll ever do anything with it. I'm not even sure we'll ever get it cleaned out.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Not very energy efficient. So, this summer, the first of July, we ordered Renewal by Anderson Windows. And, upgraded our three small living room windows to a nice big bay window. They were installed the week of my surgery. (great timing.)
Which one is the real cowboy?
The one in the middle.
Because he doesn't have to drive, and he doesn't have to open the gate.
Somehow, I'm never the "real" cowboy, cause I always have to open the gate.
Barbed wire gates are sometimes difficult to open. If it's a new gate, and it's nice and tight, it's almost impossible to open.
Here's how you open a barbed wire gate...
If it's a tight gate, you lean against the fence post.
Wrap your arm around the other side of the post and grab the gate post and pull it towards you. This lessens the tension on the loop allowing you to lift the loop off the gate post and open the gate. And sometimes, you just don't have enough lead in your britches to pull that gate. At times like that, your Dad, brother, or husband come to the rescue. But they whine and pout about having to help you out--especially if they were sitting in the middle.
I much prefer using a cheater to open gates, like this one...This is a nice way to open a new gate. All I had to do was lift on the handle (on the right side) and it pulled the gate post in and I just pop the cheater off the post and open the gate. Of course you can just drop the gate, but usually, you have to drag it inside, while the guy driving comes in the pasture. Then, they wait until you close the gate.
This is one of the nicer cheaters I've used. Sometimes, a cheater is simply a stick of wood chained to the fence post. You wrap it around the gate post, and lean on it for that extra leverage to move the gate post.
In this case, everyone loves a cheater! Especially me.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Last night, Ifound the chick's body--minus it's head.
Stupid me. I jinxed it.
I did suggest to Kev that maybe he should build me a brood house for "next" time. He gave me the look and just suggested that "next" time, I seperate the chick(s) from the hen and raise them like we do store bought chicks.
I'm gonna work on my plan, and work towards a brood house--or brood tractor. Maybe then...I can raise a chick.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Or, at least we had it when we left the house this morning.
One of my hens hatched a chick. I found the chick on Saturday, but I think it probably hatched sometime on Friday because by the time I found it on Saturday morning, it was dry and fluffy and very cute. Mama was still sitting on 3 more eggs Saturday morning and Chick was spending most of it's time under her, but made a lot of noise.
So, I got out one of my chick feeders and filled it with all purpose chicken feed, wheat and black oil sunflower seeds. Then I found a waterer and filled it up and set it near Mother and child.
So far, so good!
But they did give me a scare Sunday night.
I went out to shut everyone in for the night, and no Mama or chick. I just knew one of the stupid cats had decided to have chick for supper. But, I counted my birds and I was one short. So, I went outside and there on the ground was Mama. I could hear the baby--under Mom. So, I picked up Mom and baby and put them back inside the chicken house. They meandered over to "their" corner and the chick nabbed a bite to eat and got a drink before Mom told it to come to bed.
I've enjoyed watching them. Last night, I tossed some food scraps out--to the chickens. I could hear the chick, but wasn't spotting it. Finally, I found it, right beside it's Mama's head. If Mama pecked something, so did the baby. They really liked the tomatoes, and the biscuits best.
Come dark, it was the same as Sunday night...all the other chickens went inside, but my little family. I watched as Mama settled herself down on the ground and the chick ran right over and nestled under her feathers and a top her feet. It was too cute.
But, I know it's not safe to be outside with 40-leven cats roaming in the dark. So, again, I picked the two up and put them back inside the safety of the Chicken house.
So far, so good! Maybe I'll finally raise a home-born chick...
I have another hen who's broody. However, she started sitting before this Mama did. So far, nothin. So, I'm going to give her till this weekend. If she isn't successful--and I don't think she will be--then I'm going to brave her beak and toss her eggs.
In the meantime, I'll watch my little family and hope that chick has a long and happy life.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Now we're concentrating on getting my iron levels back to normal.
