Friday, June 24, 2011

Tray tables in upright and locked position!

24 hours later…

Thanks for the full day layover Chicago! And by that I really just mean Rick Bayless’ Mexican. God that was good.

Here’s hoping we get to London now.

Getting to Nairobi without further incident would take a Cubs Series win….

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cue Lion King Theme.

I just wrote a huge post about my surgeries and back ordeal. So scroll on down if you are interested in those shenanigans that have lasted far too long!

We leave for Kwambekenya in a few hours, but we won’t get there until tomorrow. Via Chicago, London, and Nairobi.

As a self-admitted terrified flier (odd with all the traveling I do, I know), feel free to send up some prayers to the plane and higher if you think of it today. Xanax can do a lot, but I’ll take all the help I can get :-)

Sara Fitzgerald has been deemed the blogger for the group on this trip and should be posting daily updates to So if you want to check out our progress in Kenya. Here is your opportunity!!!

I’ll be back July 3rd, so after resting and a crazy amount of laundry, keep a look out for crazy picture and blog posts of my own!

Plug me into the Matrix.

So before I make the trek across the Pond today, I figured a quick update on my back might be of interest to some people. I haven't really mentioned it before I don't think, but it has grown into quite the situation and we will be keeping our fingers crossed that it won't be even more of a situation while in Africa.

It started with a simple mole in between my shoulder blades that the the dermatologist didn't like the look of. No biggie. He did an in office little slice of it with a razor, along with a spot on my leg. Leg came back fine, the back one needing a little bit more to look at. More than he would do in the office, so enter Dr. Barnard, plastic surgeon (the most time efficient doctor on the planet, I have walked out of every single appt within ten minutes of the designated start time, plus he's just oozing with swagger charisma). We had a consult, and a week later the real time line started.

Thursday, June 2nd: Surgery #1. Despite being an outpatient procedure, making an incision in my back about 1.5" long and .75" tall, it still involves going to the big kid OR at the hospital. Goes well, much better than I thought it would. Doctor and nurses were rockin, took a little extra numbing, but I felt nothing and felt good coming out of it.

For the next 10 days, it didn't hurt much, but the itching was almost beyond tolerable. All the time, itch itch itch. Pretty normal.

Tuesday, 14th: I go in to have the stitches taken out like planned. He snips them out, but notices two points of infection in the suture holes, nothing crazy, prescribes an antibiotic, and that is that. Still itches a bit, but no more fear of pulling out stitches by rubbing it.

Wednesday, 15th: Tim was changing my bandage in the evening, and notices a hole in my back. Right where the incision was. About the size that you could stick a pencil eraser into it, only when you see a hole AT ALL in your own flesh, it's a huge freak out moment. We called Barnard immediately in the morning. And he basically said that's pretty expected with the infection, gave me an extended antibiotic to last throw my entire trip to Africa (an ENTIRE other bag of worms, open wound with third world water....bad news), and said come in and he would check it after I returned. Sounds good to me.

Saturday, 18th: I hadn't been paying too good of attention to it, and for some reason I thought to have Tim take a closer look at the wound, and I am glad I did because we learned that basically the entire 1.5" incision had ripped right open. There was a hole close to the size of a half dollar between my shoulders. And this isn't like a layer of skin or two deep, this is a good deep crater. Melt down at my parents house. Determined not to go to the ER, called Barnard immediately Monday morning for an appointment, mere days away from Kenya, thinking up all the different ways to keep the wound completely covered so no baby droplet of water hits it, but is still able to heal. Not exactly an ideal worry to think about for a mission trip.

Tuesday, 21st: Check in with Barnard, who immediately started manipulating the skin to figure out the best way to go back in and sew it back up. I guess I should mention in all of this that short of the initial surgery day after pain, and the itching (which could be painful at times, with the inability to itch), it hasn't hurt at all. None. And in figuring out how to sew it back, it still wasn't hurting. I mean, this HUGE hole was taking a manhandling with nothing. So I have that to be majorly thankful for.

Wednesday, 22nd: Surgery #2. Back to the same OR to have it all done again. I was NOT a happy camper to learn that he was going to be restitching it shut. For numerous reasons, but mainly the stitches themselves. The itch factor, the lack of comfort factor, and being freshly raw for a 24 hour travel adventure to Africa, and then 10 days with new stitches, and not just new stitches, but ones that have been redone, meaning they are that much tighter across the back, is less than awesome. No backpacks going through the airports, rubbing on the seats, I can't really stretch yet, then just being there. No yoga. No working out. Ugh. What he thought would matter, but doesn't (at least to me) is that he did THREE layers of stitches, and the first time he tried to kinda hide them in the skin, but this time, it was old school in and out over and under, and WIDE. So the scar is going to be less invisible. Whatever, Im not that vain.

Its a little under 24 hours later, and I am in a lot more pain than I was the first time around. Partly due to the stiches, partly due to the fact that the injection sites for the numbing were covered by adhesive, and if you saw my back right now, it has been a red railroad of reactions to adhesive. Its been 3 weeks pretty much solid in adhesive bandages. And is about to continue to be another two weeks. No breathing for this skin. Its an issue.

As a gross side note, not only did he just stitch it back up again, but he did something I didn't think possible. I had a hole in my back, the "wound." Well, he removed "the wound," how you remove a hole, I wouldn't know, but he pulled out a glob of skin that made it look like he took a melon baller to my back. I half thought my spine was exposed because of the blob of bloody flesh that he showed me. I nearly threw up in the OR. So maybe thats what hurts.

