Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Really - 2010 is Over?

Crap, I mean Holy Smokes! I mean what just happened here?

The year is gone. Over. Done with.

Memories I Would Like to Leave in 2010

Scott's blood clot(s) and the 24 hours between finding him in the front room and him lying in the hospital.

Showing up an hour late for Gracie's dance recital rehearsal and hearing her little friend innocently ask Grace "what happened, why weren't you here?"

Stomping like a child up and down my stairs cause I just didn't want to go back to work.

Memories I think Others Can learn From Including Me

I'm getting ready to pick Scott up from the hospital last February and my doc calls me and tells me to come by the office and pick up some lab results and radiology films to get a second opinion. As soon as I hang up the phone rings, it's the school, Gracie's puking I need to go get her. I pick her up, head to my doc, pick up my stuff, stop for gas on the way to the hospital. I don't have the debit card so I run in to pay with cash. I do my best to figure out how much to pay but my mind isn't working at this point and tell the cashier that I want 10 gallons, could she please help me. She politely smiles and starts to help but we are interrupted by a woman who tells the cashier that she only needs $10 and she doesn't have time for this. So, the cashier asks what pump she's on. She pauses and looks at the cashier, then at me, then at her car, then leans back and looks and hums, (clocks ticking) Reactively I start laughing. Cause she was in such a big hurry she forgot to check her pump. The cashier thought she was gonna just lay me out. Right there. But I couldn't help it, the laugh just fell out of my mouth. Sometimes life isn't what it seems. Sometimes life isn't all about you. For all I know the lady was in a hurry because her mom was dying and she only had an hour left to be with her.

When you think you should call some one to support them, you should. The morning of blood clot drama I was beside myself. Scott's mom had just left the hospital and we were waiting for Scott to go down to radiology when my phone rang. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief when I saw Laura's name on my phone. I tearfully said hello and she strongly asked what happened. I don't remember much else other than I felt safe. It was comforting to talk to her. So if you think you should call or run over or make a meal or just send a note or email or text, do it. Don't hesitate.

Did You Mean Kristin or Kristin?

Okay, God does have a sense of humor. How do I know? Well, I'm in my mid 40's and he blesses me in the same year with 2 friends that have the same name. Try having a dinner conversation with your husband and explain you just ran with Kristin and you are going swimming with Kristin on Saturday, oh and you wanna hear what Kristin told me .....

Funny Things I've Heard?

There's just not enough space to write everything Zak has said.


"Mom, I wrote you down as my hero at school". "Gracie, thank you so much. I love you." Gracie, "Well, I couldn't think of anyone else so put you."

Dying from heat on a Saturday run on the lakefront. Caro and I are half way done and seeing Kristin jogging alone. Yelling to her and then waving and she yells back ..... "You crazy bitches, how'd you get in front of me?" The girls next us at the fountain burst out laughing. Caro and I are laughing. Ok, maybe you had to be there. It really was funny.

"I paid for 17 and that's what I'm doing." Gotta love it Kristin :)

"Are you girls really riding in this heat?" A Broadview police officer after a ride on a July lunch break. I thought he was talking to someone else, like girls. I literally looked around for 2 other girls riding their bikes until I realized he was talking to me.

UNCLE. Not so funny then but funny now.

"Hey, are you 2 sisters?" "Are you models"? I think he thought our padded bike shorts weren't padded bike shorts.

"Who's coach Troy?" I asked Caroline. "You have got to turn off those reality t.v. shows and start doing the spinnervals!"

"Just go in back and start swimming. I set it up for you. I even moved the trampoline over to the edge of the pool so the kids can just jump right in." I panicked for nothing and the kids had a blast :) Thank you Jeff and Barbara.

Didn't hear this but thinking about swimming in total darkness @ 5:30 in the morning, in the rain, staying as close to Dennis's feet at possible. It was the longest swim ever! Going back the shore was better cause th sun came up. And yes, Dennis beat me in UGH!

