this one matters the most

They say that there are 19 million people celebrating birthdays today. Not sure who they are, but I really don’t care.

I only care about the fact that today is this guy’s birthday.

Literally the best news of the day. You are more than welcome to focus on this good news and ignore the shit pile that was the evening news today.

Happy birthday, my darling husband. It is a very good thing to celebrate another year with you. Yeah, I’m going to keep on nagging you about your cardiologist’s orders that you aren’t really following because I want to celebrate more July 20th birthdays with you – and as many of our circus act as we can surround ourselves with.

Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.

~ Sammy Hagar

 

at last, docking

Eleven years is a long, long, long, long, LONG, LONG time to be on a cruise.

Believe me.

Such is life with a circus like mine.

Worth it though. Every single time they smile. Every time. Every single time.Truly, every damn time. And just when I thought we need to dock this cruise already, it was time to hit the high seas again – one last time.

But at last, at long last, we are docking this cruise we signed on and paid for. At long last!

Smile, Son!

Eleven years getting the best of orthodonture care from the best of orthodontists in the 209.I’m going to miss sending every six weeks in her office probably just as much as she is going to miss the checks that I have written her over the years. I shared with her today, for the first time, the tale of our beautiful smiles cruise. We both agree that it has been a long, but pretty delightful cruise with lots of smiles along the way. But all good things, even the best of cruises must end.

And we all can not help but smile even bigger and brighter – thanks to Dr. Duong.

.

 

asshattery and other pre-existing conditions

Just in case you missed it, Jimmy Kimmel last night shared details on the birth of his son, Billy, in a teary, emotional monologue. Oh my goodness, a person has to have a heart of stone or no heart at all, and definitely no soul to not be touched by what Kimmel shared.

Ahem, Joe Walsh. When it comes to being heartless and soul-less, you never disappoint.

It is indeed the longest hours of your life when your newborn son has to have emergency open heart surgery. I’m reminded of that every time I see the scar that remains on my teenaged son’s body from his open heart surgery. Kimmel is right too in the statement:

We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” he said. “You know, before 2014 if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition and if your parents didn’t have medical insurance you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.

If only congressmen like Mo Brooks, Alabama’s 5th District, could understand that good, clean living’ does not guarantee someone from pre-existing conditions.

If only there was a cure for such asshattery!

If only

Little Billy Kimmel has just begun to live and has done nothing but live a good life. One might argue that he peed on his mother the other day, but it is the rare person who changes a newborn baby boy’s diaper who does not get peed on. Billy Kimmel is leading a good life – and now has a pre-existing condition. Daniel, my son, is arguably the most good and kind person I have ever known. He has lived a good life for fifteen years now – and has pre-existing conditions secondary to his extreme, premature birth. Both boys enjoy having health insurance right now thanks to their parents – whether or not they realize that they are enjoying having health insurance.

Joe Walsh, Mo Brooks, and every other member of Congress and their families, enjoy the guarantee of health insurance for their lifetime, regardless of any pre-existing conditions they might have – including being asshats.

Meanwhile, I will be walking this weekend with my colleagues and NICU graduates and families whom I have been honored to care for. If you want to offer your support for my walk, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

March for Babies

how does it feel

So I had a medial branch block in my lumbar spine on Monday and for a little more than 8 hours I was in pain-free heaven. I celebrated by over-doing it for several hours because there was no pain and because immediately after the injections, my doctor asked me to bend over and try to touch my toes.

I did.

I touched my toes and then  showed off a little and stretched just a bit more to touch the floor with my palms.

I have very long arms.

I was also showing off.

Then I cried. I cried happy tears because for the first time in months…many months, I was bending over and touching my toes and the floor and there was NO PAIN!!!

NO.

PAIN.

NO MOTHERFUCKING PAIN!

Yeah, I cried. Then I hugged the doctor and the nurse because there was no pain.

He brought me back to Earth reminding me that this block was only temporary; a test to see if the next step was an option. Go! Go for a walk…ride your bike…bend, stretch, reach for the sky…go do things he told me. Do all the things that you could not do without pain and write it all down in this Pain Diary.

My doctor asked me, a blogger, to write in a pain diary what I was feeling after the medial branch block.

Heh!

In other news, hurry up Insurance gods and give your consent for the RFA procedure. I am so ready!

 

living with the greatest evil

Saint Augustine once said, The greatest evil is physical pain, and all I can say right now is preach on good saint!

I like to imagine that I can handle pain. I mean I have birthed babies with no pain meds on board. I road a bike from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back the next day with my right arm in a cast. I’ve run my fair share of half marathons. Come on, surely I am capable to handle a little pain and survive.

But time, spondylosis, and osteoarthritis is telling me otherwise. Forget an exhilarating 5K run to start the day. The same goes for a slow walk around the park just around the corner from The Big Top. Reach for that salad bowl on the top shelf or bend down to tie my shoes guarantees the constant throbbing to amp up to knives stabbing the spinal column, hips and knees. The 20-30 commute to work just might kill you were it not for the salvation of the heated seat in that fun-sized Dory-car. The pain of swollen fingers,, hands, wrists and elbow promises that sleep will be interrupted numerous times through the night…or day for this night shift nurse. Yes, I tell my ortho doctor, I do take THAT much Naprosyn daily – my stomach is fine, for now. Late at night, as I attempt to console a baby born addicted to opiates because of mother’s addiction, I find myself having a better understanding sometimes what that mother must have been living with and trying to erase with prescription and illicit medicating. I’m still Team Baby, but as my back, neck, shoulder and elbow scream in protest while I hold their baby in comfort from their own withdrawal pain, I can imagine wanting to do just about anything to make this pain stop.

I’m working on it with the help of my ortho and pain specialist doctors; but this chronic suffering did not come about overnight so I imagine that relief or adjusting to a new normal that I can live with, work with and play with will take time too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that a lot – every day, every week.

Today though, today was not a good day because that chronic pain is peaking with no relief. I might have ugly cried at least three times – driving home from work this morning, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep this morning and waking up just an hour or so after falling asleep to that same pain. Days like today, and last night at work can be much too much sometimes.

But hurray for a new ball cap representing the fact that I am just a Steeltown girl and that, in spite of the pain, I woke up like this.

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and…you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor