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Looking Back

Shoulder Surgery

Hubby recovering from shoulder surgery

One week ago, I took D over to the military hospital to check in for his shoulder surgery. After filling out the paperwork, we were walked up the stairs to the waiting room. A little while later, he was called back to get prepared for the surgery. Once he was settled in and had lots of tubes and what not hooked up, I was called back. (I was told that I couldn’t be around when they did the initial prep.) Of course things didn’t start out very well when they put the IV in the wrong hand, so they had to redo it.

After a very long delay, we were told that the OR was ready, so I needed to leave the room as they didn’t want me passing out when they did the nerve block. (Let’s put aside the fact that I’ve been around a lot worse. lol!)

I was escorted out of the area and headed out to get some lunch as it was well after lunch time at this point. Little did I know that I shouldn’t have left the building – at all. I went to the exchange and grabbed something to eat and headed back to the hospital to sit in the waiting room. Only, when I got buzzed into the waiting room area, I was escorted into a room where my husband was laying around waiting for me to get back. (I had his clothes since he was supposed to be heading into surgery.)

I found out that after doing the nerve block, they realized that the equipment wasn’t working in the OR. The back-up equipment wasn’t sterile, and the machine that they use to sterilize equipment was down. So, now, poor D has a nerve block on his shoulder which means no feeling in his arm, and the surgery has to be rescheduled. We went home with me in a less than charitable mood to say the least.

As the nerve block completely settled in, D started to experience some difficulty breathing. He wasn’t able to use his arm at all. Needless to say, it was a very long and frustrating night. Later the following day, after the feeling in D’s arm had finally returned, he received a call letting him know that the surgery had been rescheduled for Wednesday. They assured us that the equipment was all in working order.

Mid-morning on Wednesday, we head back over to the hospital. His paperwork is not in order, so they have to get all new paperwork when he checks in. As we’re being escorted to the waiting area, we learn that we should never have been taken up the stairs on Monday. Policy stated that we were supposed to be taken up in the elevator because they don’t know what medical conditions the patient may have.

We didn’t have to wait very long in the waiting room this time around. They took D back and got him into his lovely gown, and then I was called back to sit with him. Due to the complications from the nerve block, D chose not to do the nerve block this time. I was also there when they hooked him up to all of the equipment this time. I watched as one person blew out the vein has he tried to put in the IV, so someone else had to come along and do the IV.

After some time passed, they rolled D back to the pre-op room. This time, I decided not to go anywhere just in case. I heard many apologies that day as several individuals (including the surgeon and head OR nurse) felt rather bad about the whole fiasco on Monday. After the surgeon closed D up, he came out and informed me that D’s shoulder was worse than expected. He said it was trashed and very angry. He went over all the pictures and the procedures that he did. Honestly, I really liked the surgeon and the head OR nurse as they were on top of things and pretty horrified by the less than professional nature of how things had gone down previously.

Once D was in recovery, I was escorted back to see him. He was in pain, out of it, and rather ill. I was pretty surprised that they immediately gave him water rather than ice chips. Needless to say, as soon as he took a sip of water, he got sick. I was a little taken aback at how quickly they released him from the hospital. He was so out of it and sick. He wasn’t even at a point where he could make sense of the questions they were asking him. Every time he moved, he got sick. It was not a fun trip home – at all. I felt so bad as there was nothing I could do to make things better for him.

The arrival home was not a fun event as he was so ill and out of it. The pain was not under control – especially since he kept getting sick which meant he wasn’t able to keep pain meds down. Once he finally got comfortable, he was able to relax and fall asleep. Sleep was ultimately what allowed him to start to feel a little better. Of course, I had to wake him up every four hours to give him meds, so it was a long night.

We’ve finally settled into a regular routine which still includes a regular med, exercise, and icing routine. He has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but we’re optimistic about what the future holds. It’s doubtful that he’ll get back to 100%, but we’ll both be happy if he has a functional shoulder again.

Looking Back at 2015

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in 2016. Yes, I typed it wrong and had to change the date as I’m still not used to typing 2016. **grin** It seems like we were just starting 2015 yesterday. 2015 was a crazy year for us, so I thought it would be fun to look back at pull out a picture from each month. It’s good to remember even as we look ahead a what 2016 may hold in store for us.

