Sunday, January 31, 2010

Outdoor Adventure

After a convincing sales pitch from Chris, I was talked into going outside for the first time in two weeks for a walk. Going anywhere, even the couch, requires a little prep time every morning to get myself gussied up for the day.
That's some pretty sweet bed head. Nothing a wet comb, some baby wipes and a wash cloth can't handle. In no time I was dressed (very carefully in pants) and ready to rumble.
I shuffled, very slowly, slightly hunched over holding my drain ball in my hands through my pockets while we walked around the cul-de-sac and down the street to the stop sign and back. I was pooped when we got back, but it felt great to be out in the 60 degree sunshine. Afterwards I spent most of the rest of the day relaxing. Too much activity in one day makes me stiff and cranky the next. Instead, we watched a four hour Lifetime Movie Network movie called Maneater (seriously) and ate the rest of my little cherry tartlets I'd made a couple days ago.
Never too sick or broken to make baked goodies!

Once we finish watching the Bourne Ultimatum (for the hundredth time), we'll catch a little of the Grammy's. Chris is back to work tomorrow and I'm on my own this week. I've been healing great this weekend so I fully expect the go ahead from the doc's office tomorrow to come in this week and get my last drain out. Then I can shuffle myself anywhere I want!! Straight to my own bed for starters....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Patient Update

No photos because I've done absolutely nothing in the last two weeks except sit/recline on the couch and watch TV. I can get up and down off the couch by myself, which is a big accomplishment, and I can sit straight up in a chair and after a few minutes I can stand straight up, too. I was sent home with two incision drains, one of which was removed the Monday after surgery. However, I've continued to drain so much fluid since, the second drain has had to stay in which means that I can't take off my girdle and I can't shower. That's the part I hate the most. I wash my hair in the sink and take sponge baths, but there's a smell to the incisions and all the bandages that I despise and can't wait to wash off.

I was supposed to go back to work next Tuesday, but obviously that's not going to happen. I'll be calling in on Monday to inform them that I'll be out for the entire week. Hopefully I can get my drain out next week, get my smaller girdle, shower and go back to work the following week. I'm still on pain medications, but they don't make me sleep all day anymore so I think I can hack a full day of work. If not, I'll work as long as I can and come home early.

I am definitely postponing my second surgery. I had no idea how incredibly difficult this whole procedure would be on me, and until my abdominal muscles heal, I completely rely on my leg muscles to do all the work. I'm not even naming dates, I'm just taking my time to heal and playing it by ear.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grimace McGee

Well, the first week of recovery is over and I'm doing pretty well. Yesterday was a big milestone in that I was able to get off the couch all by myself. I don't hurt, really, my abdomen is just stiff when I stand from a sitting position which gives me the grimace face. One of my drains came out Monday and the other one will probably come out Thursday. That will make everything more comfortable while I spend my days and nights on the couch.
Got my remote, pillows, puke bucket, saltines and magazines. Other than that I've been spending my day drinking prune juice. Yuck.
With no stomach muscles to speak of, prune juice is my new best friend.

Pam (our receptionist from work) came and spent the afternoon with me today. Mum always gets me started with breakfast, then turns me over to my afternoon sitter. Pam brought yummy treats with her today. A cheesy potato chicken dish from a Mennonite cafe in town (who knew?) and a meatloaf from Holiday in P-town. We had the cheesy potato dish tonight and it was magically delicious.
The potatoes were in hashbrown form so it was creamy and easy to eat. I must seek out this Mennonite cafe for more delicious treats. Apparently it's out by the UPS distribution center off of Hegan Ln. I learn something new every day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gifts, gifts and more gifts...

Apparently today is my third day of recovery, though my internal clock is a day off since I completely slept though Wednesday except the handful of people I allegedly called and talked to. Why would anyone give a drugged patient a phone?

Friday is grocery shopping day so Mum came over to babysit me while Chris ran over to CholoMaxx and Trader Joe's with a shopping list in hand. Mum even brought me some flowers to brighten my mood.

