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A lesson in Grace

At my doctor’s last doctors appointment, I was told something that horrified me.

The triage nurses I was speaking with found me aggressive and rude and that I needed to reign in my frustration, as valid as it was, and be mindful of my tone.

My doctor said she defended me, that she could tell I was in serious pain because she knew me. But, even now, with her, I was aggressive and frustrated. If she didn’t know me so well she would find me rude too.

I told her I was about to cry. I love and adore nurses. To hear that they felt I was rude to them was embarrassing and horrid.

She said she knew that and that was why we were talking. So we could address it and keep the clinic on my side.

I felt so much shame. In pain, it’s hard to stay graceful and calm. But, she was right, I needed to be more aware of my tone and what I was saying.

I know I am not perfect. But, I always, ALWAYS, try to be kind to nurses.

I am praying this is fixable.

Embarrassed but determined to make it right.

Cjean

spoonie tailz

Ugh, ED story.

As soon as the bronchitis cleared up all hell broke lose in with my GI bleed. And I mean hell.

The pain is at an 8 or 9 and even a 10. I’m no cryer but I have cried more this week than I can recall.

These doctors just decided to NOT treat me. It was torture.

Endobelly and all.

So we were told to head down to Vancouver and get evaluated.

New hospitals and doctors and nurses terrify me. So, I pushed going off until the hubby made me. I missed a game wkfb a friend. I hate having to cancel plans. Hate. Hate. Hate. It.

However, going to this hospital-Best decision ever.

The hospital was clean, had an amazing triage plan and better still, they are nice. It felt like a better version of Univery of Denver Hospital.

They gave me my will to fight back. After four days at a 7 to a 10 I needed desperately to get my pain under control and rule out major things.

We have no idea what is going on so I got to go home. And I went home at a low 7.

We will figure this out. It just will take some time.

Cjean

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An ED miracle

Last night I cried to an Er doctor not known for his bedside manner or helpfulness with patients. I was there for help as I was very weak and I’ll. I expected him to just say NO and walk out.

Instead he nodded and sat down to explain his concerns. Which were valid. My veins are crap. I can not have a central line. It is too dangerous even to do an EJ (neck IV) with me off of blood thinners due to my GI bleed.

He didn’t want to risk destroying the few deep veins we can access if it wasnt absolutly warranted. And while I felt awful I was not medically critical and in need of fluids.

My reply was, “I agree, I understand that concern; but if I continue with the vomiting and diharea with sjogrens and dont get fluids now- We risk not being able to get fluids in me at all without an EJ.

He thought on that for a long moment and then agreed to check my BP standing, sitting, and lying down. If that showed dehydration I could have fluids.
When my stats didn’t change I was sure he would discharge me.

But he shocked me. He said we could try and I could have fluids, nausea meds, and even some toridal.

The ultra sound machine rolled in and yes!!!

My nurse and I were so happy. We started the meds and then disaster strikes.

Luckily, both meds can be absorbed in my tissue. But, what about the fluids?!?

The IV blew and I was sure the doctor would discharge me. We had tried and failed.

I love my endo tribe on Instagram. Follow them all, they have a meme you need to see for any struggle.

The IV blew and I was sure he would discharge me. We had tried and failed.
I WAS RIGHT. In walked my nurse to remove the bad IV and give me the sad news that there was no one available to re try an IV.

I was prepared to deal with this sad blow gracefully when in walked a miracle. A sweet nurse who was determined I would get fluids.

My prayers were answered. I even got some sleep and was released before midnight.

Last night I witnessed a miracle. The fluids saved the day too. I feel so much better. I’m also keeping down water at home so far this morning.

Rough night for sure but it ended with me thanking my loving Heavenly Father for softening the heart of a doctor and sending a nurse in just in time.

Cjean

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Mission BBQ

The third stop on our Williamsburg adventure.

