Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Back!!!!!

So I spent a few days in Toronto this past week. Boy was it cold. Someone told me it was -15 with the wind chill and I wouldn't doubt it. We left on Tuesday around 2:00 and headed to Allentown. The airplane was really cool. It was a little bigger than the airplane that Andrew Taylor took us up in. 1 row seats on each side and about 7 - 8 rows back. It was a prop plane too so it was really loud. The pilot was our flight attendant, which I thought was funny. Those Canadians are a trip. I wonder if they realize that in the US it's bad to cuss. I have never heard the F word fly as much as I did this week. It was bad but funny, I guess. I headed back on Thursday so it was a very quick trip. I cannot wait to go back again. I'd really like to make it downtown.

Tomorrow we're heading to Campmor again. We just love this place. We're going to look at packs. After reviewing our itinerary for Washington State we realized that we would be spenting more than one day in the backcountry so my pack is way too small. Who knows what we'll come back with but I'm excited to look.

On Monday I have my ECO. I'm hoping that I make it though ok. I say that because I'm terrified of needles and I'm thinking I'll have to have an IV again. Yucky!

So I forgot to share these photos a while ago. One of our sales managers left the company so we decided to decorate his desk as a farewell. It was my idea, which was fun. It does have a story though. Recently he's changed jobs, gotten engaged and his last comment was the only thing I haven't did is purchase a new house. So, we made him one. Chandra is the duct tape queen so she duct taped everything to his desk and Liz and I built the house. We even placed a broom inside to use hold up the roof. Bob-O's, as I call him, last day was a few weeks ago and he spent all day in his house. We even added Mr and Mrs Wonderful to the window as his first visitors.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Our Weekend!

It's that time of the year again. Each year we find 1 piece of backpacking equipment that we would like to upgrade and purchase. This year we chose sleeping bags. After 1 week worth of research Jay and I headed out to Campmor over in NJ and to EMS (right next door) to pickout our bags. We left the house around 10:00 and arrived a little after noon. First stop was EMS. Both of us was not impressed at all with their store, so we walked over to Campmor. Campmor is our favorite backpacking store.
We spent about 2 1/2 hours going through all their bags. Jason narrowed his choice down to the Sierra Designs Nitro 30, which is a 800 down bag. I checked it out as well but did not like how confined I felt when inside.
The Sierra Designs Nitro 30

I decided on the Epexd Wallcreeper. I am still debating and will probably purchase my second choice as well and just return the one I end up liking the most. My second choice was the MontBell Super Stretch Hugger 2. I chose the Epexd first because of it's versitility. We normally hike in the spring, summer and fall months so the lowest we have ran into was 40 deg or so. I love to armholes. I hate being confined in my sleeping bag. This one unzips fully, had zippers for the arms and also hand warmers. The bottom opens up using a draw string and you can cinch it up to your waist if you want to walk around camp with your bag on. Although it's rating is for 35 deg I've read numerous reports that the bag is only good for 40 deg. That does create a concern with me but overall this bag is really cool. I'm still deciding so check back soon for an update. I ordered the MontBell last night so once it arrives I'll experiement with both bags and return the one I do not want.

The Wallcreeper

We also purchased Stabilicers so we could hike Ricketts in the winter time. They worked really well this weekend. We hiked about 4 miles in 4inch deep snow and ice (some was packed due to others hiking as well). Walking up the icy steps was no problem at all. See the Stabilicers below along with Ricketts photos.

Ganoga, the tallest fall at Ricketts at 94'

Jason acting out Dumb and Dumber

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Whirlwind of Emotions......

A lot has been going on in my life. Since I have Presidents Day off today I figured I would sit down and fill everyone in. About a month or two ago I decided to have my chest looked at. My breathing is just not normal and I wanted to get another opinion. It first started out with a pulmonary function test, which I hate. Imagine not being able to breath and someone is pushing you to breath harder. I come out lightheaded and mad at the doctor for pushing me so much. Then it was off to X-Rays. I was suppose to visit with the surgeon that day but Geisinger didn't schedule me with the right doctor so I had to reschedule my appt, even after we told them we took off a day for all the appts. So, about 2 weeks later it was time to meet the doc. He looked at me and also had two med students there to question me and take a look as well. Pretty embarrassing. Good thing I shaved my arm pits first :-) I've never had so many people in a room checking out my chest. Jason's normally the only one that checks me out. The doc said that he wanted me to see a pediatric surgeon as well. So, all the med students walked down with me where I met the ped surgeon. Another med student decided to meet with me as well to check me out. Gosh....too many people. So, he said that my Pectus was a mild case but wanted to look inside further just to make sure.