My other visitor for the day was my co-worker Joanna who brought us some kind of mexican casserole, with chips, cheese and sour cream to dress it up with. It was yummy and so nice to not have Chris make dinner since he's been having to take care of me every waking moment.
I used my chips to scoop it up, kind of like Taco Flats from when were kids. And yesterday one of the gals from the Fire Prevention Dept brought me a big bowl of homemade turkey noodles soup that was delicious too.

Today has been my best day so far, not so many feelings of agonizing pain while getting on and off of the couch, which has also been my bed since Wednesday. I'm still getting in trouble though when I try to tidy up or pick up anything off the floor. Dr. Hartman tells me to stop and get back in my cage. This weekend we're going to take off the girdle and let the incision get a little air, per the doctor's instructions. Then on Monday I get a new, small girdle and my drainage tubes are coming out which means I can shower. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's the final countdown

I'm spending my Tuesday at home preparing for surgery tomorrow. It's the same as a colonoscopy prep, so it's a day of clear liquids mixed with a special blend of colon-cleanse 2000 and a lot of time in the bathroom. Goooood times. While I hang out and watch TV, I get to watch the trees blowing over in 100 mph wind gusts. Lots of rain and wind today with no signs of an end until Friday. So far my only bit of excitement has been C. stopping by to drop off a potty booster seat so that I don't have to stress my stomach muscles as much for the first week.
With some flame decals and handle bar streamers I'll really be stylin'!

It's lunch time so I'm taking a break from my peppermint tea and having a steaming bowl of top ramen broth (with no noodles). I learned last time how tasteless regular chicken broth is so I made sure to stock up on some top ramen instead.

I'm watching the local news and they're talking about how many people are without power right now. Surprisingly nobody in Chico, but about 1,600 in surrounding towns. They're telling us that the rain and wind from this storm (3rd out of 5 consecutive ones coming) is mainly over, but tomorrow's 4th storm will be the strongest so far in the morning and afternoon. Perfect. I get to hobble home in a monsoon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Won Ton Fuey

The Canadian has been asking to make a homemade won ton soup, so tonight I told him to put his money where his mouth is. Without a recipe, he got all his ingredients together and proceeded to mix a bowl full of ground pork and a secret blend of eleven herbs and spices. Before filling the wrappers, he outlined each one with water.
Next, he starting filling won ton wrappers.
After the filling, the wrappers were folded over and crimped closed.
After simmering away in a tasty broth garnished with carrots, celery, shrimp and mushrooms for about 20-25 minutes, Chris scooped us up some steaming hot bowls of awesomeness.
So delicious and incredibly filling. In fact, I had to take a nap afterwards. I think he's just brushing off his cooking skills for the next week or two that he has to take over all kitchen duties. After this meal, I'm pretty sure I'm in good hands.

Mountain o' Meat

The Canadian woke up on the move this morning, so shortly after 9:30 am we were roaring off in Big Hank to run some errands. We stopped at Target so that I could get some compression garments (Spanx-like tank tops) to wear while my incisions are healing and wash cloths for my first week of sponge baths. Afterwards we spent a nice quiet bit of time at Barnes and Noble catching up on my rag mags. On the way home we stopped at Lowe's so that Chris could pick up some lumber to make more beer shelves for the spare bedroom. We bought our original shelves at IKEA, but "somebody" isn't as quick to zip down to Sacramento for more as I am. When we got home I made us some leftovers from dinner last night. It was a recipe from my new Rachael Ray magazine of melty, meaty sandwiches. I topped sliced, buttered sourdough bread with a relish of chopped giardiniera mix (hot pickled veggies), green olives and arugula, a slice of provolone cheese, and two slices each of prosciutto, soppressata (a salami-type meat) and salami, another slice of cheese and more relish, then topped with the other slice of bread. Then you heat it in a pan just like grilled cheese. Sooooo good.
Meaty and tangy and chewy and cheesy. What more could you ask for?

