Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's been a while since I have blogged. Sorry Dave. I just got back from B-ville. :-) Anyway so what have I been doing for the past 3 weeks?

Thanksgiving week we had planned on driving to the ADK's to visit with my aunt before her surgery. A snow storm was moving through the ADK's so we decided to stay home and not chance getting stuck. I had to fly out the Sunday after Thanksgiving and couldn't risk it. So, Jason and I decided to do whatever came to our minds. On Wednesday we went to Hickory Run or Boulder field. I have been wanting to see the field for a while with snow. It was so beautiful. I love snow too. We took Sam and Tay with us. Sam had her new little coat on so she was nice and toasty. I will have to post a photo of Sam with her coat on a later date.

On Thanksgiving day we went to Bloom to play frisbee golf with our crazy neighbor. I wanted to play so bad. I did a few putts and then decided to try a distance throw. Big mistake. So I ended up just taking photos the rest of the time. I also spent a week healing from that throw. The day after Thanksgiving Jason played again and I went along. I was following an hawk while the guys were playing and was able to get some amazing photos of it. Hawks are probably my favorite birds and I really enjoy photographing them.

So on Sunday it was off to Memphis. I must admit, I hate Memphis. With a passion actually. The only good thing about Memphis is my friends. On Sunday night Kim picked me up from the airport and I met everyone at El Porton. It was so nice catching up with all my agility buddies. We must have been in the restaurant for about 3 hours or so. Dave had to finish is huge drink. :-) Kim was nice enough to take me back to the hotel and not make me hitchhike. HA! I spent the week in Memphis bored out of my mind for the first few days. I was excited to visit with my other friends from Memphis we met at church while we lived their. Oh how I miss them dearly. Chris picked me up in his hooptie since the poor Jeep is broken. Carie fed me, oh how the chicken was good. I also got to meet Sutton for the first time. I think he was kind of thinking "Who's this freak". I think all babies think that of me. Watch out you guys, when he gets older and comes to visit Aunt Tonya he will be right at the age where I can teach him bad things. I also got to see Lil' D again. I swear those 2 are going to get married one of these days.

I flew home on Friday and got in around 10:00. I was so exhausted from not being able to sleep while I was in Memphis. I had like 7 pillows proping me up and it still wasn't enough. On Saturday Jason played in a frisbee golf tourney so I went to aqua aerobics. The weekend instructor is about my age and tons of fun. Sunday I packed for Bentonville or what I call B-Ville for short.

Got to the office on Monday morning and I was in a hurry to get things organized. I looked at my itinerary and was dislexic. I thought the flight was at 2:30 so I was pushing Sharon to hurry up so we could get out the door. Once we got to WB Sharon wanted to stop at Lonestar and get a steak for dinner. I didn't think we had time and she mentioned the flight wasn't until 3:20. Whoops. I didn't need to be in such a hurry after all. So we ate lunch and then went to the airport. I hate to be that early too. Oh well. B-ville was tons of fun. I was so busy the whole time but I love visiting. I got Braums, Maria's, Andy's and Sonic. Umm....all of my cravings were fulfilled. I got up every morning and did aqua aerobics in the pool. Walked around in a bathing suit and everyone was staring at me. Oh well. I covered myself up with a towel. The bottom of the pool was gritty so I ended up cutting up my toes really bad so I quit doing aerobics on Wednesday. I went out every night and had a drink. It helped me sleep so good and without pain medication. Maybe I should drink more often. :-) I'm a very light drinker. I only drink Dacquiries but man, they were good. I was able to get to know Bob-O, as I call him, during this trip. The more I hang out with him the more I enjoy his company. We both work on the WM account. He's a hoot! I kept asking like 20 questions. I wanted to know everything he did at work. I like to get to know people.

Anyway, that's about it. Until next time....













































Saturday, December 06, 2008

Trans Siberian Orchestra X-mas Lights

I saw this a few years ago and figured I would add to my blog. This is incredble.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Been A Long Time

First off let me appologize to all my blogger friends for taking an aweful long time to post. With that said, where do I begin?