*Slacker mom is just now updating the post.*

For dinner, we went to Hampton and hit up Mission BBQ

Okay, confession time: I am not a huge BBQ junkie, but this place is amazing. We kind of all shared sides and main dishes and had a ton of fun swapping out BBQ sauces and arguing over which one is best.

I stand by my love for the Memphis Belle.

Dude approved and he is hard to please.

It was also fun to mix and match sides.

It is a unique place, everywhere you look you can find something worth smiling over or studying. Here are just some random pictures of things that caught my interest.

Although I do not have a picture as I was a bit busy, one of the men who cooked my ribs was in a USCG hat. (Some of the workers wore military hats. I am not sure but I think they might be vets) My daughter got a real kick out of that! When you could keep her from trying to play with her baby cousin.

It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful day and a great family dinner.

We give the restaurant five out of five stars.

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Ah, to be young in a rain storm!

We had a BBQ for our church this last Saturday at Riverside park (link) and it was wet and wild.

The park looked like a lot of fun and we were in the back under the large pavilion that, thankfully, had a roof.

It has been a long time since rain has ran me off, but it sure did on this day.

Just a drizzle turned into a down pour in seconds, and I was very impressed with how quickly around fifty people packed up and cleared out.

I finally put my raincoat to good use!

Why I wore my chucks and not my rain boots is a mystery that may never be solved.

However, I had some not happy kids that the activity ended just because of some rain!!!

She is not amused.

Bad rain!

Welcome to Washington kid.

Cheers

Cjean

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Yorktown Battlefied and Cementary

This has been on my bucket list to visit for a very long time. Two wars, two major battles, all fought on one beautiful field.

We didn’t make it before the museum closed. Museum Info
Which also looks to be a part of the Jamestown Settlement area as well.

We followed these signs.

 

And they led us to the battlefields. Where you could walk around and explore.

Uncle Tom is explaining the battle to the kids. Sorry there is no sound. He makes a great tour guide!

Its amazing, looking at this peaceful beautiful field now, and then to realize. It was covered in blood from not one but two major battles from two wars. One to gain Independence from the British and one to preserve the country the first soldiers on the field died for.

Even after all these years you can still see what looks like battle trenches.

It must have been miserable there. The grass is high and itchy, the ground is hard, so digging in would have been a big job. But the worst is the bugs in that tall grass.

Uncle Tom braved the bugs to show the kiddos the cannons and sights. It was hard going and a bit slippery. Cinderella lost her shoe.

There are lots of what I call information stations.

These were closer to the cementary.

It was a sobering, awe-inspiring, moment in time. Even the children seemed to sense that something important and bigger than them had taken place. We didn’t have to have the ‘reverence’ talk more than once.

It was also startling to realise that men in two wars had died fighting for their country. It was even more startling to realise that most were unnamed.

This man decided to be buried with his men after the war.

There is an entire drive you can do on the Civil War Trails

It is a beautiful drive. Ignore my bad singing.

If you have time I would recommend looking at these hollowed sites.

Sadly, we had hungry kids and it was getting late so we headed off on our next adventure. Finding a restaurant we all agreed on.

But first I needed some Auntie snuggles with my little neice.

Cheers

Cjean

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That bleed….

Okay, if you don’t want to know about a GI bleed. Stop reading now. I am stuck in the ED waiting room trying to stay awake and decided to finally talk about this taboo subject- unless your a little boy- POOP, stool, crap. Whatever you call it. Mine has blood in it and I had colon cancer in 2012 so that is NOT good.

Here is the background:

September 2016. That’s when my GI bleed came back. I had an appointment for Nov 28th to see my GI doc at the University of Colorado. Yes, that was the soonest he could see me.

Where was I Nov 28th 2016?

Waiting for my open heart surgery.

The GI bleed took a back seat to the life threatening heart tumour, two blood clots on my heart, the hole, infection and clotted port.

*warning medical pictures*

And that was amazing. We removed all these things that could kill me. However, that GI bleed stayed around off and on, being a P.I.T.A.

