Just Sharin', My Grief Challenges

Missin’ The Happy~Clappy June 21, 2017

Back in April I had gone into Target. My grief emotions were slamming me extremely hard, that particular day.  As  I walked through the Target doors, there was cheering and clapping. This caused me to have a chuckle moment. So, I did what anyone else would do. I walked out of the store. I, then,  proceeded back through the entrance doors.   Yep,  just what I needed. I decided to go through the entrance doors one more time, just for fun. How or why did that happy~clappy make me chuckle ? It was almost as if a tiny bright shaft of light came piercing out of a thick black cloud that hung over me.  Around May 6th,  I was at Target. This time there was no cute greeting.   I found myself missin’ the happy~clappy.  I did ask a clerk what happened to the happy~clappy. She said it was stopped a couple days before. Apparently some folks said it was annoying. Go figure. Well, if anyone from Target Corporation sees this: I loved your happy~clappy greeting when I came through your doors !!! Maybe some kind of track that plays extra greetings? Kudos to whomever came up with the idea !!! One never knows what might give another a well needed chuckle moment.

  Such a little stone for such a big bother !!!

     It has been  almost a month since my trying kidney stone episode began. Energy has been at an all time low. Which I do not understand, since this is probably the first time in my life that I  have had 100% oxygen level in my system. I have had an awful back and leg pain. I decided to check in with my acupuncturist. She found that my right kidney is having difficulties functioning. She found that my sciatic nerve on my right side is the cause of my leg pain. I have found that the Yoga Pigeon stretch has been very helpful. This video explains the stretch very well:    Sciatica 101: How and Why Yoga Relieves Sciatica Pain, Justine Shelton:   https://youtu.be/69Svhb7tKxA  

My acupuncturist did some research and found a couple of products for me to try, in hopes of dissolving “my little jewel”. I have tried drinking lots of pineapple juice, adding rose water to it. I could not tolerate apple cider vinegar. Magnesium, I was told to take before bed. Oops, here I go, the magnesium kept me awake, apparently most folks find it relaxes them-go figure. I have drunk  A LOT of water !!! Thankfully, most times I am only 13 steps from the bathroom. I have been very nauseated this whole time. It is odd for me to be sick to my stomach. I did get sick to my stomach when I was pregnant and for most of the surgeries I have had, I have gotten very sick to my stomach as the anesthesia is wearing off. Because of these issues, I found work too much. My doctor okay-ed me not to work until this episode is healed.  

Well, my doctor called to check in on me. He had hoped my stone would have passed on its own. He told me that 7 out of 10 folks are able to pass a 3 mm stone with no trouble.  I have until June 22nd, to do due diligence to get this jewel out.  I do not like nor want surgery. To add to the dread, I have been told that the stent is not much fun.  

Oh yes, this tell happened the Thursday I drove after my kidney episode: I do not know how I made it through that day. The pain, nausea and exhaustion were more of a battle than I had expected.  I locked my bus and was walking, slowly, to clock out. A friend was calling my name. She caught up with me. She was wondering where I had been and if I was okay. She commented that I didn’t look so good. I explained. She grabbed me by the arm and jerked me around to look at her. She was laughing while loudly telling me,”Kathy, be glad you are not a horse !”  Wow ! I just didn’t know what to think. She told me that she had seen kidney stones from horses that were the size of a basketball. She told me to be glad I didn’t have to deal with that. Yes, I am very glad I am not a horse. When I told my Aunt about this, we were laughing so hard, tears were rolling down our faces.

Since I have not been able to do a lot, I have been watching tours of gardens.  I re-watched “Rosemary & Thyme”. I have been listening to preaching. I found this message from Rick Warren so encouraging.  “Learn How God’s Goodness Can Restore You” with Rick Warren.   Published on Feb 20, 2017. 

 

 

 

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Just Sharin'

A Kidney Stone !!! May 24, 2017

 

For as long as I can remember,  it has been said that: A Kidney Stone !!!, is the worst pain.  If that is what you believe, you may want to stop reading, now.  I speak for myself.  I am dealing with the passing of a kidney stone, only the size of 3 mm. It is stuck where the ureter meets the bladder. It has traveled quite some distance, since 12 AM Sunday morning, May 21. I am looking forward to its exit.  

I am going to give a little tell about my kidney stone’s journey.  First, I need to set the stage of my goings on,

On Saturday, May 20th, I was going to take things easy. I went to a couple of stores, I went to get copies made for a new idea I had for my elementary passengers: A Bus Report Card.  An idea I absolutely love. When my passengers heard me tell of it to our troubled passenger, they chimed in wanting one, as well. That tell is for another time. I picked up treats for our neighbor dog and Kombucha, for me. My last stop was to get a watch fixed. When I arrived home, I had only a few short hours before Bob would arrive home. Suddenly, my list of needing to dos seemed overwhelming. Why had I felt so relaxed earlier in the day ?  I plowed into tasks, even added an hour of weeding. However, I did save ironing for last. Bob was working on a project, so I knew I wouldn’t be in his way.  Bob went to bed before midnight, as I was putting the last of the laundry away.  I believe my body was going through a nesting type phase, like the phase before  a woman goes into labor.  

