Monday, January 31, 2011


Tomorrow January 2011 will be gone.  I get to welcome February with much of Christmas still up.

 The last few months have been different than what I expected.  After having neck/spine surgery at the beginning of January, and given MANY physical restrictions, I broke them all when I flew to California for a funeral.  (I looked up, down, and to both sides.  My suitcase was 16 pounds and I rode in cars.  I also walked in public places - and no one bumped me :)
 My 37 year old brother, Richard, died very suddenly and unexpectedly last week of an aortic aneurysm.  It was so sad to lose him, and to know his wife was so lost and suffering so much.
I knew I wanted to go and be with my family.  It was a very nice 3 days.  (The extra days were not as great as 4 of my flights out were cancelled.)
Debbie picked me up at (and returned me to) the airport.  I stayed with her and enjoyed visiting with her when I rested.  I spent great time with my Mom, Debbie, Michael and Tracey's family, Karyn, Stephen and Heather's family, Stephanie and Paul's family and Robert.  I was glad to be  able to spend some time with Richard's wife, Peggyann. 
The funeral was nice.  The family times were spiritually filling.  It was hard to lose a brother and brother-in-law within six weeks.  How grateful I am for the peace that comes from faith in a Heavenly Father who loves us and has a plan.  I am thankful for family.  All of my living siblings were there except for Tami who has health problems.  We missed her.

I have spent the 3 weeks since my surgery following the rules.  (Not even talking on the phone, using only my cell phone on speaker mode.)  Well, I broke rules... and nothing happened :)  The purpose of all these rules is so that the donor bones will not move and fuse completely.  Here is the funny thing.  After my trip Doug was checking something on line about my surgery and found a study  done on the fusion success. In one published study (number of participants unknown) of people having this surgery done the fusion success rate was...100 PERCENT.  Why have I been stressed?

Now, on to 10 things that made me happy.  (I can not go back 3 months and play catch up, so these are current.)

#1 My grand daughter, Brooklyn Michelle, was born on January 17.  I am so happy that her mom and dad bring her over a lot so I can hold/play with her.  She is very sweet.  And she smiles.

#2  Since I have been down, I have watched way too much t.v., but I did find a silly show that I got Debbie hooked on.  (And we discuss it after each episode ;)  We had fun watching it together while I visited her in California.  FUN

#3  Debbie has 1/2 a lemon tree in her back yard.  We  spent one day making "Shaken Lemonade" (see 29 June, 2010 post for recipe).  We made them all day and really enjoyed them.  I was not sure if I was allowed to bring home lemons, but there were 3 in my suitcase that went through airport security just fine :)

#4  I am really enjoying the current "Masterpiece Theatre" mini series "Downton Abbey".  (I have not watched episode 4 yet, but I hope there are many more episodes.)

#5  I love our family tradition of grandchildren getting a handful of change on their birthdays, (adopted from Lindsay's in-laws) along with their gifts.
When Logan turned 3 in December he picked up $2.74 with one hand.
Layne turned 6 in January and got $6.54.  Fun tradition.

#6  Leslie has helped a lot since "all this" started.  I am happy that she always makes my JELLO for me.  It is easy to swallow and I eat it every day.

#7  Since nothing bad happened in California, I decided to start walking on the treadmill.  (Only when someone is here and bends over to plug it in.)  Thank-you very much, Kate, for paying for my neck brace.

#8  Gayleen brought over a book after my surgery.  It has taken awhile to be able to have enough concentration to read, but I took it to CA with me.  My lay overs were long (3 hours each), and luckily I have really enjoyed the book.  "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" by Helen Simonson is her first novel.  It is easy to read, with likable characters, and sprinkled with bits of wisdom and insight.  I still have about 50 pages left.  Fun book.
Here is a thought I appreciated:

"Sometimes when we pick and choose among the rules(,) we discover later that we have set aside something precious in the process."   Helen Simonson

#9  Doug's car broke at the beginning of January.  It is still at our mechanics (P.K. Auto in Sandy).  The cost for repairs and to get it licensed (expired in Dec. :(  will be AT LEAST $1,500.  I am happy that we had the money in an emergency account, and that Doug can use my van every day, since I can not drive for 2 more months.  (I guess I should call and see if it is fixed, yet.)

#10  Doug makes me happy.  I love him, and he shows me that he loves me.  I could not list all he has done for me or done without the last three months.

I hope to post a recipe soon and pictures.  (I am not supposed to use a computer, yet.)  I will work to get up to speed.  Thank-you for comments and for checking back.  Michelle 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have had a rough 2 months.

I wanted only positive to ever be on my blog - never negative.  I hope, just this once, it will be o.k. to post a non-positive (but hopefully not too negative) journal moment, and update for those that have wondered when I will be back.

Several discs in my neck/back collapsed, pinching the nerve to my left arm.  It was bad.  I had to stay in bed to keep weight off the nerve.  After a month, 18 Dr. appointments, injections and way too much pain med.  an MRI showed that surgery was needed quickly.  (It turned out that the damage was much worse than the MRI indicated.  I was within weeks to 1 month from loosing all use of my arm forever due to the crushed nerve..  There are still dead places.)

I had neck/back surgery just after the new year started.  (UGH!  All new deductibles to meet.)
In order for the new bones to fuse, I have a billion rules.  (Never bend over, don/t lift or carry or push or pull, never turn your head to either side, no talking on the phone (luckily I can use my cell phone because it has a speaker button), no computer work (I decided I would get on for 15 mins.), no washing my back, no riding in a car... UGH.  It is hard to read, and boy am I sick of t.v.)  I am supposed to follow all these rules for 12 weeks.  (THAT IS THE BEGINNING OF APRIL  :(  At my 4 week appointment if it is fusing well, I will/may get more freedom.)

So, after 1 year of finding great joy and happiness daily and weekly, I hope no one will be offended if I complain just 1 time.


that I missed my dear brother-in-law's funeral, and could not be there with my sweet sister and all my family, (plus I am out the money for the ticket I bought),

that I missed being able to do all of my Christmas plans-new recipes, crafts, shopping, decorating...,

that I missed Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's house, the the visit from a special Santa, the grandkids nativity and pictures on the stairs,

that I missed my birthday and Christmas Day and New Years Eve... and all the activities Doug and I planned for his 2 weeks off, and all the fun things my family did...

that most of my Christmas decor is still up,

that my family has had to care for me and the house (But I am extremely grateful for all they have done)

that we now owe thousands in medical bills,

that I was unable to be at the hospital, or visit the hospital when our daughter delivered our new grand daughter...

I hope to be back soon to posting things that make me happy (and there are many ;), recipes, crafts, ideas and more.  I hope your holidays were wonderful.  Thank-you for letting me vent.
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