Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

I am amazed at the mentality of some people. It astounds me that there have been at least three deaths in stores yesterday during the shopping craze. Why would anyone take a loaded gun into a TOY STORE? (although from news reports, the two deaths in that case sound like they were gang related) And good grief, for over 2,000 people to stampede a Walmart at 5:00 IN THE MORNING, killing one person and injuring two others? Why? Tony was reading one of the stories on that on-line and we had to laugh at one of the comments that ended "and I am not kidding!" The writer blamed it all on Bush. Of course, who else could be to blame?

As for us, we spent about two hours in our little town last night -- I am thankful for Minnesota and especially Park Rapids (well, except for those 2-4 weeks during Feb/March when the temperatures don't even get to -10). Every Wednesday during the school year, students have the option of "release time" where for a couple hours in the morning, they are bussed to several local churches (their choice...of which church, and whether to take part or stay in school) who give them Bible classes. How great is that? And how sad that I am excited about something like that! But here in Park Rapids, we also have a Live Nativity every year downtown before the Christmas Tree lighting (at least one other neighboring town, Nevis, does the same). The photos are quite dark, but you might be able to see Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus (played by some of our best market customers!), the angels, and my brother-in-law's donkeys.

After watching the live nativity (and baby Jesus was QUITE fussy!), we walked and looked in store windows, saw many friends, Grandpa and Grandma, and Uncle Jonathan's family, wished and hoped for a princess ballerina ornament (at least, one of us did), then joined the huge crowd singing Christmas carols and other songs before Santa arrived in a horse drawn sleigh to help light the huge Christmas tree. As Luke and I were walking (Tony and Susi were watching the tree), they announced that they'd found a blue mitten if someone had lost it. It looked very familiar....and yep, Luke's had disappeared. We went to claim it, only to realize his other mitten was missing, too. One of us is heartbroken about that.
I'm thankful, too, that my kids enjoy Santa but also know he is just somebody wearing a costume and pretending and has nothing to do with presents...and that Jesus is real and the reason for Christmas. My heart warmed as we walked back to the car, hot cocoa in hand (well, luke warm cocoa, at that point!), and Luke said, "Mama, this was so fun, but the best part of all was seeing Baby Jesus in the manger."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Who Are You?

My cousin added an interesting feature to her blog several months ago, and copy cat that I am, I did the same. It's called "Sitemeter" and it's a program that shows you how many people pull up your blog, how long they spend on the site, and the city and state (or country) that they live in. It's really cool to pull up occasionally just to see how many people really DO read (or stumble on) my blog.

What's been interesting to me....and is really piquing my WHO ARE YOU? The people out there in cities where I don't know anyone (at least, I don't THINK I do) who spend time on my blog?

Someone from Sebeka (MN) regularly checks in...but I don't know anyone with a computer from there (or do I?). Someone in Duluth also has been stopping by lately. Lots of locals in Park Rapids (but I know of several from church who comment on my blog, too...and it's cool that you check in!). I have relatives in Doylestown (OH) who keep up with my blog, although I'm not sure which ones....along with Columbus (OH) and Mansfield (OH) and Clive (IA). But who lives in Stow (OH)? Or Hawthorne (CA)? I know who my Canadian reader is (unless there is more than one!) as well as my occasionally Filipino visitor (Hi D&R!) and Paraguayan (sp?) cousin. Who lives in Hallsville (OH) (where IS Hallsville, OH), and where did that "unknown location" come from???? And Mallory (NY)?? Someone told me about a friend from years ago who lives in Hackensack (NJ) and catches up occasionally (which is really cool!), and an old church friend and school friend read from Stafford (VA). A dear friend of mine visiting from Alaska the week I had surgery (and brought a meal for us, thank you!) pops in from Anchorage (AK). And someone from Irvine (CA) keeps tabs, too. I know people in Medina (OH) but have no idea who it is who stops by online...but HI!!!

Maybe this may be too intrusive to my readers; I don't mean it to. And Sitemeter gives me no clue WHO you are, just WHERE you are. And it is really cool (in a slightly, or maybe not so slightly, egotistical way) and kinda scary? that so many people from so many places take time out of their day to "check in" on Linda's Life.

But that leads to more questions. Do I get too personal sometime? Are many of you apalled by my burping report after surgery (which has GREATLY diminished, thank you very much!)? Are you ready to read about things OTHER than my surgery and health? Do you think my kids are as adorable as I do?