(PAIN. IN. THE. ASS.) πŸ™„

Then we took me off blood thinners because it was assumed my port caused the two clots on my heart. I did my four months so no reason to continue on the medication. Sadly, we were wrong.

Two pulmonary embolisms in my lungs. Now what? Back on blood thinners. A new kind. That I had a reaction too. So, back to the old stand by warfarin and the start of my having to wear oxygen 24/7

But, that damn GI bleed. It kept showing up. Which is dangerous when you are on blood thinners. Especially one with these side effects:

After passing a Swan Cath Test

And the echo restudy and some scares with hours of bleeding we finally made the tough decision to go off blood thinners until we could figure out the bleed.

So off we went to figure out the GI bleed.

In Nov 2017 we did a pill capsle study (read about this scifi test here) which came back inconclusive and with me Still bleeding off and on; they recommended a colonoscopy.

Um, yeah whatever they saw was not in the lower GI and I can not do twilight anesthesia. I am completely awake and feel everything.

No GI doctor was willing to put me under though.

Because my medical history and current lung conditions made every doctor look at me like a medical malpractice lawsuit waiting to happen.

Then we moved from Denver to small town Washington.

Insurance got messed up and it took till the spring of 2018 to get a good primary care doctor. She is the best, btw.

A GI doc though? Still working on that.

Hello Sept 2018, and I am NOT on blood thinners, and sitting in the ED after having clotted blood in my stool that I was able to get a sample of. We need the sample to show blood in the stool to get the procedure. So, of course, the triage nurse told me to get to the ED to give it to a doctor who can order tests and evaluate me for my pain, vomiting, and GI bleed.

I’ve been here three hours.

I’m exhausted. I have a migraine. I have abdominal pain. I don’t want to BE HERE. The first thing I asked was if the doctors could just look at my chart and take the sample.

Clearly, that answer is a no.

Here I sit. Hoping my sample is still good and preparing myself for them to treat me like trash.

Because they seem to think I enjoy coming here.

No, I would enjoy being asleep right now.

We are starting hour four of my lovely visit tonight. Tramuas and sick babies everywhere. I am not priority. They should have just taken my sample and fast tracked me. They are not going to DO anything to me.

Whatever, I’m tired of being a pin cushion anyways.

I finally at least got into a room.

If they do not send this bag to the lab. Heads are gonna roll.

As always, my ED advice.

BE NICE TO THE NURSES.

Cheers

Cjean

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Still Learning… a year later.

I find it amazing that I am still learning so much about this site, my new phone, how to upload media, how to schedule it out, link up social platforms- and I am a year into this blog. With each post I get more comfortable and excited as I learn new things.

Today I figured out how to combine small videos into a ‘movies’. I seriously need to start watching more youtube tutorial to find more of these neat tricks.

If anyone has recommendations, please leave them in the comments below.

I WILL SAY IT. IM TECH STUPID πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Okay, I am a technology student. Ha!

Cheers,
Cjean

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Colonial Williamsburg

Vacation catch up post:

Saturday saw us rising early for an adventure I remember from my stay here in 2003
and could not wait to share with my children.
We headed down to Colonial Williamsburg

It’s a big trip because it is so close to so many other things you will want to see, sadly we didn’t have the energy or the time to see it all in one day. But, nearby you have Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield

(We did get to see the battlefield and cemetery and I will put that all up in another post!)

There are two parts to Williamsburg, one is modern and the other is the Colonial area. You can wander both for free. To get into certain attractions, however, in the Colonial area you need to buy a day pass. (See the website for instructions)

We started the day with an amazing lunch in the modern area.

After lunch we just wandered around and it was well worth it!

We then had to move moms car from the temporary parking to the longterm parking structure, oops!

We had fun waiting on her.

We also discovered some of the houses are actually still privately owned.

Some stores or part of the day pass and others are not. There is an open air market! Although things are rather expensive. So we got the kids out of there fast.

