Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Hospital Stay

What a wild ride this past week has been. Not even a week! This may be a long post.

It started a few weeks ago actually when I started getting these headaches and dizziness that would go away. I started getting these headaches on the 7th of November. I didn't think too much of them, but they were BAD headaches. I took advil but they wouldn't really fully go away.

The day it all got very very bad was on Friday, the 16th. Nick needed to go up to his job site because he needed a permit number. Well, he never got the chance. After getting both kids (I already had Gretchen at home) and driving through downtown, I got a weird sensation. I had just turned around to tell Dominick something (Nick was driving) when I got a heavy feeling in my legs arms. I turned back around really quick and it almost felt as if it went away. Nick asked when was wrong and when I told him, he told me I had too much stuff in my lap and I needed to breathe.

He took a bunch of stuff out of my lap and when he did, I realized I could barely move my right leg. My left leg was fine though.

I was thinking maybe it fell asleep, but it wasn't a tingling feeling, it was HEAVY. Almost as if a lead weight was attached to my leg. Then I could feel it spread. The heavy feeling went up my right side and I couldn't move my arm. Again, only my right arm and not my left. At this point I started to freak out. We were stuck in traffic and I couldn't move any part of my right side. I kept smiling at myself in the mirror an both sides were smiling so I wasn't completely freaking out, but I was scared.

Then was the scariest thing to happen yet. I felt it go up to my face. When I felt it in my face, it was tingles and it wasn't just my face, my whole right side started tingling. I opened the mirror and smiled in the mirror and my worst fear was confirmed. I was only smiling with my left side of my face.

About the same time that happened, I lost my speech. I couldn't make out any words. They were just noises. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't make the words come out.

We had already been headed up north, so Nick brought me to Christian Northeast. We had all three kids with us so Nick pulled up to the ER and helped me out. He locked the kids in the car until he could get me in. I had told him I could walk but I was way wrong. He practically carried me in and a security guard brought me a wheelchair. Nick went back out to the car and brought the kids in and waited for my parents to get there.

They kept asking me questions and I knew the answers but I couldn't say them. I'm sure it was frustrating for a lot of people.

I just got home last night. I had a million tests done. 2 CT scans (one with contrast and one without), MRI, MRA, TEE, 2 D Echo, too many vials of blood to even count. At least 20. And by the time this is all said and done, they aren't 100% sure what happened to me. They are "suspecting" that I had a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA - or mini stroke) but they aren't positive. I had something happen that has affected my brain though. Even typing I know it's different than it used to be. But it's ok, it's not starting from scratch. It's like I just forgot where some of the letters are located on the keyboard. I'll be back to a fast typist again soon, I'm sure.

I'm off of birth control and back onto a blood thinner (something I was told would be fine because my disorder isn't a big deal but clearly it is more of a big deal than any of us realized). I'm still trying to shake this headache and somehow I caught a virus in the hospital and have been throwing up a lot lately, but I think that's on the way out. I've been drinking a lot of alka-seltzer and eating basically popsicles and crackers.

I have an appointment with a stroke neurologist on Tuesday. Hopefully they can figure some stuff out, because I have to go to work 1 week from today!

I'm very thankful to the many people who came up or called or texted while I was in the hospital. I know on Sunday and Monday I was in NO mood for company so I'm sorry I didn't talk to any of you. But the balloons, flowers, everything was beautiful and it means a lot to me.

I'm so happy to be home. Even though I still feel weak and kind of sick, I'd much rather be here than in the hospital. I'm so thankful to get to see my kids! I missed them being away from all 3 for 4 whole days. And I missed my husband.

Ok, that's enough. Sorry if I just bored you to tears! I'm actually feeling so much better that Gretchen and I are headed to JCPenneys to buy our Thanksgiving outfits! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Next up!

