International Adoption Book

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Health Update For Manette

I went to the doctor on Thursday for my follow-up. This was the BEST gynecological visit I've EVER had! I didn't have to undress!!! That's right... I was able to keep ALL of my clothes on AND the appointment only lasted 5 minutes! Yahoo!

Apparently, because I wasn't having any bleeding and only had a complaint of mild discomfort (like the pre-period minor cramping one can often get) throughout the week the doctor felt it wasn't necessary to do anything else.

While we were discussing things, she also informed me that they had sent the polyps to the lab. It turns out they were benign (non-cancerous). What a happy relief that was to hear. Though I do feel I must admit to not being concious of the possibility until my neighbor came to inform me of Matt's bad behavior.

Apparently, on the 18th when I had my surgery, Matt had gone next door to tell her what I had endured and to enlist her help with my care for the day (not that I would have known anything since I was knocked out all day). While he was there he told her about the removal of the polyps. She got quite nervous about my health because she always knew polyps to be the precurser to cancer (as in the polyps one can find in the colon). She just knew Matt meant to say cysts instead and asked me to warn Matt of his error. When I told her that they were, in fact, polyps, she got nervous all over again, though she was utterly relieved when I told her the happy news on Thursday!

To make a long story short... I'm fine and recovering well!!!

No Doughnuts Here!

Matt took M and C to McDonalds for lunch yesterday and as they waited to make the turn into the parking lot a police officer turned in front of them. M, my smart and observant little man, noticed the police car and blurted out, "HEY... He can't come here. McDonalds don't have doughnuts!" I thank my lucky stars that a) the cop couldn't hear the conversation and b) I wasn't there to be utterly embarrassed. But, he's right... They don't serve doughnuts at Mc Donalds!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Recovery Play

So, while I'm still recovering the kids and Matt decided to wrestle around a bit. They had loads of fun and entertained me while they were at it! I took loads of photos (some of which you see here) and a few videos (I've posted one to give you an idea of how much fun and how wild they all got).

I'm still feeling a bit woozy, but I think that's the Vicodin talking. I took 1 Vicodin Friday evening as I went to bed and didn't touch the stuff until last night. I woke up with some pain last night. Though it was not nearly as bad as my usual cramping that I have with my periods, it was bad enough to wake me up at 2:30 this morning. Matt got up and brought me a Vicodin because I had already taken my full Motrin doseage. I've started some bleeding, too. I didn't have that on Friday or most of Saturday. Last night before going to bed is when I noticed some minor cramping combined with some bleeding. The note the doctor sent home said that was normal for up to 5 days. In other words... I get to experience a period twice this month! GREAT!!! I am looking forward to the "night and day" difference to my painful periods with great interest, though.

Other than that, all is going well. Waiting anxiously for my parents to return from Italy, where I truly hope they are having loads of fun with my dad's sister and father (and their significant others, of course).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Manette's Doing Great

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm doing great. The proceedure went well. My doctor spoke with Matt after he completed the surgery. Before doing the Hysteroscopy he thought there would only be one or two polyps; it turns out that there were 4 of those puppies... And they were "much bigger" than he thought they would be. He also said he got out a significant amount of the "junk" (Matt's words) that cause polyps.

It took me a bit longer than they had anticipated to come out of the recovery room after the operation because I got a bit nauseous. They gave me something for that and (who knows how much later) I was able to go home, where I slept off and on until about 7:00 this evening. Of course, I think the Vicadin they gave me helped in that arena. I took another one just a bit ago and fully expect to be out cold (again) by the time I post this message.

I will go back to see him in about 7 days where they will insert water into my Uterus and do another sonogram to see how well (or poorly) I've healed. Part of my healing regimen, though, is a trial for Matt... No intercourse for 3 weeks!!! I can tell you now that we will be having a grumpy Matt on our hands at the end of 1 week... I can barely imagine what he will be like at the end of 3 weeks! ;/

Thank you so much to everyone who emailed me with your thoughts and prayers. They were very nice words to read.

And, so my special online friends, Carol and T, know... I was knocked out cold! I don't recall a thing... Woo-Hoo! I had sat up to beg a kiss from Matt before they wheeled me into the OR and I suddenly began feeling dizzy. I mentioned it to the doctors since I thought it was my nerves making me feel that way. The doctors and Matt all sort of gave this "Ya, no kidding" kind of giggle before (all at once) telling me that I had just been given a sedative. Needless to say, I flopped back down onto the bed, made Matt give me my kiss and hug and, apparently, was out like a light. Matt thought it was funny at how fast I was knocked out.

