Friday, March 27, 2009

Revolving door

I made it through my third surgery yesterday. I wasn't nearly as nervous this time. After all, in the last 7 months spending time in a hospital has become a common experience for me. Everything leading up to the surgery went well. I was wheeled into the OR at a quarter to twelve and by three o'clock I was in the recovery room.

As I was lying in bed I heard the voice of my orthopedic surgeon asking one of the nurses for me. He came to my bedside and I asked him how it went. I could barely keep my eyes open, but I saw on his face disappointment. He looked at me and shared the news that my bone was not stable enough on it's own, so he had to put in another plate. "Nooooo!" I cried out to him in my weak scratchy voice. This was the last thing I wanted. I was looking forward to getting my life back on track and really working on healing my shoulder. But my body just isn't ready for that. After 7 months of trying to get the bone back into one piece, it still had a long way to go.

So I'm not sure what this new plate is like, as it's under layers of gauze and tape. He did tell me that it is a smaller plate, and smoother. Regardless I'm still very bummed from the outcome of yesterday's surgery. I see my surgeon on April 3rd, so I'll ask more questions then. For now, I'm struggling with my acceptance of the plate. There isn't a thing I can do about it, but I'm sure as heck not thrilled about it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eviction Notice!

It's official! I have given the plate on my right clavicle an eviction notice. It needs to vacate the premises within the next 24 hours. I'm expecting a peaceful, cooperative eviction, but if need be I'll bring in reinforcements. (Plastic surgeon is on stand by) The plate's "dwelling" (aka my bone) will need some remodeling. A little bit of Spackle (bone graph) to fill in a few holes in the walls. And a very thorough clean sweep will be done, making sure none of the plate's possessions (screws, wire, and pins) are left behind. I try not to say negative things, but this tenant of mine was the worst!!! It kept me up all hours of the night. Never pitched in when I asked it to help me move things. It even punched two holes in the wall, and I had to have a specialist patch me back up. So, although I'd like to say that living with the plate wasn't all that bad... I just can't seem to agree. Thank goodness it will be gone tomorrow! Wahoo!

Thank you to everyone who has kept me in their prayers over these past 7 months. This should be the last major surgery, and the last major hurdle. When the accident happened, I tried to figure out what it was that I was to learn from it. There must have been a lesson that I had not yet understood in my life for this to happen. I've learned through this experience that I'm not one to ask for help. It has been a very humbling ordeal. One that I am honestly grateful for walking through with my head held high. It hasn't always been easy, but I have grown as a person because of this accident. I'm no longer too proud to admit when I need help, and so I ask of all those who read this, to please think of me, my husband, and my orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, and please send us good calming vibes. I have faith that all will turn out well, and before you know it I'll be back to my carefree self once again. Thank you!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Kiss the Blarney Stone

St. Patty's Day is here, and what better way to celebrate than a parade?

This little area of New Jersey, as I'm sure there are all over the country, has Irish events all month long leading up to the big day. There are towns which devote entire days to wearing green and kissing the Irish folk. Here are just a few photos from my little town of Nutley embracing the green with a St. Patrick's Day parade.

I thought this photo came out so cool. The motorcycle crew had stopped right before they reached Christian and I. They were revving their engines, while the parade put a little distance between them, and then ZOOM, they flew by with the ripping rumble pouring from their bikes.
Even the fire trucks were in the green swing of things.
Christian and his fantastic knit cap. My favorite part was the poofy ball on the top. Perfect!

video
Click the Play button above or below to watch my favorite parts of the parade
video

When Irish eyes are smiling.
Those Kaufman and their killer baby blues.
No St. Patty's Day meal would be complete without corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. The perfect Irish sweater, with the kelly green cap, on an Irish fella.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A new way of shopping!

I went food shopping this afternoon. This is something I am still trying to master. I go in with a list, and almost always walk out with twice the amount on my list. Well, my grocery store has come up with a way of helping me watch what I spend, gets me in and out of the store much quicker, and alerts me to items on sale that I may be interested in.

Introducing "Scan It!" Ta-da! This little hand held gizmo is probably one of the coolest things to revolutionize the way I shop for food. You walk into the store, scan your discount card, grab a little gizmo and shop away. You bag as you go, which for me is great because I always use my reusable canvas shopping bags, so there's no extra step at the check out. It keeps a list of everything that's in in your cart, and the total amount you've spent so far. It even tells you when another item is on sale! LOVE IT!

Then you simply go up to the self check out line, scan the "finished" barcode there, scan your discount card, and pay. That's it! You drop off your scanner at the door as your leave.

No waiting in line at the check out. You don't need to rush and try to bag your items because the person behind is waiting for you to clear the beltway. And again, it keeps everything right there so you can really see what you're spending. Sometimes technology is just super cool!

Oh, and since this about cool things at the grocery store, I just wanted to tack this on.... everyone out there should be using reusable bags.... you are, aren't you!?!?! And if you're not, I hope you're holding on those plastic bags to bring back to the store and recycle.... you are, aren't you!?!?!

Let's all do our part. We only have one planet, and she needs our help!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hic-up

Just a tiny hic-up. My surgery has been bumped over to March 26th. It's just a small adjustment, which I will happily make. So lets all scratch out the "set in stone" date of March 23rd, and scratch in the 26th. (So silly)

Clavicle Saga Update!