After lunch Chris got his tools together and headed out back to get started on assembling and painting the shelves before this week's monsoon rain and windstorm come sweeping in tonight.
Damn him for being so crafty. Now I'll NEVER get to go to IKEA again!

Friday, January 15, 2010

His and Hers

Since our computer has caught the internet herp, again, Chris spent some time getting our old laptop put back together so that we have a backup laptop while we perform CPR on our new one. But currently we're using both of them so that we don't have to spend any time talking to each other. Thank God!
We had a special food treat this week. My co-worker Chris, our town's Fire Marshal, just finished making homemade pork tamales with his wife, who's Mexican, and brought some to me. Chris got home early from work last night so he had them ready by the time I got home.

I spent this morning up in Paradise for Sarah's grandpa's funeral at Craig Memorial. It was nice to spend a little time with Sarah, David and Poppy, although not under the best circumstances. It was a nice service and the organist play "Dream the Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha which grandpa used to bug Sarah to sing all the time back in the day. Even though I haven't seen the grannies in a couple of years, I was crying like a baby at the service. I've known them for over 15 years and spent a lot of time with them in high school so I'll miss grandpa and all his craziness. "Head full of crazy" like Poppy said.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Yesterday was my pre-op appointment with my doctor for my tummy surgery. Chris met me at the doctor's office at 1:00 pm so that we could wait together for an hour to see him for a 15 minutes appointment. Isn't that always the way? He just showed Chris and I, again, where he would do the incisions and talked to us about post-op care. He said I had good muscle tone on the sides of my stomach so he didn't think he'd have to relocate much muscle which means quicker recovery and less pain. Chris found out what the best resting position would be for me (reclined on the couch with a pillow under my knees) for daytime and night time. We don't meet with him again until the day of the surgery which is scheduled for Wednesday, January 20th at 7:30 am. Now I'm starting to get nervous...

Last night I went to a going away dinner party for a co-worker at Casa Ramos in Chico. Lots of people showed up which is good considering we weren't coming straight from work or anything. I left Sir-Snots-Alot at home with a Jack in the Box jumbo meal while I enjoyed a hot bowl of tortilla soup and about two baskets of tortilla chips.

I couldn't fall asleep for anything last night so I finally gave up at 3:30 am and took a couple of old, outdated Tylenol PM pills which knocked me out until about 10:30 this morning. Funny thing was that Chris was conked out too from his Nyquil so he had no idea he was sleeping that late either. We weren't fed, showered and ready to conquer the world until about 1:00 pm which is slightly pathetic. We spent most of the afternoon today running errands. I had some photos waiting at Wally World to be picked up, we needed to pick up a Barnes and Noble gift card for Mr. A's birthday tomorrow and we told Mum we'd pick him up a birthday pie too since she isn't feeling well enough to go out. The best place for fruit pies? Marie Callender's of course. While there, the Canadian suggested we have lunch while we were there. A little soup and salad bar, which seems innocent enough except that he has gotten sick every single time we've eaten there. Promising not to get the blue cheese dressing, the puking instigator, he had a successful experience this time.
I, on the other hand, had to come home and lay down because my stomach was sooo unhappy at the combination of food I had introduced it to. Oh well.

During my food coma nap Chris rudely woke me up to come out and watch our floral arrangement and floor lamp sway back and forth from earthquake trembles. I couldn't feel them in my body, but I sure saw the stuff moving.

We're just sitting around enjoying some Saturday night football tonight. I keep eyeballing the Christmas tree telling myself that I need to take it down, but then I get side tracked by super important stuff, like blogging. Yeah, it's the blog's fault.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bakery Beauties

I braved the fog (again) this morning to do an early morning run to The Upper Crust to pick up a birthday dessert for one of my co-workers. While there I couldn't resist one of the cranberry orange scones straight from the oven for my breakfast snacking pleasure. Though anything there would have been a delicious choice.
I couldn't ruin my heavenly scone with the brown tea we brew at work so I ran across the street and picked up a fresh cup of hot java from Peet's to go with it. I could eat Upper Crust scones every morning....

