Saturday, February 28, 2009

Following Frustration

Well, the whole Blogger mess up with followers has obviously affected me. I just went into managing the blogs that I follow and every one of them is set to anonymous! And apparently the only way I can change this is to handle each one of them individually and go through a couple of steps. I follow a lot of blogs, so this is going to take a long time to fix. I chose to follow all of these blogs publically, so why in the world did Blogger decide to make them all anonymous????? Very frustrating!!!! So, if you are one of my followers and you think that I'm no longer following you, it isn't true! I'm just going to have to slowly go through my list and update the following feature to public as I have the time - and energy - to do it. The process isn't fun, but I will eventually get it done.

I guess this demonstrates the price we pay for free blogging, eh??? *sigh*

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fiber One Key Lime Pie Yogurt

I have to admit....I get a kick out of the commercials for this yogurt. The lady from "Desperate Housewives" trying several samples and then the grocery store associate telling his manager, "She's almost had a whole day's worth!" It just cracks me up!

Even though I know the commercial well, however, I didn't really believe what it said. I figured Fiber One yogurt was just like the other yogurts, but maybe a little starchier. So I hadn't tried it yet. This past week, though, Hen House had it on sale for $2 and I had .50 coupons that doubled. I figured for $1 for a 4-pack, I'd give it a try.

Wow, was I dead WRONG about the taste of this stuff! It was the creamiest yogurt, and had the most spectacular Key Lime Pie flavor I've ever found in a lite product. They not only captured the flavor of the Key Lime, but you can even taste the crust!! I've always liked the Weight Watchers Key Lime Pie yogurt, but that one can't even compare to Fiber One's version! I was truly surprised at how good this product really is.

Each 4 ounce cup has 80 calories, and is fat free with 5 grams of fiber and 19 grams of total carbs. It's very filling and I really felt like I'd had a treat after eating it! I love this stuff - thanks, Yoplait!

Fiber One is not sponsoring this in any way, but I was so impressed with their yogurt that I had to post about it. Give it a try - maybe you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Been a Good Day!

I finally had a positive doctor's appointment today!! I went in for my weekly checkup and she said my incision was healing perfectly, my hemoglobin is stable and increasing, and I have no signs of infection or other serious problems. I've been released to drive and do light cooking and such, but still can't lift more than 5-10 lbs. and cannot do anything strenuous, such as vacuuming or lifting laundry baskets or dishes and the like. It was so nice to leave there feeling like I am actually on the mend!!

I don't have to go back for three weeks unless something bad happens, and I actually went OUT today!!! DH and I went out to lunch - had to use those coupons for free Quizno's subs, ya know! Then we went grocery shopping. I managed the coupons and DH pushed the cart and got the items for me as I pointed them out. It was so nice to feel like a normal person again! And at Hen House, I paid $17.88 for $54.42 worth of groceries. At Price Chopper (which I HATE!), I got $26.29 in groceries for $7.64. I saved 68%...not too bad for being out of the loop for awhile! :)

It was a very fun day, but of course now I'm exhausted. I had a wonderful spinach salad with strawberries, pecans, and poppy seed dressing for dinner, and now I'm ready for bed! I'm going to veg on the couch for the rest of the evening and hope that tomorrow I have another day of "feeling the healing!" (Okay, that was stupid, but that just shows my goofy tired state of

Thanks for asking, Michelle!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Step in the WRONG Direction

Well, things WERE progressing well with my recovery from least until today. Today I had some unexpected bleeding, so I called my doctor to discuss it. Turns out that it wasn't a big deal at all, but while talking to the nurse, I mentioned that I had been running a fever between 100.5 and 101 last night. THAT fired up all sorts of problems!!!! A few minutes after talking to the nurse, she called back to say the doctor wanted me in the office immediately. After a painful exam, I was told that I needed labwork AND a CT scan. WHAT???? I was not pleased with this information and tried to argue that it wasn't necessary. But, the doctor didn't really care about what I did and did not want to do, so most of my afternoon was spent at the hospital. Yuck.

Apparently when the doctor prints "STAT" on everything she does, results are given quickly - go figure. I was barely home a half-hour from the hospital when the doctor herself called me. Now, when the doctor calls, instead of the nurse, you know it's not going to be good. It could have been worse, definitely, but I'm still not happy with the information I obtained.

