MeUandMaddy's Blog

Welcome to our daily adventures with Maddy…

Month: May, 2013

Another roller coaster ride.

It’s been a while, I know. To recap real quickly, I finished my semester! Woohoo! I checked for my grade everyday like a nutty obsessive fool. I knew my grades were not going to be as great as my first semester…but not too bad overall. I got two A’s, a B, and a C+. I know, the C+ killed me, I wanted to cry…but considering that it was my toughest class, I will take it with a smile and much gratitude. I am ashamed to say, my GPA of 3.75 dropped to 3.53…but as J said, considering my environment and all I had going on, it is a really good GPA.

So after my semester, I read like a mad woman. I’ve been reading one book in a day and a half. For my book club, we’re doing Lori Foster’s SBC fighters series (my favorite, Sublime). OMG. I LOVE my SBC fighters (don’t judge me, I don’t drink or do drugs or go on *irrational* shopping binges…romance novels are my guilty pleasure)…I’ve read the series a few years ago, and when I suggested it at book club (because we LOVE Lori), we agreed to give it a go. And re-reading it now still gives me heart palpitations. What is it about MMA fighters that makes me swoon…I am really looking forward to our next meeting!

M & I joined our friends and did a 5k run called Color Me Rad. It was A TON of fun. We got sprayed and pelted with colorful cornstarch every 1k or so, by the time we got to the finish line, we were a colorful, beautiful mess! This is M’s second 5k run, and I’m SO uber proud of my little baby. She actually ran it and really had fun!

Color Me Rad

Color Me Rad – the AFTER

Ok, that brings us the this week. On Thursday, after I picked up M from school, on our way home I get a phone call from J. The first words out of his mouth were, “The hospital called me.” And of course, I go into panic mode, “Why?! What’s wrong?!” and a million scenarios run through my head in that split second. It turns out that the hospital had a liver for my dad. It was from an 86 year old gentleman. They would run the biopsy and as they await the results, they want to know if we want it.

SO. Of course, my emotions kick in. As I’m talk to J getting the info., I’m in tears sitting in CVS’s parking lot with M asking me if I was ok. I don’t hide from Madison when I cry, we are all human and if we feel like crying, there is no shame in it. I don’t want her to think Mommy is a robot or that since Mommy doesn’t cry, maybe it’s not ok for me to cry. No. It is ok to f’ing cry…I cry all the time…ok, no I don’t, but I do cry. Anyway, I said yes, I’m ok and bless my baby’s little heart, she waited so patiently until I got off the phone to ask me what’s wrong. Granted, she could hear what J is saying through the BlueTooth in the car, but she doesn’t interrupt.

Back to the story. *Sorry, I tend to get off topic* My initial reaction after emotions kick in is YES, WE’LL TAKE IT! But the slightly more rational side of me demands that I make some quick phone calls. One, call my parents. Two, ask J to call my friend who is a geriatric doctor and ask for her opinion. Three, call my dad’s oncologist and ask for his opinion. I get off the phone with J and then M comes out with the inquisition:

Why are you crying? Because I’m really emotional right now. The hospital called Daddy and told him, there is a donor liver available for grandpa. So he can get a transplant. Remember I told you grandpa has an unhealthy liver because of the caner tumors? Well, the doctors wanted him to have a liver transplant to make him healthier.

What’s a transplant?  It is when they take a body part, an organ, from one person and put it in another person to help them.

What’s a donor? A person who donates. In this case, the liver donor is a gentleman.

Where is the gentleman now? *SIGH* The donor past away, baby…he’s in Heaven now.

I feel like I’ve said too much. But I don’t want to lie, and M sometimes can be either very detached and unaffected (not insensitive but just like, Oh…ok and moves on), or very inquisitive and concerned. This was not the latter. I will talk to her more about it later on, but for now, she seems ok. I’ve answered her questions to her satisfaction.

Anyway, J rushed home, thankfully it was 2:30 in the afternoon so there wasn’t much traffic. We also had the HVAC guys here installing our new unit since 9am! Luckily, my sister and my baby niece came down to hang out with us. So she had to stay with the HVAC guys until they were done and took M to her house to spend the night. While J & I took my parents and rushed to the hospital…poor J just rushed home from the city and to now literally turn back around and head BACK out in rush hour traffic. My anxiety was killing me. We had to be at the hospital at a certain time frame, it’s not like they can keep the liver or OR waiting.

