Monday, July 30, 2012

Highly Recommended

The following is a quote from the book I’m currently reading:
     The Last Explorer by Simon Nasht

“When Wilkins first came this way in 1913, Barrow was a town of seven Europeans, 200 Eskimo and 800 dogs. When he returned a dozen years later, nothing much had changed. It was still 200 miles to the nearest bump resembling a hill, twice as far again to the nearest tree, and 500 miles to the nearest telephone. Mail reached the settlement just three times a year, hauled by dog teams on a month-long journey along the coast. In short, it was the type of place where Wilkins felt right at home.”

Here’s the description taken from

“This riveting biography recounts the life of the world's first truly modern explorer, a life of unrelenting adventure and the high drama of polar exploration. Hubert Wilkins was the most successful explorer in history: no one saw with his own eyes more undiscovered land and sea. Largely self-taught, he was a celebrated reporter, pilot, spy, war hero, scientist, and adventurer. He captured in his lens war and famine, cheated death repeatedly, met world leaders like Lenin, Mussolini, and King George V, and circled the globe on a zeppelin. Knighted for being the first person to fly across the North Pole, Wilkins was also the first to fly in the Antarctic, discover land by airplane, and take a submarine under the Arctic ice.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

People Are Amazing Sometimes

I found an ad on Craig’s List the other day: somebody wanting to connect with others that do stamping/cardmaking – so on a whim, I responded to it. I thought (hoped) they wanted to find a partner to have crafting dates with, because it’s always more fun to do that with company.

I was wrong, on several counts actually. I had assumed it was a female who posted the ad, but turns out he was (is) a guy. And he wasn’t interested in crafting dates, either.

What he wanted was to – get this – give stuff away!

Apparently a friend’s wife had been into making cards but had passed away a few years back. He was helping out by finding a good home for all her supplies, so they would be used and appreciated as much as she used & appreciated them.

We arranged to meet in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble, where he transferred over $300.00 worth of supplies from his car to mine. All free, with no strings attached!

Totally Awesome!

I will have fun tonight, that’s for sure; it will be like Christmas in July.

I Shoulda Been a Doctor!

Surgery is over, and recovery is well on its way to being over… now comes the really painful part: paying the bills!

I haven’t actually gotten a bill yet, but I’ve been keeping tabs on the insurance – and have seen some pretty amazing numbers being thrown around.

So far:
the hospital has charged $48,249.17
the doctors have charged $38,272.00
the MRIs have charged $4,914.00
and I had to have $95.47 worth of pain medication
     That’s a grand total of $92,728.58

All I can say is “Thank God for insurance!”

Thursday, July 05, 2012


The recovery process was so much worse than the actual surgery; not surprising, really, considering the fact that I missed the whole thing. But I was a little bit shocked at just how bad I felt, although oddly enough my neck really didn’t hurt much at all. It was that danged migraine that I still had.

When I finally came to in the recovery room, I found Rob and Mother there with me, along with the nurse assigned to take care of me. They all seemed to hover around me till they assured themselves that I was truly aware again. I don’t think I said much, just listened to all the activity around me.

The nurse gave Mother the instructions (both written and verbal) on how to take care of me post-op – and then, once I was stabilized enough, sent me home. All together, I was in the hospital for just 8 hours. My anesthesiologist had told me she had the same operation done back 20 years ago, and they made her stay in the hospital for 5 whole days!

To be completely honest here, perhaps I did go home a bit too soon. I was very glad to be home but was still quite nauseous, throwing up at least 6 more times throughout the night. I was finally able to keep liquids down by the following morning, though, and was even able to get up and walk around a bit without passing out.

As mentioned earlier, I still had that migraine however. That was worse than the surgery pain, actually. I really wanted to take my headache pills for it, but had been told not to (it’s a blood thinner, and may cause bleeding). That evening it was so bad I had mother call the doctor to ask what I should do. Thankfully they told me to go ahead and take my normal medication so I finally got some relief.

Also at that time, I stopped taking the pain pills the hospital had prescribed for me. Not only did they make me sick – they didn’t really even work. I am still taking the muscle relaxers, though. That operation really did a number on my neck and shoulders; two weeks later and they’re still so sore I can barely move, and I have a lump in my throat where the esophagus is still swollen.

What isn’t sore is the incision itself! The hospital put little butterfly bandages on the incision, with a gauze pad over the top; all of which was covered by what looked like a piece of plastic about 6” square. I left that whole ensemble on to keep the wound clean, but at my Wound Check appointment a week later that plastic wrap and the gauze bandage finally got taken off. Three days later, I had my niece Kate help me remove the butterfly bandages. Now I am Fully Exposed!

It is such a tiny little incision; hard to believe they did all that they did thru that tiny little opening. But I have the muscle soreness to prove it – they really did do what they told me they would.

My doctor said I am healing up quite nicely, and gave me permission to go back to work!


Well, I did it. To be honest, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Not that it was a piece of cake, by any means – but all in all, it was not that bad.

Rob picked me up at 5:30 in the morning and drove me to the hospital for my 6:00 check in. The waiting room was quite nice, with some really good photographs hanging on the walls. I didn’t have much time to enjoy them, though, as the nurse came out within 5 minutes of my arrival to lead me back into the prep-room. I said goodbye to Rob and followed the nurse in.

The prep-room was just a big room with lots of smaller areas partitioned off with hanging curtains. I was shown to the area assigned to me and told to change into the hospital gown (yes, the kind that gaps open in the back). It was a little unnerving getting undressed; I had the curtain closed, but it had gaps all around, and there were a lot of people in the room.

Once I was comfortably settled into the hospital bed things got rolling. One by one, each doctor, nurse, and orderly came to introduce themselves to me and explain what roll they would have in the surgery. Each one made a point of making sure they knew who I was and what I was there for, so I had no fear of getting the wrong procedure done. They also made sure that I understood what they were going to do, and always asked if I had any questions.

I had a really bad migraine that morning (of course I would) so the anesthesiologist said she would give me something for that along with the “cocktail” she originally planned to give me. I don’t know what it was, but it sure knocked me out. One minute I’m watching her put the needle into my IV and the next minute I’m throwing up in the recovery room! And let me tell you, that was really disorienting. It took me several minutes to figure out what had happened.

All the doctors, nurses, and orderlies had told me all about how they would wheel me in to the operating room, which would have all kinds of equipment and lights and what not. They said they would probably have me move myself to the other table, and that there would be lots of commotion going on around me. The anesthesiologist would “come at me” with the mask to knock me out. It all sounded so interesting and confusing.

And I missed the whole thing.