Thursday, January 30, 2014

Arm Surgery

I had surgery on my arm on Tuesday. They sedated me and put a metal plate and screws in my arm, near my wrist. I was nervous about being sedated more than anything else, but it was actually ok. The nurse told me that I told them about my nightmare ER visit where the doctor wrestled my broken arm and then I asked her when Adele was bringing a new CD out. All pretty tame ramblings compared to what I could have come out with!

They blocked the nerves in my arm so that was very weird. Having this limb attached to me that I couldn't feel. When I held onto the hand it felt like I  was holding someone elses' hand. Another very strange phenomenon was that I could swear my arm was across my chest, I could feel it and even feel some sensation like cold and itch, when it was in fact laying by my side completely numb. How weird!

I was told by everyone to take lots of medicine before the blocker wore off. It didn't matter. It would have made no difference. Between 12 and 20 hours after surgery was the most painful time of my life. Starting at 11pm that night I cried, writhed in pain, groaned a lot and begged for medicine every hour or so. Neither of us got any sleep and we were completely shattered yesterday. I spent at least 6 hours on the couch in a drug-induced stupor. Poor Craig had to see to me and had the kids too, since the schools were closed for two days. He has been amazing.

Today we both perked up a bit, the kids were back in school and I'm not in pain anymore. We are both back at work tomorrow so that's a good thing. I need to get back to normal!

I'll see the surgeon on Monday so hopefully will get a new picture of my bionic arm. Jack has already scanned me with his metal detector and marvelled at my beeping arm!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daniel at Five

Well our boy is five. It feels like a big milestone, maybe because it means he'll start kindergarten this Autumn.
He had a low-key day today as the polar vortex part 2 hit us (-11 f this morning) and schools were closed. But he got some very cool presents and he's had fun.

Why yes you are
He's such a different boy from 12 months ago. His confidence has soared. He's doing well at pre-k and starting to join in where he wouldn't have. He's still super tall but as skinny as a spring bean because he rarely eats. He's intelligent, loving, headstrong, independent and funny. Really funny. Also really perceptive, seeing things most people pass by.

I asked him a few questions yesterday ...

Favourite color  - Blue
Toy - Minecraft toys
Film - Despicable Me 2
Friend - Rocco
Place - Chuck E Cheese
Thing about being 5 - Having cake and getting cards
What do you want to do when you grow up?  "I want to own a shop called makin' bacon and make bacon".

Happy Birthday Daniel!  We love you so much and we are incredibly proud of you.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Danny's Tea Party

After school today we had a tea party for Daniel. It was loud and rambunctious and at times chaotic but that's ok. He loved it. The Minecraft cake was amazing, made by our friends Heather & Duane. It was the talking point of the party and the kids all wanted to eat the creeper. For those of you, like me, who know nothing about video games, Minecraft is like crack for kids. They are obsessed with it.

So our little boy had a great time and didn't cry or get shy being the center of attention like he has in the past. In fact, when we all sang Happy Birthday to him he looked so happy that he shined. It was a lovely moment.
The birthday boy

Making a wish

The Minecraft cake was the highlight of the party

Kids arguing over who gets the second slice after Daniel

What a motley crew

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow Day

Today we had plans to go bowling but Mother Nature had other ideas. We had white-out conditions and then snooooowww! Lots and lots of snow which put us at a level 2 emergency. While I  did some left-handed, half-assed housework Craig took the boys for some fun outside ...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Danny's BD Weekend

Since I'll be in surgery on Tuesday, we have decided to start Daniel's birthday celebrations this weekend. And I  want to make a fuss of him because he's the 2nd child, and rarely does our family life revolve around just him.
Daniel at 5
We started last night by watching "The Croods" and having pizza delivered. The fun family moment was disrupted briefly after Jack drank milk too quick and barfed everywhere, but all-in-all it was fun.

Today he went to parkour with friends then to a play date at one of their houses. Then we met several friends at Chuck E Cheese, which is hell on earth for parents but a place of great joy for kids. I didn't take any pictures of our time there or Daniel with his best friend Rocco as I was running about buying pizza and tokens and making sure none of the kids got kidnapped.