The Canadian has been home sick for the last two days. He has a wicked awesome head cold and a terminal case of bad hair. I drove him to Walgreens this evening to stock up on fresh supplies of Nyquil and Dayquil. Hopefully the new delivery of beer from Mom will have him back on track in no time. He did drink his Genesis Ale tonight to make room in the fridge for the newbies. Keep 'em coming he says!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Scrap-olutions

The fact that it's 2010 has brought home the fact that I am a little behind on my 2009 scrapbook. That, and the fact that our computer has caught the herp which is forcing me to print off the rest of my photos before all is lost in a horrible, cataclysmic computer disaster. With all these photos on hand I've got nothing better to do but to scrap them.

My two-page Chicago layout:

32nd birthday page:
Notice the dinosaur paper??

Thanksgiving with the 'rents:

I've still got photos of Christmas to scrap and I just sent Halloween since I forgot about it in the initial run.

I've also done a little baking in the new year. One of my resolutions was to learn to make a pie crust from scratch. Starting off slowly, I made a cornmeal tart crust for individual apple tarts the other night. Even though the dough seemed a little too moist, it baked up perfectly.
I found the dough recipe out of one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks and made up my own filling. The Canadian gobbled it right up, rubbing his Buddha belly in satisfaction afterwards. But he also eats moldy cheese so I'm not sure how much I can trust his opinion.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year's!

Last night was our first time out as big kids for New Year's Eve. We went over to Nash's restaurant around 6:30 for a 7:00 pm wedding. There was assigned seating, but luckily we were assigned to the same table as other work people.
First we thought we had the worse seat in the house, being the table furthest from the ceremony, but then we realized that A.) we were closest to the door where the wedding party came out of so we got to see the bride, our friend, before anybody else and B.) we were closest to the bar and bathrooms.
The cake was beautiful and I believe from the Upper Crust.
After the ceremony, we had some time to enjoy the complementary wine on the table, until our table was released for the buffet. Nash's head chef did all the cooking and it was fantastic. There were rolls, creamed mushrooms, asparagus, caesar salad, wild rice, ahi tuna, chicken in a creamy mushroom and artichoke heart sauce, raviolis, and prime rib. The Canadian even went back for seconds.
During the meal, the wedding party made their rounds saying hello to all the guests. All of us townies got in together for a group photo with the bride. All except the photo crasher in the red on the right. We have no idea who she is, or why she's in the photo.
The rest of the evening we spent drinking and dancing. Except for me, I was the DD. So I stuck with Diet Coke on the rocks. Kari and I also got in some good gossip regarding the interesting array of drunk guests.
"Oh my God, check out that dress! Could it be any shorter??"

As it got closer to midnight the staff passed out festive headgear for the final countdown.
"Heeeey...purdy ladyyyyy......."

Hopped up on all the sugar from the wedding cake and lots of soda, I managed to make it to midnight, awake and on my feet. 10..9...8..7..6...5....4...3...2...1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Shortly after midnight we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to the bride.
She'd forgot to tell people that they could take home the beautiful floral centerpieces that she'd put together so she let us have our pick from any of the tables. I grabbed a gorgeous red and white bouquet.
We didn't actually fall asleep until the very wee hours of the morning so today should be a riot. The Canadian only feels about 60% human today and I suspect I'm going to be taken a sudden and unplanned nap at some point in the afternoon when my lack of sleep catches up with me.

We're watching a TV movie with Tom Selleck where he's the police chief of a town called "Paradise". Coincidence?? Considering he owns property up in Magalia in real life and he was one of the story writers, it's pretty funny. Every time they say Paradise, I crack up. We're apparently starting the New Year with some sweet made for TV movies.