Sunday, November 08, 2009

I cannot believe May was my last post. I really need to get back into blogging. It was a great way to keep a journal. So, here goes. I'm going to catch everyone up.

June, July, & August

I'm sure we paddled almost every weekend. We didn't do anything else.

September & October

We went to Maine for vacation. We had planned on floating Section 8 of the NFCT however the weather prevented this. The fall colors were spectacular. Words and photos really couldn't catch the true color of the trees.

We also did something I had not planned on doing for a while. We purchased a new vehicle. We got a 2010 Subaru Forrester. We LOVE it. The sunroof is huge and it has heated seats. Also a CD player. Yippee. Jason's Jeep was on it's last leg and we needed to try to get as much out of it as possible.

When we returned from Maine the following weekend we had DOCNA Nationals. Chase and Tay both finished 1st in Standard on the East Coast. They did not place in Jumpers and the NAC. Maybe next year.


Jason and I have decided to get a couple of guns. One for him and one for me. Mainly because I don't like to share when it comes to having to take turns. I believe we have both decided to purchase a 22 rifle. Since we are planning on doing targets it's the ammo is cheaper. We are planning on purchasing them by the end of the year. That will be exciting. We will be able to walk down to the rifle range as much as we want for shooting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've blogged. I'm a very bad blogger. A lot has been going on lately so here goes (In no particular order)

1. We went to a friends house down near Harrisburg for our 10yr family photo. We spent about an hour as the sun was setting. It was so nice to see her again. It's been a little over a year or so. She took some really great photos, which made it very hard to choose. I'm hoping to purchase the file from her so I can use the picture and post it places.

2. We went to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia over our 10yr anniversary. We drove down on a Friday and came home on Saturday. It started pouring so I was glad we left the park before the rain hit. Overall we saw hundreds of deer (and I"m not kidding), 2 turkeys, a bobcat dragging a baby deer across the road, and 3 bear families. The scenery was amazing. This is our park #7, I think, out of 56.

3. We sold our camper. We have been talking about it for over a year now. Some friends of ours were in the market for one and asked if we wanted to sell it. After one night of discussion and prayer we decided it was the best thing to do. To replace our camper we purchased a 13' x 10' tent. We have never had a tent this large before so it was different for us. IT'S HUGE! We can fit 2 cots, 2 chairs, a table & 4 dog crates inside. It's literally the size of our bedroom.

4. Jason and I are on a mission to become debt free. This is everything, except our house. We paid off the credit card & camper. Jason's Jeep will be paid off next month, which leaves us with my Jeep and the house. Next I'm going to put all our money toward paying off my Jeep. Our house should be the only debt we have left by the end of the year. YIPPEE!

5. For a few years we have been researching canoe's & kayaks. When our canoe got a hole in it down in MS we tried our hardest to patch the darn thing. Nothing worked. So, after extensive research I am happy to announce that we have picked our boat. The funny thing is, we both want the same one (weird, that never happens). We're getting a sit-on-top kayak. We chose the sit-on-tops because of several reasons: cannot swamp if flipped, easy entry & exit, a dog can go with us & you can use it on the ocean. We placed the order today and should get them in 3 weeks, I believe. We're very excited about getting back on the water.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So it's been a while since I have blogged. I wanted to catch everyone up on what's been going on.

Our last post was our new carpet installation. We LOVE our new carpet and new flooring. It's so easy to clean. The kids don't like it much because they slide everywhere but they will get over it. :-)

We went to DC 2 weekends ago with our friends Gerald and Dori. We had such a good time. They are so easy to travel with (well besides Dori driving us crazy about her iced latte). It was quite warm but it was enjoyable. We missed most of the cherry blossoms in the mall area but we got to see some at the Arlington Cemetery. Overall we walked about 20 miles in 1-1/2 days. CRAZY!

My hospital bed is still working wonders. I have been able to get a full nights sleep ever since delivery in February. I still need my heating pad at night and I still have to sleep in an inclined position but it's wonderful. I told Jason once my bar comes out and I no longer need the hospital bed we're going to have to get an adjustable bed.

I'm leaving for B-ville on Sunday. Whoops, for those who don't know, it's Bentonville. I will be in B-ville from Sunday to Thursday. I'm excited but I always worry about how well I'm going to sleep. I will be taking my good drugs with me to help get me through the night., this is a short post. I'm boring right now.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I just realized how long it has been since I blogged. So, let me catch everyone up. Let's see....where do I begin.