I met with my orthopedic surgeon this morning. He and I are both in total agreement that the plate which has been holding my right clavicle together needs to come out, and soon. After my two x-rays were taken, he feels that although the bone is fused, there are fragments that are still "floating."

As he said this my stomach dropped because I was certain he was going to tell me that I needed to wait another month to allow it to heal more. Honestly, I don't think my skin has another month left in it. From the lifted plate, it is so paper thin, its scary! However, he looked at me and suddenly I heard a choir of angels, "The plate has to come out now!" Music to my ears! I've never in all my life been so exited over something that I know will be painful.

It is set in stone, I will have my surgery on March 23rd. But of course we're talking about me here, and my whole journey has not be a cake walk, so this final surgery will be no different. The surgeon will take out the plate, the screws, the pins, the string, the wire, and whatever else is there, and in return he will need to do another bone graph. This time a MAJOR bone graph to ensure that my fragments will have something to fuse to. He's not 100% sure that he won't have to put any hardware back in. We're both hoping that I can walk away from the hospital metal free, he may have to use a few pins, but most likely not another plate. I will be in a figure 8 brace for who knows how long. (I'm a slow healer, so it may be close to two months.) All this is up in the air and we won't know how much I've healed until he gets in there to see with his own eyes, but I have faith that it will turn out alright, and I am patience enough to allow my body to do what it needs to do so that one day I will be pain-free and fully healed.

But for now, lets all do the happy dance! I'm having surgery!!! WAHOO!!!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yummy in the tummy

With the weather on the verge of warming up for spring it's a friendly reminder of the  soon to be in season wonder that is fresh fruit. One of our favorite things in the summer time are smoothies, so this weekend Christian and I created a "spring fever" smoothie. The beauty of the smoothie is honestly you can't make a mistake. Just add some juice, some ice, and really any fruit that you may fancy, blend it up, and voila, yummy goodness.
Step One: Cut fruit and pour your juice. (The oranges never made it to the smoothie, instead they took a detour to Christian's mouth.)
Step Two: Combine everything in a blender, don't forget to put the lid on it, and then blend to your heart's content.
Step Three: Pour and enjoy. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All drains lead to the ocean

This is a silly little post, but I feel that it should be said, out of respect for our "office mates."

On Monday our beta fish Indigo took his last gulp of water, and said good bye to the world he has entertained so well for the past three years. (Yeah, I didn't know they lived that long either! Impressive right!?!) Christian and I knew his time was coming for the past few weeks because he had begun playing dead, but once you moved in close, he would look at you, as if you say, "Fooled you!" and start swimming around his bowl. So it wasn't that much of a surprise to walk in Monday, see him doing his act, only this time was the real deal. We had a quick little porcelain funeral for him in the office bathroom. Upon where I repeated those famous words, "All drains lead to the ocean."

The following day we had another fish casualty. Our tri-colored shark, Jaws, sadly froze to death because the office heaters shut down over night, and his little tank heater couldn't keep the water warm enough for him. We weren't excepting this one, so it was a little more shocking. He was our final fish left in our ten gallon tank. We stopped replacing the fish after he had gained a liking for his roommates taste. (Yes, he did eat a few of the others. We're not proud of it.) So once again, we had a fish funeral, and closed it with the same words, "All drains lead to the ocean."


Jaws and Indigo, thank you for your soothing, and entertaining time shared with us at the office. You're in a much bigger ocean now. We will miss you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First Anniversary

We can't believe how quickly this past year has flown by for us. (Granted we had many distractions throughout the year, but still! Whoosh!) Christian and I spent the weekend celebrating our one year anniversary. Our unique wedding date (Feb. 29, Leap Day) gave us the opportunity to choose which day we celebrate, and luckily with the 28th falling on a Saturday and the 1st on Sunday we have double the joy this year!

Last night Christian took me out to dinner at the Stony Hill Inn. This was the location for our incredible wedding reception last year. Surprisingly they remembered us and once again treated us like royalty. The atmosphere was sublime and the food was fantastic!

Our table was next to the fire place on the left.

The first anniversary gift traditionally should be paper. Christian and I tried to be creative with our gifts for each other. He gave me a personalized canvas painted with birch trees and two love birds, and our names carved into one of the trees. My gift for him, although it hasn't arrived yet because it needs to be certified, notarized, and all the other official stuff, is stock in Disney. When it arrives it will be framed. But this is what the stock paper will look like.

The frame will have a little engraving under the certificate that reads, "Sometimes you're Bashful, Sneezy, and maybe even a little Grumpy. But I hope that you're always Happy at the end of the day. Happy Anniversary." For us it will just be wall art with a personal meaning, but perhaps one day it will be worth something for our children or grandchildren.

For our Sunday night dessert we will enjoy a slice of our perfectly preserved wedding cake. (I'm so impressed with how great it looks after spending an entire year in our freezer. And to be honest I'm happy to get the other half of my freezer back! It looks so huge without the giant wrapped up cake box taking up so much room!)

Our wedding topper and our cake top! My bouquet, a year later, still looks amazing!

Its been a spectacular first year, and we're both proud of all the accomplishments we've made this year, and are truly excited to watch our future together unfold year by year.