Thursday, April 29, 2010

So Proud

There were over 800 people at my dad's funeral yesterday. On Tuesday night 500-600 hundred attended a student-led candle light tribute to him where students spoke about what he meant to them. People waited in line to hug and love on my mom. It was amazing...I couldn't do it justice even if I tried. I have never felt so proud.

At the risk of blowing my blog anonymity, I will share a link with you to the story that the local news broad casted last night. At one point I am speaking and TOIAW is at my side. It also shows one of my brothers speaking as well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Words

My dad died today. We're heading back to the U.S. in the morning. TOIAW will be with me. This is unbelievably painful. My heart is broken in a million pieces right now. I just can't believe it's true but I fear it is.

My grandma died two years ago on this same day. I hate 25 April.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home Again, Home Again...but where is home?

Thanks to jet lag I was wide awake at 2 a.m. TOIAW woke-up around 4 to check on me and I confided I wasn't looking forward to our appointment today because I was certain the transfer wouldn't be soon and by "soon" I was thinking next week. TOIAW explained that he understood the doctor to say our transfer would be at the end of May. This resulted in a major breakdown where tears were shed and I hate living here was uttered.

But thank goodness I wasn't surprised during the appointment when the doctor said the transfer is going to be the end of May. There were no tears and no I hate living here's were spoken. And it sure is nice to FINALLY have a plan. I asked the doctor if my uterus looks like it's getting more bloodflow but he said it looks the same "but we have to try anyway." I have no idea what that means and I may or may not be frustrated by it. I just know it is what it is and God is in control. God has a plan for TOIAW and me and while I will do what I can in order to ensure success, I'm not going to freak out about it (for now at least).

It's wonderful to be with TOIAW again! He says "America agrees with me" and thinks I look rested and relaxed and he generously offered to buy another ticket for me to go home in a couple of weeks while he is traveling again. I haven't yet decided if I will take him up on the offer. I want to go, of course, but I can't predict my cycle and it's possible I could get back too late and miss the transfer window although the doctor is sure it will occur in the "last decade" of May which I understand him to mean the last 10 days of May but I've been wrong before. And the other question is whether or not it's worth it to go home again for only 10 days? But I really don't want to be here alone...I mean I REALLY don't want to be here alone for 16 days.

Okay, I'm done with beginning sentences with conjunctions for a bit. I'll be back soon to once again bend the rules of English grammar.

P.S. Blogger's spell check refuses to work outside the U.S. Apparently America agrees with Blogger.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Beginning of the End

I'm sitting in the Memphis airport waiting for my flight to the Mystery Country. I will be there 55 more days.

I have a doctor's appointment Saturday and if he tells me I'm still not ready for transfer I might just change my ticket and get back on a plane. I honestly haven't been thinking about it all that much but of course I'm beginning to now. I've barely even been praying it. But don't get me wrong, I still care and I'm hopeful (mostly) but I just haven't been thinking about it. I'm thinking about doing a modified fast (due to medications) this week to get myself in the right frame of mind.

It was hard to leave my parents today! My dad came home on Monday and he's doing well with Nurse Mom but I wish I were there to help her. Fortunately, the school where my parents work has been amazing and they want her to stay with him as long as he needs her...and believe me, he is plenty needy these days!

I hope all is well with all of you. I promise to get back to blog reading and commenting soon :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cryin' For Me

Tonight I watched the Academy of Country Music awards. Hey, I'm in Oklahoma, it's the law. My favorite part wasn't watching Reba McEntire do an awesome job hosting the show (she's an Oklahoman, in case you didn't fact, her daddy used to rodeo with my grandpa) nor was it when Carrie Underwood (I'll give you 3 chances to guess her home state and the first 2 don't count) won Entertainer of the Year. No, my favorite part was Toby Keith's (yet another Oklahoman...) performance of his single Cryin' For Me. I love, love, love it.

He wrote it about the death of his friend Wayman Tisdale. There aren't many Sooners I will praise but Wayman Tisdale is one of them (and maybe Sam Bradford because his humbleness is genuine and oh-so-refreshing). He was a stand-up guy who loved God, lived with integrity, and faced cancer with grace.

My favorite line is "I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for ya, I'm cryin' for me." I love it...

And you know what else I love? Oklahoma and Oklahomans. TOIAW finds my state pride endearing but he doesn't understand it. What can I's a place that inspires that kind of love and loyalty. You should visit if you haven't already. You know, the wheat sure smells sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain.

Friday, April 16, 2010

(Brief) Update

My dad is doing well...or, you know, as well as can be expected when you're two days out from having your sternum broken and wired back together. He's been up and walking and today he was able to speak a bit with each of his visitors.

For me, it seems the adrenaline has worn off and the short nights and jet lag have caught up with me. I'm off to bed...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Didn't See That Coming

On Sunday night my parents picked me up from the airport around 10:30pm. My dad drove about 2 miles and then pulled over and asked my mom to drive because he wasn't feeling well. I asked him what was wrong and he said he just thought he was tired because he did a lot over the weekend even though he hasn't really regained his strength since his illness a few weeks ago. About 10 minutes into our drive my dad stated he had a "tightness" in his chest and when I suggested we go to a hospital he agreed. (By the way, if you're ever compiling a list of people to drive you to the hospital in the event of an emergency, you might not want to include my mom's name on that list. Like not even in the top 100.)