He's going to check it a few days after I get back, but then the stitches will be left in still another week (three total, as opposed to 12 days the first time). As he said, I am going to be "best friends" with these stitches by the end of it. Which short of the pain and itchees on the trip, I am ok with. I REALLY don't need to go through this again. I need my yoga practice ;-)

So any and all prayers accepted for this wound. It's going to be a challenge to keep it clean, but its non negotiable. It MUST stay clean. Infection is not an option. I can handle some itch and some pain, but its a handful right now, and any prayer for it to notch it down a few levels would be amazing.

That's my story! Sorry to gross you out if it did. Just be glad I didn't post the pictures. Because I do have some. No really super awesome shots, mostly all of them are slightly out of focus, but enough to NOT post on the internet to save people's upchuck reflex. :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Breakfast in Bed Daddy!

Father's Day. 1987. Kind of a lame breakfast, but was a year and a half! I can only do so much! ;-)
I love my Daddy. But I like him a lot more when he has a shirt on.
Although, these days, he probably is just as skinny as when this picture was taken (although this picture has his face looking total Tom Cruise).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Yogi's Wisdom.

You don't have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body.

I heard this at yoga yesterday morning. Still kinda pondering it.
What do you think of it?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Twiddling my Thumbs.

It's been a boring couple of days. With some very random thoughts.

-Cedar Falls can thank me later for the growth of cherry trees between my house and the gym, due to my post run/pre boot camp snack...

-Driving up to the house yesterday, I saw a package outside the front door. I got super excited, thinking someone had sent me a package because I had nothing on order. No one sends me packages! It was going to be exciting! Got inside, opened up the front door, and it was the 2011-2012 Yellow Pages. I am clearly pathetic.

-I need to find a better vessel for ketchup. I find myself craving french fries (super no no in my diet) but I am 98% sure its just so I can eat ketchup. And no, ketchup does not belong on eggs. Nor is it catsup.

-As a kid, I remember LOVING getting the one cherry out of the can of mixed fruit. It was a legit highlight. Like getting the dessert out of the side dish.
I put a can in some jello yesterday to get rid of it (why I had a can, I have NO idea) and ate the cherry. And it was gross. So gross that I checked the can for the expiration date.
Clearly my tastebuds have changed.
Sidenote: It was a can of Very Cherry, and it contained a whole whopping three cherries. Not that I mind, cause ick, but still, you would think Very Cherry would have more than three.....

-Anyone read this that remembers the pink hair kid at Emerson? Moreso that he wouldn't eat honey because he was vegan....yeah, that was weird and stupid.

-In less than two months, I have watched 70 episodes of Ally McBeal and three seasons of Weeds. I think Tim needs to work less. Or I WILL turn into a crazy cat lady.

-I have run 15 miles a day every day (except one) for the past two weeks. I'm bore.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Lightning Bolt Scar for Me!

It's been awhile since a real update, but I can't say anything extremely out of the ordinary AND exciting has happened recently. A few weeks ago Tim, Mom, and I went up to a day trip to Minneapolis to do a bit of shopping, but nothing crazy (unless you count the amount of things we got at Whole Foods, or the receipt I had from Lululemon....).

I've also had more than a few battles with the scale, which has led me to start the Skinny Girl brand of Restore and Cleanse, just thought I might feel a bit better. And it has, if by better you think I mean I feel like I want to choke all the while drinking the two packets a day. Although if I mix it with half a lemonade packet, hold my breath, chug a few swallows, then still hold my breath while I chase it with a regular packet juice, the exhale, I can handle it. Kinda. Ugh. Its gross people. Really really gross.

Along the lines of probably too much information, I have been exiled from the land of yoga for too long (a few days), hopefully ending tomorrow *fingers crossed*. This coming from the fact that I have about an inch and a half of wire sewn into my back that I don't want to be torn out by an overly aggressive downward dog. Ok, that sounds much more exciting than it is. I had a suspicious mole on my back, they sliced it off with a razor, felt that it was an even sneakier bugger than they thought and went back with what seemed like a machete and took quite a chunk out that required lots of stitching. And really, the only thing that is hindered by it is yoga. Ugh. Although yesterday and today, it has been itching like crazy. Its all I can do to not take a hairbrush to it. But I wouldn't exactly like to revisit the Covenant Surgical Center if I can help it. It was quite the experience though, the nurses came in for quite the party and I got lots of pre-warmed sheets. Not too bad if he didn't slice and dice me.

But I swear not all of my life is a physical mess! The beginning of summer is taking a chill pill (or a sweltering hot pill) in preparation for the insanity that is coming up. 10 days in Africa is looming quite soon. Not exactly the way I thought I would be feeling about it, but there isn't much to do about it unfortunately. I'll go and try not to punch too many white people in the face. That will be that. Then the day after I get back is our 4th of July party which Tim has taken charge of. So at least I'll have that to directly look forward to while in Kenya.

Then a family vacation to Colorado for a week, which will be absolutely SPLENDID. I havent been to Copper Mountain in five-ish years and I want to go now. Like, yesterday. It's going to be perfect. I can just tell now.

A wedding weekend in Fargo. Then a fantabulous wedding outside of Boston which we are turning into a week long trip involving an Incubus concert, a Cirque du Soleil show, Boston vs Yankees game, few days in Boston, capped off with the wedding and subsequent wedding bonfire.

And then athletic season starts.....the football and volleyball schedule is already out. Seems like summer is already almost over before it's begun!