I have some sort of fluid pocket in my abdomen. She believes it to be a post-surgical bleed and blood clot. This freaked me out, because you hear such terrible things about blood clots. So I immediately asked if I was in danger. She explained that this is NOT in my veins or bloodstream, but sitting in my abdomen. Something must have bled after surgery was through and created the spot. It should dissolve all on its own and never be a concern, but there is a chance of infection, or of it having to be drained if it gets worse (this isn't likely because my hemoglobin has improved significantly and that is a very GOOD indicator that there is no internal bleeding). I am going to be closely monitored for the next 2-3 weeks, and then I will have another CT scan.

I was basically informed that I am on bedrest, doing absolutely NO housework and NO lifting and resting constantly. If I do not do this, I will be admitted to the hospital where they can monitor me. Yuck! I'm sooooooo not one to just sit here and do nothing, but I guess I have no choice. I'm also going on a round of antibiotics of which I have never heard, which is always a little scary. Hopefully this will all end up being nothing, but for now, it's just a big ol' mess.

So, think happy thoughts and prayers if you get a chance that this turns out to be nothing. I'm very nervous about the whole thing, and not happy about the bedrest business, but I don't want to end up in the hospital, so I'm going to be good.....or try, at least!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back Home

Hello, and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind words regarding my surgery!!! I survived the process and got to come home on Thursday evening. The recovery has been rough, but each day gets a little better.

Tuesday is a vague memory. I remember being in pre-op and talking to the doctors, including having a breakdown during their attempt to get blood out of my left hand. They couldn't get my veins to cooperate, and the intense pain of the nurse rooting around trying to catch the vein combined with the overall stress I was under was too much. I burst into hysterical tears and freaked everyone out. I feel terrible about that now!! Shortly thereafter, I was off to the OR, and I recall them putting a board under my arm and the anesthesiologist saying, "I'm going to give you something to make you a little sleepy." Next are flashes of memory of someone calling my name and asking for my pain level and if I wanted my family yet. All I could say were "Five" and "Not yet." weird is that??? The surgery was over at 9:15 I'm told, and I wasn't able to have them bring DH back to the recovery room until sometime around 10:30.

I vaguely remember going to my room, but I wasn't even remotely coherent until around 3:00 that afternoon, which was the first time I was able to form a sentence. I intentionally stopped my morphine for about an hour and a half so I could wake up enough to call my kids and assure them I was okay. I didn't see them that evening, which is fine, because I barely remember anything else. I do know about 9:30, they had me sit up in bed for awhile, which was nice. After that, though, the gas pain kicked in, and that was the worst pain of my LIFE!!! I had heard the gas they use during surgery will cause pain, but MAN!! At one point, I couldn't even breathe because the pain was so intense. And they give you nothing for it! I barely slept that night because of the pain. Wednesday was just as bad until late that afternoon, when it began to ease up. Wow, it was a rough time of it, though!

I got to see the kids Wednesday evening, and that was a bright spot in the stay. After that, they allowed me to take my first shower since surgery and changed my pain medication. So that night I was pretty happy. :-) I was released on Thursday, but had to stay until DH was off work to pick me up. I'm still getting around VERY slowly and am constantly tired (but that might also have to do with the fact that I lost a lot of blood in surgery and am severely anemic, with my hemoglobin sitting around 8!), but doing okay. I ran a fever last night, which scared everyone, but it broke around 12:30 am and hasn't come back, yet, anyway.

I go to the dr. on Monday to have the staples removed, but that's about the only outing I will have for a couple of weeks. I'd like to make it to the PTA meeting on Tuesday night, but I doubt that happens. We'll see, and I'll also ask the doc if I'm feeling up to it.

I don't think the reality of the surgery has hit me yet, as I don't even think of it as a hysterectomy, but as surgery. Once that hits me, I suspect I'm going to cry for awhile. Right now, I'm not going to think about it. I laughed yesterday and thought I was going to split myself in half!!

So...thanks again for the happy thoughts. They were sooooooo appreciated!!! And I will keep you posted on my recovery. Hopefully it will all go well. Have a great weekend!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I've been doing a little bit of baking today. My kids are used to me making them breakfast, so I figured if I got a few muffins and things in the freezer, they will still have good breakfasts while I'm in the hospital and home recovering. I hate the thought of them having cold cereal every morning!

