Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just an Update

Hello everyone,

I've been looking for a job the past several weeks and so far nothing great has caught my eye. In light of the fact that our coast was ravaged and the economy is in a very precarious situation, I am sure finding work amongst all this chaos will be challenging. I am extremely concerned about the state of our nation, as everyone else is too.

I've been glued to the news and watched the debates carefully. Watching Obama made me feel like I was already looking at our future President. He was genuine, poised, and not afraid of anything McCain tried to throw at him...which btw, were mostly a pack of lies and misinformation. It's quite obvious that Karl Rove is in the cogs of that campaign. It's amazing how quickly McCain had a smear ad out towards Obama after the debate. That seems like desperation to me. What do you think?

I strongly believe Obama will be an excellent leader, and I respect him greatly. I doubt Palin will even make it to the Vice Presidential debate. If she does, I will be very surprised. Biden will mop the floor with her if she is allowed to continue as McCain's running mate. A few weeks ago I figured they would eventually push her out. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

In other news I had minor surgery on my leg to remove a growth that has been there for at least 14 years. Every time I have had a doctor look at it, they were nonplussed and said it was just a cyst and not to worry. Gross I know, but still kinda fascinating considering that thing has been growing larger year by year. I finally got up the nerve to have it removed. Silly that I had to get the nerve to make such a move, considering the risks I have taken out in nature are by far more dangerous...bear encounters, snake encounters, rock climbing, caving, out running raging waters, etc...

It is good to finally get it cut out. I watched the whole surgery and thought it was really cool. I like watching surgeries and think medicine is incredible and what our bodies can do. Any time I have had surgery that I can be awake for, I've watched. I might have made a very good surgeon had I followed a different path in life.

Anyway, the cyst was very deep, close to the muscle, and took a while for the doctor to remove. It was actually not as gross looking as I thought it would be. There was no odor or nasty contents. The doc commented that most of the time they are particularly gross and was amazed at how non-gross mine was, especially since it had been in my leg for so many years.

They will biopsy the tissue surrounding it and part of the sac it was contained in just to be on the safe side. I figure if it was cancer I would have died years and years ago, so am not concerned one bit. I'm hardy and tough and have excellent health over all.

Today is my mom's birthday and I spent a very long time on the phone with her. She had a happy day and that makes me glad! She deserves it. I can't disclose how old she is, but she is kicking and well. :)

Caitlin has been quite sick over the past month. First she had a skin staph infection, and on the heels of that, came the Parvo B19 virus which is a common child hood illness. It used to be referred to as Fifth's disease. Basically it is one of those viruses that if you are older it makes you sicker. Caitlin has been having a very rough time and is so miserable. I wish I could take every bit of her pain away. It could take a while for her to recover completely, and she has missed a bunch of school. She strives for excellent grades and has been worried that this is going to cause her grades to fall terribly. It remains to be seen.

Samantha is living with me and trying to find work as well, while she waits for the spring semester at ACC to start. I am pleased that she is going back to school and believe she will do very well. She is very intelligent and I'm proud of her. Our relationship is the best it has ever been. For a while things were rough, but she has matured to a point where she can better understand the way life was like for me when I was struggling as a single mom. Now that Russell and I are no longer together, I wonder what the single life with a young child will be like again.
I feel stronger now though, and feel like things will work out...they always do for me.

Well that is it for now. I hope everyone stays safe and we all get through these times as a Nation. Our country has been terribly divided and right now we need to stick together as a people. I hope it is possible. Maybe Barrack will bring about the change we desperately need and I think there is a good shot for hope. We sure need positive leadership after having been raped the past 8 years by evil crimminals in the White House.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Bad Ass Picture

Caitlin was running her horse around the barrels and took this shot. No photo shop editing done and the picture turned out way cool! I'm proud of Caitlin's photography.

Picture Time Again

Last night we had fat juicy steaks...

Baked Potatoes with basil butter...