The day ended perfectly with us all snuggled up on the couch, with a roaring fire, watching The Croods again. It was a great start to our boy's 5th birthday celebrations.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lefty Day 5: FOOD!

Here's the x-rays from my break. When I went to meet the surgeon yesterday guess who was there? The ER doctor who put me through the most excruciating pain of my life on Saturday night! I nearly fainted. I think if he'd have touched my arm I would have screamed and kneed him in the goolies. I'll never get over that pain as long as I live.

The radius bone broken (below my wrist). Now I know why my wrist was bulging out - eek!

The same spot after the sadist doctor wrestled and pummeled the bone back in line. It's not lined up right though.
A nurse gave me a new splint and she was such a sweetheart. She told me she had a similar experience with the bone reset/reduction thing when she was a teenager. I did ask the surgeon why it hurt so much and he said I did a really good job on myself. I crushed the bone "like cornflakes" he said. Nice! So I am set to have surgery on Tuesday, on Daniel's 5th birthday. That sucks but we can spoil him all this weekend. We have a lot planned.

One thing that has blown me away has been the generosity of friends. There has been a constant stream of food into our house - soup, chili, a full roast chicken dinner with roast potatoes, salad, City Barbecue delivery and bread, to name just some. I've also had friends taking Daniel to pre-school, offering to take me shopping and just checking in daily. It all means so much to me. I'm almost embarrassed how nice people are being to us! I hope that I can repay some of this if ever a friend is in need.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lefty - Day 3

I  have come to the conclusion that the ER doctor did a bit of a botch job on me. I have met several people who've had their broken bone reset and it wasn't an agonising experience like mine. He's also made the splint so uncomfortable that I'm barely able to sleep. Craig told me today that he heard the nurses complaining about him and his lack of a bedside manner. Bedside manner? He was a masochist! He grabbed my broken, swollen mangled arm and crushed it as hard as he could.

So I'm meeting with an orthopedic surgeon in the morning. I'm hoping they tell me that it's healing and they can put a cast on for a few weeks. But since I can feel the bone moving they'll probably tell me I have to have a pin set by a surgical procedure. Whatever they decide I cannot wait to get this splint off!

Friends have been amazing - bringing food, seeing to the kids, and covering my work load. I  feel humbled.

On a lighter note, I have compiled some of the more bizarre or difficult challenges this injury has caused ...

Craig is still horrified that the ER nurse looked at him with disgust then whispered to me "was this domestic abuse?" 

Bart is determined to jump on my splint. He's been following me about and eyeing it with menace.

Brushing my teeth left-handed results in toothpaste in my hair and all over my clothes. It's like being a child.

Been wearing my daily contact lenses for 4 days now.

Lesson learned - shave legs, armpits and rogue hairs whenever you get the chance. Because having your loved one help you shower, get dressed and put deodorant on is embarrassing enough without looking like a yeti. And having the surgeon fiddle about with my arm tomorrow while I have under arm hair is just too much to bear. The shame!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Broken Arm Conundrums

I broke my arm last night. My right radius to be exact, as I was leaving Eric's 50th birthday party. You could assume that the injury was the result of some raucous drunken shenanigans but this time it was just a slip on the ice.

I've never broken a bone before. It HURT. The most painful thing though was when they reset it. The doctor said I did great, was very brave and restrained. That surprised me because I cried out a few blasphemous and rude words and did lots or back arching and bed kicking. Resetting basically means grabbing said broken bone and wrestling it back into place, so you can imagine it wasn't a walk in the park. I like the fact that they considered me brave but if that's the case they must come across some real lunatics.