After my last post, which was after Halloween I started physical therapy. I should have started a long time ago but I felt it was time. I still could not move like I used to. I was stiff, could barley bend over, turn around to look over my shoulder, lift anything heavy, ect. I chose to go across the street to Geisinger. It would be perfect because I could get it done within my hour lunch break. Since my condition is very rare my PT had never even heard of my condition. He was asonished (is that the right word?). Anyway, so he said he would treat me like a woman who just had a masectomy, which, makes sense. Anyway, I was scheduled to go 3 times a week for 8 weeks. At 30.00 a pop I was not looking forward to going every week. I was happy to say, first off I knew the PT. He was our announcer at our agility demo's at the Bloomsburg Fair. He's a very nice guy to so that made it fun that we could talk about dogs while I worked out. Well, I wasn't really working out but trying to. He said that he would set me up on a home program and I only had to come and see him once a week. Yippee, that made me really happy. I started off slow, with those therapand thingies. It was really hard to. I didn't realize how much muscle I had lost after the surgery. My guns were gone...... After Halloween I also decided to try out aqua aerobics. They hold classes on Tues and Thurs at the middleschool from 6:30 - 7:15. Jason never thought I would roll out of the recliner that early in the morning. Well, I did. Keep in mind I'm normally just getting out of bed each day when class is ending. Did I mention that this class was for senior citizens? Anyway, I had the best first day. Those ladies are a hoot. My first day there was about 25 people or so in the pool. I had so much fun. After we got out it was off to the locker room. That wasn't much fun at all. Actually I was traumatized. One of the ladies, the wild one as I call her, she told me it was good for me to come so I could see what I would look like at her age. They also talked about their barrells. Barrells they were too. No shower before work so I went smelling like a pool. I immediatly was telling everyone how much fun I had. I texted my friend Dori and invited her along. I was so excited she wanted to go. So, on Thursday we met at the pool together. We can't really talk much while in the pool because we're working out but just having her there by my side made it so much fun. I left the pool and headed to her house to change. Thanks Dori!

I am happy to report that I am finally sleeping in bed. I have been for about 1 month now. Every now and then I have a day where I'm in so much pain that I have to move back to the recliner but those days are minimal. I sleep with a stack of pillows since I still cannot sleep flat. I also sleep with a heating pad. The only blasted thing I HATE is the darned thing auto shuts off after 1 hour. For those that need constant very hot heat this is bad. So every hour I have to wake up, which is normally easy because of my pain, and turn the blased thing back on. I need to search the internet for an old heating pad that doesn't have that feature so I can sleep through the night. The only time I sleep soundly through the night in bed is when I take my 2 valium, which I have to do on occassion. With the cold weather finally here brings another problem. I can't get cold. If I get cold I shiver and hurt really bad. So, our new TV we had placed in the basement had to be taken upstairs since our basement is not heated. I also have to wear heavy clothes just in case I get cold. It sucks too. Gur.... or Burrr....ha ha ha

My chest still looks great. I am so proud of it. Even though I still have pain 24/7 I still look at it like it's my new best friend. If I could go back would I do it all over again? You betcha. The pain doesn't even phase me. Hurt all day long 7 days a week but I'm healthy now. My heart is back in place, my lungs are expanding......I'm so happy. Once these blasted bars are out I will be even more happier. I'm so proud I have shown most of the ladies at aerobics class my new chest. One says my surgeon is a good one because you can't even see my incisions.

The past few weeks have been nerve racking. Traveling season is starting up for me again. I will be leaving for Memphis on Nov 30th and flying home to Scranton on Dec 5th. I'll have the weekend home with my hubby but then on Monday the 8th I am heading out to Bentonville for a week. Needless to say Thanksgiving is right before these 2 weeks I will be traveling. We planned on heading home for Thanksgiving since Jay is on call during Christmas break and we cannot go home. I really didn't want to go at all. With my pain and traveling/working like crazy I knew traveling 3 weeks in a row would be pure torture for me. Not to mention when I get home from Bentonville we'll be heading to NYC with Dori and Gerald for our annual NYC Christmas road trip. So, I told Jason almost every day. I don't want to go home but I know I'll regret it if I don't get to see my family. Well our plans have changed and we will not be going home. Our plans really didn't change for a good reason though. One of my favorite aunts, Shirley, who lives in the Adirondacks in NY State has a tumor in her brain. My other favorite aunt Linda and my mom are both very concerned. The tumor is the size of a plum and is pushing against the part of her brain that helps with her memory. At first mom told me how bad it was but I really didn't believe her. So, I called Shirley and she couldn't even talk to me. She could talk but couldn't remember what she wanted to say. I could tell she was frustrated becuase the only thing she could say is "I don't know". Mom was very worried and wanted to see her before her surgery but couldn't find a way. Stacy called me and asked if I would pay 1/2 of mom's ticket to Albany so she could spend a week with Shirley before her surgery. Mom first needed to get off work. Once that prayer was answered it was time for me to work my wonders on the internet and find mom a cheap flight. Answered prayer number 2 came when I found a ticket from Indy to Albany for 182.00. Woo Hoo! That's round trip to. I had first found the cheap rates from Columbus but mom would have to fly into DC or JFK. I really didn't want her to have to go into those airports because mom hasn't flown by herself before. God really blessed us with a ticket out of Indy connecting in Charlotte. Woo Hoo! Well aunt Linda flew in from LA and met mom. So, on Wednesday when Jason get's back from his backpacking trip with J-Cob we will be heading up to Schroon Lake to spend thanksgiving with them. We will not have the normal huge dinner most people have but I am just thankful for many things. Thankful to see my mom, my 2 favorite aunts, thanksful to be going to the ADKS (our favorite spot), and just thankful that I do not have to drive that far. Please be in prayer for Shirley. We're hoping she'll ditch the doc in Glens Falls and fly to LA to have a specialty brain surgeon do the surgery on her. Shirley is hard headed so just pray she will listen to us.

