Simple Distractions and Spiritual Support

God's PlansDay 5 of sitting in the hospital as my husband, Charles recovers from pneumonia. Boring, but necessary stuff and so thankful he’s improving every day.

At the moment we’re both sitting on our laptops. He’s hanging with his schmancy gamer boy headphones and I have my fantastic, noise cancelling ear buds. Now every time a nurse, tech, housekeeping or the flurry of other people who constantly intrude into our little room open the door I jump.

I rarely listen to music while on the laptop. I like to have complete concentration or maybe I’m old enough that it simply takes everything I have to concentrate on what I’m doing. Either way, today is a nice reprieve with good music flowing, fantastic wi-fi signal and we just asked the Tech if we could possibly move to a larger room so we can spread out and she’s making it happen.

The entire team of caretakers here at St. David’s North Austin has been phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive and genuinely caring staff. They listen well and respond promptly.

Charles’ doctor gave us a litany of details this afternoon describing how they are treating his pneumonia and why it took Charles’ feeling close to death before they were able to run the right tests to see it. In fact, Charles had a chest x-ray performed on Tue., July 22, but wasn’t admitted until Sat., July 26. Oddly reassuring that other health professionals really weren’t falling down on the job, but still not something we’d wish on anyone.

And I can feel it. I can honestly physically feel the prayers family and friends are submitting on our behalf. Last night I had a sweet voice-mail from a dear friend, just as I hit yesterday’s breaking point. Boys may not understand this, but I suspect many women will. I was walking away from the hospital completely frustrated with the slowness of progress, frustrated that beyond my husband’s health there’s a slew of other things that I must take care of now completely solo and I simply can’t be in that many places at once. I honestly don’t know how single parents do it. And then I listened to my friends voice-mail. She left it as I began bawling my eyes out and hyperventilating and thinking I needed to get it together because I couldn’t drive myself home like that.

Thanks to those that remember to lift us up at whatever time you think of us. We will make it through this and life will go on . . . it’s just not super fun in while we’re in the middle of it.

Not Much Can Happen in a Week

UPDATE: I actually typed this with a headache that started when I woke at 4:30 am. Ended up having a migraine for the entire day and didn’t actually go back to work until the next day.

I’ve had many people tell me that they don’t know how I do it.

The it they refer to is that they seem to think I’m on the go a lot and that I sleep very little. Nothing could be further from the truth, although online I seemingly sleep little. The reality is that during the working week I do tend to stay up later than most and on the weekends when I can I hibernate every chance I get. Nothing says weekend more to me than being absolutely lazy and watching some Bourne flick. (Not sure if you know this, but given any Saturday or Sunday you WILL find a Bourne movie on cable. Guaranteed.)

But this week has been quite different and really not much has happened.

Last Wed., Dec. 11 my husband and I arrived at Seton Medical Center at 4:30 am. The hospital doors aren’t even open then. We had a nice security guard buzz us in. We waited for a little while until they admitting lady started taking peoples information. After they called my name we went back into my post op room, undressed, changed into a super glamorous hospital gown with ventilation, bagged up the clothes I was wearing, laid down in the hospital bed as a nurse began taking my vitals and on his second attempt finally started my pic line in my hand. Ouch! First time I had ever had a pic line and I knew immediately I wasn’t a big fan. The area still hurts a week later.

I had a few meet and greets with the anesthesia nurse, the anesthesia doctor, my doctor and then at 6:30 am the two nurses came in – one was talking to Charles telling him it was time for him to go to the waiting room, the other nurse was speaking to me and telling me she was going to put something in my pic line . . . and I woke up in a different room, in a different hospital gown totally groggy about 5 hours later. I was to learn later that the drug they gave me was pretty much the same thing as the date rape drug.

I remember nothing. Five hours of my life totally disappeared.

Which I guess is really fine. They gave me an epidural, which was really one of the things I was least looking forward to, but I don’t recall it. They said I was speaking, but couldn’t really tell me what I said.

It took some time from when I began to awake for the hospital to have my room ready. Once it was, they wheeled me down halls and to my room all the while I was still semi-awake. Too many turns for my liking though and just as we entered my room I started vomiting. Fun stuff!

Charles arrived in my room a bit after I did. I spent the next couple of hours between awake and half-asleep. Started posting on social media by 3:45 pm that day and had already started the process of getting out of bed and taking a few steps.

We left the hospital by 4:30 on Thur., Dec. 12.

A week later, my new hip is on the mend. I had a few people come to visit at the hospital, friends and family sent me gifts for my short stay, at home I’ve had meals and flowers delivered, a few friends come by to check on me, met with my at home physical therapist twice, and most importantly become a walker super-user.

My husband has been at my beck and call and I’ve been working hard at not checking work email and resting up.

Today I return to work – albeit from home. Anxious to see what I’ve missed in a week.