We get off the GWB and were FIVE, FIVE…1, 2, 3, 4, FIVE miles from the hospital and the f’ing GPS said 25 minutes. The hospital is calling us every few minutes, Jay’s phone, my dad’s phone to ask us how far we were. It was bananas. I never hated traffic more. To know that we were so f’ing close and all this traffic stood between us and a liver transplant.

We get to the hospital and J drops us off so he can go park. We rush upstairs and like droves, the transplant team was on him. We walked in and it was non-stop.

*Mr. C? *Yes! We made it! Sorry we’re so late, the traffic was terrible. *Come with us. We have 40 mins until the OR.

OMG. Deep breathes. He couldn’t even go pee, poor guy had to hold it until they got his blood work. EKG, lab work, X-Rays, etc. As one of the doctors said, this may seem chaotic and scary, but it’s organized chaos. While I spoke with the doctors, trying to grasp this, my dad is cool as a cucumber! Dr. L kept asking if we had any questions but at the time, I really didn’t. Dr. L (I must say, he is one good looking surgeon! Ok, ok, I’m sorry, back to the event) tells us, It will be a 6-8 hour surgery. He will be here for about 7-10 days depending on his recovery. After surgery, he will be moved to Surgical ICU and we will not wake him until later on the evening since we will be going in tonight and won’t be done until tomorrow morning. We might even wait to wake him the following day. There is a chance of an infection and even a chance of death.

Wow, party pooper, huh?

My dad gets changed, goes with Dr. L down to Xray and we walk with the nurse to the holding area. Our nurse is awesome, very straight forward and kind lady…funny as heck, too. She shows us where to wait for him from Xray and where to wait for him while he’s in surgery. Told us to go get food while he’s in surgery since it’ll be a long night, and then bid us goodnight and told us she’ll see us in the morning. It made my heart warm and fuzzy because she said, don’t worry, he’s in good hands, he’ll be fine…I’ll see you in the morning. Something about her simple (perhaps even automatic) statement had some calming effects.

My dad comes back, the anesthesiologist comes to chat with us. She gives him his IV fluids. Explained that he will get two IVs, one for fluids, one for anesthesia and once he’s under, they will put a catheter in his neck for the full effect. He will also have a breathing tube fed in because it is such a long surgery. And they will not remove it until he is awake and they see that he is strong enough to breathe on his own. So they don’t want him to panic when he wakes up and sees/feels a tube in his throat and tubes/IVs in him, etc. Even after all this, he is still so calm. My God, I would be a damn hot mess.

We wait and wait in this holding area. It looks like a less restrictive ICU. Many beds with a central command center. Once in a while, the automatic doors will open in the end and if the timing is right, if the other door opens when someone is exiting or entering, I can look in and see the actual OR where they were ACTUALLY performing surgery! I nearly passed out. Bright light and people in paper scrubs & blue bouffants (as it is so oddly called as per the box of them staring at me next to my dad’s bed for 3 hours) looking down at something.

So…we met with two of the surgeons and the anesthesiologist. Dr. L comes back and explains that it may be another 40 mins. because while the liver is here, Dr. R who would perform the actual surgery (Dr. L is the fellow doctor who will assist in the transplant) is looking over the liver to be sure. The doctor who removed the liver was a little concerned with the vein but Dr. R wants to look at it now that it is here. We wait.

11PMish, Dr. L comes back and breaks the news. We are not going to use the liver. I thought for a second that I had dozed off and was dreaming. So I come to full attention and for some reason, for the first time tonight, he doesn’t look at me when he’s talking. He looks at J. From the moment I met him when we walked in, he looked me in the eyes and talked to me…even after J showed up and introduced himself. Dr. L always looked at me and spoke while looking in my eyes. And when he made this declaration, I almost wanted to hug him and say, it’s ok…

So there you have it. The doctors rejected the liver. Dr. R came out and talked to us for a while, explained that while age doesn’t effect the liver, it was a healthy liver…the vein was a different story. It was too fragile and would not have made it through the transplant. Did I want to cry, yes. Were we devastated…no. When my dad happily shook Dr. R’s hand, I saw he was ok. He wasn’t torn up or angry or upset.