Now for information on this weekend. As I mentioned above Jason is off hiking with J-Cob. He's been wanting to do this trip with him for a few years now but this time it actually worked out for him. I was so excited. So, I'm home alone just hanging out. On Friday Jason was still in town so we went out for dinner. He stayed overnight and then left really early on Sat morning. I have no idea when he left though. That morning I went into work to get some things done. Then I went to aqua aerobics. The instructor was not there so I had the pool all to myself, which was cool. Went home, slept for like 3 hours. Then I went back to the pool that night to swim with Dori and her friend Karen and her family. Again, the pool was all to ourselves. It was so much fun too. I tried to swim but I still do not have the strengh to hold myself out of the water so I ended up hurting myself instead.....One of these days. So, Sunday I met Dori and Gerald at EBC. They wanted to visit with me. The sermon was really good and it was nice to go to church again. The pastor is amazing. Afterwards we went to Panera Bread and sat for the longest time and talked. It was so much fun. So when I go home I painted the window and touched up some paint around the house. I have a few things more I have to paint before I'm done. I watched a movie and then decided I needed to blog.

So, hope you enjoy my book!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

WOW! It sure has been a long time. I am alive and well, just busy. The last 2 weeks I have spent a lot of time working on our work Halloween costume. We ended up winning but I knew we would. Our halloween costume was amazing. Overall 4 of us spent close to 200 hours working on the thing. It's going to be very hard to top it next year.

We started getting ready around 9:30 on Friday morning. All 8 of us got ready in the showroom and then grabbed a few people to help us with the doors. We started our walk outside the building making tons of noise. I couldn't see how many people were outside but I heard almost the whole company was either peaking outside the window or actually outside watching us. We went from the front of the building over to the JDE room and walked through that. After that it was off to the front of the drive near the road for a picture by the Berwick Offray sign. So many people were honking, which was really cool. A lady from the nursing home across the street ran over and asked us to come over and walk through. Of course we will :-) We walked back to the office first for the judging. It was between us and the Jackson 5. We beat them, hands down. Woo hoo! They looked pretty cool though. I also enjoyed the goth group, the man dressed up as an old woman, and the pirate. All very cool costumes. We took the caterpillar off for a bit to cool down. It was extremely hot inside that thing. After 10 minutes we walked toward the road. They had to block traffic on rt 11 so we could all cross, all 32ft of us. :) Rt 11 is a very busy street too but I don't think people minded.







On Saturday I went with Jacquie, her sister Jen, her daughter Claire and I forget the other ladies name to a corn maze. It's becoming a tradition for us to go every year, which is neat. Jason couldn't join us this year, maybe next year. After the corn maze we went to a cemetary down the street. Seems weird but it was really cool to see. They have wire cages around them that some people call the wolf cages. I'll have to be sure to take Jason out to see them. The graves are from the 1800's so people are trying to protect them. The cages have a different meaning though. I'm attaching a link if you would like to read about them.






http://www.colcohist-gensoc.org/Essays/Cages%20on%20Graves%20Explained.pdf


Fall near our house


Other than that, we have just been hanging out. We recently got a new TV. It's been a long time coming since our projector died the week I was in the hospital. I hated to have people over to watch movies in the bedroom..Yucky. So we spent a few months researching and found one that we are really happy with. It's obviously much smaller than the projector screen but I love the picture. Makes it worth it.

I started physical therapy. This week I have not been very faithful, it's probably why I am so sore. I'm hoping to start aqua aerobics this week. I ordered a swim suit and the ones that came in were too small. I could barley fit. Hopefully my new ones will come soon. In the meantime I'll just find something else to wear.

Well, that's about it. Until the next post......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Favorite Band


One of my favorite bands recently released a new albumn. It's AWESOME! One of my favorite songs is Rise and Fall. ROCK ON OFFSPRING!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Taco Eating Frenzie

Tonight was taco night. We opened a box of shells and Jason asked me how many I would like. I told him 3. That left 4 additional ones so he said he was going to go ahead and cook them. So, we had a race....who can eat all 5 tacos the fastest. Of course, I won. Now I ate too much though.

