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


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. :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So tonight I laughed so hard I cried. I didn't cry though because it was funny, I cried because it hurt so bad. Jason of course had to hide because he was laughing at the funny thing I did. It's horrible always wanting to make jokes.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


So her name is actually Dakota but I call her Lil'D, which I hope her mom doesn't mind. She turned 1 yr old today.

I miss you guys and can't wait to see you again.

(Trish, hope you don't mind, I stole this picture from your blog, it's my favorite)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

So I wanted to take the time and wish my WONDERFUL mother a happy birthday. We celebrated her birthday while she was in town (photos below dated July 12th).

The big 50! 1/2 way to 100. WOW!
Important Information now that you are 50:
The only way to relieve the frustration of being fifty-something is to constantly seek new ways of irritating the young. Fortunately in old age, you develop the ability to do this naturally in every single thing you do or say.

My LOSER Friend

So I have a loser friend named Tracy. She has the most incredible imagination. So she sends me these emails a lot to make me feel good during the day. Her most recent is hilarious, since I'm stuck in a recliner and all.

Top 10 Things to do in a Recliner.
1. Shoot spitballs at the ceiling to form the shape of a smiley face.
2. Teach furkids to climb all the way up the chair and do tripple backflips off the top.
3. Think up mean and insulting emails to send to the other losers (not me!)
4. Lift and lower foot rest really fast and see if you can generate enough air force to skid across the room.
5. Once across room, move outside, take all clothes off and get a tan w/no bikini lines.
6. Realise you now have full body recliner fabric indentations.
7. Wait for the spitballs to fall on you.
8. Buy every 10th item offered on QVC.
9. Have items shipped out to random people in the phone book.
10. Practice juggling raw eggs.

Tracy - You are one crazy lady! I'm glad to have you as my Loser Friend.

(In the below photo Tracy is the one on the far right)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Updated House Photos

I know several people have been waiting for these. Mostly my friends from HK and Taiwan, since we're doing this cool thing and showing each other photos of the area's we live in and our homes. Ashleigh & Candy, now it's your turn. :-)

So, here goes.

The front of our house taken from the street (our wonderful steep hill we live on)

The back of our house with the wonderful new deck my husband built. His first one.

From the deck this is our brand new repainted kitchen (I love the green with white) Once the window is replace we will be adding a slate backspash. Should look really cool. We will also be adding doors up above the cabinets where it's open.

From the kitchen our upstairs living room that finally has furniture

Our ugly pink bathroom. I cannot wait to redo this, yuck

Our spare bedroom. It needs photos but I'm not sure what "theme" this room will have

The Office

Our bedroom (needs pictures as well)

My currect bed situation (a nice comfy recliner)

Me sleeping in my comfy recliner with Taylor sleeping as well

Our theatre room, or basement. As for the green couch, we don't know where it will go so it sits downstairs. All our furniture in the upstairs living room and then this green couch was given to us after Jason's grandma passed a few months ago

A different angle taken from another corner. Our basement is a walk out basement and that door is actually the entrance into our house.

So, thanks for visiting the McKenna House. Hope you enjoy.