Words cannot express how grateful I am to the donor. To his family. To my dad’s transplant team. I am humbled. Even though the transplant didn’t happen and we left the hospital without a new liver, I still feel we are truly blessed. All the emotions just sort of froze. I didn’t know how to react. My parents were fine. And surprisingly, I feel ok. I was worried that I would crack, but I’m humbled and I am grateful. For the blessings of the donor and his amazingly altruistic intentions, I would never be able to thank him or his family even though it didn’t work out as planned…but I do pray that he and his family knows how grateful we are. I can only pray that his family receives the strength they need for his passing and I wish I could tell them and the donor, thank you. It’s all I can say because there is no word, just no word strong enough.

To be an organ donor is such an unselfish deed. While I know there are hundreds of thousands of people on a wait list, a list that holds the power of their well being…I cannot imagine the fear, and the angst. My dad may or may not get another phone call with a donor. If I was a match, I’d do it. Scared and chicken-shit as I am…I would. While he may or may not get another call, I can only continue to pray. Pray that his MRI scans come back negative. Pray for his continued positive spirit. I continue to pray for guidence and strength. I know I can’t control everything…the more I try to control things, the more I realize just how little control I have.

I’m exhausted. I’ve cried enough writing this post. I thank God for my amazing family and friends. Without them, I would crumble. Even the most random text or email, just to say something silly, not related to my dad, it makes me smile. It reminds me just how truly blessed I am. For now, all I can say is, truly…thank you.

Until next post, I am going to plant myself into my next delicious book (hey, it keeps me sane).  Peace and love.

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Last day of class for the semester, yay!

So today was my last class for the semester, woo hoo! But I have three finals and a paper for next week, so I’m not in free agent mode yet. I’m excited and nervous, all in one. I’m excited because I’m done for the semester – no more tests, no more papers, no more schlepping my tired butt to class every day. I’ll still have to get up ‘normal’ time to drop off M at school, but afterwards, I can come home and sleep! Shhh, don’t tell her though. And, I’m nervous because, I have had my bouts of depression and when I’m…stagnant, my depression kicks in. And once I’m in that funk, it’s pretty darn difficult to shake. As I’ve told my therapist, I refuse to go back on meds. It took me a long time to shed the meds, and I refuse to go back on. I’ve been free of meds for two years? I don’t even remember! So, anyhow, I have to try and stay active and busy. As much as I complain about school, it keeps me occupied. We’ll see…my famous words…we’ll see.

On Saturday, Jay had to work, so I took M to run some errands. I tried to make it as fun as possible, I had to run to school to return a text book so I told her she can feed the geese/ducks by the pond. Well, sadly – when we got there, there was a big ol’ sign that says DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE. Damn it! M didn’t care actually, she brought her little video camera with her and filmed a lot of stuff. There were two ducks at the pond that kept following her, so she got a few shots of them.

My future film maker.

My future film maker.

Since she LOVED her video camera and was filming everything, all day, I wanted to give her my old Flip. But since I hadn’t used it in so long, the internal battery died. I charged it all day but nothing happened, so Jay said it must be the internal battery…and since Flip doesn’t make them anymore – there’s nothing I can do. It’s just garbage at this point. That sucks!

I have another little Sony video but I need a damn Sony memory card so we’ll work on that next. But she had SO much fun. She kept “directing” me, telling me where to stand so she can get a shot with the scene behind me.

She had a fun day, it was perfect weather, too. I know, to a lot of people, this is boring stuff…but hey, I’m a mom – AND – the blog is for my Maddy! 😉

On Sunday, we went to visit her Girls Scout Camp during their open house. I have to tell you, I’ve never been to camp. Growing up in NY with my family, we didn’t do any of these extra curricular activities. Pffft, Tae Kwon Do? Yoga? Girls Scout? Camp?! I don’t think so. Well, I was a bit shell shocked. This is really like camping style camp. Make fun all you want but it wasn’t until recently that I understood how big an acre is…(for those of you who don’t know, it is about 43,500 square feet, give or take a few feet – square footage, I understand…acres, not so much). ANYWAY, the camp leader told us “This building here is the only one with indoor plumbing so everyone loves this building, but it’s for junior scouts…” Excuse me? You know what my next question is…”Sooo…where do they pee?! They’re here all day!” She calmly told me they’ll use Port-A-Potties or latrines. But Port-A-Potties are better.” OMG. Strike one. As we stroll through beautiful green fields and trees, I ask, “This may sound silly, but ummm…do you guys have ticks here?” Again, calmly she tells me, “Mmmm…sort of. Last year, I only found two ticks on me and I was here for five weeks.” WTF. Strike two.