Physical Therapy

I started PT today. I am very excited about it because I'm so ready to get back to normal. I came home sore though. I'll have to work at it.

Prison Break

Yippee, it's on again tonight.

Oh yeah, I just picked my nose too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My friend Dori invited us to her parents house this weekend to make saurkraut. I love saurkraut and was really looking forward to going. Jason went out shoe shopping since he's playing bball with a bunch of old guys from work. HA HA HA, they are really not old. Anyway, he's been needing a pair for a while. His poor big toe is nothing but a blister. So, I sent him off to hunt for shoes. No way was I going with him. He's shoe picky and I didn't feel like spending 2 - 3 hours in a shoe store. So, I stayed at home and wrote one of my friends from the Pectus forum. I also did laundry, which needed to be done. When Jason got home we decided to just stay indoors and hang out. Maybe next year Dori will invite me over again.....hopefully she doesn't hate me too much!

We finished Indiana Jones, which was STUPID! Then we watched Baby Mama, which was hilarious. I'm still having problems laughing so we watched it in segments. I would laugh, cry in pain, turn the show off and calm down then start it back up again. Ahh, the life of a Pectus surgery patient.

I also got up the nerve the other day to watch a 22 second portion of my surgery. I couldn't find the whole thing but the 22 sec segment showed the chest actually coming up as the turned the bar. VERY COOL. You should check it out. I also found a more in depth one if you are interested in that too. Cool as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxcS1do6JYo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mipXsvJMG8
Beautiful Sight

Jason and I was driving to work on Thursday watching the sunrise. I turned around and couldn't believe my eyes. The sunrise created a rainbow over the mountain. It wasn't even raining. It was amazing. I can't believe we live here.


Monday, October 13, 2008

I've been a very very bad blogger. I have an excuse though..... So, let me catch everyone up on why I have a very good excuse.

Started work on Sept 11th. Boy was it rough. Being off work for 2+ months and then having to go back to work and try to get into the swing of things. Needless to say I didn't do a darned thing while I was off work except lay around and watch TV. So, working my brain was very tiring. I can't remember the last time I had talked so much during the day. Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about it. Plus, I had to wear a bra for a week. NOT FUN! So, I would come home and get straight into the recliner and watch TV. I was so exhausted at the end of the day.

On Sept 20th it was finally off to our vacation to Seattle that we had planned for almost 1 year. I purchased the tickets for $250.00 last year, what a deal! We had a fabulous time. Very tiring but fabulous. I'll attach some photos at the end.

On Sept 29th it was back to work. I was exhausted and sore from vacation and didn't want to go back to work again. Why can't I just lay at home some more????? HA!

Actually, I'm glad to be back at work. Our busy season it starting to pickup, finally, so now I have things to do during the day. I was given the task of photographer for our Showroom only catalog, which is really cool. The funny part about it though is I needed to photograph trays of ribbon. All the trays were crooked. I cannot take a straight photo because I have scoliosis. Anyway, it gave someone a huge laugh and I was taught how to straighten the photos in paint. I NEVER work in paint and had no idea you can straighten photos in it. I was excited and still laughed that all my photos were crooked. HA!

I'm also still playing around in photoshop. Someone at work wanted me to take her photo and another girls photo and put it into the Berwick Class of 1968 reunion newspaper article. One of the photos went in really nicely, the other one went in ok but it's still funny.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If I Didn't Have a Dog.....
  1. I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.
  2. My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.
  3. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.
  4. When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.\
  5. Wen the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.
  6. I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
  7. I would have money and no guilt to go on a real vacation.
  8. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grand kids through college.
  9. The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.
  10. My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
  11. I would not talk 'baby talk'. 'Time for din din'.'Want a Yummy.'
  12. My house would not look like a day care center, toys everywhere.
  13. My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
  14. I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L, F-R-I-S-B-E- E, W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, B-I-K-E, G-O R-I-D-E.
  15. I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.
  16. I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog ties them down too much.
  17. I'd look forward to spring and the rainy season instead of dreading 'mud' season.
  18. I would not have to answer the question 'Why do you have so many animals' from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.

How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

FALL FAMILY PHOTO

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Circuit City - Buyers Beware

Yesterday we purchased a new point and shoot camera from Circuit City using our Visa check/credit card. The transation was processed as a credit purchase. When we got home we realized that the camera was not very good. The pictures all had spots on them and the spots were not on the lens, which meant it was internal somewhere. Not to mention, the camera took crappy photos. So, I called the Muncy, PA store asking if we could return the camera at the Wilkes Barre, PA store as it was closer to us. The customer service rep at the store stated yes, we could return it at another store.