Hugs and love to all...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surgery For Manette

So, just a quick (okay, not-so-quick) note to tell everyone that I am off to have outpatient surgery tomorrow. The doctors recently found some polyps on my ovaries. This might explain the odd chin-hair growth (embarrassing to mention, but to overcome embarrassement one must be honest and vocal) and the pain in my inner areas during intercourse and the pain during my cycles. I am one of those lucky and blessed ladies who have the ultimate joy of experiencing, besides the monthy flow of the red sea, the dramatic pain that can sometimes come with the tide. In fact, the pain can get severe enough at times that I vomit or must stay in bed with a heating pad.

My mom tends to think that I have a low tollerance for pain (which I probably do on most occasions), so I take the pain I experience with a grain of salt... And a couple of Advil and a nice tall glass of Iced Tea (Long Island, of course). Okay, I'm teasing about the Iced Tea part, though I will have a drink now and then (although I tend not to drink when I'm taking medications. I am somewhat responsible).

Anyway, back to my appointment with a knife tomorrow. The doctors are performing a Hysteroscopy where they will explore my interior girlie parts to check out what is going on. While they are in there, they will remove the two or three polyps that they've found recently. I am suposed to be the first one in the operating room tomorrow and am due for surgery at 8:00am, though I must report by 7:00.

I must say that I am extremely grateful for the luxury of an early start... This means that I will only have to suffer without food until around lunch time! This is excessively important to me because (as my family knows) I love my food and thoroughly enjoy eating. To have to avoid food from 11:00pm tonight until late tomorrow morning, if I'm lucky, will be a hideous crime against my stomach and taste buds. I only hope they will be forgiving!!! ;)

So, I saw the anesthesiologist yesterday morning and told her about my last experience with being "knocked out". Back in April 1991 (Easter Sunday) I began spotting. I was approximately 12 weeks pregnant at the time (though my OB said I was 14 weeks). That Monday morning I phoned my doctor who set an appointment to check me out. Sadly, Baby did not have a heartbeat. Choosing to have a DNC instead of enduring the pain for possibly up to two weeks I was sent across the street to the hospital where my doctor would do the operation later that afternoon. Let's just say that the surgery did not wait that long...

I ended up having a massive amount of blood flow from my body in just the 10 minutes it took to get across the street (literally). I remember laying down on a couch and reaching for the nearest person to walk by me and whispering "help me". My younger sister was with me at the time (she was just 19 years old). I was so out of it that I have no clue where she was or what happened next. All I can recall is the feeling of lightheadedness and then waking up nauseous in a hospital room. I began vomitting and my poor sister was crying. (She went through a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil for me and I will always remember that with love.) By that time my mom was there, too. She left work and raced back to the hospital (my sister must have called her). The nurses gave me a spinal tap and some other medications. Oddly enough, I never felt the spinal tap. Not a single pinch, though my sister sure felt it (she was crying like it really hurt her)! ;)

The next thing I knew I was waking up in this dark place. There was a bright light at my feet and sitting in that light was a figure dressed all in blue bent down peering between my knees. I couldn't see anyone else in the room with us. But, it didn't matter because I must have drifted off again. I came to once more in that same dark, cold room. I peered to my left and saw the blue clothed man walking near me. As the figure moved past me, I reached out and grabbed his arm and said, "Thank you." I had wanted to thank him for taking away the pain, but to this day I'm not sure if he understood that.

As I explained all of this to my anesthesiologist I was finally allowed some peace. She told me that I was most likely only lightly sedated. I am thankful for that explanation because I sure would hate to be one of those unlucky people whose minds are fully aware of all that is happening to them though their bodies are "asleep."

Wish me luck, say your prayers... Whatever... I'll take it all (can you tell I'm nervous)! ;)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Murderous Intent

So, how do you know if someone is trying to kill you? Well, I think I just found out...

