Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Hunger Games

Two weeks ago, Rowdy was put on total parenteral nutrition, or TPN.  His caloric needs were carefully calculated by the hospital nutritionist.  A pharmacist makes a mixture of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates in batches of seven daily bags and ships them to our house once a week.  Every night, Rowdy squirts a syringe of multivitamins into the bag, hooks the bag up to tubing, runs the tubing through a pump and screws the end of the tube to his PICC line.  For the next 12 hours, the pump whirrs at regular intervals, delivering "pharmacist's milk" into his heart.

The physical hunger pangs go away, but the psychologic need to eat doesn't.  Maybe it even gets worse.  Rowdy was so good for the first ten days, but on Saturday, we stayed out a little long at a friend's birthday party, and I could tell that R's blood sugar was dropping.  He had some Dr. Pepper and a taste of frosting from the cake.  He had the sacrament bread on Sunday, but that is no big deal.  Yesterday, though, he just totally broke and had eggs, yakisoba, lemonade and pudding.

His fistulas had appeared to be healed since his first day on TPN, so it didn't seem like a big deal.  I mean, why not give it a trial and see if things are really healed up?  Well, the bummer is that, even though the fistula at his midline is acting 100 healed, the one to the right of midline popped open today and googed* a little bit.

That's made him angry and depressed and me just depressed.  Rowdy now has written on his wrist, "DON'T EAT'.

I am surprised at how much my own enjoyment of eating has decreased over the past couple of weeks.  A friend of mine whose husband also has Crohn's and was NPO for about a year (!) told me that she became a closet eater during that time, because she didn't want her husband to feel bad.  Rowdy told me at first that he didn't mind me eating, but I still felt guilty eating in front of him.

Lunch has become my main meal.  I go somewhere and try to have something big and well-balanced.  When I come home, I eat things that Rowdy wouldn't really like, like wheat toast and goat cheese, or soups that he wouldn't like.  Everything seems so blah, though.

Our team is having a big pasta party the night before the tri and a brunch right after.  I bought tickets a couple of months ago, not thinking that Rowdy wouldn't be able to come with me.  My friend, Amber, is going to be my date instead.  She's lots of fun and is probably going to do the tri, too, so that will be good.

I would really like Rowdy to be able to be there to share the experience with me, but at least he can come and cheer me on, since the race is in town.  It's not like Vegas where he couldn't even come with me.  That totally sucked. 

*very medical term, I know.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Team Challenge Tri Rock

Three months ago, I could only swim two laps, then I had to rest for a whole minute.  Two weeks from now, I will be swimming 500 yards, riding 12 miles, then running 3.2 miles, all in hopes of a cure for Crohn's and Colitis.

Two Weeks to Go!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making Lemonade

This week could have stunk totally, but things have a way of working out.  For instance, I discovered that I was scheduled to work a rotation today  that I have only done once in six years.  It involves working from 7 am to 7 pm, but you get the morning of your half day off.  So I was able to go home and sleep on Tuesday morning (after working all night on Monday) so that I could be chipper for my temple shift on Tuesday night.

The next sweetener to the lemonade:  a coworker called me Tuesday afternoon, asking if he could trade his ultrasound rotation for the first half of my long Wednesday shift.  Don't mind if I do!

Little bit of sour now:  one of my 10 crowns fell off on Tuesday night.  That's what a stale Starburst will do to you.  But the sweet had two parts--first, being on ultrasound this morning meant that I could actually take time off to run to the dentist to get it glued back on.  Part two was the $500 check that the dentist gave me, because they had made a mistake about what my deductible was this year.

The slight sourness of going to a very looooong Mutual movie night was offset by the sweet of being with the youth (I have to say that, don't I?) and hearing from my friend Vanesa that her lovely and talented daughter, Elise, was planning on studying opera with the marvelous and talented Darrell Babidge!  She will be driving three hours one way from Cedar City to Provo once a week during the fall semester, and hopefully will be able to transfer to the Y for the winter.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Not Over Til It's Over...