We drove to Wilkes-Barre and returned the camera. We advised them that the camera had spots and did not take very good photos. They advised that store policy we would have to pay a 15% restocking fee, which was only $34.00. We understood the policy and accepted it. After returning the camera the customer service rep advised that since we purchased the camera in Muncy and their computer systems were different that we would have to either accept a gift card to the store or they would have to mail us our refund check in the mail. They could not refund our purchase back onto our credit card. The check would take a total of 7 - 14 days. We could not do anything but accept that since Muncy was now over 2 hours from where we were.

We called the customer service department at the corportate office. I advised them of our situation and told her that it was not our problem the stores were on different systems. She then said their was nothing she could do now because the check was already mailed. I asked her then, how could the check already have been mailed when we returned the merchandise around noon and all post offices close at noon on Saturdays. She was speechless and still said she could not help me. Jason called back moments later. He mentioned that Circuit City advertises a no hassle return policy however we have received nothing but hassles. He advised he had no problem with the restocking fee he just wanted credit to be received back on our card right away instead of having to wait for a check in the mail. So, the CORPORTATE OFFICE transferred him to the store manager at the Wilkes Barre store. He once again advised the situation and told her that he was not very happy with how the situation has been handled. The store manager asked, What can we do to make things right. Jason said, if you waive the return fee then I will be happy. Keep in mind, it's only 34.00. The store manager said I'm sorry, I can't help you. She advised she was going to then transfer him to the assistant store manager. He asked her why she would do that when the assistant manager is below her. She kept giving him the run around and finally he told her he would never shop at her store again and that we would ensure that we would tell everyone about what happened.

We will never purchase anything from Circuit City again and I just wanted to warn everyone so you are not put in the situation that we have been put in.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11th.....

Sept 11th is a difficult time for me. My whole life I dreamed of visiting the WTC's. I am very sad that I was never able to see them. I feel like something was taken from me. Actually, it was taken from everyone. So many people forget about all those lost, their families and about all those that are fighting for us. We just remember them on Sept 11th. Others remember it each and every day of their lives. I have created a video that I included in my 2007 Family Vacation DVD. I wanted to attach the portion I created for the World Trade Center Memorial. A big portion of the video focuses on firefighters. My step dad is a retired fire chief and I just applaud him for all his faithful years of being a firefighter. Firefighters risk their lives each and every day to help save others. I also dedicate this video to my brother-in-law. He is currently serving in Iraq. I pray that God will bring him home safely.


video

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ok, so I know I emailed a bunch of you to check out my new post. I removed my post because I was afraid it would offend people and that's not the reason why I posted it. So, sorry for the email. I hope you all are doing well and I miss you.
Happy Birthday Sutton

Monday, September 08, 2008

What Does One Do While On Medical Leave

Since my medical leave is ending this week I figured I would tell all of you what one does when she has 2 months and 1 week off vacation. Here Goes:

The first 3 weeks I spent most of my time eating, sleeping and downing narcotics. Once those narcotic days past I spent a lot of time looking for things to do. I cleaned the house, well, I could only lift 5 lbs so I did very little cleaning. I completed my 2007 Family Vacation video. It's something I had been wanting to do for a very long time. I finally had the time to do it. I also spent several days reading and learning how to use Photoshop. I worked through The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. It was an amazing book for someone who HATES to read. You ask, how was the rest of my time spent? Watching Movies. I was sitting down today thinking, I wonder just how many movies I have watched while I was off work. I have compiled a list and seperated them out. Enjoy!

Movies I Watched and Liked:
Broken Arrow
Street Kings
Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden
What Happens in Vegas (great movie)
Can't Hardly Wait
She's the Man
Batman Begins
The Brave One
Catch & Release
Dante's Peak
Flight of the Phoenix
Godzilla
Hairspray
The Island
Italian Job
Ladder 49
Lord of the Rings (All 3 extended versions)
Mean Girls
Mr & Mrs Smith
Pirates of the Car. 1
Punisher
Shall We Dance
Shooter
Stealth
Stick It
Vertical Limit
Roswell (TV show, all 3 seasons keeping in mind it took me a total of 3 1/2 days to finish)
Live Free or Die Hard
U571
Hunt for Red October
Jumper
Dejavu
Step Up 2
Step Up 1

Movies I watched but are just ok:
Hot Fuzz - Jason really wanted me to see it
Stomp the Yard
How She Move (BORING)
Life Before Her Eyes (Confusing)
Picture This (stupid chick flick)
Hiking Weekend

Went hiking again this weekend at Ricketts. We hiked about 2 miles total and spent a lot of time taking photos of the falls. Jason has been practicing with his new filter he got for his camera. We're so ready for Seattle.