Ok, so maybe Girls Scout camp isn’t for M. Jay’s right, maybe she should do a swim camp at the gym we go to, or something…anything besides this. Sigh, but I can’t shelter her, right? I mean, if she doesn’t get exposed to this camp stuff, she’ll send up like Jay & I…clueless w/ nature. So…expose her to 120 acres of trees and outdoorsy greens, and ticks and possibly lyme disease and peeing in latrines, or shelter her and keep her in a bubble. Hmmm….

When we left, she adored the camp, she was looking forward to it. I give her two days max before she comes crawling out of the woods with twigs in her hair and dirt under her nails screaming she hates camp. We’ll see. I hope she enjoys it though. She does get to swim everyday and go boating, AND she’s VERY excited for archery. Step aside, Katniss Everdeen…

Ok, my allergies are kicking my butt, my head is going to explode so I’m off to bed. More soon! Hey, I’m getting better at this blog thing…now I just need to figure out the rest of the stuff.

Me & my Maddy

Me & my Maddy

Peace, love, and happiness to you!

My happy gal…

I had to add this pic to cheer up everyone’s mood. Good night!!!

My sweet, sweet girl:

Life is tough...

Life is tough…

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

M joined a flash mob at school this week, they plan to surprise the principal during the talent show next week. They’re doing a song from Les Miserable – Do You Hear The People Sing? The practice was tonight and it was SO awesome! To see kids sing together and be so proud of their talent made my heart all warm and fuzzy. And the older kid can sing!!!

I’m not quite sure if M, at 7 years old understands the idea of a flash mob, so I’ll YouTube some videos for her tomorrow. But she loved the thought of just sitting as an audience and then suddenly break out into a singing number in front of random people. Yeah, that’s my daughter. I cannot wait to see them in action though! This is a group of kids with M & her classmate being the youngest and the oldest is in 8th grade, it’s not a huge group but it will be fun, nonetheless. And it’s a great song!

I’m exhausted, again. I know, what else is new. FUCK – I forgot ketchup. Random, I know…but we went to lunch today with her classmate and her mom, we had an awesome time at Pei Wei, but I specifically thought, “oh, this works out, I can run into Trader Joe’s to grab the ketchup I needed!”  And low and behold, I went to Trader Joe’s, got a bunch of crap and just now – I remembered, I fucking forgot the ONE thing I went in for…KETCHUP. Ugh!

Where was I? Ok, something about exhaustion? Yea. Well, I’m going to crawl into bed and sneak in a few minutes of reading before I doze to snooze land. I mean, damn it, it’s only 11:31pm on a Friday night, I should be able to stay up later than this, wtf?!

So, as some of you know, I am a sucker for romance novels…I don’t care what anyone says – make fun all you want, but hot damn, I love my yummy romance novels. It’s my guilty pleasure. Some people splurge on shoes, for others, cleaning relaxes them (I don’t know what planet they’re from, but I’ve witnessed it, they do exist, J is one of them), me? My pleasure is romance novels. My little local book club from Meetup (although I took it off Meetup – people don’t show up when they RSVP yes!),  we read “Happily Ever After” books and meet up once a month and happily discuss our yummy books.  But in between our meets – I get my fix, I fill up whatever free time I have reading. This month we are reading my beloved Nalini Singh. One of our girls has never read a paranormal before, and so Nisha is “excited to pop Pat’s paranormal cherry”. None better with than Nalini Singh! I can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

But this week, I did get to read one of my favorite stories! Beautiful Disaster’s sequel, Walking Disaster…I mentioned it in my last post, Cara & I giggled like freakin’ school girls talking about this at Tricky Tray last week. I’m going to try and attach my GoodReads review here, we’ll see if it works. I’m NOT tech savvy at all, my techy techie, sigh, my computer guy (aka J) is already snoring away in that warm, deliciousness of a bed…so I’m on my own for this one.