If There Was Ever A Time to Say Thank You

I really am not gonna say it now. I'll say it when my time is done and I don't go back. But I am trying to think of the best way, if there is one, to say thank you to my colleague's at work. I was scattered much of the springtime. My thoughts were all over but the support I recieved from 5 strangers, who only knew me for all of 4 weeks before my life started spinning, is difficult to put into words. What will be more difficult is saying goodbye.

Dirtiest Kids in Chicagoland!

I was so close. Thanks to everyone who voted. Looks like I'm gonna have to save my money to get to Louisville.

2 Books

Much to my complete and total surprise I read 2 books this year.

4 Agreements (self help)

Comeback (non-fiction)

I think both of them can make you a better person. Maybe next year I'll read 3 books. If you're a betting man, bet against what I just said.

Did I Really Just Say That?

So our school cut it's full time nurse to a part-time position. 4 hours a day. Both of our children have chronic asthma and our son has a peanut allergy. Without getting into long details Scott and I found ourselves at some school board meetings at the end of spring.

School board meetings are a process every tax payer should go through. Find the time. Go.

I thought the board had no money for a nurse. Then realized there was a surplus. After doing a lot of research on line about having a nurse in the school as opposed to not having one. Which was kind of a waste of time cause there isn't much out there. I also talked to a lot of people in the community, including our Park District, which doesn't not have a nurse on staff at all programs because it just won't be cost effective. I reached the conclusion that a part time nurse would be appropriate.

Here's where it got really foggy for me. The board approved a part time nurse in March 6-1. In May, after a petition was signed that the parents wanted the issue readdressed, the board president agreed to increase the nurse's 4 hour day to 6 1/2 hours. This meant that a nurse would be present the entire time the children would be at school. She would still be considered part-time and paid without benefits. I'm thinking cool, that's just like me. I'm working part-time and not being paid benefits. If I needed benefits I would apply for a job that pays them. Right?

Some of the board members that agreed to a part-time nurse voted against the new part-time nurse.

So, in all my wisdom (anger) I made a complete ass of myself and confronted the board members by name after the vote. I went as far as to say that they had the nurse's best interest at heart and not the children of the school. I just wanted to know why they flip flopped. It still doesn't make sense. But I was out of line and spoke up at an inappropriate time. I now know that this is something that should have been done after the meeting not during.

I must say, and I do believe this with all my heart, all the members of our school board work hard. Heck, I was exhausted just going to 3 meetings. They go to meetings at least once a month to fight for what they believe is best for the school. They do this on their own time/dime.

My final thought. It was the first time in my life I felt like a republican. Did I just write that?

The Secret of Life

I think I discovered one of the secrets to life.

We can't do it alone. We aren't meant to be here and go through it by ourselves. We have to interact. Talk, laugh, cry and just be with each other. Help each other. Piss each other off. Comfort each other. Learn from one another. You get what I'm trying to say here.

I am looking forward to 2011. It's gonna be a good year.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Beginning of My 46th Year .....

  • Woke up at 2 a.m.
  • Found our "house guest" Mickey crying in the trap in the middle of our family room at 2:25 - as I'm leaving for my triathlon.
  • 2:26 Wake up the hubby and tell him about Mickey and he (I'm not being sarcastic) happily gets up from bed and goes down stair to escort our guest back home to the field behind our house.
  • 2:28, my purse isn't in the car.
  • 2:30, Friends arrive. They got out of their warm beds to drive down and watch me race. I hang with a great bunch of girls don't I?
  • 2:47, my purse is behind the couch cushion in the front room.
  • 2:51, hubby kisses me good bye, does the chicken dance and tells me to just have fun. Can you feel the love.
  • 3 - drink water, 3:30 more water, 4.m. - more water, you see the pattern here ....
  • 5 - call the girls to tell them I need to pull over to the rest stop that's coming up - 2 miles ahead.
  • 5:03 a.m. - I'm shaking my fist at the barricades and the closed sign over the rest stop. Total. Complete. Tease.
  • 5:15 - stop at a gas station about 20 mins from the tri start. Use the washroom, feeling nervous, am so glad Kristin and Caro are there.
  • 5:51 - Dennis calls. Happy Birthday! Are you nervous? Don't be. You're ready.

