Month: May 2011

Happy Memorial Day and Other Updates

I just wanted to post a quick random note covering a variety of topics.

1. Happy Memorial Day-  Today I would like to make a memorial to the people who have passed on in my life.  Especially my Grandpa who lived a sweet and peaceful life.  He loved all people including me and I will always love him for that.  He didn’t see me as his fat granddaughter but just his beautiful granddaughter. He is still my model for what I want to be like.  I miss him every day and I am so grateful to have had him in my life. He is my angel.

Doesn't he seem so lovable?

I would also like to pay tribute to my sweet cousin Lisa who has passed on and my cousin Riley.  I’m so grateful for my knowledge of eternal families and that those who have moved on are not gone forever.  I will see them again and the reunion will be sweet.

2. I just wanted to give a quick update on my condition.  My eye is still sore and I cannot completely open my eye.  Each day it is hurting less and less.  It is nice, with today being a holiday, I have one more day to heal before getting back to full time work.  My mom isn’t here anymore to take care of me, which is a little sad, but I’m grateful to have had her for 5 days!  My apartment feels quiet now that it is just me again. Even though I was recovering it was nice to have time to chat.  It kept my mind off of the pain and kept me from touching my eye as much.

Anyway, its still sore, red and swollen but it gets better each day.  I am also seeing double less. Hopefully I will continue to improve.  I will see the doctor on Thursday and that will be the key to see if the surgery has been effective.  Please keep those prayers coming. I don’t want to go through this again!  Some people have to get the strabismus surgery 5 or 6 times!  Hopefully I can just keep with the one surgery.   The hardest thing is to not touch it.  It itches and stings.  I’m not the greatest at keeping away from it, but I’m doing my best.  It really is irritating. Oh well!  At least it is improving each day.

I think you can see some improvement; although, I still can't open my eye completely and it is sore and red. You can see how puffy it is from me rubbing it...Bad Rachel!
here's a photo with a little more of my eye showing.
by the end of the day the eye has become pretty swollen and squinting. Tried driving. Wasn't ready

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day. Please spend a moment to remember those that have passed on.   I feel especially grateful to the servicemen who have died to protect freedom.  There has been a high cost of freedom.  Thank you with all my heart.

One Eyed Vampire

So the surgery is come and gone.

Wednesday- went into hospital at 9:45 and filled out forms and got registered.  Once they called my name I went to the pre-op room.  In this small room they go over the procedures and ask me a million questions, which will then be asked again and again throughout the day (my name, birthdate, what surgery I’m having, when was the last time I ate, etc).  Next I had to get on my robe and other garments and get seated on the bed. Finally the nurses came in to try and ‘thread the IV’.  Unfortunately I have very small veins and even drawing blood regularly takes a skilled phlebotomist several tries.  Two different nurses tried on 5 pricks to no avail.  (I took a photo of me with my hands all bandaged but it didn’t turn out.).

With no IV in they wheeled me into the operating room.  Then I met the anesthesiologist who was a cheerful fellow who asked me more questions in a jolly way. Eventually he was able to thread the vein using a pediatric needle (I really do have small veins!).  Then came the sleep…

Waking up from anesthesia is a weird experience.  Its a foggy wake up where nothing makes sense.  I immediately felt hot, sweaty and nauseated. In fact, within a minute I yelled for the nurse and threw up this thick gooey substance and it was all over me.  (sorry for the overshare).  She came and gave me a bag and tried to calm me down.  At this point I wasnt even thinking about my eye.   The nurse was able to change my robe and get me a hot cloth that helped sooth me and it was only then that I thought “ooh, my eye hurts!”.    It hurts in a weird way.  It kind of feels like a pressure mixed with a sting.  Have you ever had a eye lash stuck in your eye?  It feels  a little like that but with all your eye lids.

this is my Doctor- Dr. Peterson. He did such a good job and is a very kind man.