March - The whole month of March we spent working on our house. Jason replaced the ugly crap carpet with swiftlock flooring. It's incredible. After finishing the bedrooms and the office we pulled up the carpet in the living room planning on flooring it the same way. Low and behold when we pulled it up we had a huge bump in our floor, which ruled out placing swiftlock down. So, it was time to order carpet. We spent one whole weekend carpet shopping. On March 3rd we finally purchased our carpet. I was so excited to get it. They told us it would only take 7 - 10 days to get in, boy were they wrong.

Today we finally got the carpet installed. I was so excited. It looks so nice and it actually has padding under it. Our old carpet didn't and it was very hard on your feet. This carpet is very light with specs in it. Kind of like dirt specs, which is why we bought it. It will hide all the dog hair and muddy paws. :-) Check out our new carpet.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twilight - Final Trailer

Yesterday was the release day for Twilight. I had never seen it before but I had heard several people say how great the movie is. So, Jason and I decided to pre-order the movie. We never do that without seeing a movie first but decided to take a risk. The movie was FABULOUS! It's a movie about vampires but it's more of a love story than anything. I liked it so much that I have watched it twice already since last night. I am seriously thinking about watching it a third time. Each time I watch it I pick up on something during the movie, which is fun for me.
Another cool thing about the movie was Jason and I went to Washington state last September. We drove through the town of Forks and even stopped at the local grocery store and Ace Hardware for camping supplies. Another reference in the movie is La Push Beach. That was the first beach we visited on the trip and we actually went through the Indian Reservation they mention on the movie. Also, during the movie (and you can even see it on the trailer), the vampires attach at a warehouse. Jason and I got lost on our way to Forks and ended up driving through that actual warehouse, which is crazy since it's on the movie. We visited Port Angeles as well.

Anyway, if you have not seen the trailer check it out. I'm going to link it to my blog from U-Tube. So, you will see it shortly. I highly recommend renting it and giving it a try.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nothing really new here......

I figured I'd better post something or someone could get upset with me. There is nothing new to report on the McKenna home front though. Normally I only post the cool things that we are doing however right now we're just doing home renovation. BORING!!!!!

For the last 3 weeks Jason has been reflooring our bedrooms and office. We're putting down the swiftlock laminate. We also ordered new carpet for our living room and hallway. Pretty soon we're going to have a brand new house, or at least it's going to feel like it. The floors look fabulous. I would attach pictures however we have furniture shoved in all the rooms waiting on the carpet to be installed. Once that's installed I will update my blog with pictures.

Other than that, nothing new.......BORING!!!!!

Our future plans include a trip to Washington DC. We're heading out the weekend after Good Friday with our friends Dori & Gerald. Right now we're planning on staying in Arlington. Our plans are to visit the Arlington Cemetary, White House, Reflection Lake, Vietnam Memorial, Smithsonian and other cool places.

We're trying to decide which month to go to the ADK's to get our high point for the year. Jason cannot travel anywhere until after May. I, of course, can go anywhere I want. HA!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's been a long time since I blogged....AGAIN! I have a pretty good reason for it though. Jason and I have been very busy reflooring our office. Thanks so Kim who inspired us with her recent flooring remodel.

I have been gripping for the longest time about that ugly purple carpet in our office. I have a Dyson, which is in my opinion the vet vacuum on the market. My Dyson would not pick up the dog hair and all the dirt we bring in. So, the office carpet was a mess. It was so nasty and I couldn't do anything about it. When I was home on leave I developed a runny nose. It would not stop running. I told Jason I truly believe it was the carpet in the office that was affecting my allergies. So, I finally had enough a few weeks ago. I told him to rip up the carpet and we was going to refloor the office. It started out that I was going to put down linoleum, like what's in our basement. I was going to do it temporarily until we could afford to refloor the house. We drove to Lowe's one night and started to look at the Swiftlock flooring. We calculated it out and determined it was not going to be that much more expensive. So, we went all out purchasing everything to refloor the office. It took us a total of about 8 hours to refloor the whole thing. It's amazing. My runny nose is gone as well....Yippee! So, our next step is to do the hallway. Jason and I will probably tackle that this weekend. Then the following week it's on to the living room floors. I can't wait to get rid of all this hideous carpet. Funny story with the furniture. Not to brag but I used to be pretty strong before my surgery. Our desk is about 11' long and 1/2 of it is glass (as you can see below). Before my surgery I would have been able to pick it up and carry it without any problems. I can't pickup anything. I struggle to pickup Chase, who only weighs about 30 lbs. So, Jason had to come up with a system so I could help him. We took the wheels off the desk and placed my end up on our desk chairs. He picked up the other end and I wheeled the desk right out. Anyway, it was hilarious. Check out our floors below.