  • 6:10 - the girls give me a birthday present .... An Ironman hat, that they signed. I choke up and cry just a little.

  • 6:3? - Chip's on, bike's racked. Air is cool. Sun is up. It's almost time.
  • 6:47 - My mom calls - Happy Birthday. I'm so blessed that she is alive, she is healthy.
  • 7:03 - I hesitate for some reason during the start. I'm overwhelmed. I'm going to race this race. Leave it all out there. Save nothing when I cross the finish. My day has arrived. It's my turn.
  • 7:?? - I'm swimming out and see the orange buoy off in the distance. Huh, why is it way over there.
  • Swim some more, huh, why did the race director put the orange buoy over there?
  • Swim more and a swimmer cuts across me and then, not 4 minutes before but then I realize I am about 20 yrs out from where I need to be DOH!!!!
  • 7:?? - Swimming on course. Minding my own business when I .... um ..... violate another swimmer. He wasn't wearing a wetsuit. He did have on tri shorts. The freakish accident did make me swim a little faster ..... eweee.
  • 7:42? - I'm out of the water. It feels great. Check the watch 0:42. Well, can't get mad. Keep on going .....
  • 7:42.33 - High five Kristin and Caro
  • time check ??? - on the bike, somewhere between loving this and hating it, the hate creeps in and takes over.
  • ??? - realize this is exactly where I want to be. Bye, bye hate. No place other than right here, right now. Life is good. Thank you GOD.
  • ??? - I am completely surprised at the sight of a tramp stamp, on a man. It's not everyday you see one on a man now is it. Nice distraction.
  • See a white catapilar. Not blonde or light brown but white. Actually saw several of them. It's funny what you notice at 16 mph ;)
  • ??? - Jockey with a group - Army jersey - 28 a/g, red tri top girl - 33 a/g, colorful bike shirt man - ?, and me. We encourage each other each time one passes the other.

    T2 - Finally off the bike, time to run. Very cute young man wishes me happy birthday! Hey, how does he know. Then I see him talking with Kristin! She is a stitch. She's wearing her Warrior Dash hat now.
  • Leaving T2 - I hear chants from K and Caro - keeps me smiling even though I wanted to puke. For really, I was feeling like I was gonna lose all my mango and 48 ounces of water.
  • Run time??? - It's tough out there. Red tri top girl passes me around mile 1.5. She looks awesome. I want that feeling.
  • ???? - "TOOT TOOT, go go, BEEP BEEP" it wasn't Donna Summers singing or a train going by, and I couldn't blame the runners in front or behind me. My stomach wasn't settling down!
  • ??? - Turn around for my 2nd loop on the run when this little dog, on a long leash, starts jumping on me. Where did he come from? His owner is yelling at me not to be scared. WHAT?!
  • Run time ??? - I high 5 Red Tri top girl one more time. She's heading home. She's about a mile in front of me now.
  • Run time??? - K and Caro are cheering and yelling for me. I'm finishing. I'm crying just a little.
  • Post Race - I'm feeling happy. Over the moon. I raced. I left it all out there. A lot of it in gas form :) I'm disappointed with my time. It doesn't reflect what I know I'm capable of but I'm happy because I did it. I'm done. HR was good. Support was awesome. I cry, I laugh. I'm blessed.
  • PR - K and Caro sing Happy Birthday at a picnic table by the lake. We eat a giant chocolate chip cookie. MMMMMM. The sun is shining. There is a cool breeze. (OK is was really windy but this is my birthday rendition of the truth so today it was a cool breeze) And we laugh, and laugh and laugh some more about the day.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Honey, honey, honey ....

I used to hear about the medicinal effects of honey. Having the kind of allergies I have people tend to throw all kinds of home remedies at me. After trying many as a child I became sceptical of all of them. I would do my best to politely listen to what ever "wonder power, super food or powder or air machine" the person believed in but would toss the idea far back in the closet of my mind.

