Saturday, September 29, 2018

Health Update

I went to see my OB/GYN yesterday for a follow up since it has been about a month since I had surgery.

She was very pleased with my progress. We had a nice talk, which was kind of her since I know she is very busy.  She agreed with me that my situation with the pregnancy had indeed been very dangerous and she was so thankful that she 'caught' the problem in ultrasounds. 

I am so so thankful and happy too.

My pain is down and I'm usually taking ibuprofin once and tylenol once a day, usually toward the end of the day when I get tired.

Speaking of tired, I still get really tired off and on. It's a weird sort of tired -- not a "I want to sleep" necessarily (though there is some of that) but a bone deep weariness and weakness.

I'm assuming it is that my body is still working hard to repair itself.  I'm gradually doing more in the house but I have to pay attention to my own signals. 

We've been doing casual school with the kids for the last 2 weeks, except of course for Naomi and Lydia who are full time in college.  Well, Lydia has 10 credits, but that's really full time for her considering she's never had 4 classes at once (one is a 1 credit class) and she's also helping a lot at home.

But the other kids are doing school more casually.  I've been having them do math and writing and reading the last couple of weeks.  Isaac has finished a Chemistry DVD set.

Teaching is fatiguing for me because of course I have to focus. It is interesting how it isn't just physical activity that wears me out, but mental as well. I've been working with Daniel and Sarah on reading. Daniel, to my surprise, is reading. Did I already mention that recently?  He's only 6.  My older boys couldn't read at age 6.  But he is taking to it very well. He blends with ease. 

Sarah is close to reading fluently but she's not there yet.  She has very poor eyesight and I do wonder if eye strain sometimes makes it hard to read for awhile. I mean, she has really good glasses so maybe she is fine?  My dad was an early and voracious reader in spite of truly terrible eyesight.

So all in all I am very very happy with my progress.

This week I watched a 3 part documentary on Amazon Prime called "Why are We Fat?".  I thought it was excellent.  One thing the documentary discussed (with backup from doctors and researchers) is that digestive 'gut biome' is important. There are important bacteris in our digestive tract that help us.

I was on several antibiotics after surgery which no doubt wiped out much of my healthy biome. So I've been eating yogurt and taking probiotics. I was 'off' digestively for weeks but I feel like I'm getting close to normal.

Two weeks from now I am supposed to be back to mostly normal strength. Now I still can't lift things or vacuum or do a lot except walk.

But I'm making good progress.  Praise the Lord.  And thank you, Dr. K., for your excellent care of me.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


One of the last swims of the year.  We're done now.  The pool isn't closed yet but it is cooling fast.

We paid someone to put gutters on their barn, which necessitated moving the 5th wheel. It's nearer the house now.  The gutter people did their work in like 90 minutes. Amazing. We'll move the 5th wheel back soon.  "We" will.  Kevin will.

Beautiful sunset.

We are doing a little school but not full load since I'm still not 100%.  Not close to 100%, but way better. Anyway, in their spare time they are playing chess.  Miriam is trying to teach Daniel how to play chess in this picture.  I'm dubious that he is able to understand the rules but oh well, they had fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tired but Thankful

I keep improving, and I am thankful.

Still tired, still weak, but thankful.

No sign of any bacterial infection.

No sign of a yeast infection -- and yeast infections are relatively common for someone who has been on a bunch of antibiotics. Have I mentioned I am allergic to anti fungals so if I get a yeast infection I'm in trouble?

Yes, thankful.

This week we started school up again in a gentle way.  The kids did math, writing, and reading.  Joseph loves coding so he spent a lot of time coding.

The older girls are full time in college so they are coming and going. Lydia has a babysitting gig on Friday mornings.   Naomi's job ends this week.  She has been working 3 full days a week since school started.  It's an internship so the last day is the 30th of September.

Rose has been acting up a bit more, probably because I'm not as available to squelch her negative behavior.  She's been calmer of late and is totally adorable all the time, but her big things lately are water and pens. She loves to make water messes in the bathroom and she drew all over a couch in the basement with a pen.

One advantage of being an old hand at mothering a 4 year old is being fairly mellow. Yes, she is being disciplined, but time helps a lot too. None of my older kids write on couches :-).

Daniel is learning how to read.  This is kind of a big deal because his older brothers were not able to blend words until age 7 or so. He is just over 6 and is taking to it like a duck to water.  I haven't pushed him at all but he just gets it.

The important data point here is that kids vary.  Sarah is doing much better in reading these days but she wasn't as early a reader as Daniel.

Kids are different.

Kevin and the older kids have carried a heavy load these last weeks and I am so grateful to them.  I am still not doing much.  I still sit a lot. But I'm better able to keep the household running from the couch as I'm more alert and I can indeed move around for a few minutes without trouble.  Right after surgery, I was in constant pain and had that STUPID CATHETER!!


So yes, I am thankful.  The Lord truly has watched over me and I'm grateful to be alive and healing.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


I am getting better day by day.  Praise the Lord!

That's not to say I'm ready to start doing gymnastics.  I can't do gymnastics at the best of times and this is NOT the best of times.

My OB's office called a few days ago and said testing showed I had a urinary tract infection. I wasn't having the normal symptoms but once I started taking antibiotics, my pain levels dropped significantly. So yeah again for my OB, who has been watching over me carefully.