Anyway, check these out.



Friday, September 05, 2008

Little Bit O' Terror



Yep, that's Taylors registered name and for a reason. She loves to drive me crazy. Some of the things she comes up with are hilarious. Lately she has been getting into my bed "The Recliner" and she just sits there like this is mine, not yours. Today I was doing some laundry so I was carrying the basket into the bedroom to put some away. She came out of the bedroom because to peak and see what I was doing. When I started walking toward the bedroom she turned around real fast and got into the recliner. Basically she was telling me I told you, this is mine. I was here before you were. HA, it was so funny that I had to take a picture.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Yippee, another good nights sleep! I went to sleep around midnight and slept until 7:00. Oh, it was amazing. It's been a deep sleep too! Thank you Lord!

Now on to other things:

1. Stuck in Photoshop: As many know I have been taking my free time and working through Photoshop. It's something I have been wanting to do forever but never had the time to sit down and learn. One thing I cannot figure out and it's probably so easy to fix. When I click on different tools that tool stays the default tool. I know you can clear that tool but for the life of me I can't figure it out. Normally I start hitting buttons and it clears leaving me wonder "How in the world did I do that?" Anyway, I need to figure it out before it drives me crazy.

2. My Newest Video: I completed my newest video a few days ago. This was the first video I have completed using my new camera and the Sony Trial software. I completed the video in 2 days once I figured out to use the software. I will probably end up purchasing the software once I get back to work and actually get a good paycheck.

3. Camera Equipment: Over the last few weeks we have taken some extra money and purchased some camera equipment we'll use on our Seattle trip. We got a tripod, tripod head, wireless remote, some filters and Jason purchased a new pack. We haven't gotten the pack yet and Jason isn't sure if he'll end up keeping them or returning them. They looked really cool online. We'll just see how it works.

4. Movies: I'm still taking several hours during the day and watching movies. My huge stack of like 60+ movies is now down to about 15. I have 1 week left to finish them all. We'll see if that happens.

5. Work: I start back to work next Thursday. I'm very excited about going back. I talked to my boss and told him I would need a new chair. My old chair is a low back chair and when I sit in it my bar feels like it's going to pop out. The back comes right where my bar sits. So, I had them purchased a high back chair for me.

6. Crazy Neighbor: Over the last several months Jason and I have had the pleasure of really getting to know our neighbor. I call her crazy, well, because that's just what she is. They are the sweetest people ever. Our furkids absolutly love them too. Especially Taylor, which says a lot. Taylor is afraid of everyone. So Crazy Neighbor, or Donna, called last night and said Ed or Eduardo as I call him was gone for the evening and she wanted some company. She brought her huge glass of wine and came over. We sat and talked for a few hours and after her wine was all gone it was time for her to go home. I'm so thankful for great neighbors. We kind of have a little neighborly thing going on. We walk into one anothers homes, we'll call if we're out of toilet paper and don't want to go into town, recently we needed toothpicks. We also help each other out when needed. Eduardo is going to help Jason install some replacement windows and we're going to help them on their full house remodel. Nice neighborly exchange of help when needed. Oh yeah, Donna is also going to watch the furkids for us while we're in Seattle. Since we do not have a kennel here it's so nice knowing they are going to be in good hands.

7. Bon Jovi: I've been on this Bon Jovi kick. He's hot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Praise God

After my post last night at 1:00am I decided to head to bed. I figured I would try to get some sleep. I knew I would probably end up getting up again with the restless legs. I was so excited when this morning I got up at 7:00an and I had slept through the night. Granted I only got 6 hours of sleep and need an additional 2 hours but it was the first time since I've been off my meds and slept straight through for an extended amount of time. Yippee....So, I don't wait to gynx it. I need to try to stay up for the rest of the day without any naps so I can try to sleep through the night again.

Woo Hoo!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Not Sure What To Do.....

Ever since the beginning of August I have had problems sleeping. I thought at first it was because I was coming off my narcotics from surgery. Now, 3 weeks later, I'm still having problems sleeping. I have tried everything: Camomile, wine, etc. Everything but sleeping pills. I do not want to start a whole new set of pills I'm going to have to ween myself off of. So, each night I get up. Spend a couple of hours pacing around the house in the dark, look down the hill on a moonlit night to make sure our neighbors house is ok, then, I try to find a place to sit and fall asleep in. This could take hours. Basically, I'm not getting any more than 4 hours of sleep a night. I'm exhausted and worried that this could be harming my body and slowing the healing process from surgery. Normally the restless legs starts twitching around 2:30 and I'm up by 3:00am. Tonight, they started early. They started around 11:45 and I've been up ever since. It's now a little past 1:00. Once I'm done blogging it's off to walk and try to find a chair to fall asleep in. I'm just tired. I pray every night and cry hoping God is hearing my cry for help. So far, no answer. I'm still keeping a hope though that he'll help me sleep, just 1 night is all I ask.....Is that too much?


