Thursday, April 29, 2010

Maybe I'll just swallow the whole machine next time

So, yesterday was my last test before surgery. (cue ominous music) I would have written about it after we got home, but I was all jacked up on sedatives and some kind of painkiller and it would have probably been a long rambling opus on the wonders of cars made of cheese that drive down roads paved with giraffes and bars of soap. That's how much sense I made. The test sucked pretty hard, although I was only awake for the pre-game, which consisted of me laying on a table while our old friends Jerri and Brenda (ok, her name was actually Donna but Brenda just seems so right so I'm keeping it) poked and prodded me, topped off by Jerri telling me I had to "gargle a numbing agent," which in reality was a goopy sludge that tasted like pure hatred mixed with cherries. I was lying down and she stood over me, told me to open up and proceeded to pour this shit right down my throat. This is as pleasant of a thing as I imagine water torture to be. I held it at the back of my throat because I was afraid it would eat away my insides if I let it go down but then the doctor said to gargle, which I did and which made it worse because now it was running down the back of my throat and I had no choice but to swallow. To top it off, the doctor then told me he was going to spray ANOTHER numbing agent into my mouth and came at me with a can of what looked like the air you clean your keyboard with. He told me not to breathe in but when he sprayed a HIGH PRESSURE VAPOR into my mouth, my natural reaction was to gasp and cough. Then he said he had to do it two more times. OF COURSE YOU DO. About this time, Brenda pushed my sedatives through the IV and the next thing I know I was awake, unhooked and out of it. My mom went with me and soon Brenda was wheeling me out to the car. I think she talked a lot about dogs. Or maybe it was ham. I don't know. We picked up Max from LM's, who was so kind as to babysit (thanks and sorry for the poop diaper) and proceeded home. I don't remember a whole lot more but eventually we ordered some lunch and then Jeff came home and then my meds wore off and my throat was KILLING me so I went to bed. I asked the lady how small the camera would be and she informed me it wasn't a camera, it was a tiny ultrasound thingy and I asked how tiny is tiny and she said "don't worry, it's only about THE SIZE OF MY FINGER." WTF?! SERIOUSLY? That's what they shoved down my throat and that's why it felt like had swallowed a nail covered in razorblades.

Anyhoo, now I'm just waiting to hear when they want to do the deed, hopefully sooner than later so I'll keep you posted. Tomorrow we head to Ikea, I mean Chicago. HA! Look out American Express card, hope you're well rested (just kidding honey!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Toddler Adventures

So, when we moved, we decided that maybe this was a perfect time to transition Max on a few things like potty training, a big boy bed and eating at the table instead of the high chair. The potty training is going very slowly and he's only peed in the Elmo toilet twice (both by accident, not intent) but he doesn't like having poop in his diaper anymore and will tell you "POOP" if it happens. Apparently this is a good sign but since I SUCK at potty training, our progress will continue to go slowly. He has also discovered the joy of throwing stuff into the toilet and flushing it. I predict my iPhone will find itself in a watery grave. One thing I have managed to do is instill some manners and he's very good with the thank yous and such so when he does flush things or if I have to pee and lord knows I have no privacy anymore so I have to pee with him standing next to me yelling "MOMMY POTTY" and then when he flushes it, he yells "BYE BYE POTTY, BYE BYE" at full volume. It was cute the first 467 times but now...not so much when we're in the Target bathroom which is very echo-y.
Anyway, we also decided that we would use a booster chair at the table instead of the high chair. It went okay the first few times but he's become a food thrower, especially when he doesn't like something as evidenced by the half-chewed piece of lettuce that ended up in my hummus last night. He will also put his feet on the table and push himself back, almost toppling over backward, until we jump up for the millionth time to tell him to stop. Well, last night I was DONE WITH THIS CRAP. My dumb stroke gave me headaches and I also had to lug him around Global Foods yesterday on my shoulder because while a nap at home was apparently unacceptable to him, sleeping through the grocery store was totally fine but it meant a pulled muscle for me so I wasn't exactly a ray of sunshine by dinner time. Well, he wouldn't stop throwing salad, even though he spent the whole time I was making the salad yelling "SARAD" so I know he wanted it, and when we told him to stop he retaliated by throwing it at the dog (she didn't seem to mind) so I decided some tough love was in order. I got him out of his seat, explained that this was not how we eat at the table and he spent the rest of the time in his playpen. He was, as you can imagine, not thrilled about this. Jeff and I went back to the kitchen and had a nice dinner, completely ignoring the yelling coming from the other room. I felt bad at first but this shit has to stop and if I teach him nothing else, I want him to have some damn manners and he must not be too hungry if he's more interested in throwing the food than eating it. When I was a kid, we had to call parents by Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. and we were NOT allowed to act up like this without getting into serious shit but I guess that isn't the way to do things these days or else people call you a mean mom. I don't even think they make kids call their teachers by Mr or Mrs anymore which I think is crap but I digress. Anyway, this all means that he isn't a baby anymore (newsflash), he's a kid with an attitude and I'm hell bent on making sure that attitude stays in check. I am clearly delusional.
Our last transition is the big boy bed, because he's become a total bear to get to sleep anymore. He wants to sleep with us or on the floor of his room so I figured maybe we can try a little bed. I'm clearing the room of anything he can kill himself with and gating the doorway and we're going to give it a go. Worst case he can't handle it and the crib goes back in but if it does work and we can all get better sleep then it's worth the experiment. I already picked out the bed from Ikea so this will happen sooner than later. If you notice your grocery store is totally out of wine, you'll know why.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just put some of that Billy May's magic putty in the hole and call it a day.

