Saturday, January 15, 2011


  Sleep has not come easily.  Oh, it could.  I'm a master sleeper.  Elvis, however, prefers his parents awake and ready to tend his every need.  So, once again, I'm trying to sleep when he sleeps.  This has resulted in a massive headache that is just now starting to subside.  To be fair, it's not all his fault.  I spent part of today cleaning out the room my sister previously occupied.  In so doing I ran across my dad's old ThinkPad.  Which he had mentioned was "having problems".  The "problem" is a missing or corrupt .dll file.  Possibly easily fixable, but not in my world.  Oh no.  I tried going through the boot up menu to see if there was anything in there that would aid my quest.  There was not.  After a fair amount of googling I came across this page:

  I'm sure it's an amazing bit of technology, however, after hours invested in several attempts, it's not serving my needs.  The ThinkPad is refusing to be rolled back to earlier settings and the "registery fixer" built into the program results in a blue screen error.  Which takes me to part two of my "Fix This Damn Thing" quest.  Perhaps if I can utilize an alternate operating system I can do away with windows and it's stupid .dll errors.  Perhaps.  Linux sounds like an ok one.  It's free anyway.  So I download the OS and burn the iso to a CD.  Nothing.  Apparently it didn't burn properly.  Now I'm attempting to download the "bootable USB" version.  It's 86% done.  At least we're not on dialup anymore.  I would have likely just thrown the Damn Thing out the window by now.  Hopefully this works.  I wonder if I can install Linux to the hard drive while operating the boot-up version?  If not . . . . well, I guess I'll just be booting up from the USB forever.  There are worse things, I suppose.  I only really want it working so I can watch movies (and Daria) while I bike.  Did I mention I plan on moving the stationary bike into that room so I can work out without freezing to death?  Yeah, that's the plan.

  Well, it's 93% done now.  *fingers crossed*  Hopefully this jacked up asprin doesn't put me to sleep just yet.  I'm fairly curious about what's on there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep on Truckin'

  Almost a week and a half into recovery.  He's been adding real foods to his diet and handling them quite well.  Today and yesterday we ate the same thing for dinner.  That hasn't happened since mid-November.  A very good sign.  He's even opted to take his Prilosec without my crushing it up first.  The surgical tape is off and he's done with the bandaids.  At the moment, at least.  They're good and scabbed over but I'm sure if his shirt or something starts tugging the scab he'll protect it.  He's still got occassion achy complaints but definitely in much better shape than he was even just a couple days ago.  Every day he makes noticeable progress.

  I'm doing okay.  Trying really hard to be strong and brave and optimistic for my loved ones.  It's not always easy and sometimes I get emotionally drained, but I'm soldiering through.  Super hot shower and some upbeat musics (believe it or not it was country that did the trick this time) and I'm good for another round.  Even so . . . I wish it wasn't so cold out.  I don't like not getting on the bike.  And I don't like getting on the bike when it's freezing out.  I wish I wasn't tired all the time and I wish I didn't feel like such a lazy fatass.  But . . . like my grandpa used to say "Wish in one hand, shit in the other.  See which one fills faster."  All I can do is what I can do, right?

  Since adding the honey to his diet Elvis has been doing a bit better.  No seizures.  The pumpkin has helped him poop easier, but we've run out of that 'til Friday.  Would still be nice if he'd sleep.  Really sleep.  These 15-30 minute bursts are killing me.  His leg hole is almost healed up.  He's done so well concidering what it looked like to start with.  He's just being a hardass with this last little bit.  It doesn't make any sense.

  I made a 10 item to-do list for tonight.  This was one thing so now I can cross that off.  After I deal with Elvis I'll sweep up the kitchen then update my website.  If I weren't so tired (and uninspired) maybe I could add something other than just my blog archive.  Ah well, maybe next time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Continuing Recovery

  Things have been so busy and hectic lately.  Firstly, Aaron is almost a week into his recovery.  He's doing so well and I'm so proud of him.  I know he can't be comfortable, but he's troopering through and he's being careful about what he eats.  Of course he is.  He doesn't want to go through all that surgery stuff again!  His holes are itchy, but that's to be expected and his back hurts because it's hard to get comfortable to sleep.  Other than that he's doing just fine.

  Elvis, on the other hand, is being a ripe pain in my ass.  Especially being that I'm the only one that can bend over to take care of him consistently.  It's not fun and I'm not getting great sleep, but we love him.  He was having his seizures more frequently so I did a bit of research online.  One article I found suggested that he may be getting hypoglycemic seizures and that adding honey to his diet could help.  It's only been about a day and a half, but nothing so far.  I'm not really getting my hopes up, but each day without one is a good day.  I just wish he'd sleep.  Also he hadn't pooped in a while so we're also giving him canned pumpkin.  That has definitely helped.