We walked almost five miles in total around the whole area and still did not see all the areas and homes and stores. One of my favorite memories of the day was getting out of the car to hear this….

We also reaffirmed that our mother is a hippie. She is giving the tree a hug because it needs love.

The dude climbs trees he finds.

There is an amazing church and graveyard to explore that the kids actually enjoyed, and you don’t need the pass to see. They have volunteer guides who tell you about what you would have expected if you had attended church at the time.

I was surprised to learn that women and men, as well as children, were separated. The names on the end of the pews meant nothing. The guide told us the men were just in town enough that they would have attended church as it was required, as in you broke the law if you did not show up, and everyone paid tax to the church.

That big comfy chair you see is for the governor, the most important man. It was all based on class, where you sat.

It seems to still be a church people attend. We found the offices.

It is such an interesting area because not only do you have the history of the Revolution but also the Civil War.

Here we have two Civil War men who found themselves buried in the ‘colonial’ churchyard next to Americans who might have fought the British.

Sobering to think about.

The next big attraction is the jail where Blackbeards crew was kept and hung.

It has been restored and the kids sure got a kick out of it.

Mom decided she was kept there in a past life, we humoured her.

I think she just wanted some time to sit down, we did do a LOT of walking.

Side note for historical reference:

It isn’t clear in the jail but when I did some research it was to discover that Blackbeard never made it to the prison where his men died. He was beheaded months earlier. Here is a fun link to read and walk in the footsteps of Blackbeard’s crew

The sheer history of the place is overwhelming. The joy of seeing people walking around in period clothes, the horse carriages, the cannons going off. Plus, it is just a beautiful spot.

If you are in Virginia. You can’t pass up a day there. It is worth the blisters on your feet and braving the humidity and heat if you come in the summer. It is just a place you can’t find anywhere else.

You can also pack your own snacks and picnic lunch to cut down on costs. It is certainly a must see family destination.

Our trip ended in true Red Family style. With a song and a dance.

He played the song for the kids who all gave him a dollar. I think they thought he was a live juke box.

Also, the kids got ice cream.

We have no idea what this is, but he loved it.

Now mint chocolate chip I can get behind!

But, even better than ice cream for me was all the baby snuggles I got.

The last tradition was grabbing a Christmas ornament to remember our trip!

Lucky us there was a Christmas shop!

Thank you Willamsburg for the amazing memories and beautiful history you are preserving.

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Curly to straight.

Confession time:

When I have a big appointment, or surgery, hospital stay, or event.

I sometimes blow out my hair.

Why? Cause it soothes me to brush it and gosh darrnit I feel pretty.

So here is my routine:

First put on some tunes then use the low setting to get out most of the moisture.

My tools are round brushes, clips, Witch I Love Your Hair, righteous roots on my scalp, and a protective smoother. I tried the shea one this time. All but the first two products (which I buy off their sites on Instagram) were purchased at Target. Including my blow dryer with a diffuser. (Not pictured)

Once you section off your hair with clips apply products and use the round brush of choice. I like the larger one on my longer layers and the smaller one for the rest. Blow dryer is on HOT here.

It takes about thirty minutes and ends up looking like this.

I like to blow dry the night before. I also always brush it out on the cool setting before I put I put it up for the night.

Next Day:

Here it is right after I woke up. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‚

So, this takes a half hour to take. Section it off, use the metal round brush after spraying my Witch magic and the smoothing cream. Set the blow dryer to hot.

The last part is where I have some fun.

Ringlets!!!! Ten seconds a curl and once I am finished with all layers I brush it all out.

Done 🀩

I leave it for 3 to 5 days touching it up as needed. It is never totally straight. It’s always round brushed and curled as needed. I apply my witch spray and straightening creame.

There you go. My cheating on my curls step by step guide.

Don’t worry though. The curls came back as soon I washed my hair.

Day 4 curls here. Not too shabby.

Cheers

Cjean