Scott loves local honey with the honey comb in it. Every fall at at the Frankfort Fall fest I go buy him a couple of jars. S & S Apiaries, on south outer boarder of the all the vendors, right next to a jewelry dealer. Please, if you go, leave a couple of jars for me. :)

OK, so after the whole Graves disease thing I decide I need to change my eating habits. For real this time. I started eating Greek yogurt. I liked it, kind of. The health benefits for eating Greek yogurt apposed to the regular stuff is 2 fold. Most regular stuff is high in fat and carbs. Even the plain flavor. So for a little more money I was buying the large plain Greek stuff. Choking it down was tough, think sour cream. So, I'm riffling thru the cabinets to find something to change the flavor of this stuff and find the local honey. You know what happened next. A table spoon a day with a cup of Greek yogurt. It became addicting! Thankfully Scott forgot we had the honey and I had 2 full jars of it. I ate it all winter and spring. I ran out of it by May but I think the affects of eating had been set in place.

It was a tough allergy season, I barely felt it. Poor Zak really suffered through it. To the point that he was placed on a steroid nasal spray. At first I couldn't figure out why I was feeling so good and he wasn't. Then I remember the honey and how several people over the years suggested that I try it. Wish dust mites created something we could eat ;)

So, if you're suffering with spring and fall allergies I suggest you give a tablespoon of honey a day a try. It has to be locally grown honey, not the store bought stuff. Believe it or not there is a difference in taste. Trying it just might keep you from having to take those over the counter meds that claim they don't make you drowsy when they really do. Oh, one more thing, if you are allergic to bees don't eat the honey. It's likely you will have an allergic reaction. Also, if you get the honey with the comb, be aware that a bee stinger or 2 could be in the comb.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Near Death of a ......

I can't sleep. I'm using this post as my therapy. So, as dramatic as I write this, it's how I'm feeling. I'm putting my husband in the middle because I believe that's my way of sneaking the cause of my insomnia into the post. So, I'm actually avoiding but putting it out there all at the same time.

Near Death of a Stay at Home Mom

Since having the kids I have not wanted to go back to work. Thankfully Scott and I have been blessed with being able to save and make our bills on his salary. But when we found out he needed his hip replaced sooner than later we both felt it would be wise for me to find something.

Some how, just like a snap of a finger, I found a job. Life isn't supposed to be that easy but it was. Now, don't misunderstand me. It's not like I went skipping down the street picking daisies I was so happy I had a job. I was grateful but not happy cause my life was changing. And I don't do change very well. But surprisingly. I handled it. Scott only felt my wrath, anger, immaturity, childish stomping up the steps, for a couple of days.

I was able to start working gradually. Yes, you are reading this correctly. Gradually. Short days at 1st. 4 hours, then home in time to get the kids from school. After the surgery when Scott was home, I started working full time. Oh, and while Scott was in the hospital both times, I was off, with him, 24 7. Please don't think for a second that I don't know how good I have it. Cause I do know. It was still difficult for me to let go of a life that I loved so much. But change is good. No matter how much I hate it.

Near Death of ......

I can't write his name. I don't want to but like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not sleeping. And as light as I'm trying to keep this post what happened those during the 24 hours on March 1st and the next couple of days, well, I think it's affecting me now.

I found Scott in the front room early March 1st. He was leaning on his cane, gasping for air. I knew what it was. I also knew that time was not longer my friend. All I could think about was getting him to the hospital. And when I asked him if he wanted to go and he responded yes, well, I moved as quickly as I could.

My sister came and to watch the kids. This is so hard to write. It was dark out. We got to the hospital and no one was there. Scott walked in, registered, walked to the waiting area, was called right away, walked to his bay in the ER. All this walking. I didn't like it. When the ER nurse, who by the way turned into Scott's angel, started taking his history, her face completely changed the minute she found out about the hip surgery. Everything stopped. The "nice nurse" went out and the "Houston we have a problem nurse" checked in.