Also, check out the Christmas photo below of my aqua aerobics class. This photo includes less than 1/2 the actual size of the class. Aren't they so cute?
Jason was in Philly this weekend so I had the weekend all to myself. I spent a lot of time cleaning and regretted it on Sunday. I don't know what I did but I hurt myself. It feels like my right mountain is on fire. HA HA HA! (laughing at the mountain joke). Anyway, when I'm sore I can't go to church. The pews are so uncomfortable and they hurt my back. So, I stayed home and watched about 12 - 13 hours of Felicity. It was crazy because I would watch 4 episodes and then I would get upset because I would have to get up and change the disc again. It went by so quickly. I'm still a little sore today but I feel so much better than I did on Sunday. The littlest things hurt. Oh well, I just suck it up. I only have a little over 1 year to go. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


That's right. This post is about Taylor again. Guess what I caught her doing tonight......eating Jason's retirement statement. I called Jason and was laughing so hard I couldn't tell him what happened. I had to email him. Ahh, we need to start agility soon or she's going to go crazy.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


That's right....Little Miss Problem Child did it again. First off, last week she was sick. She was so sick we took her to the vet because we thought something was wrong. This week.....she shattered her toenail chasing after a bunny. I picked her up after work tonight. She's still groggy after the drugs they gave her. I wonder what she will get into next week? It's always Jason's dogs. Does that tell anyone anything?????? :-)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

So it's been another long time between posts. I have to say, I have become addicted to facebook so that seems to be where I spend most of my time now.

Just to catch you up. A lot has been going on. Each weekend we take the kids to the lake for a little hike. A few weeks ago we had to stop and come in early because it was a little too cold for Taylor. With Tay being a double coated Sheltie that tells you exactly how cold it was. Last weekend we went around sunset for a very short walk. It was icy out so when the kids ran up and down the hill the love I was a little nervous about broken bones. Also the ice fishermen were out so that's always very exciting to see.

Jason and I went on a hike last weekend. We went to our usual spot, Ricketts Glenn. Normally we deal with ice so we had our stablicers on. This time we needed snowshoes. We had to walk through about 4 - 5 inches of snow. That was difficult but we just kept going. I was very happy that my breathing wasn't bothering me at all. Before surgery, walking through that much snow, I would have been stopping all the time to catch my breath. Our favorite water fall was very beautiful and frozen over. I took my hiking poles and make sure the ice was thick before I started to walk over what is normally the pool from the fall. We walked right next to it. It's amazing that you can still hear it falling through all that ice.

Jason is sick this weekend so he's been home. I went grocery shopping (since another storm is coming) and had my normal breakfast at Panera Bread. I went to Lowes and just had a good time. Forgetting it was super bowl Sunday and everyone was out grocery stopping I was quite annoyed. I get in grocery shopping mode and short line mode. It's amazing to see the crowds of people standing in line waiting to check out when they should scope out all the lines for an opening. I found an opening right away with a quick cashier so I was very happy. Came home, cleaned the house a bit, played on facebook and watched movies.
This morning I went to church. Then I came home to pickup Jason and the kids for a ride. We went to BK for a Whopper. Umm, it was so good. Since we're not football fans AT ALL we'll just watch movies tonight and forget about the super bowl.

Oh yeah, probably the most important thing......On Friday I went to Johns Hopkins. When I arrived the check in lady said that they didn't have me on his schedule. More people had come in and had the same problem. Turns out Dr C. did not have clinic on Friday but he was doing a transplant. So, since I drove all that way the nurse practicioner was not very happy about my situation but was trying to get ahold of Dr. C while he was in surgery. Since I couldn't see him, I knew she could really help me with what I needed. I didn't have to see him. She told me he reviewed my X-Rays and the bar has not been displaced, which I figured. I told her that I did not want to go on any narcotics but I wanted a few things. I told her first off I wanted a hospital bed. I have been in a recliner ever since surgery and it's starting to hurt my back. I needed to be able to change positions throughout the night to eliminate all the pain in the morning that I end up with after I have been in bed. She wrote me a prescription. I cannot wait for my new bed. Finally, I can get a good nights sleep. I also asked for a prescription for botox. Botox is used for pain management. It numbs the nerves. I need to find a local doc first and then I will go for my first injection. If the hospital bed stops all my pain though, then I will not need the botox. So, I'm getting so excited about my bed. Only thing I'm worried about is how on earth anyone is going to deliver it. I have to put my jeep into 4WD before I can get up the hill. Delivery trucks cannot make it up our hill, period. Not even in the summer. If we can just get a break from this ice and snow then I can get my bed. We'll see. I'm going tomorrow to order it. Maybe they can deliver it that afternoon. Wouldn't that be exciting. It would come right before the snow storm. Woo Hoo! Today is warm too, 44 deg, so maybe the ice will melt to make it easier.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blog #2 Pectus Recovery