And here are the chefs...Samantha and her boyfriend Vince

Ben loves being outside in the back yard...I can't wait to take him camping again

This is called a Green Lynx Spider. If you look closely in the background near the stem, you can see the male. These spiders are not considered harmful to humans.

Ben watches with intense interest as the two spiders mate. This is the first time either one of us has seen spider's mate. It was so cool!

This is Scout. She is Sam's cat and such a silly thing

Bad photo I know, but I had no choice but to shoot into the sun

Samantha with her horse Christie

Thursday, September 11, 2008

People in Austin Panicking?

I went to the grocery store today just to pick up a couple of things for dinner over at a friend's house, and it was a mad house. I couldn't understand why people were stocking up on water and frozen goods. Sheesh, frozen food? I mean come on, use common sense. Buying frozen food is kind of stupid considering that if the electricity goes out from the supposed terrible winds and horrific rain, the food will end up spoiling.

Personally I think folks in Austin are being a little over zealous in their fears. I feel like we'll be fortunate if we get rain, but doubt it will be terrible storming like the news predicted a few days ago. Today on the news they said winds could get up to 20, maybe 40 miles an hour here! Oh the horror! *smirk*

Honestly people just settle down.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And Now for a Happy Post...

A new reader came along and commented that the first post she read was a sad one. I don't like the thought of that, so here is a happy post. :)

Ben is doing well in school and is probably the best reader in his class. GO BEN! It pays to read to your child from babyhood on. Russell and I have both read to Ben since he was very small and have continued to do so on a daily basis since.

It's a joy to know that he is so engaged and smart as can be. He takes pride in himself and his ability to read better than anyone in his class. He is six years old and if he were sitting in front of this post now, he'd be reading all of it. Not bad for a first grader!

All of my kids are turning out to be amazing individuals and I'm so proud of them all. I look forward to the years to come to see what they all do with their lives.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In Memory of Anastasia

Anastasia was a strikingly beautiful cat. Her fur felt as soft as a chinchillas and her markings were were distinctive. She had a mitten on one paw, and a sock on the others. Her tail was so big and fluffy, everyone commented on it. Her eyes were luminous and full of expression.

A while back she got attacked by a canine of some sort...perhaps a coyote. I took her to the vet to get her fixed up. All seemed well with her many days afterword. She was gaining weight and seemed very fit. Until a few days ago.

I noticed she was sleeping more, but didn't think much of it. She still seemed fine. Then a day or so later she came into my bedroom and I noticed she wasn't breathing well at all. It was very upsetting, especially when I gently pet her and I could feel her back bone. It was shocking how bony she had became in such a small period of time.

When she came into my room I feared she wouldn't make it through the night. I didn't know what to do for her, since I had no clue what was happening. I couldn't rush her to an animal hospital because I didn't have the money to pay their prices, which is highway robbery.

So I sat with her throughout a good portion of the night trying to comfort her. She couldn't find any position that eased her breathing and I knew she was exhausted. I was very surprised that she survived the night and took her to the vet the next morning to end her suffering and put her down.

But when I got there, I had to see if the vet could find out what was wrong with her. I needed to know and weigh out the options. They immediately put her in a box with pure oxygen flowing into it and suggested x-rays to see if her chest had a mass in it. It turned out that her chest cavity was full of fluid, including puss. The pressure all around her lungs and heart were the cause of her respiratory distress.

The vet felt like she might of had a terrible infection as a result of her attack and said they could drain off the fluid, but that if there was infection it would come back and I would have to have her chest drained regularly. The vet said her best chance was to go to a specialist to have a chest tube put in and have her on high powered antibiotics.

They also did blood work to determine what kind of nasty bacteria that was causing the fluid build up. It was determined she had a super bad infection. At that point my only choice would be to send her to a specialist and the money it would cost would be impossible for me to cough up. My vet said there was a good chance that she wouldn't make it anyway, even with a specialist taking over her care. As it was her care already cost 400.00, which was expensive already. I had no choice but to have her euthanized. She died peacefully in my arms.

