Friday, March 24, 2006

Pet Therapy

So if you read my kidney blog, you know about the pet therapy, if not, go read it and come back. I'll wait.

Welcome back! Anyway, so now I think Ben is closer to getting a doggie!!! Between seeing sweet Simon and Heidi, he's starting to like the idea of a smaller dog. YES! Shoot, he's gonna read this and say no. Not that I want a doggie right now... but after we buy a house..... a small dog that won't make our kittie feel intimidated. She should not feel like she's being replaced. I just think she'd like it better if the dog we get is small so she won't feel pushed around. Imagine it... kittie in one lap and doggie in the other lap. How CUTE!!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Out of the hospital

I'm out of the hospital now. I was discharged this morning. I took a shower this morning before I left and it was AWESOME. Ben had to help me, I couldn't get both hands up to wash my hair, or stay steady on my feet, so I sat on a shower stool and he bascally washed me. I'm a very independent person most of the time, so asking him to help me for such basic things like showering has been hard, but he's but so sweet and great about helping me out. I've got a good one here, ladies....

My back is really sore, my neck gets pains due to the CO2 in my body from the surgery. So the heating pad has become my best friend. I am trying to be mobile as often as possible, but it's so hard! It totally feels like my guts are going to spill out when I walk around. My abdominal muscles have been cut into, so they aren't as tight as they used to be, hence the feeling like things are going to come out. I walk like a little old lady. Walking through the hotel today, I had littel old ladies passing me!! Not really, but they probably could have.

It also hurts to laugh, which is hard because most of you know how funny my parents and husband can be. Example one: Dad and Mom came home from shopping for me today, and Dad pulls out this package of black licorice. His response: "I know it's past St. Patrick's Day, but I felt this might be fun anyway!" OK, here's the explanation for those of you who don't eat black licorice. If you eat a lot of black licorice, it makes your poop green. I do eat black licorice, I knew this, so I found it hilarious. Example two: Ben and I are watching soaps today while Mom and Dad are gone, and a preview for My Name is Earl comes on. I've seen this preview a few times before, I've been watching NBC nonstop for three days! Anyway, in the scene, Randy (Earl's intelligence challenged brother) is sitting and talking to a robotic toy dog when it gets hit by a ball. As it falls off the table, Randy screams like a girl. It is really, really, really funny. But I've been able to keep from laughing because I know it will hurt. Well Ben just about falls off the bedd laughing from this little scene, and he's laughing in the high-pitched laugh that he does when something is absolutely hilarious. So I had to kick him out of the room until he got the giggles out. I could still hear him the living room of the hotel suite, laughing and saying "screamed like a girl... *chuckle, giggle* he screamed like a girl......"

But I am doing well. All of the prayers that are out there for me and my aunt are helping, keep them coming. I can't wait to get home and see you all.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A year... it's been a year

I can't believe that today is the one year anniversary of my Granma's death. It doesn't feel like that long ago. I've been surprisingly calm today. I thought about today being the anniversary a few days ago, and I thought that I might be a wreck, but I've been OK.

Life without Granma hasn't been too terribly different, unfortunately. Since I haven't lived near her in 20 years, I'm used to her not being around. It only seems to hit me when I visit Grampa's apartment. When I see her chair, her scooter, just sitting there. I know the scooter gets used by Grampa when he has to walk a long distance, but it doesn't get used all that often.

Grampa is toying with the idea of moving to a one bedroom apartment in his retirement community. He doesn't need the space of a two bedroom. We all don't visit that often, and when we do, we can stay in the guest quarters, hotel or Gramma Mc's. But I think that he is having trouble letting go of the last home of Gramma. Not only did they share this apartment, but he would have to get rid of the bed they have shared for DECADES. The one bedroom is small, and would require him to use a twin bed rather than the queen size he has now. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for him to think about not having the things he shared with Gramma around.

One year. Wow.

"Granma, be with me on Monday. I would love to know that you are watching over me."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Set in Stone

So now the surgery is scheduled. March 20th is the big day. I don't know yet what time my surgery will begin, but I do understand that Sheryn will be under for less time than me. For what I can tell, my surgery will take about 3 to 4 hours (maybe even more). Since the transplant will be done laparoscopically on me, it will take more time than the previous "open" surgeries took (3 hours).

I think that I will set up a separate blog that will just be about the kidney transplant. That way people can be kept up to date on both Sheryn and me.

Today, I informed Ladue that I would be leaving them in the near future. They were upset that I will be leaving them, but they understand. I really have loved working there. It's a good school with an amazing staff. And my students are the best (OF COURSE!). I wrote them thank you notes that I'll give them before I go. They are really great kids, and I know that they'll each go very far in life. I will miss them a lot. The kids were heartbroken when I told them that I got the new job. I think that the eighth graders were almost relieved that I'm leaving. But they didn't let on. :) Hah hah. I think they know that I make them follow the rules because I care about them and want them to know how important it is to live by the rules. They do serve a purpose.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Good, Better, Best

Good: Had a good day back at the job today. Teachers were all glad to have me back, and my kids missed me. They were so cute when I came back.

Better: Great job interview today.

Best: Got offered the job! Accepted and will be starting mid-April after recovery from the kidney surgery.

I'm now the new Education Coordinator for the St. Louis Challenger Learning Center. My job will entail coming up with curriculum for our Discovery Classroom, our scout programs, teacher trainings, and corporate training workshops. Oh yeah, and planning for our summer camps this summer. No daily lesson plans. No grading assignments! When I go home at night, I can truly relax.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Good Ole Leftie has a new home

So my surgeon had decided to take my left kidney for my aunt. He explained the whole procedure to me. It is fascinating. Oh yeah, he doesn't look like Ah-nold. Maybe his lips are Ah-nold-like. He's taller than Schwartzenegger is (apparently, I am too...). He was super nice. It took me a little bit to get used to his Italian accent, but I understood him perfectly by the end of the appointment.

Last Saturday night, I didn't end up watching "Tombstone," I ended up looking at old family photos and getting more family history from my Gramma. She let me keep a picture of me as a toddler, as well as some pictures of Grandma and Grandpa Carew, Aunt Sher and Jessica with Cousin Sarah. I'll be making copies and sending them all over the country to family. Then, on Sunday, I helped her figure out her new Swedish geneaological programs. So I got to learn a lot about my Swedish history. Magnus will be a perfect name for a Bellinger son......

Grampa is doing well, too. He looks great, and he seems to be in good spirits. He's typical Grampa, but I'm getting better at handling him now.

I got to meet Sheryn's friend, George. He's great. He's my new best friend, too. He brought us fresh shrimp. I mean, they were frozen, but they weren't crappy shrimp that you get in the MidWest. And they were HUGE. I've only seen shrimp this big on cooking shows! I loved them. Now George wants some steaks from the MidWest. Anybody know of a St. Louis place that ships steaks? I want him to have some great local beef. E-mail me and let me know if you happen to know of a St. Louis place that does that.

I'm so excited to be going home this afternoon! I get to see my husband, my kitty and sleep in my own bed. I'm through the roof happy. Less than 12 hours and I'll be home. Damn, I know that I just jinxed myself. I'm going through Atlanta, which is notorious for delayed flights... Great.

P.S. Jessica's husband, Craig, matched with Boystown, USA in Omaha, Nebraska. I lived at Omaha when I was a kid. I can't wait to go visit them and show Ben one of my childhood homes. Too bad my Dad doesn't still own it.