A week later it was off to the doc for blood work and a CT Scan. Most people know about my intense fear of needles but I ended up going myself to the doc. I figured I could handle the needle on my own since Jay was very busy at work. So they gave me a wonderful guy to draw my blood. Took him literally 1 minute to get it all done. I was very impressed. He didn't wait around to talk with me or try to get me to calm down. Just stick and go. It was awesome. Next it was up for my CT Scan. Little did I know that the CT Scan involved an IV. This had me quite concerned since the needle would be staying in my arm for several minutes. The guy that did my IV was absolutly horrible. I keep forgetting but I'm going to complain about him to the doctors. First off he put the rubber band thingy on my arm and told me to pump my fists. Now, I have really good veins. Very easy to see and to get them to pop out. I have no idea what he was doing but he was rubbing my arm. Then he decided the left one wasn't good enough so he moved over to my right arm which is where I had just had my blood drawn. Stupid idiot. So, again, rubber band thingy and then pump my fists. It took him literally 10 minutes to get the IV in my arm. I was hyperventalating and freaking out the whole time. I was also very sick to my stomach and wanted to throw up because I was freaking out. I will NEVER have him work on me again......So, 10 minutes, the IV is in my arm and off for the CT Scan. The CT Scan tech lady was very nice. She explained to me about what they would be injecting into my arm. She said it would start with a metallic taste and then it would move down my body. She said that it would feel like I had peed my pants but she told me and reassured me that I didn't. So, she was right. Metallic taste first and then I could feel the stuff move down my veins. It was really hot and set my body on fire. It was weird how I could feel it moving down too. I sure did think I had wet myself so when it was time to get up I had to double check. The CT Scan took just 5 minutes and when I sat up I was really sick to my stomach. The stuff they injected was horrible. She gave me a barf bin and I said their for a while. I had to drive myself home so I knew I had to quickly get better. The ride home was horrible. I had a bad upset stomach and wanted to puke. I went straight to bed at 7:00. Everytime I would try to get up I would feel sick again.

The next day I rec'd a call from my doc. He said that my CT Scan revealed that my pectus was a severe case and that it had displaced my heart to the left. That really scared me. I have always had problems with my heart. When I don't get enough sleep it feels like a heart attack. He wanted to get a full pulmonary function test done on me. So, off to the pulm lab again. I had the same lady who fought with another one to get me. I guess I was just too cool. They drew more blood, which I didn't know about, this time it was out of my artery. Talk about hurting....I truly feel this was one of the worse needle pokes I had. Then I was put in this air tight circular thing for my breathing test. I told Jason it reminded me of a transporting device like "Beam me up Scotty". Good thing I do not get claustrophobic. On my way back to work, literally a 30 minute drive I rec'd another call from my doctor. I am pretty impressed with him, by the way, although I think he's staying on top of this because he's worried. He called to tell me that my pulm tests were back and that for a person of my age my results were very low. So, it was time to schedule an appt with him and with the ped doc to discuss surgery. I was going to be out of town the following week but told him the week after would be perfect. So, last week was my Bentonville trip and this Wednesday I am meeting with them. I'm very curious to see what my Pectus severity index is to see just how bad it is. I'm curious to see my CT Scan and to see my heart being displaced.

After my meeting our plan is to get all my records and head out to the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH for a second opinion. This doc visit will not be covered by my insurance but the Cleveland Clinic was rated as the Center of Excellence for my condition and I want to make sure I am in good hands.

So, everyone please be in prayer for me. Right now I'm going through a ton of emotions....Although I am very excited about the possibility of being able to breath normally it's just a scary time.