The "official" final day* for donation to The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation San Diego Tri-Rock Triathlon is August 24.  Or in other words TEN DAYS FROM NOW!!!  I raised $190 from the dancing fundraiser and $100 selling Macy's coupons (I wish I could get my hands on more of those...they're awesome).  I will be having a Rubio's fundraiser on Aug. 22nd, but the fact of the matter remains that I still am


from my goal. 

Rowdy is going back into the hospital tomorrow to get a PICC line (a long IV that goes from the arm to the heart) and to get started on IV feeds in the hopes that his fistulas will heal.  The idea behind that is to keep the bowel nice and quiet so that it can heal.

*Really, donations will be taken until one month after the even (so, October 11th), but why not beat the rush?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Drinking the Sherbet and Ginger Ale Punch

Today, I finally started to feel excited about my calling.  What was holding me back was knowing that most of my responsibility as a member of the YW presidency was going to be planning and carrying out activities.  Anyone who has worked with me in Primary can vouch for the fact that activities are not my strong suit.  I'm a teacher.  That's my thing and I can make that happen.

Fortunately, the Mia Maid adviser needed a sub for Sunday, and I eagerly accepted the responsibility.  I know, I know...teaching a group of 14- and 15-year-old girls is sometimes like teaching a group of statues.  Teaching Sunbeams is a lot easier.  But I love my girls and I love the subject of the lesson:  A Change of Heart.  The more I study it and the more I thought about how I wanted to present the information, the happier I became.

One of the best quotes comes from President Monson:

"Be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.  Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.  There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience."

Hopefully, the messages of the lesson will reach at least one girl.  They have already reached me, so that's good.

My friend, Penny, sent me an invitation to check out Pinterest.  At first, I was a little confused about the concept.  Once I spent some time in it, I started to get hooked.  Best of all were the little DIY projects that I found.  Hey, we could do those at Mutual!  Maybe I can contribute something to the activity part of the calling after all.

So yes, I have finally drunk the YW kool-aid, or more appropriately the sherbet and ginger ale punch.  (Remember that from LDS wedding receptions of the 70's and 80's?  So gross.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Most Beautiful Bride Last Weekend Was Not Zara Phillips

It was this lovely person:

Rachel Haynes Miller

Isn't her dress darling?  It is totally Rachel.  And look at the grin on her husband Ben's face!  They are such an adorable couple.

I highly recommend going here to view the official photos.  Tara is Rachel's cousin, and I don't think that she takes pictures of unattractive people ever.  Or perhaps she's a terrific photographer.  Maybe some of both.  If you are looking to have family photos and live in the Salt Lake/Utah Valley area, you should give her a call (because you are very attractive, and she will take beautiful photos of you and yours).

I have known Rachel since she was a pup.  I went to her blessing when she was just a few weeks old.  Last Saturday, I was thrilled to see her make sacred covenants in the temple and be sealed to a man who was described at the wedding breakfast as "surprising", "thoughtful", "loyal" and "passionate".  He seems like a darling person, and they looked so happy and comfortable together.

Matthew, Alexandra (don't call her "Boppy" anymore!), Rich, Rachel, Ben, Stephanie and Scott
Sharon, me, Stephanie (We had at least two different cameras going, hence the looking in different directions.)

Scott, Sheri, me, Sharon
One of the most wonderful parts of the weekend was spending time with some of my oldest friends.  I wish that I had the power of teleportation and could be with them any time I wanted.

The "wedding breakfast" and reception were so lovely.  Instead of speeches, selected people were asked to describe either Ben or Rachel in one word, then they could elaborate.  Rachel's brother Scott started with, "triangular"--"because she has a head and two legs coming down".  He is a funny kid!  Then he and Matthew together said, "Perfect".  Rich, Rachel's dad, considered many words that are not used in everyday speech that drew the cutest giggles from the flower girls.  But he ended with, "The word to describe Rachel is love," which made everyone cry.  There was dancing at the reception, which is a relatively new development in wedding receptions, and I welcome it with open arms and twinkling toes.  The most darling thing was when Rachel and Alexandra, who are both dancers, performed the "All I Do is Dream of You" number from Singin' in the Rain.  They were absolutely perfect.

My New Calling

Apparently, I was sustained last week while I was out of town (more about that later), so I can reveal that I have a new calling, and that calling is...
My Rad Life!