There is a really great heart hospital in Oklahoma City so we went there. They have an ER specifically for heart patients and within 5 minutes or our arrival he was in a bed hooked up to an EKG and had been given nitroglycerin and baby aspirin; within 10 minutes blood had been drawn and x-rays taken. My brothers and aunt arrived and within about half an hour my dad was feeling much better. His blood work and x-rays were fine and he was beginning to feel foolish for even going but the doctor still recommended he stay overnight. My mom stayed and the rest of us went home fully expecting my dad would be released the next day after seeing a cardiologist and making a follow-up appointment.

I arrived at the hospital yesterday morning while the cardiologist was talking with my dad. He took his history and said he was 80% sure whatever Dad had experienced was not heart related but that given his history and risk factors, he could do an angiogram and that way he would know 100%. As recently as Thursday, my dad's GP suggested he make an appointment with a cardiologist (for an unrelated issue) but that probably wouldn't happen for several weeks due to my dad's schedule and the time it can take to get a non-emergent appointment with a cardiologist. I was personally very glad when Dad opted to have the test performed because he just hasn't been feeling well lately and I wanted him to have some peace of mind.

They scheduled the test for 10:00 and my mom went home to shower while I went to drop off our car for approximately $1 million worth of maintenance and repairs. When I arrived back at the hospital at 9:30 they were wheeling my dad down the hall for his procedure and by 10:01 our "beeper" went off alerting us to proceed to a conference room to talk with the doctor about the results. This place operates with extreme efficiency and yet still manages to convey extreme competence and compassion; it's all very impressive. The news the doctor gave us was not so good: Two of Dad's 3 major arteries showed significant blockage. There were a couple of options--each with their own risks--but the bottom line (you've been waiting for that, haven't you?) is he will have a double-bypass surgery tomorrow afternoon. And he didn't even know he had a serious problem. It's just crazy. We're nervous about the surgery, of course, but so relieved this was discovered before he had a heart attack.

I am unbelievably thankful I am home. I really cannot adequately express how much it means to me. It's important to me that my mom not get exhausted and/or overwhelmed during Dad's hospital stay because she will be his primary caretaker once he is discharged. I can ensure this far more easily when I'm here than if I were in the Mystery Country. Who knows, I might even make a color-coded hospital assignments chart. There's a better than even chance one of my brothers will soon remind me that I'm not the boss of them. Whatever...we all know that's not true.

On a more serious note, though, I know my entire family would great appreciate your prayers during this time. I'll let you know something as soon as I can.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Bloom

Sarah's memorial tree. It takes my breath away every time I see it...just like she did.


Our trip was nice but it's good to be back at our apartment. Now I'm planning yet another trip: I'm going to Oklahoma on Sunday! Woo-hoo!!!

It seems like my time in Oklahoma is always so rushed and I'm never able to do everything I want so this time I'm going to have a tentative schedule. For instance, I absolutely must get a pedicure (or two), my eyebrows waxed, and my hair cut. I need to finish/make/ship approximately 8 baby gifts (some more than a year overdue--I'm so ashamed). I'm also going on a quick overnight shopping trip to an outlet mall near Dallas (but with family so I'm not missing any time with them!) and taking my grandmother to a doctor's appointment. But the most important thing I will be doing is spoiling my dogs with many walks and trips to the really awesome local dog park. It probably won't be relaxing in a traditional sense but it will be fun and I couldn't be more excited!

While I'm counting down the days for my trip, I'm busying myself with Quicken. Oh how I love and hate you, Quicken. Part of the problem is I haven't used it in well over a year--maybe two--but when I updated our accounts I imported every transaction that occured in the meantime. Oy! TOIAW and I made a commitment to be bigger givers and savers this year which has been going well but I was curious about where our money was going and, since I love charts and graphs (seriously, I love a good color pie chart more than is socially acceptable), resurrecting Quicken seemed like a natural thing to do. My final bit of motivation came when we received *cue ominous music* our investment statement in the mail. Ouch. It's looking better than it was but we still took a big hit. Also, I recently read No One Would Listen about the Bernie Madoff debacle (great book, by the way) and now I'm paranoid about losing our investments so I want to make sure we have at least a decent amount in retirement income and our 401k-type savings plan.

In other news, I had another appointment with my RE on Saturday. He did an ultrasound and said that the blood flow to my uterus isn't yet where he wants it to be. He is, however, still hoping for a transfer in May--and so am I. I'm more than happy to entertain any crazy ideas you may of heard about ways to increase blood flow to my uterus! So now it's just a matter of continuing the meds and I will see him when I get back from the U.S. The trip was carefully planned around the appointments but at least I get to go and I'm sure the time there will reduce my stress and anxiety levels.

It can't hurt, right?