Matt and I recently bought bikes for ourselves and then purchased attachments that turn our single-seater bikes into two-seater bikes. We purchased these items with the intent of biking our way around post. Though the attachments allow our kids to peddal, they don't really assist us in moving. Therefore, Matt and I are each towing our kids' 50-ish pounds plus the 10-ish pounds of the attachments for a total of 60-ish extra pounds.

I haven't ridden a bike in more than 13 years. The last time I got on a bike I had nearly committed unintentional suicide: The previous night I had gone out and drank a little heavily and volunteered to go mountain biking with several of Matt's friends. We arrived home at nearly 3:00 am. The guys called me around 5:30am to remind me of what my mouth said. Oh how I wish I had forgotten that conversation of the night before because that morning, after finally gaining my balance, I ran into two trees. Luckily the bike remained uninjurred, but my pride, my bottom and my head (from hitting the trees) were bruised.

So, now that we have these two awesome bikes, I take a few quick practice trips around the block. I do very well and it seemed so easy that I told Matt I could handle taking one of the kids down to the local school and back. The distance, according to Matt, was only 1/2 mile in each direction. I figured I could handle that. The first day, though, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was enduring muscle failure before we were 3/4 of the way through the trip. By the time we arrived at our front yard my heart was beating so fast that I thought it was going to burst right out of my chest. I was lightheaded from the experience and truly could not get up from where I fell: on my front lawn!

Yesterday, we took the kids further. Thankfully, we have been riding the same school route about twice a week for the past three weeks and I was prepared for the longer journey. We rode to the park that lay a bit further in the distance and stopped for about an hour (thankfully) to allow the kids to play before heading home.

This is how I know my dearly beloved husband has been trying to kill me: After our afternoon ride Matt drove our van along the route to give us a good estimate of our total distances. He learned that in reality the school was 3/4 of a mile EACH direction. So, all this time I had been riding 1-1/2 miles each trip (the park was 2 miles)... I know he knew it and was only trying to get me to exercise more! The idea of "work" is enough to give anyone a heart attack... I'm sure he did it on purpose!!! lol!!!

Needless to say, Matt was extremely proud of me for my newfound abilities!!! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why Women Should Vote

A few days ago, I received an email from my cousin. It had been sent to her and is now making it's way across the US via email. I was so stunned (though I don't know why) at what I read (see below) that I felt a strong urge to pass this information along, so I posted it here where it has the chance to be seen by so many more women. I truly hope that each and every one of us goes to the voting stations (or submits an absentee ballot) and has their voice heard. Don't let the suffering these women endured mean nothing... Vote (no matter which candidates you choose)!

In loving memory of our predecessors,

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there becausethey dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote. History is being made.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back To School

Today both M and C went back to school. They were picked up by the bus at 7:30am and dropped off at nearly 3:25pm. We all woke up at 6:30 this morning and it was ample time for the kids to go potty, get dressed, brush their teeth, take care of their hair, eat their breakfast and gather their school supplies. I nearly cried when they left, though they've been doing this routine for a few years now. I will tell you this, though: I was utterly bored without my kids today. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Once M and C arrived home, I reviewed the items they brought and found that C got a touch confused as to why she wasn't going home with her fellow classmates. Once she ate lunch with her deaf education teacher she relaxed and became more confident. Sometimes it takes her a bit to realize what the plan of action is. M, apparently, did fairly well. He kept telling me (on the walk home from the bus stop) that he didn't have to go to the office today and so I wouldn't have to homeschool him. Hhhmmm.... Maybe he learned his lesson. Needless to say, we began our school schedule as the information he brought home said he has to read for 10 minutes every day. In addition, every week he would receive new spelling words and, beginning in October, he would have math problems. My boy is growing up and is getting real homework now. So, although the teacher did not send home specific instructions for homework, we went ahead and read for 10 minutes and made up our own spelling words using some "sight reading" flash cards we've been learning with this summer.

M came home without his backpack (already). We took it to school yesterday along with his school supplies and the teacher asked us to leave it. So, we did. And he either forgot to bring it home or it got misplaced. I'll send him to school with his old one with a note to his teacher to insure M brings home his new backpack tomorrow.

I've included some 1st Day photos. Enjoy (and, yes, C has a spot on her shirt. It is mild from a dribble at breakfast).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back To The Zoo....