After a chest x-ray was taken the ER doc came in and got right in Scott's face to tell him he had several blood clots in his lungs and that he was very sick. He went on to tell him that his doctor had been paged to find out what needed to be done next. WHAT! Ok, someone still needs to explain this to me ..... what the hell was that doc waiting for?

At this point I paced. Then I called Scott's mom. I didn't want to but what could have happened to Scott, well, she needed to be there. Then I paced some more. I walked from one end of Scott's bay to the other. The alarms on his monitors wouldn't shut up. His blood pressure was playing pinball. One minute up then down then up, up, up then way down. The beeping was starting to drive me insane.

The angel nurse finally came and gave Scott some pain medication. I think it worked the second it went into his IV. The medicine was working but I felt helpless, useless and any other word you can think of to describe what you feel when you can't help the one you love most. Ok, God forgive me but I think at one point I did go to his side and say "see, I told you this would happen - see - you should have gone to see the doctor as soon as this started 2 days ago". But Scott didn't hear me. Why I thought saying that would make me feel better I don't know. Cause it didn't. I still felt helpless.

Shortly after Scott's mom arrived, with his niece, Scott was moved to a room. His pain meds were starting to wear off and we no longer had his angel with us. There was shift change at the hospital. If any nurse is reading this, completely respect your profession but the run around I got trying to get him some more pain meds was unexcuseable behavior. I understand paper work needs to be done and nobody wants to have to fill out a couple more pieces of paper when they are leaving BUT don't blow people off. Don't tell a family member someone is coming when no one is. Don't say so and so is taking care of it when so and so said you would take care of it.

The Scott's doc finally came in around 5 hours after we got to the hospital. His doc is a no holds barred kind of, tell it like it is, no time for bedside manner, doc. Which is why Scott respects him. We were sitting at the end of the bed and he walks to Scott immediately and adjusts the position of the bed. Then he starts talking about what is happening. He just blurts out that this could have killed him and as long as there is no blood clot in the leg, which he didn't think there was, then he was going to be fine. I looked at Scott's mom. Then I looked at the doc and thought "you fucking idiot. That's your patient's mother. Did you hear what you just said? What the hell is the matter with you?" I will never forget the look on her face. She sat silent for a long time after that. She just sat. It was almost as painful seeing her sit than it was seeing Scott laying there.

Scott's mom left when they took Scott for the doppler of his legs. Things looked like they were going to be fine. The doppler did show he had a clot in the left calf. It was small though and the drugs should break it up.

I didn't want to leave that night. The nurse came in and told me I could stay but she said I would probably be better off going home. They had my number and would call me if anything changed.

I cried on the way to my car.

The kids slept with me. I didn't tell them how sick their dad was. After all, the doc told me he was going to get better now. For some reason I set my alarm. 5:30, it goes off to John Mayer's Heart Break Warfare. That song can sound so haunting. It is still very hard for me to listen to.

I stopped setting my alarm after that. I still don't set it.

I wake up without an alarm. I don't sleep past 4:30 but I won't get out of bed until 5. I think I can stop writing about this now.

Near Death of a Triathlete ....

After the Graves disease I thought I was done with running and triathlons. The heart rate thing took a long time to get under control. Eventually it did get under control. Then the psychological irrational heart rate started. I signed on for the Palos half and was so excited and so ready to do it. The morning of the race the HR average was 108. I wasn't even running yet. The average during the run 177, my maximum during the race didn't even register, it was that high. Some say 177 - heck that's my average. Well, for a 9:30 minute mile pace 177 average, for me that S U C K S! It wasn't like that when I trained. It was the fact I was in a race that was making it go crazy. I couldn't run like this. I was going to give myself a heart attack for no other reason than I was overly excited about running in a race again.

Dennis talked me into doing a triathlon at the beginning of June. I was hesitant but decided to try and see what happened. I wasn't swimming because I had no time, because of work but I was getting in some running and some bike time.