January – New Year Begins with Snow

It's Snowing

Because we live in an area where snow is not a regular occurrence, we can happily welcome an unexpected storm that dumps way more snow than projected. We were all rather excited even if it did create a few issues as we weren’t prepared for that much wet snow and single digit temps.

February – Making Lots of Gluten Free Granola

Gluten Free Coconut Granola

If you’ve ever priced gluten free granola at the store, you know it can get pretty pricey which is a problem if you have someone in your family who really likes granola. When you have several people who like granola, you end up using granola as a garnish rather than as the main breakfast dish because it’s just too expensive. One of those store-bought bags of granola usually equals roughly 4 bowls of cereal – maybe.

March – Bouldering Scratch ‘n Sniff

Hiking with Crash Pad

D has been rock climbing pretty much since we first moved to this duty station. He has really enjoyed this new, challenging form of exercise. For Christmas, I gave him a crash pad that is used for bouldering. Today, we were able to head out to the park for him to try it out for the first time.

Note: Little did we know that a couple of months later D would injure his shoulder which limited his climbing. When he injured his other shoulder not too long after that, it stopped his climbing all together and set in motion the series of events that would eventually lead to him needing surgery.

April – Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Somewhere along the way my baby grew up. It’s hard to believe that she’s now sixteen. Once she gets her hours in with her driving permit, she’ll be getting her license. She’s no longer a little girl, but she’ll always be my baby.

May – High School Graduation

Our 2015 High School Graduate

It’s hard to believe that a little over a week has passed since Munchkin graduated from high school. While our homeschool journey has come to an end, learning will never end. We’re already preparing for college and other learning endeavors.

June – Creation Rim Tour at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Rim Tour

To celebrate Munchkin’s graduation, we headed over to the Grand Canyon to take a rim tour with Canyon Ministries. Our day started rather early as we needed to meet our guide – Guy – in Williams by 07:00. We all piled into the tour vehicle, and Guy began to tell us a little about Canyon Ministries and what we’d be doing that day.

July – Fitness Friday: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Fitness Friday - when injury interrupts your regularly scheduled fitness routine

I let hubby know what has happened, and I then I wait until he can get home from work to take me to the ER. A trip to the ER and some x-rays show that it’s not broken. It’s a really bad sprain, so I have a sprained toe on my left foot and a sprained ankle on my right. The put a splint on it and give me crutches and pain meds. I’m off my foot for a minimum of a week, and I’m not allowed to drive. Because of the sprained toe, moving on the crutches is very painful, so I’m pretty much not moving around for now.

Note: Little did I know when I wrote this that I would be on crutches for nearly 6 months and still unable to walk regularly when the new year rolled around. **sigh**

August – A New Chapter: Our College Girl

Munchkin's book from her first semester of college.

I can’t believe our baby girl is now a college student. Yes, she’s currently attending school locally, but it’s still a huge change for us.

She’s working on some “basic” classes for her future geology major with biology minor. Her first semester of college includes Chemistry, Trigonometry, College Composition, and Physics. It’s certainly not an easy first semester, but she’s motivated to do well as she knows it will help her with her future plans. It’s not a load that I would have wanted to take right away. 😉

September – College Road Trip

College road trip with Daddy

Daddy had to head to the East Coast for some school related stuff, so Munchkin went along with him. While there, they headed over to tour the campus of Cedarville.

October – Our New Licensed Driver

Munchkin has her temporary driver's license.

Munchkin’s road to getting a license has been a long one mainly because she really didn’t have an interest in driving. Since she attends college classes every day and there have been a couple of instances where I couldn’t get over to pick her up right away due to some complications with other events, she slowly began to see the importance of being able to drive. With that realization and the expiration of her learner’s permit looming, she really applied herself to getting comfortable with driving.

November – RZR: Making Improvements

Testing out the new RZR Doors

Since we live in the desert, Munchkin is able to drive the RZR to and from college classes as long as the weather cooperates. The ability to stay on dirt the whole way to the college makes this possible. It’s definitely a plus of desert life since Munchkin’s truck isn’t up and running yet. I’m sure we’ll eventually see that happen. For now, we’ve been making a few improvements on the RZR to make it a little nicer for the commute.