So things like dressing and going to the loo are a challenge. I am having to just wear my contact lenses 24/7. I'll deal with that on a day-to-day basis. Driving will be doable. Writing will not. It's hard for me to rest too because I'm type A. It's going to be an interesting few weeks!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Travels to Indy

This past week marked the start of my travelling month for work. I drove to Indianapolis, which is 3 hours drive due west of Columbus. I hate Indianapolis and I feel terrible saying that but not too much. The first time I went there years ago I mistakenly stayed in a dump of a hotel  in the ghetto, miles from the place I was going to work at.
This time I had the most terrifying drive of my life. About 5 miles outside of the city the motorway was covered in 1-inch thick ice ruts, that made your car slide and wobble in the ruts. With everyone doing 60-70 mph it made for some pretty frightening driving. Couple that with the fact that I was nervous about driving in an unfamiliar city and worried about getting lost and you can probably sympathise why I was cursing the place the whole time I was driving.
Once I was there of course and got together with work friends I had a great time. But I came away with no love lost again on the place itself, which is unusual for me because I typically find something to love about every new place I go. Am I missing something? What little treasures might that city have that could sway my opinion.
It could have been worse I suppose

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Baby it's Cold Outside

Since my last post it got COLD.  A polar vortex (yes, everything has a name these days doesn't it) swung down from the Arctic. Climate change is causing this apparently. Normally, that big old vortex (like a big hurricane) swirls around and around the arctic undisturbed, but when warmer air hits the vortex then it breaks apart and a smaller hurricane/vortex swirls off in different directions. In our case it swirled off to the northern USA. We didn't get it anywhere near as bad as Minnesota or the Dakotas but we did have a low of -7 F (-22 C) last night with a wind chill of - 40 F (-40 C).

Schools were closed. The Ohio State University was closed. You couldn't let your dog out for a wee without having a blast of ice hit your throat. Friends did cool things on Facebook like make coloured balloon ice balls and throw water up in the air to make a snow cloud. My car was stuck to the road with ice. Both cars have struggled to start. Our windows were encased in ice inside our home (reminded me of the film "The Day After"). We stayed indoors and did our best not to kill each other. There were moments though I can tell you.

All in all it was very cool so I'm not going to pretend it was terrible   - Craig and I got two extra days off work and the weather was so crazy it was amazing to experience. Actually, it was the coldest temperature I have experienced in my 44 years on this earth.

Now we also did our bit for other people. We gave blankets and coats etc. to a local resource center that helped local homeless people. We also helped neighbours with child care. And we took good care of our animals. One of the heartbreaking parts of this crazy Arctic storm the last few days has been me thinking about all the homeless people, all the poor people with no heat and all the animals left outside. That shit bothers me constantly it really does.

But back to our family. When I took this picture yesterday it was it a windchill of -35 F. We ran outside and did it then ran back in, laughing at how stupidly cold it was. A true Englishman!

Craig: Wear shorts till hell freezes over

Friday, January 03, 2014

A Quilt

My neighbour has been spoiling me. This last few months she has got me a Johnny Cash book, a wine hamper and now she's made me a quilt. This is all down to the fact that her boys come to my house each day before school and a couple days after school. This is no hardship for me because her boys are lovely and they get along with my boys. And as all parents know, it's actually easier to have other kids for your kids to play with because then your kids aren't whining or scrapping with each other. My oldest boy adores her oldest boy too, so she's actually helping me out more than she could ever know.

So I have to seriously tell her to stop thanking me. But looks at this quilt! This pictures doesn't do the intricate needlework and detail any justice at all. These hand-sewn little patches include pictures of London buses, phone boxes, soccer balls, the crown jewels, Union Jacks and all other things close to my heart. There's even a few deer pictures in there for Craig. We love it. It has inspired me to design my whole bedroom around it.

Coolest Bed Ever

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year! We partied with our neighbours for far too long and drank far too much, which made for a miserable day yesterday, but we have no regrets. I still haven't recovered quite enough to de-Christmas the house so it looks like weekend will be the best time for that. We have a major blizzard with horrendously cold temperatures forecast for the next week but we have snow and it's VERY pretty.

I am not going to list my resolutions for 2014 since I completely ignore them and it makes me feel guilty. My hope for this year is only that we all continue to be healthy and happy. That is all.

So Happy New Year folks. I think Danny sums it up perfectly...