On August 8th Matt and I took the kids to the zoo... This was Matt's first trip and our second trip. It was a nice treat. We took the wagon that Nana and Papa bought M for his 3rd b-day. It was a great way for the kids to enjoy the zoo without getting worn out. But, the only down side was that M decided to drag the fingers of his right hand on the ground. I had seen him doing it but neglected to warn him to pick up his hands. Unfortunately, because he became so comfortable in doing this he ended up allowing more of his hand to run along the ground... And it got ran over!!! He got a nasty little gash in his finger: a decent chunk was torn out, actually. It was bleeding fairly decently. Not long afterwards, C got her foot caught under the front of the wagon as Daddy was pulling it along, which meant her achilles heal got pinched. That hurt like the devil, so we had them crying in suround sound for nearly 10 minutes. M was screaming and crying for an additional 10 minutes or so. We were able to find the emergency station for some ice, cleaner and bandaides for both kids (which worked miracles). It was an interesting end to what had started out as a nice day.

A Nice Break

This weekend came swiftly upon the tail of a hectic couple of weeks. Besides our change of adoption plans (which I am still saddened by), we've also had school preparations to attend to, including shopping for school supplies and school clothes, and doctor appointments for both C and myself. The kids have also made new friends with two children who recently moved to the neighborhood. They are only a couple of years older than M and C and have been a great source of entertainment for my two kiddos. They were over here playing all week and I was worn out by the time Thursday came rolling around and actually welcomed the 13 hour drive to my parents' house in California (I have no clue how my sister has her kids' friends over constantly... I like my peace and quiet and alone time with my kids).

We left shortly after Matt arrived home from work. C needed some new medication, so we had to wait around for that. We ended up leaving around 5:30pm. We arrived home around 6:30am. Matt and I shared driving time. I actually drove an hour longer than he did; this is an amazing feat since I usually only drive a maximum of about 1/3 of any given trip. We began our return trip home on Sunday afternoon (around 12:30pm) and arrived around 1:40am this morning.

Mom and Dad took us and Andrea's gang to Columbia Historic Park. We all had a great time. We rode the stage coach and were robbed!!! YIKES!!! Mom and Dad had purchased toys pistols for M, who had been shooting everything under the sun. But, when we were robbed M ensured his pistols were very hidden and refused to pull them out to protect us. In fact, when he was asked if he had gold he pointed to Auntie (my sister) and finked on her!!! The little devil!!! After the robber let us pass through M swiped his hand across his forehead and said, "Phew! I no want die. I want be married first!" He said this with such conviction that it was as if he thought being married were a goal to get to before he passes away (he's facinated with death since he saw my grandmother die). The entire episode was hillarious and I wish I could describe his reaction more vividly. He was terrified and was so utterly relieved when we began moving again that he kept feeling his heart to make sure it was still beating until we got off the stage. He actually went pale during the robbery! Poor little guy! Little Miss C, on the other hand, kept a close eye on the robber. Her eyes were huge as I signed what the robber was saying, but she didn't seem afraid. I think she read everyone's body language (of course, all the adults were laughing), which helped her to realize it wasn't such a bad situation after all. Bub and Sis (my nephew and niece) were a bit taken aback. One (or both, I can't recall) of them said it was a bit frightening. It was great and well worth the $20.

We got to see my sister and most of her family (minus my nephew, Mr. S) for the entire weekend. It was so nice and the kids had so much fun. Bub and Sis have gotten so big. Much of the weekend was spent schooling Sis on the courtesies of trying new foods and reacting appropriately to new situations since she is going with my parents to Italy in a couple of weeks. They are all excited and can hardly wait to treat Sis to such an amazing journey. This is her high school graduation gift from Nana and Papa (albiet a couple of years early). What a cool treat!!! Sis works hard in school and deserves to get this amazing trip. It will also be highly educational since she will be learning about history (both National and family history; that is where Nonno's family is from, many of whom still reside there).

Needless to say, our journey was wonderful and was relaxing and was a much needed respite. Now that we're home it's back to the grind of daily life and all the drauma that comes with it: We came home to a phone call from the folks whose property we are repossessing. I couldn't understand what they were trying to get at, so hopefully we'll learn something interesting when Matt calls them this afternoon. I'm guessing they are not too happy about the repossession notice that our agency sent to them this past week, but I don't much care since they screwed my child out of a home! (Can you tell I'm bitter? ;<)

Hope you enjoy the photos!!!