So, I went to the cardiologist yesterday. I have to say that the people there were extremely nice and I only had to wait about 10 minutes before they had me in a room. Contrast that with the last time I took Max to the doctor for a 3:20 appt and the doctor didn't come into the room until 4pm. The nurse did a quickie EKG first and then the doctor came in to explain what I kind of already knew. He drew me a picture of a heart and explained where the hole was and why it was causing problems. It was funny because he stopped mid-draw and asked me what I did for a living. When I said artist, he smiled and said he wanted to know how technical he could get. I told him I had watched ER for like 14 years, which kind of made me a doctor (not really) so he toned it down to "preschooler" level. He also told me, in a strange twist of fate, that he had been the cardiologist on staff last week that read my initial EKG and he was kind of weirded out because he said that he rarely if ever sees the patients he diagnoses. If was a fluke that I ended up in his office. Anyway, long story short, I have to have one more EKG next week, but this time they're putting me out and sticking a camera down my throat. SUPER! He is also about 98% sure that surgery is going to be the final outcome. FANTASTIC! He said the surgery isn't as invasive as it used to be and that they only have to crack open my chest if there are complications (?!) and that I'll be good as new.

So, that's what I know. Yes, it sucks on an epic level but at least they can fix it. Of course, I'm worried about the fact that I have a huge wedding cake at the end of May and that the surgery will interfere but then Jeff explained that perhaps having HEART SURGERY was more important but I digress. I've already committed and I'm not letting the bride down so SUCK IT HEART SURGERY. I'll make orchids from my bed if I have to.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Calling Dr. Love......

So, I see the cardiologist today. They called a few minutes ago to get a medical history and when I answered "no" to 99% of her questions, she was like "um, why do you need to see a cardiologist again?" so I had to explain. I guess I don't fit the mold. What else is new. I'm hoping my lack of family history and everything else means my situation isn't anything to get all worked up over, although it will come in handy when I don't want to have to lift something. (just kidding honey! not really) Anyway, before that I have to go sign Maxipoo up for Parents As Teachers and next week we go visit his new preschool. I can't believe he's old enough for preschool but he is so god help them. His attention span is about -.67 seconds so I'm sure he'll be loads of fun. We're also diligently working on our adoption paperwork, and by diligently I mean veeerrrryyy sssllloooowwwllly. I told Jeff that we were going to get it going THIS EFFING WEEKEND because they're going to tell us to go blow if we don't get our ass in gear. We're settled on Ethiopia, Korea will just be too long of a wait for us olds, and from what I hear it's pretty quick to get a referral, although we're requesting a girl and that historically takes longer but who knows. There is also WAY more paperwork than there was with Korea because we'll actually do the whole court part on our first trip, which sucks because we technically will have adopted her/him in the eyes of the Ethiopian government and then we have to LEAVE HER/HIM THERE FOR 6-12 WEEKS to come home and await the visa approval and then go back for the pick up. Can you believe that?! It's probably the worst aspect of this program but it's better than a 2 year wait.