And while I'm not necessarily asking WHO ARE YOU?? (Okay, maybe I am!), it would be cool if you drop a little comment, even anonymously, and tell me where you're from. But if you don't, that's cool, too.

As for an update on today, I took Susi to the doctor to make sure her cough wasn't something worse (whooping cough has been diagnosed here in Park Rapids) and thankfully it isn't...although she DOES have a pretty bad ear infection that she only started to complain about IN the doctor's office! We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with a slow day at home putting up our smaller Christmas tree downstairs (with lots of fun decorations at the bottom of the tree as well as on the tree) followed by a wonderful meal at the farm and playing with cousins -- I'll have pictures and more on that when I unload from my video camera. We're planning on going in to town tonight for the Christmas Tree lighting and the Taste of Christmas downtown. And as for me, I'm very, VERY thankful I've been able to eat regular food, besides chicken! since Wednesday, including some dutch apple pie, yummy! Still taking it easy with what all I eat, but my menu is much more varied now, yippee! And I still get tired if I'm standing too long or doing too much, but I also take a break when that happens.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random Thoughts....

....that I've been meaning to blog about, but things got busy, ya know?

We've had odd weather this year. Odd in that it took much longer than usual to warm up this year, resulting in most of our crops coming in later. We never did have as big a crop of melons as usual, and most of them were pretty small (but still very sweet!). And by this time, we usually have snow on the ground...which we don't. Unfortunately, we do have the cold weather!

Another thing that happened this year, or rather DIDN'T happen, was the arrival of huge amounts of Japanese beetles (commonly misidentified as lady bugs). We usually have a few days where they are very thick outside, and it usually happens shortly after the first dip below freezing followed by a sunny day (at least, from what I can tell). Sometimes it's in September, sometimes early October. However, this year, each time we had a cold spell followed by a warm day, that warm day was followed by a few days of heavy rain...which kept the bugs at bay, thank God! I'm hoping that'll result in fewer beetles next year (please!), too.

There's more that I can write about, but I'm drawing a blank right now, probably because I keep thinking about the next batch of chicken soup waiting to be canned downstairs! Today I added even a wider variety of herbs, all of which I grew and dried this year (rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage) along with lots and lots of basil -- it is a great feeling grinding herbs in the palms of your hands that you've grown yourself! The only bummer is that I don't have a good place in our home to grow them during the winter. When we eventually move to the farm house, that's one of the first things I'm going to be doing...starting an herb garden inside. The kitchen window is very nice, and there is a lovely bay window with a sliding door beside it that has alot of sunlight, too. Fresh herbs, year round, yippee! And I'm wondering....can one ever grow too much basil?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Latest Update

Thanks to all my encouragers out there. This is a big dose of reality for me, recovery from surgery, taking it slow during a time of year when things are still busy for me, but I am sooo thankful for all the prayers. I've been feeling much better (and still taking it easy, although I did start canning chicken soup today...two more batches and we should be set!). Tonight we had small group at church and I had about 3/4 of a slice of this really wonderful fruity-type cake with cream cheese frosting. side effects, yippee! I'm not jumping on the sugar bandwagon any time soon (nor do I plan to in the future), but it was nice to appease my sweet craving without added complications.....In fact, we just sent off three boxes to my nephew Andrew in Iraq filled with left over candy from the pumpkin parties as well as all the candy my mother keeps sending (note to precious grandma: STOP SENDING CANDY!!!) -- Andrew and his troops distribute the candy to local villagers as a goodwill offering.

Going back to the chicken soup, my friend Audra made a big container of home made chicken noodle soup (home made egg noodles, too!) after I got home from the hospital. It is the BEST we have ever had! So, I called her up, got her recipe, and that's what I'm canning this year. Audra's like me; we "taste" our recipes, so I don't have exact measurements, but here's the recipe:

bake some chicken covered with sage, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper, putting some water in the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, saute diced onion and slice carrots (I also add celery) in butter. Add LOTS of basil (crushing between your palms to bring out more flavor), plus salt and pepper to taste. Add water and Watkins Chicken Soup Base (important to use Watkins, honest!), then add diced baked chicken plus the water and juices from the pan. For egg noodles, use 2 cups flour, 1 whole egg, 3 egg yolks, and between 1/3 to 1/2 water (depending on what is needed). Mix thoroughly, roll out, cut in strips, add to soup. Mix 2 TBS corn starch with 1/2 cup water, stir thoroughly, add to soup, cook about ten more minutes. And enjoy! YUMMY!!!