Now onto the rest of what's going on. Jason is going to be building us a conference table/computer desk for our office. This one pink room with purple carpet will get a total makeover. New wall paint, dark grey, new molding and trim, new furniture all made by Jason. I'm so very excited. The purple carpet will have to stay for now until we can afford to put the swift lock down throughout the whole upstairs. We picked up the wood today and Jay is going to start small. He's making 2 end tables for our bedroom. Then he'll work on the desk. Then a futon frame. After that I told him I would like a platform bed made which would have drawers underneath. We saw one at IKEA and loved it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Catching UP....

At the request of my good pal Dori I'm finally updating my blog. It seems the last few weekend we have did nothing but travel. Not to mention work is really hectic as well.

As we mentioned before we purchased a GPS. We have had a few hours to fiddle around with it. Nothing big. We did find out that we're a little under 1,000ft in elevation at our house, which is really cool. We're hoping for nicer weather soon so we can get out and lay some tracks. We're also looking for Topo maps and plan on purchasing waterproof printer paper so we can print out our own.

Let's see.....We went to Penn State for a dog show. We left on the 19th and the show was on the 20th. It was the coldest day yet. Our hotel was nasty. J if you're ready this we didn't feel like grossing you out and talking about it that weekend. We let the kids out to run around the hotel room and Tay pulled a condom out of the trash can. Needless to say I was seriously grossed out and wanted to leave. If they didn't empty the trash did the clean the beds? Probably a little too much information but ewww....... The show went really well. The kids did good and Sam enjoyed tagging along. Kenzie was with us as well but we kept her in the Jeep since she's aggressive to dogs.

The next week was another trial. This time it was closer to home so we could stay at the house. Sam was upset though because only entered dogs could go. So, she had to stay home. Jay was sick so I took Chase and Tay on Saturday. Tay ran off the course both times but started out really good for me. I kept her crate door open so she could walk in and out at her leisure. Chase had a really good jumpers run. It was her first time in excellent and I was proud of her. See the video below.

I had to pull Chase off the standard course. She was a little too wild. On Sunday Jay came with me. Tay had a great Standard run. In Standard Chase was pulled off the course again. Her jumpers run was beautiful. Too bad we left the video camera at home. She didn't Q but she did. Either the judge did not call her popping out of the weaves or the scribe didn't record it. So, she Q'd and got first place. I emailed the secretary but it was too late. I really want to earn my Q's the right way. Oh well. Jacquie said freebies are nice because one of these days I would be cheated out of a run.

This week was stressful. My Wal-Mart meeting is coming up soon so I have tons of stuff to do. I went into work today for a few hours and I'll go into work tomrorow as well to work on my sheets. Next week is the last week before the meeting so I have to get working working working.

On the health front......I went in for a CT Scan and bloodwork on Tuesday. The CT Scan made me really sick. That stuff that they insert through the IV was aweful. Every side effect the nurse said could happen I had. When I first visitied with the doctor he took X-rays and examined me and said my Petcus was a mild case. He emailed me the other day and said that the CT Scan reveiled it's a severe case and that is probably what's causing my breathing problems. He want's to examine the scans with another doctor. I also have another pulmonary function test on Tuesday. He said then he'll schedule to meet with me and run over everything. I'm scared and very angry. This should have been taken care of a long time ago. I don't want to end up on oxygen. Anyway.....that has me a little worked up today..

Oh yeah, we had a horrible ice storm on Monday. I didn't know it was icy and Jay and I skidded into the side of the mountian on the way to work. That was really scary. Our Jeep hit on the front right. The wheel hit first and then the side slammed into the mountain. I seriously thought our tire was going to be flat and our Jeep would be all messed up. God protected us and we're both perfectly fine and our Jeep doesn't have a single scratch, except on the rim. It's out of allignment but hey, that's ok with us.

Last night I went over to Dori's and we watched Sydney White. It was so cute. The men showed up later and joined us. Then we looked at pictures and I harassed their cat. I always have a great time hanging out with them. Can't wait to do it again.

Well, I better get going. Jason's looking into building a desk for our office so we're going to price out lumber tonight. Woo Hoo!