And the Dr gave me some progesterone pills to keep me from having a period for 3 months. He doesn't wanting me losing that much blood--or any blood--for that amount of time. We'll see what happens from there.
My Ob-Gyn is a Chinese Dr. His English is pretty good, but not perfect. He did tell me "Your uterus not normal."
And then he went on to draw me a picture. On the outside, my uterus is normal--pear shaped. But on the inside, it's heart shaped. Which is NOT normal. It's not bicournal (sp?), or split in 2 with each side being horn like; but it's not quite normal.
I didn't ask, because it doesn't matter any more, but...some women with this condition can't carry babies. So, I won't dwell on what might have been, and just be thankful for the two healthy kids I do have.
The Dr does think this abnormality might have played a role in my "Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding". But hormones did play a big part.
Will it happen again? He won't give any predictions on that. I hope not...we got the preliminary hospital bill...whoo boy. It's higher than what it was to have a baby 14 years ago. But, remember, I'm not complaining...
Let's all hope that this is the last post about this. Cause I really want to focus on something else for a change...
By the way, did I mention that I had 2 moles removed from my neck? And that one was basal cell carcinoma? Have to admit, I was a little surprised, but on the other hand...not really. I have fair skin...I'm as white as white can get. I grew up in the 70's when our goal was to smear our bodies with baby oil and get brown...except I never got brown. Basal cell tends to be pretty common in my family...which means I wasn't adopted, and I'm not the mailman's kid. (So Dad, this pretty much means I'm yours!)
Have a great weekend everyone. I am as normal as I'm ever going to be and we will return this blog to the mundane, to the chickens...or to Miss Kat, or maybe even hunting...stay tuned!
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
The hardest thing for me right now is not taking a bath again until I go back to the Dr this Thursday. I can shower, but I really hate taking showers. Hopefully, on Thursday, I'll have my pathology reports and we'll know where to go from here.
Yesterday, the first bills arrived.
I hate medical bills.
I promised my family that I wouldn't whine or complain or gripe about the medical bills. That this time, I'll just pay them and move on.
It's going to be hard. Cause I have a $3000 deductible and cause what they charge is ridiculous. Why charge $250 for a sonogram if you are just going to write 1/2 of it off? Makes no sense to me.
So, I'm going to try real hard and not gripe...and that last paragraph is NOT griping.
Let's hope that I start getting some energy back and I start stitching again and reading again and having some energy left at the end of the day. I'm taking extra iron, so I hope I get back to "normal" soon!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
There have been several appendectomies on my Dad's side of the family. Dad's uncle Harry, died of peritonitis which was caused by a burst appendix. The family blame his death the Dr because he kept telling Uncle Harry that it wasn't appendicitis and refused to operate until it was too late.
That was in the mid 1930's. Uncle Harry left his bride and his family who loved him very much. My Dad is named after Uncle Harry.
Shortly after Uncle Harry's death, my Dad's older brother, Glenn, developed appendicitis. He was 2. I've heard repeatedly the story of Grandad driving with Dr Robb (who was not Uncle Harry's Dr.) frantically trying to get the Dr to his little boy. Dr Robb made Grandad slow down so they could get there safely. I'm pretty sure that Uncle Glenn's appendix also burst. I know they almost lost him too. How scared they must have been; knowing that they'd just lost one family member to Appendicitis, and knowing they might lose another...a baby at that.
My Dad also had appendicitis when he was a young teenager. His did not burst; he recovered quite easily.
My Grandma often related to me how she'd test her kids for appendicitis. Grandma said that if the kids complained that their stomach hurt, or their right side, she'd slap the bottom of their right foot. Not hard, but just a nice slap. If it hurt in the side, and not in the foot, then the child had appendicitis and it was time to get them to the Dr.
I always thought that was an old wives tale, and that there was no way her test would actually work...until I had appendicitis.