Now for the good news. I like the good news to be first so I can end my blog on a good note. Today I took my first real hiking trip. Granted it was less than 2 miles but it was steep. We went to Bushkill Falls. It's no Ricketts Glen but we had never been their and wanted to try it out. Ricketts has over 30 falls and it's free. It was kind of chilly this morning, as you can see I'm wearing a fleece but the day got warmer as we hiked. Jason could tell a huge improvement on my breathing. I was not huffing and puffing like usual. I could tell a huge improvment as well. I was stopping several times but only because I needed to let my body rest. Since I have been home I have lost a lot of muscle, so, I am finding I get tired quicker. I was still so excited about my breathing. Still have a long way to go to build my lungs up but I felt great. I was so excited. I'm attaching some pictures below. One is quite funny. Not sure what happened but I look like a ghost. It's hilarious.



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teenage Tramps

I saw something tonight that really bothered me. I was sitting in the Jeep enjoying my Rita's Gelati and I noticed this 12 year old girl. Couldn't miss her. She had on very short shorts, a very reveiling tank top and high heels. Why on earth would a girl need to go out and get ice cream in that kind of outfit. Where is her mother? Jason asked the same thing. Next thing you know off she goes with her mom. I cannot believe her mom would let her wear that. I am almost 30 and I have never in my life wore anything like that. Nor would I want to. The most reveiling outfit I have ever wore was my cheerleading outfit in high school and that wasn't even that bad.

Anyway, had to get that off my chest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACQUI

I would sing to you but it would scare you off. I hope you have a happy birthday today. I don't have many photos of you. Seems most are with funny faces or your head is cut off. :-)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Now for my surgery photos. Woo Hoo! This is my favorite part. Be sure to read the next post.



Before: this shows how my chest was compressed.




Before: This shows where the compression moved my heart


After: My new cool bar that will stay with me for 2 years





Before: This shows my chest caved in


After: My new normal chest (except of course the rolling hills, they stayed small)



My incisions (the right side. Same incision on the left)


My first walk the day of surgery


My best friend, Morphine


I never knew using the bathroom could make someone so tired. Of course it took forever for some reason.


The worlds best nurse. Oh how I miss her. She was amazing.

My Many Blessings

So over the last few weeks I have did nothing but complain about my pains and annoyances and how crappy I feel. I have never took the time and blogged about the many blessings I have had. So, here goes.

1. My Surgery First off let's take the time and discuss my surgery. It is very hard to get insurance approval for my surgery because a lot of doctors consider it cosmetic. It's also hard to find a good doctor that actually knows what a Pectus Excavaddum really is. My whole life I have struggled to breath and have had heart problems. In Ohio we had it checked out both in the adolescence stage and then again in my early 20's. Both doctors said my case was mild and no severe enough for corrective surgery. In MS, same thing. So, we move to PA and after discussions with my aunt I decided to try again. The doctors here finally took the time to run the proper tests. My case turned out being very severe. The doctor here in PA has not completed the surgery on many adults so I was reluctant to have him do it. He wrote me a referral for a second opinion. My insurance approved my going to Johns Hopkins to see Dr. Columbani, which is one of the best doctors in the field and also JH is the best hospital in the world. So, that was very exciting. Dr. C as I called him had me lift up my shirt and he told me right away that I had a severe case and it could be corrected. So, we decided to go with him. After 2 months of waiting my insurance approved my surgery. If you can believe it, the Friday before my surgery too.

2. My Nerves You may think that this would not be considered a blessing but it truly is. I am a very nervous person. Actually, I normally get so nervous I make myself sick. I was worried the day before surgery when I had to report in for my bar fitting that I was just going to be a basket case. I even had my doc perscribe me happy pills just in case. The day before and even the day of surgery I was so relaxed. I even hate needles. I was so relaxed that tons of weird things happened and it just made me laugh. Some of those being: the day of my bar fitting the doc had no idea who I was and what I was their for; he was also double booked. My surgery was suppose to be at 9:00 and another kids was as well. I was pushed to 11:00)

