Sunday, February 28, 2010

Slow but sure.

Kyle is doing MUCH better tonight. When the doctor came by earlier, he was able to push on Kyle's belly and it was "tender" but nothing like last night. He has gotten up twice to take laps around the nurses' station. He now gets up on his own to go the bathroom after a threat of needing to place a catheter if he didn't. He ate some chicken broth and creamy chicken soup and so far so good with that. Small steps are good steps! He is still catnapping frequently but hasn't taken any pain or nausea medicine since early in the afternoon. We are very thankful that this was caught and acted upon quickly. He will go home tomorrow, sometime after the surgeon comes and lays eyes on him.

I have gotten 2.5 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours so I am most definitely looking forward to a decent night's sleep tonight. I realize there is no such thing in a hospital room, but there is a window seat/bed that is long enough for me to stretch out on and I brought a blanket and pillow from home and I am being optimistic!! I have cancelled my patients for tomorrow so that I can take care of my Kylie.

I'll post again with any other interesting or fun things that come our way!
Love, Jen

Fire, barbed wire, and trucks

His "pee feels like fire, throat feels like barbed wire, and body feels like he got hit by a truck." My poor hubs. BUT, the little booger that was causing his sharp tummy pains is gone..GOOD RIDDANCE. The surgeon said that his appendix was definitely inflamed. He said that Kyle's was the size of his index finger in diameter and it is supposed to be the size of a pencil. Whoops!

Kyle is still in and out of it thanks to pain medicine & he has only been able to sip water and apple juice. He has to be willing and able to eat and hold it down before they'll let him go home. The surgeon said he would be by the room this afternoon to check on him and make a decision regarding if he'll go home tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for the phone calls, prayers, and positive thoughts!
Love, Jen

An Anesthesia State of Mind...

Once they decided that Kyle needed surgery, everything happened very quickly. One of 2 surgeons came to his ER bay and talked to us about the procedure benefits/risks, etc and then we waited about 30 minutes max for transport. Julie and I followed Kyle to preop/OR holding area and within minutes he was answering his questions and given his happy juice via IV. Off he went with hugs & kisses and he came out great about 15 minutes ago. We went over to see him and his eyes were all rolled back. He's officially snowed! When he wakes up a little bit, he'll move to a room and either go home later today or tomorrow. The nurse doesn't expect him to wake all the way up right now since he didn't sleep at all before his surgery at 5:15am. Julie and I got special treatment while he was in surgery. They put us in an extra room with 2 recliners and a flat screen TV. Of course, we caught up on olympics reruns, so I am still running on zero sleep in the last 23 hours. Oh well, anything for my Kylie!

I'll update again when he's comfortable in his room.
Love, Jen

He Wasn't Pregnant...

First of all...see my previous post from earlier this AM.

Even though Kyle's excuses for his stomach pains were mainly gas, unexplained pregnancy, PMS, etc, it turns out he was WRONG. He has appendicitis. It's official. The CT showed it and his white blood cells are up. Poor guy is on his second round of morphine and we're waiting to hear from the surgeon. Kyle's mom is on her way. I can't wait to at least get a recliner chair when he's formally admitted to a floor room. My butt is flatter than a pancake from this terrible chair and when I tried to stretch my legs by walking to our room's door, I got fussed at by the insanely mean unit secretary to stay within the confines of my room. {hissss} Someone doesn't act their best at 3:30am.....

Continuing to smile & coveting yall's thoughts & prayers!

Love, Jen


I apologize for the title, but let me explain some recent events. So, the church that we are members at (Inman First Baptist, aka IFBC) decided to buy a school bus, load it with rice, beans, hygiene products, sandals, etc and drive it down to Florida to be shipped to Haiti. Well, Randy (Kyle's father) was one of the men to drive the bus down. Once the men arrived safely in West Palm Beach, they delivered the bus, and headed to Ft. Lauderdale to fly home. Well, in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, Randy was getting ready to go through security. When he bent over, he "pooted" {because he ate trash on a bus for 16 hours} and there was a lady behind him bending over simultaneously taking her shoes off. Well, she lets out a loud "mannnn, my feet stink." All i can say about that is OMG. Lady, you are oblivious. Fast forward: Randy gets home and calls his aunt. She fusses at him for pooting in front of a woman. She tells him he needs to start taking Gas-X. haha.