I've written before about my friend Chuck and his wife Judy from church. He's the one with the yummy mandarin orange fluff recipe, remember? Well, I'm thankful for Chuck because if I haven't updated my blog recently or emailed him with how I've been doing, he sends me a quick email to check in on me. I really appreciate it -- he reminds me that he prays for me three times a day, and that means so much to me. It means even more because I know the huge health problems his wife goes through, and some of the things he's endured, too. I'm still growing in that area, learning to focus on others during the times I'm feeling lousy.

I've taken some photos of the kids in the past few days, too...I'll have to get those posted. Susi has been battling this deep chest thing where she occasionally sounds really horse and has a deep cough or two, but she's not been running a fever, and menthol camphor really has been helping! Of course, I have some dry mustard on hand to expirament with, if needed!

In the midst of taking things slower, here's what's on my schedule for the next few weeks: We have a huge Christmas showcase coming up on December 6 that I volunteered to organize and run long before I started having health issues. Pretty much everything is done overall for it, although I still have to go through my Watkins stock and put together some catalogs and order sheets.
Our Sunday School Christmas program was moved up a week to December 14, which is putting me in a bit of a bind. We have dress rehearsal on the 13th and the afternoon of the 14th; not a big deal. But I always make lots of cookies for the kids as a "thank you" from me, too, and I'm running out of time to do that! They'll be getting way less cookies than usual this year -- I'll probably stick to snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, teacakes, and my favorite pastel wafers. Oh, and thumb prints.

On top of all that, I still need to clean my house (our bathroom is SCARY!) and set aside a few days just for laundry, yikes! And the farm accounts still need to be finished...that'll probably take one or two days sitting at the computer, ugh! I'm hoping we can maybe get our Christmas tree up on Saturday, get that done and finished, then I can start wrapping presents I've been getting on sale throughout the year which will clean out the mess our bedroom, making my hubby much happier. I do think my Christmas shopping is done as well as the birthday shopping for Luke and Susi. Ah, in about four weeks, I should have lots of time on my hands!

But I promise, I am not overdoing things (honest!) and take rests whenever I start feeling wiped out. Pray for me especially on December 6 (Christmas showcase), as that will be a very long day for me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Too soon?

Once again, I'm back asking for prayer. I am so thankful there are so many of you that are faithful prayer warriors, for me and for others. Saturday morning I woke up feeling a bit blah, and it continued to progress. I know this is just a matter of healing, of my body getting used to the new "layout" inside, but at times it gets discouraging.

All last week I was looking forward to finishing my canning (because I had weight restrictions and couldn't lift the canner before today), starting to get my house back to normal, getting ready for some upcoming events, and it seems like I'm back at square one. I'm not...I'm much better off than I was two weeks ago, and I'm thankful for that, too, but oh! To not have all these side effects and delays....or maybe this is normal?

Sorry I'm moping and griping...I really do focus on praying for many of the other requests made known to me, studying different passages when my eyes aren't acting up (they've been pretty normal lately, thank God!), but I'm just at a moment where I'm battling discouragement. I want to be able to enjoy my kids, enjoy my husband, and not just sit on the couch feeling yucky.

Please also pray for my kids. They have had some occasional deep coughs the past 24 hours, and Luke has been complaining of a headache. It's another struggle for me because I want to snuggle and comfort them, sit up with them and hold them, but physically that is a challenge, too. Anything on my stomach is extremely uncomfortable, and just when we find a comfortable spot for snuggling, I usually have to make a quick dash to the other room....which is discouraging because I want to be there for my kids, especially when they aren't well.

And through it all, I continue to be so thankful for Tony...for everything he has been doing to help out, for his patience and understanding. What a wonderful blessing he is!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Needless to say, the past six weeks or so have been pretty rough on my physically, but I am so very, very thankful that the past several days have been wonderful! It is almost odd to feel "good" again, after so many health problems this summer.

I still have some medical restrictions, no lifting more than 10 pounds, getting rest, "sticky tape" where my stitches were, an occasional twinge, but nothing like before. I've been slowly adding different foods back into my meals, with pretty much success on almost all of them. I still haven't had meat other than chicken, haven't had veggies other than cooked carrots and green beans (and potatoes, are those a vegetable?), haven't tried fruit yet, but each day I'm adding at least one or two "new" things. But... food tastes good again. I don't have nausea. I get hungry...but fill up fast. I'm enjoying playing with the children (usually). Even the burping has decreased!

Our bodies are amazing things. The Psalmist was so on target when he wrote "I am wonderfully and fearfully made." It's amazing how God has created our each and every part has a function, but how different parts can take over (sometimes) if something happens.