December – The Search for Christmas Snow

Making a quick stop at the Big Bear Discovery Center

While we don’t normally live in areas that get much (if any) snow, we all still enjoy it. We love milder winter weather, but we do miss the fun that comes with snow now and again. Munchkin especially wanted snow for Christmas this year, so we decided to head out on a little exploration adventure in search of snow.

The Search for Christmas Snow

Making a quick stop at the Big Bear Discovery Center

While we don’t normally live in areas that get much (if any) snow, we all still enjoy it. We love milder winter weather, but we do miss the fun that comes with snow now and again. Munchkin especially wanted snow for Christmas this year, so we decided to head out on a little exploration adventure in search of snow.

Munchkin and Daddy getting ready to check out the snow covered shores of Big Bear Lake

We headed up to Big Bear Lake. It’s a long, curvy, steep road which means Munchkin’s tummy wasn’t too happy, but that all went away once we got to the top. We made a quick stop at the Big Bear Discovery Center before heading over to the lake.

View of the snowy shores of Big Bear Lake

It was quite windy, but it was still a beautiful day. The snow covered shores were absolutely beautiful.

Munchkin heading down to the shores of Big Bear Lake

Of course, Munchkin quickly headed down to the water. (When you live in the desert, you seem to always be drawn towards water even when it is cold. lol!)

Exploring the snowy shores of Big Bear Lake

The air was crisp and clear. It smelled wonderful even if it hurt to breath in the cold air. We were rather surprised that a family was setting up a picnic when we arrived. I think I would have eaten in the vehicle, but we have gotten a bit soft over the years. 😉 Munchkin is definitely a desert baby. 🙂

Munchkin getting ready to throw a snowball at Daddy

No snow adventure would be complete without at least a snowball or two being thrown. Munchkin was the first to toss a snowball at Daddy. He caught it and toss it back. She was thrilled to be able to play in the snow even if it was only for a brief period of time.

The icy waters of Big Bear Lake

Our plan was to head down the mountain and grab some Chick-fil-a for a later lunch. We thought we’d try out a different way down the mountain. Little did we know that we were heading into the huge snow park area. Thankfully, we were heading in the opposite direction as the traffic was horrible. It just kept going and going. We’re quite certain that some of the people would have waited in traffic for 4 to 5 hours before ever hitting the snow area, and that doesn’t even include trying to find parking. Yikes! We won’t be going that way in the winter. Even though it took a little longer than expected, we enjoyed our snow adventure and our Chick-fil-a lunch. 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas 2015

We had a very relaxing Christmas this year filled with some quality family time.

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas

Christmas pjs featuring cute Star Wars characters

Munchkin assembling Star Wars Lego set from Christmas Stocking

Daddy assembling Star Wars Lego set from Christmas stocking

My Christmas gift from Munchkin and D - the Willow Tree mother daughter piece

Introducing Marvel

Marvel sitting on Munchkin's shoulder

As soon as Graham passed away, Munchkin started looking for a new guinea pig in our area. Guinea pigs are social animals, so she didn’t want Alvin to be along even though he was getting tons of extra attention and love from all of us.

Marvel and Alvin sitting on Munchkin.

After about 2 weeks, she found this sweet little guy and brought him home. After a great deal of consideration, she decided to call him Marvel. She was happy to have a new guinea pig before Christmas.

Alvin and Marvel cuddling with Munchkin

Alvin helped Marvel settle in and allowed him to eat a little extra share of veggies. Now that he’s settled in, Alvin is making sure that Marvel knows that he is the boss. lol!

Wiley and Alvin hanging out

Marvel is very active, so he tends to capture the attention of our other furry pets. Wiley and Alvin are friends (although Wiley needs to be carefully monitored to be on the safe side), but Wiley isn’t seeing Marvel as part of the family yet. Marvel is just too little and crazy. All that sudden movement is too much for Wiley. Wyatt seems to understand that Marvel is family as he often puts Wiley in his place. 😉

Sweet little Marvel

While no guinea pig could ever replace Graham, Marvel has been a welcome addition to the family, and he’s helping sooth some of the pain that goes with the loss of a dear pet.