Fast forward again: Kyle starts mentioning that "something doesn't feel right with his stomach." I think nothing of it. We have several good laughs that Kyle needs Gas-X. He continues to say that he has terrible gas, but he can't get it out! He takes 3 Gas-X to no avail. We go home and he is in significantly more pain by this point. He lays in bed while I ask, "where exactly does it hurt?" His reply: "the right lower part" Me: "Do you think it's appendicitis?" Kyle: "Can you google the symptoms of that so I know?" So, I take his temperature now that my medical mind is churning...100.0, Kyle this is not just gas. Kyle: "Ok, let's go"

So here we sit in the Spartanburg Regional ER and the doctor kindly told us that Kyle may not be going home with all of his body parts. He likely has appendicitis, but they have to do a CT with contrast and they've drawn blood work that we are waiting on. Kyle also had to pee in a cup, much to his dismay. He said to the doctor, "Why do I have to do that? Are you giving me a pregnancy test?" Her reply: "If you are pregnant, that's a WHOLE 'nother problem and I would highly recommend marital counseling if that is the case." The doctor also asked Kyle "Do you think that you have appendicitis?" Kyle says again, "No, I think I just have gas." MD: "Gas does not give you a fever of 102.7." {Yes, the fever spiked 2.7 degrees in 2 hours...Kyle experienced violent chills in the waiting room and was getting some interesting stares} Kyle is now doped up on morphine & zofran and I can't wait to hear his next slew of funny comments.

Oh, and I'm super excited to be spending the night in a plastic chair, and I keep thinking how did my amazing husband do this with me for THREE WEEKS?!?!

Another update soon...or whenever we find out something new.
Love, Jen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Charleston..True Southern Comfort

New Bead:
This bead is for the Charleston pineapple fountain. Charleston will always hold special meaning for Kyle & I since he went to school there and it is one of our favorite weekend getaways! This bead is from Pandora, which has a similar bracelet to Trollbeads. You can put the Pandora beads on a Trollbead bracelet without a problem. I also got a bead from Brighton that says "Live Laugh Love Dream" around it. I am still waiting on my heartbeat bead to come in, but my next desire is some colored beads. I need to add some wow factor to the bracelet! haha...slow but steady, I'll fill up the bracelet.

This weekend was absolutely awesome. Kyle & I headed down to Charleston after work Friday and it snowed all the way there!!!! Well, really, the snow turned to rain 30 minutes above Charleston while we were driving, but starting at about 7pm, snow fell in Charleston as well. We got about 4 inches down there but it was gone by 10am the next day. By Sunday, the temps were back up in the mid-50s. I love the south!! :)

Our agenda was:
Friday night - Ducks Unlimited Banquet: great event, but COLD & snowy.
Saturday - Southeastern Wildlife Expo, to include dock dog competitions! LOVED seeing all the dogs. Mostly labs and boykins, but also saw some weimeraners & pointers. I probably petted every pointer there!! Can't help that I'm biased & love my GSPs! We also picked up Clay on Saturday, got my new car a Citadel sticker from the gift shop, ate, and saw Avatar 3D!
Sunday - took it easy all morning - Happy Valentine's Day! Went back to the expo for a little bit, went to tanger briefly, then took Clayway back to school & headed home.

I somehow forgot to bring a camera, but this is what we watched a lot of:

I'm glad to be back home. We are going to try to bring Bowen next year. This summer will be time to train him on dock jumping....not that he doesn't already have that down, but there are some rules & regulations we have to make sure he follows.