Thanks again to all of you who have been praying, calling, sending cards (and flowers!), bringing meals. It means more than I can say. I really feel like a new person again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Side Effects!

Okay, just about everything possible has some kind of side effect, and I'm going thru two of them right now!

Because I had alot of nausea after surgery, I was on two anti-nausea drugs for awhile; Zofran and a transderm patch. The patch was working great, so I quit taking Zofran with the intention of also getting off the patch as soon as possible. Well, the first few days with the patch went great. Then, on the fourth day, I got one of the side effects....blurred vision. It's like wearing glasses that are too strong for my eyes. I can see object far away very clear; anything within about five feet makes me woozy! Church yesterday was a blessing to be at, but at the same time, I felt like I was swaying almost the entire time. Everyone wanted to talk and see how I was doing, but I couldn't even look at them while talking, yikes! I had Tony take the patch off last night, hoping by this morning things would be better. Nope; still can't read, can't focus, can't keep looking at the things my little ones want to show me. Daddy has taken over reading the night time devotions, and it broke my heart last night to again tell Luke that I couldn't read devotions to them. After several hours today, I finally called the pharmacist to see how long this blurred vision would last, when I could expect some relief. The answer....24 hours or so. I'm glad this isn't permanent -- it's really kinda freaky!

The second side effect I've been experiencing I also hope goes away SOON! I don't know if this is a permanent thing or something that will go away as my insides settle into new territory. Back when I was a child, four delicate, lady-like little girls would get together for sleep overs, talk as long as we could while being yelled at to go to sleep...and have burping contests. I usually won back then, and I know I could win hands down again! The most amazing sounds are coming from within me. I was told that I'd have gas for a bit afterwards, that it's perfectly normal, and I can tell you that I am VERY thankful it's going UP and not down....and hopefully it'll stop (or at least decrease) in the very near future!

So there you have it. What you might expect if YOU go through the same thing I have!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What do hippos eat?

This is what I heard as my children woke up at (bless their hearts!) 9:00 this morning.

Luke, what do hippopotamuses eat?

Sandwiches, Susanna.

Sandwiches? Weally, Luke?

Yes, Susanna. If you are going to see a hippopotamus, you must take a sandwich for them. Even when fishes are swimming in the water and a hippopotamus tries to eat the fishes, they cannot eat them. So because they are very hungry, you must give them a sandwich.

I wonder if they like PBJ? (my thought, not their comment)

Then the next conversation:

Are you wet, Luke?

Yes, I am very wet. That is why Mama is going to buy diapers for us. And if we can be dry wearing diapers, then we can wear overnights again.

Okay. Because I am vewy wet, too.

Followed by:

I am vewy tall, Luke, and you are vewy tall, too.

Yes, you are very tall, but you are still little because I am bigger than you. But you are still very tall.

Oh. Okay.

And I wonder if my daughter has finally clothed herself and stopped running around this freezing cold house naked....sigh; it can be so hard to keep clothes on that girl!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another update

Last Friday was such a weird day. I'd been feeling great for two days and was really looking forward to our employee appreciation party. The kids and I had been cleaning up and anticipating Uncle Tim's hunting visit. They both went down (and fell asleep) for naps early! What a PERFECT day! I got caught up with some things for our Christmas showcase on December 6 just as Tim arrived. Susi had just woke up and had given him a big hug and kiss, and I was telling Tim about some medical tests I was going to have done on Monday which might in turn show I needed gall bladder surgery, but I assured him everything was going great right then.

Then.....less than an hour later.....I was curled up on my bed in some of the worse pain imaginable. Not sure whether to head to the hospital or wait it out, I called Liz to check in with her wonderful hubby Joe who is an ER doctor. He was at the hospital but called as soon as possible (thank you, Joe!) and told me to get to the Tim dropped me off at the ER on his way with the kids to our party. Tony had been at the Market tearing things down for the winter and was unavailable, although my sister-in-law called her husband who was there and gave Tony the telephone.

At the hospital, they settled me into a semi-private ER room and gave me a "GI cocktail" for my stomach pain which helped settle it down....but then caused nausea. They gave me meds for that, but those didn't really kick in at all. They x-rayed my stomach to make sure there was no blockage, and that came out clear. The doc on call that night is a great customer of ours at the Market and knew I was having some serious problems, so she got on the phone with the surgeon to arrange for a scope of my stomach the next morning and possible surgery on Monday. As soon as Dr. Churchill and later the surgeon, Dr. Smith, saw my HIDA scope from earlier in the week, they both said they were positive it was gall bladder, and the surgeon actually scheduled surgery on Sunday rather than waiting until Monday. He did tell me if something showed up in the stomach, he'd reevaluate, but was pretty sure it was gall bladder.