3. Blessings for Jason & My Mom I only know about these things because mom and Jason both kept a journal for me during my stay at the hospital. So, these blessings were not only for me but they were blessings for Jason & mom.
a. My surgery only took 30 - 40 minutes total to complete. The doc said that when the bar was inserted my chest just popped right up. He said it was the easiest he had ever had.
b. The hotel was another blessing. Not only was the discounted rate amazing but the hotel offered a shuttle. So, they were able to take the shuttle every day as opposed to paying for parking at 2 different locations and having to drive to the hospital. Plus, they were able to have a good nights sleep and take a shower every day
c. The bankcard went missing the day of my surgery. It fell out of Jason's wallet in the parking garage. Now Baltimore is a high crime area but by the Grace of God the parking attendant found the card and turned it into the front desk.
d. The morning after the worst day of my life they wanted to arrive at the hospital by 4:00am so they could be in the room when the doctors made their rounds. Jason only had 7.00 and had to find a cab to take him to the hospital on that amount. The valet parking man told Jason he would drive them to the hospital for 7.00 in his own vehicle. So, they were able to arrive on time.

4. My Mom Mom didn't want me to have the surgery. After she saw me for the first time she realized just how severe my chest was caved in. I was so happy to hear her say for the first time "I'm so glad you had this done". In fact, here's her journal entry: " Amazement: The first thing I noticed was the improvement the surgery made to your chest. I never realized how bad your chest whad been until now. I am amazed at how great you look." Also, it was so great that she was able to come to the hosptial with me and keep Jason company. She also was wonderful to have around for me. I was so excited.

5. My Sister My sister was a huge blessing as well. She was able to come down for 2 weeks along with mom. Stacy watched our furkids for us while I was in the hospital. This was such a blessing because it was 1 thing I didn't have to worry about. I knew they would keep her sain and that they would be in good hands.

6. Jason's Boss After I came home I knew I couldn't stay by myself and would need help. Jason's boss offered to let him work from home for 4 weeks while I recouperated. What an answer to prayer.

7. My church I can't even start to explain how much my church means to me. We do not know many people but the people we know are amazing. The most amazing being my friend Colleen. Words really cannot describe how much she means to me. She is such a blessing and I'm so excited she's in my life.

8. Friends with P.E. Ever since I came home I have tons of time to do nothing but surf the net and goof off. Of course it's the only thing I can really do. Luckily I found 2 friends on the Pectus forum. One lives in California. She had her surgery the day before mine so it's been so nice to talk about how we are feeling and what we are doing. We're pretty much feeling the same and recouping at the same rate. She's a bit more active than I am but then again, we're 12 years apart in age. It's been so nice having a friend through the internet. My second friend is from Florida. She's 34 and had her surgery about a week ago. I have been able to share my experience with her and try to encourage and pray for her as she was counting down the days until her operation. She also had her surgery at JH so I was able to share all my information about the horrible nurses with her. Mainly the morning nurses were horrible. It's hard to find friends on the P.E. forum since most people with P.E. are males. All they seem to care about is the fact that they cannot lift weights any more and how horrible they look. The females are so nice to speak with, when you can find them.

9. Money Last year when I was signing up for my insurance I was asked whether I wanted short term disability or not. At first I marked no but something inside me was telling me I needed to mark Yes. So, I changed it. Good thing too. Since I'm off for 2 months of work I'm still bringing in a paycheck. What a huge blessing.

Anyway, my list of blessings. I am sure I have forgotten some.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recouping Pains and annoyances

So, I'm going on my 4th week post-op. I'm feeling pretty good too. I'm able to walk almost 1 mile each day. I can get out of my recliner on my own, cook, clean, etc on my own.

Now for the annoyances and pains.....

1. Last night I tried to sleep in bed. Jason started moving around and it was bothering me so I decided to get up. Earlier that morning I had showed Jason this rocking technique I learned from a friend in order to get up on my own. Basically I bend my knees close to my chest and rock. Sounds easy right? Well, not when the pillows that once propped you up are now flat. I tried to sit up on my own, did it, but felt like I had just ripped everything apart on my insides.....OUCH! So, back to the recliner

2. My breathing is still horrible. I know it's because I'm still swollen on the inside and way out of shape but it's annoying.

3. I would love to be able to sit outside during the day. However, these little biting bugs decide to climb on my back. I can swat them because I can't reach them. So, I'm stuck inside.

4. Sneezing seems to try to happen on a regular basis. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just sneeze and let it hurt like hell but I decide to try to stop it. When I do this it feels like I'm ripping my incisions apart. Another ouch!

5. I wish the driveway was flat so I could walk during the day. Instead I have to wait for Jason to help me down the drive since it's all washed out from the rain. It's horrible actually. We're not sure what we can do with it.

6. Last thing and I'm done complaining. Oh how I wish I could wipe my butt. I can but I have to do it from the front and I can't reach that far. Gurr.......
Dearest Care Bear & Chris
I thought of you guys today when I saw this picture. Looks like little Sutton riding on Chris's back. :-)