I was restless. I checked my email. I had an unexpected message from my friend , the one who is in Artificial Intelligence.  I played the recording. For some reason my computer, upstairs played the recording too quickly and repeatedly. I went downstairs to see how my laptop played it.          It was Shawn’s voice !!!  I plopped down into my rocking chair, I wanted to send a thank you note to my friend.  As I plopped, at midnight,  I sneezed a very hard pain-filled sneeze. The pain did not stop. The pain grew and I knew I would not be sending out a thank you email.  

As the pain grew worse,  I could not stand to hear extra noise. I thought when I shut off the television that things would lessen. Nope. This strange pain grew in intensity, making it difficult to find any position of ease.  I thought back to see if I could figure what might have been the cause.   For dinner, I had eaten my wonderful Beluga Lentils. They do not cause me digestive problems. But, after my sneeze, that was the prominent taste in my mouth.  I paced around the living room, I do not know how many times. I wish now that I had worn my FitBit Zip. I kept hoping all my pacing would not wake Bob. He had had a rough week. I kept pacing. Every so often, I would stop to lean over the couch to see if I could find relief. I tried  a suppository, drinking very warm water, my natural pain relieving gel~Sombra~ on  the front and back of my mid-section.  I tried my Mini Masseuse-Pro Series. All the while I was praying that God would help me figure out how to get the pain gone. Church was in a few short hours and I needed some rest. I am pretty sure I started begging God to make the pain go away. Only God knows why He let the pain grow.   

It must have been near 8 AM when Bob came down the stairs. The bad taste in my mouth made me not want to be close to  Bob while I was talking, but for some reason, he couldn’t hear me very well. He decided we needed to go to Emergency. I thought I just needed time to deal with the pain, and he could go to church alone.  Somehow, we went to urgent care, near our house. We were sent to a small Emergency type hospital across the road. They recommended a trip to a bigger emergency, for various testings. Bob says I was very slow at walking, in and out of the various buildings, but I knew that a wheelchair would not be comfortable. I even refused an ambulance ride to the last Emergency stop. No way could I get comfortable in that setting. My car was the best choice.  

I was asked the give a number to my pain. 8.5 was my choice. As long as I could walk, even very slow, the pain was not a 10.  I recall Bob telling the E.R. doctor that if I said 8.5 for the pain, it was probably higher. She said when she heard 8.5, she knew they were dealing with a stubborn one. I won’t give the names of the pain relievers they tried. I just know they had to keep increasing. I was asked to sit down for various readings and needle situations. Oh, here is a positive: because of all my hospital times, growing up, I knew I had jumping veins. I told the lab person. He seemed pleased and was able to figure the best approach for my I.V. One little needle poke is all it took !!!   The donut imaging machine revealed a 3 mm sized kidney stone, other tests revealed my white blood count at 16 and the top number for my bp had gotten to 189. I didn’t think to write details down~oh bother !!!  I was filled with fluids, but the awful lentil taste did not go away.

I think it was about 4 PM that we were sent home. I had no idea what to expect.What does a 3 mm kidney stone look like ? Would I notice or would it hurt when it exited ?  So, I had Bob draw me the approximate size.  All the while I was trying to figure out a tinkle kit for catching my kidney stone. I did: a large cup, a strainer and paper towels cut into fourths.

I went to a urologist, on Tuesday. He told me the stone was stuck at the end of the urethra before it enters into the bladder. I was given 3 choices for taking care of it.  I do not like surgery, so I chose to manage the pain as best as I could. He recommended I get a kit for straining. He chuckled when I showed him my kidney stone kit. It was better than what they could give me, especially when I am at work.  He told me that if the kidney does not pass within 4 weeks I need to make other plans for getting rid of my kidney stone. Oh and I was glad he had a different product than Oxycodone. Words of wisdom: if, like me, you have an almost non-functioning digestive system, Oxycodone is not your friend. Because of the Oxy, I have another situation to deal with: my digestive system. Bob said in all our almost 30 years of marriage, that my belly hasn’t ever been this big, for this long.  

The push is on. My goal is to drive bus on Thursday. Wednesday morning I ate helpful things for my digestive system. A positive reaction helped a lot with no Oxy for 28 hours. At 6:30 AM I laid down for a rest. As I was lying on my left side, almost asleep, I felt a kerplunk, in my right kidney area, at which time a sense of gut calm began.  Now the wait !!!