The HR stayed in check until I got the water to start. Then, it went crazy. My friend Kristin was dancing and singing and preparing for the swim and I stood there with my hands folded at my chest, praying.

The start was a disaster. All I could think was what the hell was I doing here. Again, time was not my friend. I picked my head up from the water and found a kayak. I was going to swim to the kayak, quit, get out the water, throw my wetsuit away and never ever try to race again. Yes, DRAMA. Just getting to the kayak was difficult. Then, that damn kayak moved while I was trying to swim to it. Thankfully, during that time, I was able to find a rhythm. The drama left and the desire to quit faded, slowly, as slowly as it took to finish the swim. But I did finish the swim.

Saw Kristin in bike transition. She could have gone but for some reason she didn't. She waited for me. Then she stayed with me the entire ride. She was so ready to just blow away from me There were times she would pull ahead, about a 1/2 block but then she would wait for me. While riding she was cheering athletes on as we passed them. So I joined her cheering.

Strangely I started having a good time. I stopped trying to race so I stopped beating myself up, I was now participating and enjoying it. My desire to quit was like a memory from years ago. The run was dare I say it ..... fun :). We managed to trot out about 9:30 min. miles and finished together.

I will forever be grateful to Kristin for sharing that day with me. She didn't have to but she did. My heart rate was beautiful. It averaged 154 bpm. The trick to returning to triathlons and running events - participate, don't race.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Life is ....

I can't believe how quickly things can change.

Saturday I was worrying about our budget. Actually I wasn't worrying. I was feeling confident that we were on the right track and things were going to be fine.

Sunday I was worrying about what to cook for dinner for the week. Was I repeating Ham Mac n Cheese to close to each other? Did it matter casue the family loves it and it's quick and easy to cook.

Monday morning I learned what real worry was.

Scott was in the ER. His blood pressure was off the charts low, which is far from normal for him. The pain he was having in his left side was uncontrollable.

I knew what was happening and I feared the abosolute worst. I know the ER nurse did too. She repeatedly came into the room and told Scott not to move. "You have to try to be as still as possible".

After a CT scan it was confirmed that Scott had blood clots in his right upper lobe of his lung and left lower lobe. Dopplers on his legs showed he also had a clot in his left calf.

Helpless is a horrible feeling. Helpless can slow the minutes on a clock down to days. It can destroy the positive spirit in a blink. Helpless wanted to become my new best friend but I have deemed it my new enemy.

Helpless woke me up around 3:30 Tuesday morning. I got out of bed and sent emails to friends and then posted a message on FB asking for prayers. Some how I found comfort by doing this. I was able to pass my helpless feeling to all of you for just a short time and slept for and hour and half after I did this.

The kids are doing and being good. They miss there dad.

We are planning for Scott to come home this Monday. He will be on blood thinners for at least 6 months.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Train is Leaving the Station but I Won't Be On It

Times are a change'n.

I hate change.

Well, most of the time.

I left the work force 7 years ago after my kids were born. 7 years almost to the day I left I started working again.

The hubby is having hip surgery and will be off of work for a while. We have a nestegg but it would be absolutely ridiculous to spend all of it if we didn't have too.

So, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to a part time temp job I go. A job that is very flexible and one that I'm enjoying.

On another note. There is more change a brew'n.

Tri club. New Tri club. Which is a good thing. The folks in the southern burbs of Chicago have been wanting a club with precise direction for a while now, like 5 years, for a while now. "Now" has come.

I was flattered when I was told that I was nominated for the "secretary" role in the club (that I did tell the president I would be interested in). But had to turn the offer down. There is to much going on right now and the attention that the club deserves isn't something I can give it. Right now, things are going to do nothing but get better for the Tri-Smart club.

But part of me feels like my tri-mates are getting on a train and I am watching them ride away. I keep telling myself I'll drive to the destination and meet up with them. I hope so.

I'm tired. All this change. The kids look like they get bigger every other week. I'm getting older. So, things have changed. Again.

And one more thing. It was nice to see you at the track Keri. You look good.