I brought her body home and buried her here at the house. She grew up here, so I felt it fitting. That was the hardest hole I've ever dug mentally and physically. It took about 2 hours to get it done. I had to bust through a thick layer of rock and clay with a heavy duty pic ax, then switched between busting the rock up and a shovel to remove the dirt, rocks, and clay. Russell came over and dug too for a little while because I was so exhausted I couldn't move my muscles any more. I am so sore I still don't want to move around much. We made the hole almost three feet deep and three feet long.

Russell read a few words he made up for the burial and we all cried until there were no more tears left. This was Ben's first lesson in death and the loss caused by it. He asked many questions and wanted to keep her body. I told him about the process of the body shutting down and the decaying that would happen. I explained that death was a final part of life and that she was gone and not suffering anymore. Ben said she was a good cat and she was.

She liked to play fetch and bring back whatever was thrown just like a retriever. She was also very smart and I could tell she easily figured things out when faced with obstacles, etc...

I'm relieved she is out of her misery and will miss her terribly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bad News...Ben has Asthma

Ben had an asthma attack on Saturday and Russell had to bring him home so I could take him to the doctor to get checked out. I knew he was having bad allergies, (he always does this time of year), and made sure to send his medicine with Russell to Keryn's place where Russell is staying now. When Russell called me to say Ben was sick, I figured the allergies had progressed into a chest cold which often happens, and told Russell to bring Ben home immediately while I called the urgent care clinic to make the appointment for him to be seen.

I was so hopeful that when Ben got here it wouldn't be too serious, but unfortunately when I saw Ben and listened to his chest, I realized he was having an asthma attack. So off to the clinic Ben and I went so he could be treated for it. Russell knew Ben was in good hands and went back to Keryn's.

I suspected Ben had asthma a couple of years ago, but his pediatrician didn't think so. I knew she was wrong. Fortunately Ben didn't have any kind of attacks after that small one and I started to think maybe I was wrong and she was right after all. That all changed on Saturday. My initial instincts were correct.

I have been a life long sufferer of asthma and know very well how to spot it, how to administer emergency treatment in case I can't get medicine or to an er right away, and how to manage it. Ben's asthma is primarily related to allergies like mine is, but stress is certainly an aggravator as well. I've been giving Ben allergy medicine for a couple of months now, but for some reason he had an attack while at Keryn's. It could be her cats or something in the air, or it could very well have been stress. Asthma can be brought on by any one of these factors, even running can cause an attack.

At least I know now his asthma is confirmed by a doctor, and can get the right medicine to Ben quickly if need be. We have a nebulizer that I have taught Ben how to use, as well as Russell and Sam. I am going to take him for a follow up appointment with his pediatrician and ask that she put Ben on a medication that will control his seasonal allergies so he doesn't have more risk of attacks, and an inhaler for him to keep at school, and one for me to keep in my purse incase we are out somewhere and he needs it.

I kept Ben home from school yesterday because he was still wheezing. I didn't want to take a chance that he could get too excited and relapse. Today he was much better after his oral medication and breathing treatment, so I felt comfortable allowing him to go to school. I met with his P.E. teacher and explained to her that he has been officially diagnosed with asthma, and she was very understanding because her son has it to.

I also met with his class room teacher to let her know what to be on the look out for incase he has any trouble, and to restrict his going out in the heat, no recess, etc... She was very sweet and understanding. Today I am sticking close to home just in case I get a call.

Poor Ben, I feel so sorry that he has this disease. It was very debilitating to me when I was in grade school. Fortunately I grew out of it for many years, but sometimes I still have attacks when my allergies go haywire. I usually get an attack once a year and end up having to use my nebulizer or go to the doctor for steroids. Sometimes the attacks are small and I'm able to stop them right away by staying calm and drinking coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant and acts similar to epinephrin, which is commonly used in ER's to stop attacks quickly.

So that is the update for Ben. Sorry it's not great news, but he will be okay.