Anyway, I'll update after my appt to let you know what they say.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, we're going to Chicago in two weeks with my sister and bro-in-law. It's just an overnight trip to go see her favorite band but Jeff and I are making the most of it and are stopping at Ikea to get some cheap stuff for the house. I've pretty much crapped out on getting this house put together because all I want to do is rip stuff out and I have nothing to replace anything with. While I love my new house and know that when we do all the stuff we eventually want to do, it'll be KICK ASS, the reality is that it's pretty jacked up right now. It's obvious they slapped on some paint to sell this thing and when I say slapped on some paint, I'm not exaggerating. They painted over the tile back splash, the outlet covers and wallpaper. Like three layers of wallpaper. And they added a skim coat to smooth it out to really throw us off. Too bad they forgot that wallpaper has SEAMS that are right there for the world to see. sigh. Not to mention the ridiculously ugly fans and light fixtures that plague us. Seriously. Our bathroom fixture, if you can call it that, looks like it was a reject from the Bates Motel and you know they had low standards already.

Anyway, I'm going to photo document this expedition and since it's where we spend all our time, we're starting in the kitchen. This is what it looks like now:

Nice. The clutter adds a certain elegance, right? I also could have wiped off my lens but you know where you are. This weekend, we're painting the lower cabinets so that when we get back from Ikea, we're all ready to rip out the uppers. We're replacing the uppers with open shelves and hopefully we're going to squeeze a countertop home in the van. I'm also in the market for an acid yellow paint color. When I was explaining this to Jeff, I showed him a cup that was close to the color I wanted, before I could even say it he said, "this color but more ACIDY, right?" He knows me. Stay tuned if you like this sort of thing. If not, I can't help you. Go read a book or something.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Coming Attractions

So, my kick ass friends Connie & Jack are in Korea right this very minute getting their new son. They are already parents to Louie (Woowie) and Romy and will soon be a family of FIVE!! Check out their adventure at On behalf of everyone here at Kimchi HQ, we wish them safe travels and eagerly await their return.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Hole In One

So, I had my tests on Friday. Liz was so kind as to go with me because I was a scaredy cat and Jeff couldn't get the whole day off to go so he met us halfway through. The first test was an echosomethingorother with bubbles (I'll explain) and the second was an MRA, which is an MRI but looks at your arteries instead of the I at the end of MRI. I'll try not to get too technical here. Anyway, the echo was basically an ultrasound of my heart with those little heart doodads attached to your chest. Liz got to come in the room with me and when we got there, the lady doing the test, Jerri, asked me how we were related and we both froze because we were afraid she'd have to leave if she wasn't family so I was about to say she was my lover (just kidding, honey!) but then she said it didn't matter, she was just curious. Anyway, Jerri kept cracking us up because she was apparently unfamiliar with the machine she was using and felt it necessary to express this about every 5 seconds and then laugh about it. We think she didn't want us to think she didn't know what she was doing because she kept searching for buttons. She was a hoot! I love how they're all up in your business about privacy and yet there I was in a darkened room getting my ticker looked at, boobs all out and these other nurses would just walk in. "LINENS!" "Don't worry, it's just me!" WTF? I'm no sideshow, ladies. Jerri did all kinds of crap with the ultrasound and then another woman came in to put my IV in so they could do the bubble test.