After I was partly calm they moved me from post op to recovery where I could see my mom.  What a welcome sight and to feel her hand on my hand.  It was funny because she was so cold in the room that they gave her like 3 blankets.  Me, on the other hand, was roasting- sweat sticking to the bed.  The nurse tried to get me to drink cranberry juice and sprite but it was too sweet.  I wish they had something better for diabetics besides sweet sodas.  Finally I went with a diet pop but it didn’t help much.  I tried to eat 2 crackers but did not feel well. After resting for many minutes (and receiving medicine through the iv) I was finally ready to put on my clothes which felt heavy against my sweaty, weary body.  They rolled me out in a wheel chair and then I got into the car where I immediately got sick again and threw up.

Feeling awful we drove to the doctor’s office for the final adjustment to be done.  I was nervous about this but with the anesthesia gel it wasn’t too bad.  I told my doctor that getting my eye brow’s waxed hurts worse!  He is such a good doctor and just a kind man.   I am lucky to have found him.  The nurse who helped us at the doctor’s had the same surgery but she told me she needed it 6 times throughout her life!  I guess she was born with crossed eyes and it took many tries to get alignment.  Wow!  I can’t imagine going through this 6 times.  She did also say that my doctor was the one who could finally get the alignment right.  It seems like he is the best at this particular surgery and it is comforting to know you are in the hands of the best.

the patch helped for the first day

Finally after all that I could go home, take some lortab and rest.  Surprisingly looking at a laptop up close was easier than a far-away tv.  This is why I was able to post on facebook the day of the surgery.  It was especially easy because I used a patch for the first day which helped me to focus and helped the eye to heal.  Now things are fuzzier that I have to use both eyes.

My visiting teacher Brianna brought over Rumbi grill on Wednesday which I am so grateful for.  Since we didn’t get home until after 4 it was so wonderful to have food brought to us.  Thank you so much.  She even made sure my mom had gluten-free sauce and that we all had brown rice.

Thursday- After a night of interrupted but good sleep I woke up feeling groggy and a little hung over from the anesthesia.  I also felt tons of body aches after surgery.  My neck, back and chest were all very sore.  I felt like I had been in a car accident and was experiencing whiplash.  My mom thinks it may be something to do with the position they put me in for operating.  Who knows?

The whole rest of the day I wore the patch to help me see and to help me from poking at the eye.  We decided my pirate name is One Eyed McGee.  The eye hurt but there were also accompanying head aches that would take over my whole head.  Thank goodness for Lortab!  I just have 12 pills to get me through the worst of it because I know how dangerous it can be.  On Thursday I was grateful for it.  It was so nice having my mother here to talk with and help me take the medicine.  The eye drops are very important and I have to remember to take them 4 times a day.

Friday- Most of the grogginess is gone and doctor says I have to take off the patch for the day.  This makes things double and can be painful- particularly when my eye tries to move.  It is more like a pressure accompanied by a bit of a sting.   Still, there is definite improvement today.  We decide to visit my grandma (I figured sitting there not that different from sitting in my apartment).  That was a pleasant visit but I did get tired towards the end.  I think it will take a couple of days to be back to my usual effervescent self!

Not wearing the patch is hard.  I feel there is liquid coming and want to dab my eye or pick at it.  It takes all of my strength to leave it alone.  I don’t want infection to develop.  I must admit that despite my best efforts the skin under my eye is a little raw from the gauze rubbing against it.  today I must do better on that.  It’s just very tempting but I really dont’ want an infection.

Saturday- Today I feel pretty good.  I woke up with my eye caked over in fluid and the like, which I have read is common.  I do feel the sting and the throbbing are a little better.  I feel confident I should be able to drive tomorrow to take my mom to the airport.   Today we are going to try going out with friends for lunch and maybe going to Ikea.  We will see.  Now I look like a one-eyed vampire.  The strangest thing is I cannot open my right eye completely because of the sutures- so one eye looks big and the other freakishly small.  Oh well!  All part of the healing process.

Today I am transitioning off of lortab to Tylenol and ibuprofen.  I know how dangerous lortab can be and do not want to become an addict.  Still, it was nice to have for a few days to relieve pain.

I am confident of my healing moving forward.  Thank you for all the support and encouragement I have received.  Its been quite the journey but soon I will be able to see differently than ever before.  I will be curious to hear your feedback about my eye contact and other things you see as improvements post surgery.  My friend Melissa said she could already see a new alignment and that she thought I looked prettier!  That made my day.  Nothing like being told your pretty when you look like a one-eyed vampire!  I really am curious to know if you see anything different in my face and how I interact with you.  My eye contact should at least be better.