See, Kev was out of town. He and Miss Kat were in Colorado visiting family. For some reason, I couldn't go, so Andy stayed at home with me. On Saturday, we went to lunch with my friend Monica and her little boy. We gals had the same chicken for lunch. That night, around 1 a.m., I woke up with a stomach ache. So I went to the bathroom, decided that maybe my chicken was bad and went back to bed, trying to go to sleep. The pain got stronger. Two hours later, I decided that I'd had enough; so I called Monica, hoping that she was up and in pain too. If she was, then I'd know it was the chicken. If not, well, I was afraid it might be my appendix.
So I called...and woke her up. Which meant it wasn't the chicken. Since she was now awake, I asked her to drive me to the emergency room and asked if Andy could stay with her husband and son. Bless her heart, she came right over. She knew that if I was wanting to go to the hospital, I was really hurting. By this point, I could not stand up straight. It was the worst pain I'd ever felt. And, I have a very high pain tolerance, so it hurt.
So we get there, and the Dr on call was Jeff, my former student. Not exactly who I wanted to see because 1. he was fresh out of medical school and 2. he was my student... But, at this point, I really didn't care. I hurt!
So he did the question thing, where does it hurt, blah blah blah...and it really didn't hurt in my right quadrant, it was a more central pain. So, they did a sonogram, and other tests and then Jeff did a rectal exam (oh, yeah! my student is now sticking his finger up my butt...lovely.) But they still didn't think it was my appendix. So I jokingly told Jeff of my Grandma's test.
To humor me, he slapped me on the bottom of my foot... Let me tell you this, if I could have come off that bed and smacked him up the side of the head, I would have. That hurt. Not my foot, but in my right side! A sharp piercing pain. Holy cow, it hurt! Don't know if Jeff was converted, but it certainly made a believer out of me.
I have no idea who taught Grandma that test, but it worked for me. And, I have carried on the tradition. If my kids complain of their side hurting, or a stomach ache, I tap them on the foot. So far, so good, no more appendicitis. And I am very confident that I'll be able to diagnose it if I ever need to. Which goes to prove, you should always listen to your Grandma.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Diagnosis: I'm not normal.
I could have told them that...without all the tests and the cost.
So, next step...I'm having a D&C this Thursday.
It had better make this stop, or you all might be reading about my murder trial.
I'm ready. More than ready. At least we're doing something.
But, riddle me this...
I answered the same damn questions for 2 nurses and 3 doctors...all within 2 hours of each other. Why on earth can't the Dr's read what their nurses wrote down? Why ask the same damn questions over and over and over? Next time, I'm gonna say, "Hello! Read what your nurse wrote down..." Sheesh. I expect my students to read and pay attention to questions asked in class, so how come those in the medical profession can't do the same?
I realize that in the world scope of things, that Dodge City is considered a "small town". However, to me...it's a large town, and after all the running from this clinic to that clinic and back to this clinic...I really miss my Clinic and Hospital in Colby.
Bigger facilities really miss out on that personal relationship that you have in small town clinics and hospitals. While I'm not a person who went to the Dr often, I did know my Dr, or my ARPN. Heck, one Dr I saw was a former student of mine (and boy, I had dirt on some of his extra curricular activities...) One of my ARPN's was a former colleague and the other was also a former student. I knew and trusted them. Heck, I knew their kids, parents, and extended families.
Here, the only Dr I know won't see me.
(Cause she's my cousin! Not because I'm a bad patient!)
And, the Dr's I've met...well, I just don't know that much about them, and I really don't have a strong sense of trust.
But, I am going to trust this ob-gyn on Thursday. And, he'd better come through and prove that I can trust a Dr, whom I know nothing about.
I'll keep you posted...
Friday, September 24, 2010
My flood hit 40 days today and I'm so beyond ready for it to stop.
And if your a guy, you might want to stop there. Personally, I don't care, but you guys are squeamish...