  I'm doing alright.  Minus the sleep bit.  As much as I loved my green and purple hair, I just did not want to spend the money on more upkeep.  So now it's all a dark dark brown.  I'm probably going to go over it with the last of the purple to give it a nice tint.  My nails started pissing me off so I cut them all down short and now they're almost the same color as our car.  Think Crayola copper.  Got myself on the bike today.  Half an hour.  Also looked over the calendar on and while I don't like that it shows "calories" every time I log an exercise, at least it'll give me a day for weight and measurement so that it looks even all the way through.  Friday is the day.  Since that's when I most recently did it and it's the start of the new year.  Why not run with it, eh?  I just wish they'd fix the damn free scale at HEB.  Not that a quarter a week is a lot, just I don't really trust the pay one as much.  And it doesn't give me a BMI reading.  I want the free one back! 

  Whelp, looks like it's time to give Aaron his shower.  ;-)  Take care all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's done?

  These last two days have been so long and so draining and . . . it's so unbelieveable that it's over now.  Aaron's check-in time was 9:30 Monday morning.  We arrived a little early which ended up being moot since the surgeon was running behind schedule.  The waiting room had some fairly and annoying, and some downright distracting people, so we spent a lot of time just staring at the special tv with all of the surgeries and updates and stuff.  They let us (myself and his mom) go up to pre-op with him where they hooked him up to the IV, asked a ton of questions and got him changed up for surgery.  Then his mom and I had nothing to do but wait.  And wait . . . and wait.  Shortly after we got into the waiting room (I never before appreciated the significance of these aptly named spaces) the desk guy called for "Markham Family".  Oh my goodness!  The tv said the surgery just started!  What could have possibly happened already?!  They just wanted to let us know that the surgery started (even though the tv told us already) and that he was doing fine.  According to the little green line he had about 2 and a half hours for surgery.  The second scare came when there was about 20 minutes left and they called us again!  What now?  This close to being over?!  Apparently the surgeon finished quicker than expected and was ready to talk to us in Room D.
  Since there were two new faces (his sister showed up from work to be there for him) Dr. Rodriguez went over what exactly he did again for them.  He said there was also a hiatal hernia which he fixed up while he was in there.  That was nice of him.  Said he'd be on a "blended"/baby food diet for two weeks while everything heals up so we spent some time at HEB picking up a cartfull of baby foods, some flowers and a balloon to brighten up the room.  Then came more waiting.  And more waiting.  And more waiting.  That is my biggest gripe about the whole ordeal.  S&W does not have enough rooms for the amount of surgeries they are having to preform.  His surgery was over at 2:15.  He was supposed to be in Recovery for 2 hours and he didn't end up getting into a room until 7:30.  Thankfully the nurses were lenient about "visiting hours" so we got to stay later than the posted 8:00 time limit.  He said his night was long which isn't really a shocker.  I'm sure it's not easy to sleep hooked up to the machines and with nurses coming in at all hours of the night to poke and prod.
  I grabbed his mom and got back to the hospital about 8:00am.  Just like I said I would.  Most of the nurses that came through were nice enough, but there was still a lot of waiting for stuff to happen.  They unhooked him and took him down to xray around 10ish.  Maybe 10:30.  He did the barium swallow which looked phenomenal compared to how it had looked the last couple of times he's done it.  He got unhooked so he could walk around and finally they said he could have liquids.  FINALLY!  He hadn't been allowed anything since midnight Monday morning.  He drank milk and walked.  Talked to the surgeon again who gave us the rundown on some do's and don't's and such.  Then more waiting while they ordered up some actual food for him to eat before they could start the discharge process.  He ate some yogurt and mashed potatoes and soup!  Sitting down!  I can't believe I missed it, but his mom was there to witness.  And Frankie dropped by for a visit.  I love my in-laws.  They're crazy, but good people and . . . well . . . being an army brat they really are like my extended family.  I'm thirty years old and just getting to know my blood-related extended family so it's nice to have that FEELING of family.  But I digress.
  Eventually they gave him his discharge instruction.  Mushy foods for 2 weeks.  No NSAIDS.  Which I found out is because the things in our bodies responsible for inflammation are also responsible for protecting the stomach lining from the acid.  Which is more important now than ever for him.  Also no tubes going in through his nose and into his stomach.  Uh-uh no way Jose.  We're going to have to get him a medic alert bracelet for those things.  On the way home his mom picked him up 6 weeks worth of Prilosec which has to be crushed up for these first two weeks.  He'll be taking that forever now too.  It's sort of depressing and overwhelming, but eventually it should become normal.  And it's still better than how he was having to swallow before the surgery.  We swung by to see the in-laws and then came home.  Finally home.  We had to run out again to fill his pain medicine prescription, but we got really lucky.  The pharmacy at Walgreens is 24 hours and they had the liquid version the doc wanted him to have and it was affordable even without coverage.  We still don't know what's up with that. 
  He's doing pretty good.  A bit sore.  More his shoulder than his stomach which feels like a good thing.  He got down some ice cream, too.  :-)  Elvis isn't doing so hot, but . . . . all we can do is what we can do.  Hopefully everybody can get some sleep tonight.  Not quite likely, but as long as he gets to sleep, I'll deal with Elvis and sleep later.  I'm playing nurse for two weeks and that means doing whatever I have to do.  If my grandma could clean out my grandpa's gaping chest wound after his heart surgery then I can do this.  We all must take strength from those who have come before.
  On a happier note (as long time readers will recognize as my favored point of exit) here is a rundown of all the goodies I/we walked out of there with: plastic clothing bag, pair of blue latex gloves, packet of lemon flavored glycerin swabs, no skid socks, lung capacity plastic doohiky, 3 face masks (like you wear if you have a cough), 5 sticky tab thingies (the kind they hook the machine to for vitals.  They forgot to take 'em off), 2 arm ID bracelets (one of which is yellow and reads "Fall Risk") and *drumroll* his gown!  The nurse said we could keep it.  :-D  Looks brand new, too.  I'm especially proud of that one.  Oh, and the card with his patient # for the special tv. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Another day