If any of you are going through surgery- particularly this surgery- know it will be rough but you will get through it.  Lean on the support of those you loved and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  I am so grateful to those who have helped me especially my Mom.

To healing and getting stronger each day!  Please keep the prayers and thoughts coming.  Love, Rachel

My Favorite Things

As I have mentioned before tomorrow I am going to have my strabismus surgery on my eye.  As you might guess I am nervous and anxious for the entire thing to be over. Thank you in advance for the support and love during this ordeal and over the last 6 months.

At least today I had something else to focus on- my recital for voice lessons.  This year I decided to sing My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music.  I selected it because it is about finding the positive in negative situations- a theme I related to right now (Go figure right?).

It was a challenging song but I think it came out pretty good.  Not my best performance but given the stress and lack of practice I’ve experienced lately I am happy.

The song is more challenging than you might at first think.  (particularly the arrangement I used). The rhythm is tricky and perky acting was a bit hard, but I did the best I could.

For your viewing pleasure:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA5RaLahDxw].

I don’t know when I will post next but I can promise you will get an update when I can see well enough to do it!

Something Funny on a Stressful Week!

Every once in a while I like to post a funny bit or joke that made me laugh. This seems especially appropriate this week as the world is still here and the rapture hasn’t started yet!  If wackos can teach us anything it is to soak up each moment and laugh as much as possible.

In addition on Wednesday I am having eye surgery for my strabismus problem.  If anyone is available Thursday or Friday come by and visit.  I would love visitors. I honestly don’t know how much pain I will experience or what it will feel like but I am sure it will not be pleasant. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I think any surgery should make someone nervous.  There are always risks but I’m confident in my doctor and everything should be fine.  Keep me in your prayers and seriously come over for a visit!

This joke I admit is a little sexist but I thought it was funny so enjoy! (By the way, I think these could all be reasons I should stay away from home or car repairs).  Part of the reason I rent is that every home repair I’ve attempted has been a royal disaster!At my Dad’s homes particularly water problems have been such a nightmare.  Everything from sprinklers, main drains and other flooding has occurred.

It honestly makes me want to never be a home owner. What a hassle!  At least with renting most damage I do is not my responsibility but the landlords!

Anyway, enjoy something that made me chuckle. Hope to hear from you this week! (Phone calls will also be great!)

Signs that Your Guy Should Not Be Wielding a Set of Tools

Post-it notes stay up longer than the tiles he installed.

Your baby’s first word is “Fire!”

Everyone in the emergency room yells, “Norm,” when he walks in!

He gets frustrated assembling the toys that come in the kids’ cereal boxes.

The first thing every guest says upon entering your house is, “You smell smoke?”

He threw out three new drill bits before he realized the drill was set on reverse.

He tried to convince you that the unsteady rocking motion of the ceiling fan he installed is an oscillation feature.

The fire department made a special trip to your house to confiscate his wire strippers.

He wallpapers the room without removing the pictures first.

After tuning up your car, he insists that running on three cylinders saves gas.

Your neighbors stopped loaning him tools for fear of being named “accessories.”

Home depot employees all chipped in to hire him a handy man

My Writing Prompt

My sister did this fun writing prompt on her blog:

Write something that includes all of the following words:

WHISPER

DREAM

and…get ready for this…

GOPHER

It can be one sentence, a few sentences or a short story.  Post it in the comments.

I think this could be awesome.  I would just love to hear what crazy ways people come up with to combine these three words.  If people actually do it  (go blog readers, go!), I will make it a regular feature.

Here’s mine:

It was nothing but a couple of words said in a scratchy whisper, but it was enough to make Katie Lou dive back behind the woodpile faster than a fleeing gopher.  She held her breath and hoped that they didn’t see her.  I must be dreaming, she thought.  I just have to be

—–

I love writing and I thought the challenge was fun.   This is the story I came up with.  It is silly and unedited but I enjoyed writing it.  What do you think?