The bubble test, as they explained, was then they take a syringe of stuff and shake it up to make bubbles and then they push it through the IV. The bubbles are supposed to show them things and in my case, they were looking to make sure there wasn't a leak between the chambers of my heart. So the other lady, we'll call her Brenda because she looked like a Brenda, got me all hooked up and between her and Jerri had us laughing like a room full of hens and then she was like "we're going to push the bubbles!" I watched the screen and saw all these little dots go swooshing into my heart and Jerri and Brenda were like "There they go!" so Liz and I exchanged a smile that everything was okay. I asked Jerri "so everything's good?" and she and Brenda were like "oh no honey, there's a hole between the chambers. Those bubbles weren't supposed to do that." WHAT THE HELL?! We got so caught up in the bubbles like a couple of magpies that I didn't realize they showed bad shit. Ugh. I kinda freaked out and Liz knew it and started asking questions to make me feel better (thanks, Lizzy). They gave us a brief rundown and said that it could have allowed for a clot to pass through and get sent to my brain to cause the stroke. They said that the doctor will explain it in detail and tell me what course of action they'll want to take. It can be as simple as an aspirin a day or as major as surgery. SUPER.

After this hoopla, we were taken to a different department to get the MRA. They make you remove any metal and I have my nose pierced but I'm always too paranoid to leave the ring out in case it closes so I told Liz that I had brought a plastic tag from a shirt to stick in it. You know, the kind they hang the price tag from? When I pulled it out and explained to Liz what I was going to do and after she got off the floor from laughing so hard, she popped it in for me. That's friendship, people. So there I was with no bra and two hospital gowns on and a plastic price tag holder hanging out of the side of my nose being taken off to have my brains scanned. The MRA sucked and gave me a massive headache that lasted until late last night and thank god I wasn't claustrophobic because that was like a living tomb. It's also ridiculously loud and the two sets of earplugs didn't do much to help. Jeff had gotten there by this time and was waiting when I came out. He and Liz had been googling the hole in the heart thing to pass the time so they know more about it than I do. After that they sent me on my way and the three of us went and got some lunch. I was kind of wigged out, not only because they had just told me I have an effing HOLE IN MY HEART, but I had taken a Benadryl to try and combat my allergies and it made me reeeeally looooopy. They told me the doctor will call me Monday with all the results and to figure out how to proceed. So that's that. At least they have an idea of what's going on. I hope the brain scan was okay because I was hoping this heart business was all I needed to worry about right now. Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tricks are for kids.

So, let's put all weird medical drama aside and focus on something really important, Max's new trick. He did this once before when my mom and I were at lunch and then again last weekend, although with the latter we got a 'TA-DA" and a leg lift for extra difficulty points. Jeff and I were almost crying from laughter because he's really serious business with this. I wish I could take credit for teaching him such valuable life lessons but this was all Yo Gabba Gabba. They have a segment called "Cool Tricks" and he was fascinated by the kid that did this. Who says TV is bad for kids?!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stroke Face

So, we had quite an interesting weekend here. It all started normally, Friday night was Panda Express and unpacking, the former I enjoyed much more than the latter. But Saturday things got....weird. The morning was typical, Max was up at the crack of dawn because sleeping is for the weak and by 9am we were at Home Depot buying shrubs and plants like good suburbanites. As we drove home, we made our plans for the afternoon, mostly planting and unpacking, and we discussed whether we were going to buy a new vanity for the hall bath. It's Max's bathroom right now but the vanity hasn't been considered new since Carter was in office and in addition to the rust and other disgustingly miscellaneous stains I found inside, someone was kind enough to leave me a tampon, you know, just in case. When we got home, Jeff agreed that it had to go and we decided to head out to a Home Depot by my sister's house because we knew they had a vanity for cheap in the scratch and dent aisle. We farted around the house for a few more hours and finally, when we realized Max was NEVER going to take a nap, decided to head back out. This is where it gets weird.

We got about a mile from home, maybe not even that far, and as I was scrolling though my iPhone so that Max could listen to Boom Boom Pow for the 1,245,968th time, I suddenly felt my right hand start to tingle like it was falling asleep. I pumped my fingers a few times thinking it was just a nerve or something and then I felt it travel all the way up my arm and then I couldn't feel anything on my right side. Hmm...this was not right. Then my shoulder slumped down and my arm went dead in my lap and I turned to scream at Jeff but when I yelled "MY RIGHT SIDE IS GOING NUMB!!!", he said that it sounded like I had been at the dentist and was more like "MAH RAH THIDE ISTH GONG NUM!!" and about 20 seconds later, it was gone and I was back to normal. Well, I shouldn't say back to normal because I was now FREAKING THE HELL OUT and we drove slowly around trying to decide what to do. I really did feel fine so while you're probably saying, GO TO THE HOSPITAL IDIOT, I didn't really feel like I needed to go. Instead we drove home and I thought that if I got out and walked around, I would feel better. Jeff decided to hop on his phone and Google what had happened and then he was like "Get back in. We're going to the ER."