One of the new things I tried was Peanut Butter Banana Muffins. I threw them together and am really happy with how they turned out! They aren't too sweet, so if you want a really sweet muffin, I would suggest increasing the amount of sugar from what I used, or topping with a crumb topping or cinnamon-sugar. I like them as they are, but I know there's always room for improvement!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

1 c. white flour
1 c. wheat flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 c. milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1/2 c. peanut butter chips, optional

Stir together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk milk into peanut butter until smooth. Blend in the banana and eggs and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir just till combined. Gently fold in the chips, if using.

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 400° for about 15 minutes.

Makes about 18 muffins.

My Upcoming Surgery

I have been alluding for awhile to some surgery that I am going to have this week. I thought maybe I should actually post a little more detail about it. First, though, I want to sincerely thank everyone who has offered prayers for me at this time. It is very appreciated, believe me! I am very nervous and scared, and can use all the prayers I can get!!

Since October, I've been having "female trouble." It's gone from bad to worse, only improving a bit over the past months. I finally ended up in the ER the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so anemic that I almost had to have a transfusion. For those with any medical background, my hemoglobin was only 8. The ER doctor put me on heavy hormones and told me that I was to return to the ER immediately if I had any further issues. Fortunately, it got under control after that enough that I didn't have to go least not right away.

The ER sent me to an OB/GYN to further investigate my problem. I had initially believed that my thyroid levels were out of whack, which has happened before, but the blood tests the hospital ran disproved my theory. When I got to the doctor's office, I was told by the nurse that I was to have a biopsy. I HATE those things! They hurt terribly! However, the doctor came in to talk to me and told me that my hemoglobin was so dangerously low that she could not do the biopsy. We just had to wait awhile. In the interim, they wanted me to have an ultrasound.

In December, I had the ultrasounds. They did two types, and the tech would of course tell me nothing. A few days later, the nurse called to tell me that I had fibroids and I had to come in for that biopsy that I had missed. However, they had to put that off until January due to my state of anemia. So, I was kept on huge doses of hormones through New Year's, while taking iron to try and raise my hemoglobin.

In mid-January, I had my biopsy. They then gave me more information about the situation. Apparently I have one very large fibroid that is about 3 inches all the way around. Yikes! And it is very deeply embedded in my uterus, resulting in only two forms of treatment that have any chance of being effective. One is considered experimental surgery, requires a specialized radiologist, has LOTS of possible complications, and is not covered by my insurance. After googling the procedure, I was very uncomfortable with it. That combined with the huge expense to me really prevented it from being an option. So we had to go with my second choice, which is a full hysterectomy.

Unfortunately, I have had 3 c-sections with my kiddos and that combined with my still-recovering hemoglobin level makes this a high risk surgery. There is a high chance of scar tissue complicating matters because apparently it can fuse organs together. I've been advised that I might end up having more surgery than what is planned due to this, and a general surgeon will be on standby during my procedure. As if just having to be put under and having things removed isn't frightening enough, now I have to deal with that, as well! I have been awake for my other surgeries, so the fact that I will be completely out and intebated makes me extremely nervous. I know this is a fairly routine procedure, but I also know that complications are very likely.

So this is what is happening with me. Trying to schedule the surgery last week was a nightmare and I got so completely stressed out about it that I ended up putting myself back in the ER for a day. NOT FUN!!! So now I'm under strict orders to take it easy, not lift much, and above all else, remain calm. I'm definitely struggling with that one, but so far have been okay.

Provided everything goes okay on Tuesday, I will be recovering for 8 weeks. No lifting, no vacuuming, limited's not going to be easy! My mother is going to be here this week to take care of the kids, and my husband will be on vacation the following week, so at least for the first two weeks, I will have some help. I'm hoping that by the third week, I'll at least be able to take cooking over again. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway.....that is the story from here. It's going to be a difficult few weeks around here, and I am going to be a complete basket case tomorrow. If everything goes as it should, I will be back home on Thursday or Friday, and hopefully back online by the weekend. I'll try and post that I'm okay as soon as I get back home.

I hope everyone reading this has a much easier week than I'm going to have!!!! :-)