Prompt

Some have described working in a newsroom as controlled chaos but I don’t know if that is accurate. It is more a collection of tedious details interrupted by spurts of insanity. As a girl I used to watch movies like His Girl Friday dream of cracking the big story (and ending up with Cary Grant never hurt the imagination).
Even through internships and my blissful days as an undergrad I maintained the illusion of the noble journalist. Now in my first year as a copy editor for WBGY Afternoon News in Boston I was filling my days with reading stories for the night’s broadcasts and switching ‘affect’ to ‘effect’.
The only bright spot in my day was when Tom, nicknamed the Gopher for his ability to find any file now matter how deep in boxes it was entombed, would lean over and whisper in my ear “Take Hitler and stick him on the funny page.” This is of course a quote from His Girl Friday. He would smile and I would blush. In our training I may have mentioned a few 200 times how much I loved this movie and how ‘they don’t make ‘em like that anymore’. What a stupid thing to say! Who talks like that! Oh well. The truth is I was kind of flattered he remembered my references and maybe one of these days I’d have the guts to ask him over to watch it with me. We could talk, laugh…
Ok. Back to work. Sometimes I think Tom liked getting the gopher jobs because it allowed him to get away from our boss Cheryl who both had crush on Tom and made life miserable for him. I’m not sure how that is possible but she made it her daily objective. A first year employee wants to strike a careful balance between blending in so no one see’s your inexperience, but standing out just enough to get promoted. Tough to do when the boss is crushing on you!
“Cindy” my boss’s shrill voice yells out ‘do you understand the meaning of the word preposition”
Grumbling I think “Enough to know you just used one”.
“What’s that?” I reply.
“Your work is sloppy. Get it together. Without all of us working at 100%, A+ level, we will never be number 1 now will we?”
This is how Cheryl treated her employees like 5th graders in a school play. My prideful spirit wanted to yell out
“Maybe you could do your job better…jerk!”
But instead I nodded “of course. I will try to do better”.
“That’s the terrifimundo attitude!”
I roll my eyes and look longingly at Tom. Maybe I can learn to be a gopher?
“I have a story for you and Tom to work on” Cheryl says out of the blue.
“Really?” I can’t help but blurt out. It was a good thing I wasn’t drinking my morning soda or I might have sprayed all over her posh suit.
“Don’t get too excited. Our regular staff is overwhelmed with the election and we need someone to cover the senior center opening on 5th. Senator Neil is going to be making a speech so we need team coverage…Get on it”.
In spite of myself I give Cheryl a hug and bolt for the back room.
“Did you hear the news? We’ve got a story!!” I exclaimed to Tom.
Smiling he gave subdued ‘All right!’
“When do you want to get together to go over the details” I asked.
“How about Friday but what would you think to watching His Girl Friday first?” He smiles and gives me a wink.
“Sounds good ‘you great big bubble-headed baboon’”…

Victoza is not quite so evil

So I just wanted to do  a quick post to update how my second run of Victoza is going.  To my shock I have responded well!  I have only had one day of nausea and no vomiting (thank goodness for that!).  I guess the doctor was right (go figure?).  Perhaps I did have a stomach virus when I tried the Victoza before.  I was skeptical because it seemed like such a coincidence but with such a great response this time I’m beginning to believe.

Not that I have had no side effects.  My appetite has been low but that’s not too bad when it isn’t coupled with the nausea.  I have also been a little bit weak and tired.  Let’s just say it has not been my best 2 weeks exercise-wise.  At least I’ve been meeting with my trainer weekly so that’s helped.  Not every week will be a perfect exercise week.  The most important thing is to consistently keep exercise in my life, and that I have done.  Yesterday I went swimming and it felt great! Today I’m meeting with Michelle for a session so that should be good.  (I will probably be sore later on).

Anyway, I had so many comments on my ‘Victoza is Evil‘ post that I felt I must own up to my better response this time.  Hopefully it continues and I will feel well for weeks to come.  The last two weeks have been great and I feel very hopeful for the future.

Next Wednesday is my strabismus surgery.  I’m a little nervous but my doctor is a pro (this is the main surgery he does in his career) and I feel confident in his skills.  This is my doctor:

http://rmeyecare.com/biopetersen.html

There are always risks in surgery but the greatest risk in this surgery is possibly needing follow up surgeries later on.   On the plus side my mom is coming to help me! She will be here from Tuesday to Saturday.  Being from a family of 6 it is a rare treat to have my mom all to myself, almost worth going through surgery for!