Since I've finished the last EASY thing on my list, I'm moving to a few harder ones. The next two things I want to accomplish on my list are read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and learn to drive a stick shift. I think those are both doable in the next few weeks. Or months. But things I can do before I graduate. And of course I'm going to start going to Growlers and work on that list. Supposedly they don't have all 131 beers anymore but they have like 75 and you can get a card for those. We shall see.

I can do it. It will be nice to be able to knock a few more off the list. I created this list when Dom was a baby and haven't been able to knock too much off the list yet. I can also probably work on my short story, exercising and starting a savings account/college funds for the kids, although I think maybe I should wait until I actually make some money. We'll see. :)

Bring it on!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Star Wars Trilogy Complete!

I probably should have done something productive today...but instead I finished one of my goals and finished the Star Wars Trilogy!

I have to say that I liked it! I've heard awful things about the actual first 3, so I'm not 100% I'll watch them. It took me 28 years to watch 4, 5, and 6, so maybe I'll attempt this before I'm 56!

Anyway, I'm just excited to be able to knock another goal off my list. 10 down, just 20 to go! And I have about 14 months to do them! Yikes! Better get crackin!

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Just finished this one! 2 down and just 1 to go! Unless you count the newer ones but I'm not that concerned with those. I'm sure I'll watch them but I'm not worried about watching those before I'm 30.

Woohoo! Knocking stuff off my list (even fun stuff like this) feels so rewarding!!

Go me! :)

Dare I watch the 3rd one today? Or will Nick kill me for doing absolutely nothing today but laying on the couch, eating and watching movies?? We'll see....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Star Wars: A New Hope

It was good! I think I'm more excited to see the next two now that I know what's going on!

Bring on this 30x30! I'm down to a little over 1 year to get this stuff done. I can't believe I'll be 29 in almost two months! Scary!!

Working on that 30x30

I have laundry to fold and a baby to feed. I'm going to do this while watching Star Wars, Episode 4...the beginning of one of my goals to watch the Star Wars trilogy.

Let's start knocking these off my list!

Out for a Night!

Nick and I were fortunate enough to go to my cousin Ben's journeyman party last week. A week ago today, actually. My parents watched all three kids so we could go up to Cugino's and congratulate Ben. While we were there, I played darts for the first time ever. Apparently I have some natural talent with darts and I LOVED it! I played so long that Mom had to call me and ask me to come home. :)

Well on our way home from Cugino's, I was talking about how much fun I had and Nick told me that while I'm still off of work and school he thinks I should go out one night a week. What?!? OK!!!

So last night was my first night out. My cousins Sara, Ben and I decided to go to Friendly's bar in Tower Grove. Sara's friend, Marcus, joined us and we had four people to play darts. I had a blast!!! I left my house at 6 pm (with the kids eating dinner of mac and cheese, apples, grapes, corn and milk, Nick's dinner in the oven and a bottle ready for Gretchen) and played darts, had a few beers and a light dinner of fried pickles (light as in not much food, not as in light in calories).

We played a lot of darts (301 wipeout, 501 double out, shanghai, stop watch, high score, and cricket) and even a game of shuffleboard. I had so much fun. I love love love my children and my husband but I was so happy to be out of the house. I literally spend almost every day doing laundry, cleaning up toys, doing dishes, etc. I maybe get out on a Wednesday to hang out with my Mom but that's the most exciting day of the week. So getting out last night was fantastic.

Here's a picture of me and Ben taking a break from darts. Ben was practicing his new picture face. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Yesterday was my mother in law's 70th birthday.

The kids all celebrated by throwing her a surprise party on Saturday night. It was great! She was surprised (I think) and the whole party was a success. The party was thrown at my sister in law, Kate's, house. She lives in a beautiful house and the setting was perfect.

It was catered by a place called Stellina's and the food was amazing. The cake was from Sam's. We ordered a pretzel in the shape of a "70" from Gus's Pretzels. It was just great.