Christmas Comes Early

And my Santa is a wiry little man with round, tiny glasses named Dr. Jack Seaquist.

Along with the parts for the new hip, I’ve also asked that Jack include the following in his big bag of goodies:

Dr Santa

  1. When I roll out of bed in the morning, I’d like it to be effortless.
  2. When my feet hit the floor I’d like to begin walking right away instead of thinking OUCH how am I going to make this next step?
  3. I’d like to descend and ascend our stairs like a normal person instead of taking a step and then putting my second foot on same step. This method, while less painful, is tedious and I’ve got places to go.
  4. When lying down I’d like to be able to find multiple comfortable positions in which to lay and sprawl
  5. When getting in and out of a car I’d like it to be a smooth transition that doesn’t include me holding on tightly to anything in the near vicinity for fear of falling down.
  6. When walking down the halls in the office I’d like to walk in such a way that people won’t ask, “Oh, what happened?!”

Oh the joy of opening up presents that come early!

And our house promises to have no orthopedic issues this coming year. Our Isabella, Jack Russell + Chihuahua rescue came to us with two broken legs on the mend. Charles broke his collar bone in the fall. This is it. For sure!

Your Turn


Making last minute preparations for my hospital admission on Wednesday and I’ve received a few pieces of what I expect is good advice. I suspect there’s more out there. This is what I know:

1. Don’t worry about buying a new night gown. I’ll probably stay in hospital garments. I’m bringing my short robe since I know I’ll be up and around working on how to use my new hip.

2. Drink lots of water. Meds will be messing with my digestive system, so I’ll have to stay on top of it.

3. Be aware of my pain levels. The hospital has been adamant that I shouldn’t grin and bear it.

4. The incision will be hot and I expect itchy.

What else should I be aware of?

Anything I should pack and bring with me?

What should I leave at home?

Your turn. Go!

Wrapping Things Up

It’s December and wrapping generally refers to wrapping gifts and presents . . . not in this case . . .


Just hit send on an email to alert my hiring managers that I’ll be out of the office for a wee bit very soon and ideally didn’t give my co-worker that will be covering things a heart attack.

It’s scary to put things on hold from my manager’s perspective, I’m sure. Scary for me too. A lot can happen when you’re away from the office. Things that you never anticipated breaking do. Drills that you never imagined, warrant all hands on deck. Meanwhile, I’ll be dozing away and when awake practicing leg lifts with a new body part.

While I realize time away is necessary and that I’ll be of little use, I admit I’m a bit of a workaholic. I don’t think I’m totally diagnosable with FOMA (Fear Of Missing Out), but I do like catching up on Facebook and Twitter and I’m constantly checking emails. So putting away technology for a day is unfathomable.

I suspect I’ll live through it though and until then . . . much to wrap up!

Visions of Next Wednesday


Seven days from this evening I’ll be spending my first night ever in a hospital bed. I will have arrived before dawn, been prepped for surgery, sedated, my worn out hip removed, my me hip installed and fingers crossed that before I go to sleep have taken my first steps.

As I learned about what I will be experiencing it amazed me how quickly I’m expect to be rehabilitating and how many people will be involved with the procedure.

I’m thankful that I have an amazing family and friends support team. I’m completely comfortable with the medical staff. If there’s just one thing I could add it would be my pets. I know I’ll miss them terribly. Will the realize mom’s away getting a fantastic new build? 😜

Bionic Part Countdown

As I lay in bed wrapping up Dec. 1, 2013 I begin the 10-day countdown to my left hip replacement. It’s not really bionic though, so I have no grandiose dreams of being able to leap across cars or into second story windows. But I am excited. Seems like the sharp pains of daily movements are becoming more frequent and perhaps my body simply encouraging me that this surgery is the right call.

I posted these X-rays of both my hips on Facebook and made mention of the procedure for the first time last week. I received a lot of encouraging comments and a number of them mentioning I seem too young for such a thing. I agree – I’m only a ripe 46 years old.


The X-Ray was taken in Feb. 2013. Pretty sure a more current view isn’t prettier.

Around late Nov. 2012, I started noticing sharp, inconsistent, hard-to explain pains and all I could describe was it was coming from where my leg connected to my torso. I’d also have weird sensations when walking and most often when coming down a flight of stairs as if my leg was just going to come out from under me. It was so frustrating.

In February of this year, my chiropractor, Dr Mark Shannan, suggested that I go see a spine specialist. That specialist took these X-rays and immediately said, “Yep, that’s a hip replacement and when you can’t stand it any longer you’ll have it replaced.”

So next week it is. I have had my pre-op visits with my physician Dr Jack Seaquist and his staff, I’ve met with the anesthesia team as well as the physical and occupational therapists and I’m doing daily exercises they’ve recommended.

And after 10 more sleeps I’ll wake up and check into a hospital for the first time in my life and emerge three days later with my hip version 2.0.

Oh I can’t wait to walk without pain!