And no post would be complete without at least a short Bowen update. His newest 3 things are:
a) he decided at Kyle's parents that he likes to sleep in the cat bed. yes, the SMALL cat bed (that lays on top of a dog house) as opposed to the 3 other dog beds that he has the option to choose from. I will post a picture of this asap
b) he is a sleeper. He takes after me. It is so hard when I'm getting ready in the AM to look over at his crate and see him still tucked under his covers curled tightly in a ball just blissfully sleeping away.
c) because of his sleep-loving ways, he is not exactly happy when I leave and it's time for him to go outside into "the elements." I open the front door and his tail tucks and he attempts to run back inside. I usually can woo him out with a pig ear and "cookie" but on occasion he has been putting up an extremely tough fight.

That's all for now. Another update soon with a picture of dear little Bowen in his newfound cat bed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My first bead:

Kyle also ordered me the heartbeat bead! (see previous post) So excited!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend in a Nutshell

Happy Birthday Julie!!
Someone the other day, who shall remain anonymous, said to me, "you know that you're really lucky to get along with your mother-in-law, right?" The answer, a resounding YES. Not that I think she, in particular has the capability to make my life miserable (since she's too nice to do anything of the sort) but I think life would naturally be a little off kilter if I didn't have my "SC mom" to lean on when times got tough. So thanks for all that you do as my 2nd mom & we all love you!! We are taking her to Blue Fin for her birthday meal tonight & I am super excited to try their lobster ravioli.

In other news, Wicked was great! Kyle and I both enjoyed it lots. I absolutely love the music & makes me wish that I was a singer. Elphaba was one of the Broadway actresses and GAlinda definitely took that role and made it her own. I thought maybe she was a little too silly during the first half but her voice and talent came through well during the 2nd half. Before we went to Wicked, Kyle took me to Saskatoon's (a lodge-dining experience) and Kyle tried Kangaroo! He's without a doubt much more adventurous than me. I stuck to salmon. But it was delicious and overall our date night was quite the success!

This weekend was such a whirlwind. Clay came home from the Citadel and Ashley came down from up north. Weekends spent trying to see everyone and do lots always go by so quickly. Quick recap of events: Ashley asked me to be in Ryan and her wedding. (and of course I said yes!) I saw Dear John - great movie, crappy ending. Our Relay for Life Little Miss/Little Mr Pageant was a great success! I lost big time in a Mario Kart Wii tournament held between Clay, Kelsea, Kyle, and myself. I WILL one day learn to steer without my entire body being day..maybe. The Saints won the Super Bowl!! yay. I like to cheer for the underdog when in reality it doesn't matter who wins.

In other family news, I have a new nephew!!!! Katy & Stephen picked up their new bundle of joy this weekend - an active black lab puppy that they have named Tillman (after the clock tower at Clemson of course!) The other puppy in the picture is Tillman's brother who is now Katy & Stephen's friend's puppy. The brothers will grow up together..what a happy ending. Tillman currently weighs approximately 16 pounds and is only almost 9 weeks old! They've got a big boy on their hands!!
Lastly, I've found a new obsession. Trollbeads. It's similar to the Pandora bracelet but the "newer" thing. I have the bracelet and clasp, and now all I think about is collecting the beads for it. I've already started a wish list at the store nearby that sells them...{Get some self-control Jen, seriously.} As I get beads, I'll post pictures of them so you can see it come together! For those unaware, it's sort of a modern version of a charm bracelet. It's not dangly like charms though.
The picture below is an example of someone's bracelet showing that all colors and types of beads can look good together. Some beads have meanings that the company has attached to them and it is easy enough for you to personally attach meaning or significance to each bead as you collect it. My first "want" is the heartbeat bead. It looks like EKG paper with a heart rhythm on it. It is the first medical bead they've come out with and it's only $23. I don't think I'll be able to resist buying it for long...especially after I found out that it is part of their Valentine's 2010 collection and I can't guarantee that they'll have it for long!

That's all for now. I'm headed to Charleston this weekend to see Clay, go to the Ducks Unlimited banquet, and see the Wildlife expo (with dock-dog competition and all)!!!!! I really am super excited. Pictures will come when I get back!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Because I Knew You...I Have Been Changed For Good!"

"Our life's a stage, a comedy: either learn to play and take it lightly, or bear its troubles patiently."