At the beginning of this wordy post I stated: For as long as I can remember,  it has been said that: A Kidney Stone !!!, is the worst pain.  Why would I say that ??? It seems to be commonly agreed to. Well, that saying doesn’t hold true from my experience. Sure my kidney stone is only 3 mm, but it is not the worst pain I have endured. I realize men cannot understand this, but back labor with my daughter Melissa and the limits of medications because of asthma,  that was worse. !!!  I have had a vaginal hysterectomy, with several nurses holding me down while the gauze-the size of a basketball, was being pulled out, that was worse than this kidney stone !!!  Something men and women both can have done: a Nasal/Septo and or a Caldwell Luc- both are sinus surgeries. When the gauze was removed each time, and blood was gushing, everywhere, that was worse that my 3 mm kidney stone.   Also, something men and women share, the actual physical heartache of childloss is far and above worse than this kidney stone episode. No offense meant. A kidney stone is not fun, but as far as being the worst pain to endure, it’s probably not !!!   I anxiously await my little stones departure. I hope Bob and I will learn why God thought we needed another challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just Sharin'

Mother’s Day Weekend May 14, 2017

Well, it has been a strange week. I still find many special days, kind-of sad. Each one reminds me of the hole in my heart, from Shawn’s goneness. I was going to have a simple weekend. I had a very tough Friday meeting, to ease from my thoughts. I wanted to pray for all involved in the meeting. I prayed that God would use the words silent and spoken,  for His glory. My doubt is in how God can use a broken vessel like me to make a stand ???  

~~~

I began my Saturday ironing. As is true when washing dishes, by hand, ironing calms me~~~go figure !!! I turned on the television and President Trump was giving a commencement speech at Liberty University. Their theme is so wonderful: Champions For Christ !!!  I know the speech was intended to encourage the graduates, but God chose words, through President Trump, to encourage my aching heart.

 I haven’t given our dogs a bath since the week before Cuddlz died. I decided to find some songs for bath-time listening. I  love Elvis Presley’s voice. He has a voice the is so beautiful, powerful and easy to listen to. I found these songs encouraging.  Yes, they are my favorites.

 

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Just Sharin'

A Month Gone May 10, 2017

 

I am writing about Cuddlz, mostly for a memory jog and trying to deal with her death events. I apologize if this offends folks, it is just a me thing.

I remember holding Cuddlz on Friday night( April 7th) and memories came flooding in. I remembered after we brought her home, she was so tiny, I was at the dining room table sewing ornaments. Cuddlz would position herself on my foot and sleep. Around that  time, she had gone outside in the cold. I went to check her. She was walking on the edge of our little plastic pond, just in time to grab her as she fell into the water.

 I remembered trying to train the dogs to walk with a leash. Cuddlz wouldn’t move. Shortly after that I took Cuddlz to our vet friend Chris, in Beaverton.  He told us that Cuddlz had grade 4 medial patellar luxation in both knees. This means her knee caps were not riding up and down in the groove (trochlea) at the end of her leg bones as they should have been but rather were displaced to the inside of both legs. Here is a picture: 

  WOW !!! I felt so bad for not understanding why she didn’t want to walk.   We have learned that Cuddlz death affected more than Bob and myself. QT sleeps in the last places Cuddlz did. Sometimes he is just standing, starring blankly~like he can’t figure out where Cuddlz went to. He sleeps at the head of the bed where Cuddlz used to sleep. Go figure, a person like me-who is a picky house keeper-letting the dogs on our bed.

Saturday, April 8th, Bob’s b.day, I had decided I was going to do as little as possible.  For some reason I wanted to give extra attention to Cuddlz. I was going to take Cuddlz into the Pet hospital, just for a check-up. But, first, I was going to give her a good brushing. With the season warming, her winter fur was shedding everywhere. I had a couple different glove and brush things to try. It turns out that this soft plastic bristle brush was her favorite. I usually save a product label to remember where I found an item. I have no idea where I brought this brush, but it is excellent !!! So here is a photo: 

 This time of year a lot of shedding happens, I wanted to get all the dogs brushed. I started with QT then Tiger and Tuffy. I used the glove thing. It worked fine and did not cause discomfort. I used the glove on Cuddlz, but as is normal for her, a lot of hair. It was too much for the glove. From somewhere, at sometime, I had bought this brush thing. I worked great. Cuddlz laid down as if she were getting a back rub. She acted like she loved it. I was able to get a bunch of hair off Cuddlz. She kept making her talk noise of contentment. When I was finished she wandered around as if she felt lighter.

I decided to sit a see if there was a mystery movie to watch. Cuddlz was at my chair before I sat down waiting to join me. She preferred sitting at my right side. She quickly dozed off. How I miss her contented snore. Since Cuddlz has been gone I have not wanted the other dogs to take her place, so I move  to the right. Just a me thing. I miss seeing Cuddlz snuff at the door when Bob comes home.

  After some time I took Cuddlz to the front window. Folks were playing in the park. She was busy looking from one end of the park to the other. No barking just tired breathing.    April 9th: I woke up suddenly. I couldn’t hear Cuddlz’ cute snore. There was no movement from her. I gently patted her, at first there was no reaction. I kept my hand on her, sure she was gone. Suddenly, Cuddlz jumped awake. She made her cute noise and fell asleep, rather quickly. Bob said he had had the same type of experiences.  I dreaded getting up Monday morning. I figured I wouldn’t see Cuddlz again.  I will write one more post about Cuddlz, because of the similarities with Shawn’s last days. 

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