Of course, I forgot my camera. I have no pictures from that night (and I think I looked pretty good too!). Nick and I were in charge of getting Sue to the party, so that was the one thing on my mind. Get to the party. So no camera. Oh well. Hopefully one of my sister in law's took pictures and will pass them on!

Happy Birthday Sue!!!


My schedule for Spring has been posted! :)

I'm such a nerd but I can't wait to go back to school. Even though it's hard, even though it sucks, deep down I'm just a big nerd and love it. The best part about it, the sooner I go back, the sooner I'm done and GRADUATE!

Here's how my schedule will be next term:

8:00-12:30 Community Health Nursing
1:00-5:30 Community Health Nursing Clinical

10:00-12:15 Pediatric Nursing
1:00-4:00 Adult Health Care Nursing II

Possibly my Pediatric Clinical from 7:00-2:00
3:30-8:00 Leadership Role Development

Again, possibly my Pediatric Clinical from 7:00-2:00

 10:00-12:15 Pediatric Nursing
1:00-4:00 Adult Health Care Nursing II

My classes are from January 7-March 22. My clinicals are from January 7-February 25. I have to complete 192 clinical preceptor hours from March 4-April 19. I have to take an elective in there somewhere (I'm hoping to take the HIV elective on Tuesdays from 5-8:30, but won't know if I got in for awhile still).

Oh and I have to find a way to work 18 hours a week still at the hospital to keep my job.

I can do it!!! Just four more months and I'm a nurse!!! Or at least I'll have my bachelor's. I'll still have to study for and pass boards, but I can do it! :)

Yay for school!


What a disaster! Holy cow, I was completely unprepared for what this Halloween was going to be like. We decided to do the trunk or treat at Dominick's school. The trunk or treat was from 6-8 and we were instructed to decorate our trunk and bring at least 300 pieces of candy. Of good candy.

So we got signed up. My mom and I spent two hours making Handy Manny tools out of cardboard for the car decorations. Then we went shopping (another story, but I got AMAZING boots!). Then I got the kids costumes together.

I was excited. This was the first year Annabelle would really understand and the first year that Dominick was REALLY excited.

It started off great! Here are a few pictures of the car and Dom and I waiting for Nick and Grandma to get there with Annabelle.

It started off great. But there were so many people there. We brought almost 500 pieces of candy. Again, GOOD candy. We spent like $40 something on just candy.

Then I got frustrated. I knew it was a community event, but I was thinking it would be more of just Dom's school and not every single person in the area. We ran out of candy in the first 45 minutes. And I don't mind giving kids candy. If it were all kids, in costumes, I would have been happy and even gone out to get more candy. But it wasn't. There were MANY "kids" over 18 there. A lot of people brought 2 bags for candy. One for them and one for their "kid in the car". Why was their kid in the car??? There was a couple who were walking around with their infant child, who wasn't dressed up, and they were asking for candy. Really?? Really???? Wait until the next day and buy a whole bag for 50% off.

I was mainly frustrated because I spent all my time and effort and a decent amount of money to make sure that Halloween was great. And instead of getting to enjoy it with my kids and family, I was trying to worm my way through a throng of about 500+ people, make sure I didn't lose my kids, and try and have them enjoy walking to the 25 cars that were there.

It was annoying.

After 6:45, we left. I wasn't going to try and get more candy while my kids waited in the car. So we left and went back to our house and then took the kids to the few houses that were giving out candy in our neighborhood.

Luckily a few houses were left in our neighborhood and Dom and Anna had fun.

I was so frustrated and tired at the end of the night that when we were all tucked in, I realized I didn't take hardly any pictures. I took no pictures of Annabelle in her full costume. I took literally NO pictures of Gretchen on her first Halloween. Bad Mommy...

Here's a picture back at the house of Annabelle eating some candy.

Doesn't she just look like trouble??

I'm going to have to get the kids dressed up again and just take a picture! oh well.

I know next year we'll just stay in our neighborhood. I'd rather do that. I would be less frustrated and I think the kids would have more fun.

Happy Halloween everyone!