  I'm glad it's still kind of early.  Tomorrow's going to be a very long day.  Today we're just trying to take it easy.  We went to the park and did two laps.  Would have been a nice addition had I gotten on the bike when I woke up.  I didn't.  So it was a nice substitution instead.  I got most of the dishes done last night.  Got a bit more done today.  There's just so many! 

  I think  . . . .  I don't know what I think.  I'm trying to stay positive and look ahead and think outside the box.  I'm trying not to feel sad and defeated before getting started.  It's not easy, but I'm trying.  I know I have been dreams, but I don't think they're impossible to achieve.  We just have to take things one step at a time and prepare.  First step: get through tomorrow.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

One Day Down

  Is this a good start to the year?  I think it could be.  I got on the bike for half an hour.  Pushed myself the full thirty minutes even though I really didn't want to about halfway through.  I wanted to weigh myself so I'd have a good starting number for the year, but some fatass (or dumbass?) broke the free scale at HEB.  *boo*  I hope they fix it and don't just leave it broken.  I know, I know, "You shouldn't become too focused on the number on the scale."  I know.  Whatever.  I like my numbers.  I did some research for what I need to do to start at CTC in the fall.  Seems like there's so much information, so few answers.  How hard is it to say "Do this first, then this, then this bit here and there you are."?  I looked over the application so it looks like this summer I'll need to get my high school transcript and take the ASSET.  They do that one every Wednesday so it's less I have to try and remember.  I know it's only January and I have plenty of time.  I'm hoping if I can keep going over the information at some point it will all come together and make sense for me.  And this is just for CTC!  What am I going to do when I'm ready to go to UT?!  Hopefully it'll be easier, having already had a college practice run.  I'm also working on the kitchen.  I hope that soon we'll be able to start moving stuff into the SPARE ROOM so it's not all sitting out looking tacky and taking up space.  Would be nice if we could move enough in there to severely discourage her from trying to move someone else in.  Yeah . . .  would be really nice.

  Today is Aaron's first fasting day before surgery.  He hasn't been up terribly long so it's hard to gauge how it's going.  As long as he can make it 38 more hours then the rest is up to the hospital.  I'm a little nervous.  I will admit that.  Not about the procedure itself as much.  Just about the day in general.  I'm going to have three people to keep tabs on (myself included) and on top of that I'm going to have to check back here from time to time.  I just have to trust that it will all be okay and everything will work out and once it's over . . . . it's over.  In the good kind of way.

  Well, time to check on the dishes.  I wish the washing machine was working the way it's supposed to, but I guess not draining is better than not working at all.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep up this momentum and good things are coming for this year.