As mentioned in my first blog on the issue I have been having a lot of pain. I believe this pain is caused from a nerve being pinched. It only occurs when I lay down at night to sleep. I spent about 2 months in our bed and now I have moved back to the recliner. The nerve is starting to bother me so bad that I now have to sleep sitting up in the recliner. Try that one out and see if you can sleep. Anyway, I'm not getting any sleep. I'm tired, exhausted actually but I keep pushing. I'm in bed by 9:00 each night so I can at least try to get more hours of sleep. I'm trying everything aqua aerobics, which has truly helped with my movement. I'm now trying a dancing workout which is tons of fun and really not that bad at all. I'm sore today but going to continue. I am seeing a massage therapist every 2 weeks. Nothing is really helping. I do not want to go back on narcotics so I'm just searching the internet for answers. I was looking on the Pectus Forum website and noticed a post today called Physical Therapy for Pain Relief. Another woman on the forum is having the same problems that I am having except she stayed on narcotics. Anyway, she has been receiving a different kind of therapy I have never heard of before called Myofascial Release. Their is a treatment center in PA but it's down near Philly. Since my massage therapist was a RN before she decided to help people with pain management I am going to take this website to her and see if she has heard of it before. I am willing to give it a try.

I do not regret having this surgery at all. I'm just looking for relief from the pain. The bar will be out in another 1-1/2 years. If I have to deal with pain that long then so be it. I can do that but, if I can find another solution to my pain then I'm all for it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pectus Excavatum - Nuss Procedure - Part 1

Pectus Excavatum - Nuss Procedure - Part 2

My friend "Runs Like a Chicken" decided it would be a great idea to create a blog for the both of us to read about our progress after the Pectus Repair surgery. She had surgery July 16th and my surgery was July 17th. She's several years younger than I am but I have enjoyed her friendship and getting to know her as we sit back and talk to each other about what's going on in our lives and how we are feeling these days. It's very interesting to hear how she's progressing and how far she has come. I'm an old lady so I'm healing much slower. Ash - I'm totally looking forward to doing this. It was a great idea and I can't wait to look back on our journals and read about all that we have been through.
So, here goes with my first post.

As stated above my surgery was July 17th. I spent 1 week in the hospital and then spent 2 months off work healing. The whole time off work Ash and I would talk every day about how we were doing and how it was so nice having each other so we would not go insane with bordom.
I am now about 6 months post op. I still have a lot of pain/burning at night and stiffness/soreness during the day.

It's hard to describe how it feels but here goes:
Days: During the day most of my soreness is with my back. I truly believe it's because I am not able to arch my back like I used to. Also, with us older folks I read that since our posture has been corrected that our backs start to ache. The pain is very minimal throughout the day. It's mainly just sore. Every now and then when bending or twisting a certain way I feel a pinch. The pinch isn't bad at all, just reminds me that I have a steel bar inside my chest. Maybe I get this pinch because my incisions are right under my boobs. Good thing they are not that big. :-)
Nights: I spent about 2-3 months in a recliner. I then graduated to our bed. I spent about 3 months in bed. Every now and then I would have slight pain and would move to the recliner. Starting about 1 week ago I started having a burning sensation on my right side. My right side has always been my problem side. The burning sensation feels like someone has a torch on my insides. It's a little below my incisions. The first night I had the burning sensation I tried laying in bed. I didn't get up right away because I wanted to see if it would go away. I laid in bed for about 1 hour with the fire feeling on my chest and decided I could not lay in bed any longer. I needed to get some sleep. So, I moved out to the recliner. The second night, same thing. I laid in bed this time for only 30 minutes before I went back to the recliner. Third night was a good night. I had slight pain on my right side. When I would start to feel the burning I would roll over on my left side and the pain would go away. Once my left side started to hurt because of the bar I would roll back over on my back. Laying on my back and then rolling over on my side continued for most of the night. I didn't get much sleep. The next night I had a good nights sleep. No pain at all and I laid on my back the whole night. The last 2 nights have been very bad. I tried the bed first, like usual, and then moved to the recliner. Now the recliner was becoming uncomfortable. So, I would then move to the couch. I laid in the couch for a hour or two and then started to hurt so I moved back to the recliner. I don't know how many times I moved from the couch to the recliner. I can feel myself becoming very tired and cranky from lack of sleep. Last night I took some of my valium hoping that would help and it didn't. Normally it knocks me out since I take 2. Tonight, who knows. I have been sore all day today. I will try the bed first and see what happens.