The doctor expects there to be 2 days of the most pain with it lessening each day, with most of it being gone by a week’s time.  However, my eye will be red for several months.  The doctor said ‘now would not be a good time to get married.  All your photos will have red eye!”.  Obviously that is not an issue for me but I will have red eye in Hawaii. Oh well!  A small price to pay…

Please keep me in your prayers and thoughts. I am sure I will love calls as I recuperate but I probably will be off the internet for several days because I won’t be able to see out of one eye.  Thank you in advance for your love and support.

Also, I am going to be taking a couple days off of my meds and would love treats, food and especially company.  Please come by for a visit if it is at all possible.  Love you all!

My Reality TV Addiction

So I’ve been doing a lot of posts lately.  What can I say?  I’ve had a great week and am getting back to myself!  Thank goodness.  I have even been back on the victoza for a week and been having a good response!  No nausea. Hurray! Cross fingers it will continue.

That said- I would like to confess an addiction.  I love reality tv. Now when I say reality tv I am not referring to the Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jon and Kate Plus 8 style of shows (never gotten into those).

What I like are the reality competition shows.  I say this fully admitting the shows are stilted and cast for character types but I still find them entertaining.  They are kind of addicting.  Once you start watching you want to know who is going to win.  I’m just a sucker!

Here are some that I like and I will try to explain why:

Survivor- Today was the end of the 22nd season of Survivor.  I have not watched every season but have followed the last 5 or 6 seasons. I guess this is what you would call a guilty pleasure.  I’m not even going to defend it on any level.  It does prey on the worst in human nature and the editing is manipulative; however, I just find it entertaining.

I like guessing who is going to win.  Who has the best strategy? Who is going to win the social game?  Who will the jury pick? Will they play the idol? Sometimes I have no idea who will win (Survivor: All Stars- who picked Sandra?) and other times I know from practically day one (this season Rob was the clear winner.  Everyone else seemed like a total pawn, amateurs).

Like I said.  I’m not going to defend it.  I just enjoy it.

Project Runway- Another show which completely casts for characters not talent, but it is still amazing what the designers do.  The challenges are insane.

I know its ridiculous, but I just find it addicting watching talented people make outfits out of grocery store objects, items from a car, dresses out of paper or outfits made of flowers.  Who thinks of these things?

In addition, unlike America’s Next Top Model (a show I never got into.  Tyra is so annoying) it actually creates successful designers (has there been one truly top model out of ANTM?).  I think Christian Siriano is the most successful winner but he was also a part of the best, most competitive season.

My favorite challenge of Project Runway was season 2. The entire dress had to be flowers/plants!

Amazing Race-  My last favorite is the Amazing Race.  This is the show I want to be on some day.  I think it would be so much fun to travel around the world doing crazy challenges.

When I get in super good shape I want to sign up and my dream is to go with my Dad.  He would be a great partner.  He is so good at maps, orienteering, puzzle solving and anything athletic.  Plus, I think it would be an awesome bonding experience.I don’t think a father-daughter team has ever won.  Who knows?

Something I like about the Amazing Race is that you do not have to be mean to win the game.  While there is some strategy involved, it seems like usually a really nice team wins the game.  Because it doesn’t involve voting the strategy is not quite as fierce. In the end its about who crosses the finish line first.

This season was a great All Star season and Keisha and Jen won.  I kind of wanted the Cowboy’s to win but the girls seemed very nice too. It was a great win particularly when you think about the fact they lost last time because Jen had to go to the bathroom before checking in!

The one thing I wonder about is how in the heck do they come up with these challenges?  I would like to see a behind the scenes episode of The Amazing Race.  It would be interesting to know how they decide where to go and what the road block and detours are.  The two most memorable to me are the watermelon catapult from the previous season and the needle in the haystack in Poland.  Crazy!

One last thing about the Race.  Do not go on the Amazing Race if you are scared of heights or water.  Every season there are challenges for both without fail and every season there is someone moaning and groaning.  Although, I can’t really talk because I’m sure my fear of animals would be seriously put to the test. Bring it on!

Anyway, that’s my confession…what’s your secret tv guilty pleasure? Come on.  We all have one!