 

Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, how I love my Travis Maddox! Within 3 minutes of reading, I am already so enthralled in the book, I can’t tear away from it. Beautiful Disaster was amazing, but Walking Disaster made my life whole. A mommy friend of mine also read the book and we both agreed, reading Travis’s POV gave us the insight to complete their intense story. I was nervous going in, I had high expectations for Walking Disaster because Beautiful Disaster was such a great story. I worried if I would feel like I was just re-reading book one…but Walking Disaster was so well written, I didn’t feel the repetition. My short tempered Travis…he still made me cry, even though I knew what was going to happen. He still made me want to hug the snots out of him and yell at him at the same time. My sadness for some skipped parts in the story, were cheered up by ten folds in their amazing epilogue. I just adore Travis & Pigeon’s love story.

View all my reviews

What is that itch?

As we come closer to the end of the semester, I am itching, just itching for something…what it is, I’m not quite sure. A drink? A getaway? A long slumber? No clue. My brain has been racing all over the place, and I cannot wait for the my last class to end on Monday. Then finals will begin the following week, but it’s ok – it’s gotta be done! I want to not have to study or read papers or do quizzes…I want to do nothing but sit in my jammies and read all day. BUT…let’s be realistic here…that will not happen. I still have to get up my normal time to drop M off at school, run my errands/appointments, clean the darn house and take care of the laundry…and I have to go in for my RA lab work on campus. SO…I may get to read a little bit more, but not as much as I would like. Ah well…still nice to have a break. OOH, and I have to study for my GRE. Yay.

I did go see my neuropsych professor during her office hours…not to ask a question about the material, but to discuss my grade. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this class and I adore this professor, she is a genius, cuts to the chase, and pretty funny, too. So…fingers crossed that I do well on my final, so that I can bring my grade up a smidgen.

I did finally finish reading Walking Disaster. At Tricky Tray last week, I was talking to a friend of mine and (we love all the same books) when I brought up the topic, she & I were giggle like little girls. Good God, people thought we won a prize we were squee’ing and giggle so much. But we both loved it. Being able to see Travis’s POV was awesome and brought some closure to some feelings we had. AND the epilogue was AMAZING! For the rest of Tricky Tray, we just talked about books and had an idea to start a local book club within our group. We’ll see how it goes. I’m all for it!

We did Rutgers’ Day last weekend and M had a blast! We went with her friend from school and her mom & baby brother. We got there early enough were parking wasn’t an issue, Erinn drove because I hate driving in crowds and squeezing into parking spots, but luckily – Erinn found us a pretty sweet spot. The kiddos got to feed two baby sheep, which of course were not hungry by the time it was their turn. The M & Bridget insisted they go into the cage with the wolves…who are we to argue. So, we let them go. The girls LOVED the wolves, they got to pet them and talk to them, even met a pup. It was a $3 donation to go in to the cage with the wolves (there were handlers in there, don’t worry, we got this…) and they freakin’ LOVED every minute – did not want to come out!

M & Brady did a clementine eating contest. Granted, he’s only 3 and M is 7, so Erinn had to step in and even out the odds. She helped peel his clementine and may or may not have shoved some wads of clemintines in his mouth…I can’t say…I don’t have proof. But Brady won! And he was SO proud, he finished and threw his hands up in the air just like the young lady told him to do before the contest. He won a little lunch bag and for the rest of the day, he carried that bag like it was his golden trophy, he was SOOO cute!

Bridget wanted to see the horse on the treadmill so we waited around and I have to say, it was pretty f’ing awesome! I haven’t synced my phone yet but once I do, I’ll add it here but WOW, the horse wanted to run and when she finally did get up to a fully gallop, it was SO NEAT! Seeing the horse run on the treadmill was probably the highlight of the event. By the end of the show, we were famished…so we walked around a little bit more and went to an early dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. The kiddos had a fun filled day, which was nice. I love seeing M so happy and carefree – I feel bad sometimes because on most weekdays after school, we’re doing homework and that’s all. When she asks me to play with her, most of the time – I can’t because I have to get this paper out or I have to study or I have to get dinner ready…it’s always something. So on weekends, we try so hard to have fun and play. I don’t want her to grow up so fast that when I’m ready to play with her, she’s out the door on a date with her boyfriend or something. Thinking of that makes me sad…

Ok, enough of that! I’m off to bed – I’m exhausted. These allergies are killing me. Coffee, Zyrtec, and Advil is my daily breakfast nowadays. Breakfast of champions! I will post some pics and the horse video soon.

Peace, love, and happiness to you!

xoxo