I do have a recommendation for people wanting to lose weight -- have unexpected, major surgery.  No, not really.  But I have lost like 7 lbs in the last few weeks.  I lost an organ, for one thing. How much does a uterus weigh?  No idea.  My appetite is diminished as well.

Not really the right way to do it, obviously :-).

So Kevin and the kids are keeping the household moving along, with help from Kevin's mom.  I still spend most of my time sitting on the couch but I'm moving around better.  Yesterday I walked 1500 steps, which is actually up quite a bit from a week previous.

I am a couch potato right now.

I'm enjoying Kindle Unlimited because I can keep checking out random books to keep me occupied.  I have also been watching Leverage episodes.  Fun show.

I also re-read Craig DeMartino's book After the Fall.  I've mentioned it before on this blog I think.  DeMartino fell 100 feet off a cliff back in 2002, I think.  He wrecked himself.  His survival is a miracle.  It is really helpful to read about someone who experienced a really serious serious death defying experience to make me more mellow about my own pain and weakness. Plus the book is encouraging and fun to read.  He lost a leg, among other things.  I have my legs.

Speaking of legs, Rose has nice legs.  I've been saying that to her years, "You have such nice legs, Rose."  It's just a thing I say to my sweet girl.  Six months ago she would respond with "No!!!!!!"  Because she was like that.

Now she is agreeable, "Yes, I have nice legs."

She's just more agreeable these days.  She is no longer The Terror.  Yes, she still gets into stuff but she has mellowed so much.  It couldn't have happened at a better time with a weary and weak Mama.

In the midst of weakness, I appreciate our good weather and mourn over the Carolinas, which are being devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Last but not least, I just realized I had a bunch of comments waiting for moderation. I used to get email alerts about comments and then I didn't. I just approved 6 or 7 comments. So if you've been leaving comments, I apologize. I'm a putz not to have checked earlier. And thanks for reading my blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Catheter OUT!!!

I got my catheter out yesterday. My bladder is working the way it is supposed to.


Yes, catheters are awesome because they enable people with bladder injuries to let their body heal up.  Plus sometimes people can't pee because of blockages and stuff and oh, catheters save their lives literally.


I had one for 10 days and yesterday when mine was removed I was very very happy.

I slept incredibly well last night since I didn't have to deal with the stupid tube and irritation and bag and stuff.

So yes, things are improving.

I am still so incredibly tired. My pain is down and I'm not taking as many pain meds. I'm done with my antibiotic and almost done with some other random  med.

But I am still incredibly tired and can't do much.

But my catheter is out.  And I am improving. I am happy.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Post Surgery Update

I am home and doing as well as can be expected. Which is to say that I am in pain and I'm tired. And yes, I have a catheter.

But I am so so so thankful that the operation went well.

It was on Wednesday and today is Sunday.  Last Tuesday, I started bleeding.  We were all on hyper alert but the OB said as long as I didn't start bleeding more, I could wait. And I didn't bleed more.

So we hopped up early on Wednesday morning and went in to Kettering Hospital.  They got me all prepped, my OB came by and we talked, a urologist came by and we talked, and generally we were READY.

And then the cool drugs.  I find anesthesia very odd. The anesthesiologist came by with a syringe in his hand and said Ok, here we go, and he put it in my IV and in 3 seconds I was in complete deep, dreamless darkness.

The OB said that when they opened me up and started working, my uterus just started falling to pieces.  There was lots of blood gushing but since she was right there she was able to get it stopped quickly. I didn't even need a transfusion. But she said there is NO WAY I could have miscarried safely.  It was a genuine ectopic miscarriage in the C-section scar and my uterus was a disaster.  So she saved my life, she really did. I am so thankful that she consulted with experts at another hospital when the first couple of ultrasounds looked weird.  I'm so thankful that the expert at Miami Valley sounded the alarm at the last ultrasound.  He said it was likely I would bleed out if I started miscarrying on my own. He was right.

The urologist was a wonderful Christian man and he worked hard on my bladder, which was indeed stuck to my uterus with scar tissue. My bladder did open up so I've got a catheter in now. The younger kids are quite fascinated by Mom walking around with a bag of pee all the time now :-).  It should come out this Friday.

I truly HATE catheters but I'm doing Ok with it so far.  I had a similar problem when Daniel was born.  The C-section wasn't nearly as invasive but I had a catheter for a week AND a newborn baby who needed frequent nursing.  I don't know how I survived it.

So this time around, I can just rest.  Kevin and big kids are running the house.  It is not easy for any of us with me in pain and everyone stressed. But all in all, we are grateful for God's mercies.

I have been drawn to Job so often these last few weeks. Getting pregnant at age 48 was a huge surprise but we have a history of extreme fertility.  An ectopic pregnancy was a surprise. But why not me?  I mean, yes, it happened. God didn't prevent it. But bad things happen to Christians.  I had a lot of scarring in there so was at higher risk for this than a normal woman, though it was still a VERY rare complication.

I said good-bye to my uterus on Tuesday, which is kind of corny. But I said, "Good job, uterus. You carried 9 kids full term. You did a great job but your work is done."

And that's pretty accurate. For all that I was super high risk, I have 9 healthy kids.

And I will get through this operation and will be back to near normal in a couple of months.

I am very grateful for my medical care, that God spared me so I can live to be a good wife and mom.

To Him be the Glory.