I was in such a bad mood last night when talking to my mom she asked me for the first time if I regret having the surgery. Although I'm annoyed that I am not 100% better I never regret having it. Before my surgery I had heart problems. I couldn't stay up late and had to have close to 10 hours of sleep each night so my heart would not hurt. Since my surgery I have not had problems with my heart at all. I will take the pain and discomfort knowing that my heart is in it's proper place and not hurting anymore. As for my breathing, I can tell a slight difference in my endurance level however I cannot tell a different in my breathing. My poor lungs have been squished for 29 years. I can't expect them to start working properly after 6 months. I just need to keep exercising my lungs and my capacity will increase.

What I wish I could do now that I can't:
1. I wish I could play basketball. I'm not very good at shooting but I love to play defense. Right now if I was to get hit or knocked around a bit that would be aweful. Jason plays with a bunch of guys on Mondays and Wednesday. I go to all the games. I sit and watch wishing I could be out their playing.
2. I wish more than anything I could finally lay in bed without any pain or discomfort.
3. I wish I knew what was going on inside of me. I sent an email to my doc and she said that I should be feeling back to normal now since I'm an active person. I do aerobics twice a week, sometimes 3 times a week. I hike on the weekends and hardly ever sit down. I'm anxious to hear what she has to say tomorrow.

Well, that's it for my first post. If you are curious about my condition and want to know more about it Ash and I are members of a Pectus forum. Warning....most people on the forum are young males and all they care about is how they want to build up their muscles again. Every now and then though you get into some interesting conversations. I am also going to publish a video I found from youtube of the pectus surgery. (pretty cool.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wow, it's been almost 1 month since I have last blogged. I'm becoming a horrible blogger. Sorry for those out their that check it to see if I have updated. For 2009 my New Years Resolution is to blog more.

Anyway, so let's catch you up on the McKenna Happenings.

Mainly the holidays is all that's been going on. Jason was on call this year so we had to spend Christmas home. I have to say, it was quite relaxing not having to travel. I think we're going to start telling family members they have to rotate traveling home or we're not coming home anymore. Traveling both Thanksgiving and Christmas back to back is hard. I also didn't have any time to take since my surgery so well, needless to say, the holidays was relaxing. I wouldn't mind spending the holidays home again next year :-)

Anyway, Christmas we decided to go to NYC. My friend Caras from work just moved here from Hong Kong so she didn't have anyone to spend Christmas with. We had a snowstorm the night before so we thought that the roads would delay our trip but we made it. Our normal transportation means was closed on Christmas day so we had to drive into the city. Traffic was light so it was no problem at all. Now that I know exactly what street the Lincoln Tunnel ends at I can navigate better than the first time we drove into the city. We parked a few blocked past Times Square for 15.00, which is unheard of in Manhattan. We went to Times Square where I hoped to see the Naked Cowboy but he wasn't out (boo hoo). We went to lunch at our favorite restaurant Ellen's Stardust Cafe. Caras LOVED it and will bring her boyfriend Chung back when he returns to the states in February. We then went to see the tree. It wasn't very crowded so I was finally able to see the ice rink. It was so pretty and cool to see. OH yeah, the weather was nice too. Then we walked all the way down to the Empire State Building, over to Macy's and back up to our parking garage. For those not familiar with the city that's like 30+ blocks total in walking. My legs were sore. We also visited St Patricks Cathedral, which is beautiful.

New Years Eve it was 18 deg outside. I left work early and went down to help my crazy neighbor with the bonfire. He didn't need help but I figured I would give him company. Crazy Donna and Jason were still at work. We couldn't sit by the fire because of the wind. It would change directions and the smoke would follow. Mainly the smoke followed me everywhere so everyone just didn't stand near me. My friend Dori and Gerald came over for the bonfire as well. I have pictures of everyone but only Gerald and my crazy neighbor were looking. The others are LOSERS! Oh yeah, check out my marshmellow that's on fire too. UMMMM.....

Other than that, that's been about it. I've been having a lot of pain lately in my side so I'm back in the recliner again. I told Jason I should just have the doc write a perscription for me for one of those motorized beds that I can adjust. Pillows just do not do the trick. I sent my doc an email. We will see what they say.

Enjoy our pictures....

My Snow Angel

Silly Hat Christmas Lunch

Wanting to steal from the candy dispenser.

Ever seen Felicity?

First I traveled through the seven layers of the candy cane forest. Then through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops. Then I went through the Lincoln Tunnel