Saturday in the hospital was pretty comfortable, not really much pain (except from the IV insert), but I was on only liquids...and I was HUNGRY for the first time in months! It got to where the nurse would walk in and just tell me, nope, not even toast, to my pleading eyes! The scope did turn up a very small hyadal (spelling?) hernia, but nothing that was causing the problems I was having. Surgery was proceeding in the morning somewhere around 10:00, they thought.

Turns out, they came and got me at 8:00. I'd just gotten out of the shower and was brushing my wet hair when they whisked me down to surgery and redid my IV (it had stopped working on the way down). I remember being really cold and asking them for another blanket then waking up to them telling me I was back in my room and everything was fine. Well, except that I was soooo out of it! Next thing I knew, Tony, Tim, and the kids were there and all I can remember is telling them I was very, very sleepy then feeling relieved when Tony took the kids home...I didn't want them seeing me like that. Plus, Susi was upset the day before when she saw the "pokey" in my arm and wanted to make sure it wasn't hurting me. I vaguely remember one of our pastors coming in to visit and reading me the beginning of my favorite Psalm, 103, quite appropriate for the occasion! He remembered we had read the psalm at our wedding, too. I remember at some point the anesthesiologist coming in to check on me -- he told me he couldn't give me the official diagnosis, but Dr. Smith had told him to put in the report that my gall bladder was "non functioning."

Thankfully, I was a bit sore but didn't have very bad pain except for one spot. They kept insisting there was no incision there, but then later someone realized that was where the internal incision was where they took out my gall bladder. I was up and walking quite a bit that night, had some cream liquids that tasted good, then had a relatively good night sleep. Dr. Smith told me the next morning that it was good to have my gall bladder out. He described it as very sick with alot of edema (swelling). The nurses assured me I could order anything from the menu for breakfast, so I ordered some toast, tea, scrabbled eggs, and...sausage links.

Take it from me. You do NOT want to order sausage links or anything with fat immediately following gall bladder surgery. The pain! The nausea! The quick dashes! But it showed I was moving, which was good. I settled for half a piece of grilled chicken and bland rice for supper. But I started having more pain on the inside incision and lots of nausea, so they kept me an additional day.

When I got home and Susanna saw my "owies," she immediately went to get the petro carbo! Am I raising a Watkins girl or what? I told her we couldn't use PC yet but assured her she could put it on when we could.

Right now, I'm still dealing with ALOT of nausea and fatigue. I'm on two anti-nausea meds as of last night which seem to be helping. I'm trying to eat small amounts frequently (plain rice and bananas seem to be the only thing that don't cause too many problems right now) with lots of water and lots of walking. Please continue to keep me, and our family, in your prayers. There are so many people worse off, but for those of you who have been there, nausea is not a fun thing to deal with on an ongoing basis. If it continues through the weekend (!!!!), I have to go back in for more tests. I know God will provide help, but I am concerned about after Tim leaves with dealing with the children. There are times I just have to go lay down RIGHT NOW, and having an unsupervised 3 and 4 year old is not the best thing!

I am very thankful for Tim, for Tony, for my in-laws, for Cheryl who dropped off her son yesterday to play with the kids and brought supper over, for Lorelei who is bringing food Monday, and for all of you who are praying. It is amazing how wonderful our bodies were created and how something that doesn't have a huge function, something that can be done without, still has its use and affects the body when it's gone. I'm also thankful the doctors realized what was going on and hopefully have resolved the problems I've been having all summer.

Hopefully my next post will be a more fun one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hi all, You may or may not be wondering why I've not blogged in awhile, and I have a REALLY GOOD EXCUSE!

Friday evening, after feeling great for two days, I was rushed to the emergency room. After about four hours, I was admitted to the hospital, had a "scope" the next day to rule out tummy problems, then had gall bladder surgery on Sunday morning. Both the ER doctor and the surgeon were a bit surprised that others felt my HIDA scan was "indeterminate" as they both felt immediately it showed gall bladder problems.

Sure enough, my surgeon and anesthesiologist both told me that my gall bladder was non-function and "very sick." It was pretty swollen, and the surgeon told me it was good we got it out when we did. I had some extra pain and nausea so I ended up staying an extra day in the hospital and am getting ready to go to my own bed now! My insides kinda feel weird, but hey -- there's a part missing, so I guess that's to be expected, hm?