My period started the first day of college classes, August 18. Today marks 40 days. Yes, I've been to the Dr. Yes, we're doing "tests". No, nothing has worked yet. So far, the test results are all normal.
Yes I'm frustrated, angry and annoyed as hell.
You know, my period has never really bothered me. I don't mind having one, don't mind the mess, don't mind any aspect of it at all--until it hits day 40.
The most frustrating part of this is the unpredictability. Some days, I'm afraid to get far from the bathroom. Some days, I wonder if I'll ever feel clean again. Some days, I think that this will stop...and then it gets worse.
My guess is that my hormone levels are all out of wack...and that this is a part of me entering that next stage of life...but dang it's the most annoying thing ever.
It totally takes over your life...and wardrobe...
I'm tired, I'm anemic and so far, nothing has made this stop...
I now understand why so many women say "Just take the dang thing OUT." I never understood that before.
A big part of me wants to ride this out, to let my own body sort out these hormone levels and let nature run it's course. After all, not much medical research has been done on "women's issues", cause most research is done by men who don't really have to cope with it at all and who can never completely understand what it does to us. Because of that, I sometimes think that modern medicine interferes when it shouldn't. And, you know guys have their own reasons for wanting it to stop...think that has any influence on research???
A BIG part of me wants this to stop...immediately. By any means, just make it stop. Gimme some miracle drug to make this STOP cause I want to resume my life. Hell, take the darn thing OUT. I don't care if it's not a medical necessity...I don't care if the stupid, thieving insurance company won't pay...make this STOP. Cause my life has stopped...
Hunting is on hold...evening activities are on hold...some days, morning workouts are cancelled. Long trips are on hold. Short trips are iffy. I'm usually tired enough in the evenings that I'm not stitching or reading. Right now, my entire focus is on my uterus...and I'd really like to focus on something else.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
None of these are what I'd call good shots, but these are pictures of a porcupine. Kev and I stumbled upon him while we were checking out our treestands. He was on one side of the creek and rapidly went up the bank and up this Locust tree. And, while you look for Porky...check out the thorns on the locust branches! I'm not sure which is worse...porcupine quills or Locust thorns.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
As we drove closer to home, the smoke kept getting bigger and bigger and darker and darker. There was also lightening occurring around us, and we're guessed the fire was started by lightening--always a risk on the prairie when it's dry...and it has been. We passed the Bucklin Volunteer Fire Department headed south to the fire, so we knew that it was a big fire.
We knew that any fire over here was going to be tough to put out. Lots of pastures, lots of canyons, and areas where you can't get a fire truck to, and lots of oil wells and storage tanks full of oil.
Sunday, we drove down through the area where they fire had been. It burned 4400 acres before the fire departments got it under control. I'm not even sure how many fire departments answered the call, but I know they had guys come from far western Kansas and Oklahoma. (Rural firefighters are great at helping each other out. They thrive on grass fires and get excited when they get called out.)
The day after the fire, this area got between 3 and 6 inches of rain, so it's already greened up nicely. I took these pictures on the Mt. Jesus road in Clark County--just north of Mt Jesus and just south of where we lived when I was a girl.
I did have to laugh at the fence. A brand-spankin' new fence...hedge posts...A nice tight fence...
The top of many posts were there, as were the bottoms...just nothing in between.
In a few weeks, you'll never know that a fire went through here...well, you won't unless they don't get that fence fixed!
Last year, Kev decided that my Mom needed a disappearing waterfall. He asked her if she'd like one, and she thought maybe that would be nice, so Kev started planning on how he was going to build it. Here's the finished product: It's called a disappearing waterfall because there isn't a pond of water. The water just disappears amongst the rocks at the base. In actuality, it does go in a pond that is under the rocks and it is then pumped back up to the top of the waterfall. (and for all you cattle people out there, we're using a mineral tub for the "pond".)