Sadly, when we moved, my dumb ass never checked to see what hospital I go to now. My old hospital was about 5 minutes from home but now I had like 4 to choose from and I had no clue which was the right one for my insurance and now I was more freaked out about a huge hospital bill than whatever was happening to me. Isn't that ridiculous?! I know, but it's the truth. Anyway, I was too wigged out to figure out the stupid insurance company website as we flew down the highway to option 1 so we finally called my sister to see if she knew. She directed us, we were at the wrong one, and about 10 minutes later I was checking myself in. The lady was like "what brings you in?" and I told her that the right side of my body went numb and she responded with "WOW! That's not right, is it?" Um no, that's why I'm here. Long story short, and anytime in an ER is a loooooong story, they did a CT scan and determined that I had an TIA, or mini-stroke. They have no explanation for it, I don't fit the criteria of risk factors, but that's what happened. The scan showed no tumors or damage so they discharged me and told me to follow up with my regular doctor today so I guess he's going to try to find out what the hell happened. Freaky. We Googled it when we got home (don't ever do this if you value your sanity) and it looks like I'll either be totally fine, have more of these mini things or I'll have a big old regular stroke. Fantastic! I'm going to assume that I'm going to be fine but I'm curious to hear what my doctor thinks. I'll keep you posted......

UPDATE: Well, I went to the doctor and he wants to do some tests this Friday. They have long names that I cannot spell so take my word for it. He was concerned but not panicky so I'm trying to follow suit. I could obsess over this for the rest of the week but stress isn't a flavor I want to add to this stew so I'm going to attempt to remain calm. Ask me again on Wednesday. I might crack like an egg.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Week One(ish)

So, it's been a week since we moved in. Well, actually a week since we closed but we didn't sleep here until the next night but I digress. So far we have jack and shit done. That's not true. The bathroom floors were all dated and kinda gross and I knew that if a stomach virus suddenly struck I would be too grossed out to kneel on it, so I replaced all three bathroom floors with peel and stick tile. I know, tres chic, right? Faux slate. It's not too bad though and it's better than gray with pink hearts or a lovely shiny fake marble, all worn and stained. Delightful! I have about $.73 to decorate this masterpiece so I'm using every trick I can find. We also removed a large, obtrusive cabinet from over our counter. It was the most ridiculous thing and I smacked my head on it repeatedly even though I knew it was there and I have no clue why this was ever considered a good idea. Visually, it cut off the head and legs of anyone coming in the kitchen so I had to identify by crotch and it made the counter below it useless. We also bought a new fridge and when they delivered it this morning, we realized it's 2 inches too tall and hits the cabinet. So, we're ripping out the cabinet and we might rip out a bunch more and put in shelving. We also have these kick ass tall pine trees in the backyard that block the southern sky so we can't get a satellite dish. Well, we can but they have to put it smack dab on the front of the house which will totally be awesome, right new neighbors? I don't know what to do about that. We can't get U-verse here (suck it AT&T) and the cable company is crazy expensive. We've been watching Yo Gabba Gabba dvd's and a lot of PBS but I'm wearing thin. We're a TV loving family and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I need more channels. I NEED THEM.

Lest you think all is rosy, I still have every room but the kitchen and living room totally filled with unopened boxes, empty boxes (not many), rugs, clothes, etc. Seriously. You can't even walk through the office. It's so overwhelming that I decided a better use of my time would be to watch Max play in the backyard and pretend magical elves are taking care of this business. It took me a month to pack and it'll take me three months to unpack. Next time I'm selling it all and starting fresh.