Please continue to pray for me and my family. Recovery is two weeks during which I need to take things easy (yeah), not lift anything over 10 pounds (guess I have to wait to finish canning), and be careful of what I eat. I also get very tired easily right now. Thankfully, my brother is here right now for hunting season and has been keeping the kids occupied. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law continue to help, too, as does Tony.

And now, I'm off to bed....thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My doctor just called and furthered my frustration. My results are "indeterminate." The gall bladder continued filling up (normal) but never contracted (which it is supposed to do) and never showed signs of emptying (which it is supposed to do). Plus, because I "only" had nausea and not pain (I don't usually have pain, just bad nausea, and perhaps what I'd call "discomfort"), that isn't "normal," either. Well, who said I'm normal???

So, she wants me to continue with the EDG on Monday (Upper GI) to have them check my stomach. If that is normal, she is hoping the surgeon will agree to take out my gall bladder. Otherwise, I'm stuck. Well, at least here in Park Rapids. At that point, I will ask for a referral to Fargo and have my records transferred there. I'm so frustrated about all this and just want to enjoy life (and food, other than toast) again. Besides, even toast made me sick last night.

I'm so frustrated about this all, can you tell? But at least she's prescribing me something for the nausea, thank God.

So, it's back to waiting and continuing to learn patience.

I'll keep ya posted.

(and at least I continue to lose weight!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's going on with me...

A few friends have asked lately how my health has been. I guess I've just been waiting for answers before I answered anyone!

Well, I still don't have answers, but here's what's happening.

Last Monday Tony took me to the emergency room. I think I wrote about that already? Any way, Tuesday I had an ultrasound on my digestive system and they determined I had no gall stones, everything looked healthy but my liver was "rough." I had a follow up appointment with my doctor on Thursday on where to go from there and by that time I was feeling a bit better (able to eat toast without feeling sick). She said it was just a process of elimination and had things narrowed to my stomach or my gall bladder and recommended I get a HIDA scan (testing the gall bladder) and an upper GI (testing my stomach). If one showed a problem, the other test would be cancelled.

I felt a bit sick again on Friday, but Saturday was back to feeling okay and spent the day with two of our ladies at the market cleaning and doing inventory. My brother- and sister-in-law were up for the weekend and invited everyone over for ribs, so we went. I had about four bites of ribs, careful to avoid any fat, and a couple small potatoes and a spoonful of applesauce. Started feeling blah that night, but in the morning after getting up and showering for church, I ended up in a fetal position on the couch for about three hours. I called Liz's husband Joe who is an ER doctor to get his input on what all was going on...thanks, Joe!

Today I had the HIDA scan and had a great technician who, while she couldn't tell me results, pretty much explained everything each step of the way and turned the monitor so I could see the nuclear material at work in me! Two of the three indications that I have gall bladder trouble showed up during the test, but like I said, she couldn't tell me anything except that my doctor would contact me as soon as she had the results. I was home for about 30 minutes when my doctor called! Bummer, not about the results but to see how things went during the test. She did say she'd keep checking her computer and call me as soon as she had the results, probably some time tomorrow morning (although she is GREAT at calling in the evenings, too). IF it is gall bladder, she's hoping to get surgery scheduled as soon as possible, probably early next week. If it ISN'T gall bladder, then I'll have to go thru the upper GI and wait for those results.

So...I've been able to eat a bit of baked chicken, toast, boiled potato, and pasta. Oh and lots of water. Anything slightly sweetened makes me feel sick; broth (even Watkins!) makes me queasy, and just the smell of produce and most meats turns my stomach. I just want to get back to a normal life! Thankfully, I have lots of canned things that my family has been surviving on as well as venison from last year's big hunt.

The good news is I've lost over 30 pounds since July. The bad news is...I wouldn't wish weight loss this way on ANYONE!

I'll keep ya posted....and if you haven't yet (and the polls are still open) GO VOTE!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Luke's Coloring Skills

Okay, maybe I'm a bit of a proud Mama, but I couldn't believe how well Luke did today coloring a picture for his cousin Laura. I don't think HE believed how good he did until he was done, in fact! He sadly looked at the picture and said, "I don't want to give this away, Mama, but I know that Laura will be sad if I don't send it to her so I will." He was thrilled when I told him we could take a picture of it on the computer for him to keep...and thankfully, our printer is also a color copier, so he has his OWN copy of his picture! The picture below was what he did in April (giving you an idea of how well he's improved).