I thought that was an appropriate quote for today. Kyle & I are trying to get out of work today on time. We are going out to eat & seeing Wicked!!!! It is playing at the Peace Center in Greenville. I have seen Wicked in New York with my family for one of mom's birthday presents, and it is probably 1 of my top 2 favorite Broadway musicals!! Kyle has never seen a Broadway show & I can't wait to see his reaction to it. {my other favorite is Les Miserables for those curious}

The following picture is from my favorite scene in the show...POPULAR!

I will most definitely let you know how tonight goes & how the show is.
Excited to go out on a date!! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a bowen birthday celebration

Bowen's birthday cupcake! He didn't understand the concept of blowing out the candle. He thought it best to eat it..


Please note his icing lips:

It's All A Choice

So, a nursing friend from Clemson posted this week on her blog and it has made me think a lot. She has no idea, but it has affected me big time over the last few days. She said that being joyful is a choice. Now, most people would say that joy has a lot to do with circumstances. But, I believe you have the choice to be joyful or drown yourself in self-pity even in the worst of circumstances. We all have good and bad months or maybe even years, but is that really enough to say "Well, with all the health problems that I've been through, I don't have time to thank God for the good in my life" or, "With all of the trouble I've had at work, I don't have time to smile?"

Let me just say, you never know who's watching you. And no, I don't mean that in a "I Know What You Did Last Summer" creepster sort of way. I mean that you don't know who you'll affect positively by just smiling and saying 'hey' or who's day you'll make turn around for the better just by giving them a hug and asking how they're doing instead of telling them how bad your day's been. I am not always the best at this. I promise, I often leave conversations thinking, I sure did talk a lot after that person said "how are you doing" and I didn't give them much of a chance to say how they are. But, I'm working on it.

My mom frequently told my sister and I as kids and continues to tell us even now, that "This too shall pass." I took that to heart when I was sick last year and have also thought a lot about the other sayings of my wise mom, such as "no matter how bad you think you have it, there's always someone worse off than yourself." Keep in mind that while you have been sick for 2 weeks, your boss has been a jerk, you stubbed your toe three times in a day, and/or you and your boyfriend/fiance/husband got in a fight, there are parents out their kissing their infant children goodbye for the last time, people are watching their parents deteriorate from terminal cancer, and even just now someone got in a terrible car wreck that may put them in a wheelchair for the rest of their life.

So, I ask you to do this along with me: Choose to smile, choose to ask others how they are, choose to give hugs, choose to greet your loved one with a kiss at the door, choose to be joyful despite what life hands you.

I'll step down off my soapbox now & tell you it's been about 8 months since I got out of the hospital and about 7 months spent in remission, so I am choosing to focus on THAT AMAZING BLESSING right now!!!! I am actually headed downstairs for some routine GI bloodwork & then going home to celebrate Bowen's 1st birthday. Katy (sis) told me today that if my dog is getting a 1st birthday celebration she can't wait to see what my kids "of the human variety" do for their 1st kids are in trouble. They will have one crazy mom, that's for sure.

Quick & General Update on Misc Life Occurrences:
1) We have caught nothing else since those 2 possums
2) My mom & nanny have decided to come spend Easter down south! We will miss having dad, but, hey, somebody's gotta make money, right?! :)
3) Bowen is going to a NAVDHA test the 1st weekend of March. This is a "Natural Abilities" (NA) Test. He will have to jump into water to retrieve bumpers, trail birds and retrieve them, etc. He will love every minute I'm sure and I can't wait to get some pretty action shots of him doing what he loves best.
4) Katy & Stephen are getting a lab puppy this weekend. Can't wait to see Bowen and ____ (puppy currently unnamed) play together!! She will quickly learn that the dog will be her child.
5) I saw Lovely Bones with Kelsea, GREAT MOVIE & we will probably forever be fearful of cornfields.
6)I read a fabulous book called A Friend Like Henry about an Autistic little boy. His family adopts a golden retriever who miraculously unlocks this child's world. Great read and it is going to allow me to seriously sympathize with my autistic patients and their families. I understand just a little bit more of their daily battles.

And I'll leave you with this pretty quote by Anne Frank:
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."