Thursday, January 30, 2014

WTF, Atlanta? (But I Still Love You.)

I didn't realize until I got home that those "stacks of free newspapers" in the lobby probably
weren't and that those Sharpied-on numbers are condo units. Whoooooops.

While the city deals with that, (yikesabee!) I keep taking pictures of snowy things. From inside, of course.

This is the first snow since we moved to Atlanta in Fall 2011. I forgot how beautiful and exciting a rare snowfall is.

I was having a consult with my fertility doctor right when the flakes started to fall Tuesday morning. 

Doc had her blinds open as to enjoy the rare Georgia sight. I kept drifting off into snowy space during our conversation. She probably thought I was on weird drugs.  

It's mesmerizing. And at night, makes things so wonderfully quiet.

Obvs, this was no joyous winter wonderland for so many poor souls who were stuck and stranded on our interstates. I mean... what. the. f.  

As I was on the way home from the doctor's, traffic started to slow.  It took me 2.5 hours to get 26 miles. Then I got home and turned on the news. I was then thankful I got home when I did.

A few folks reached out to check on us. So nice. We we're home and staying there watching it all unfold on the local news. I only worry about losing power in these types of situations with Jimmy's respiratory needs. But it never came to that.

During all of this, though, Jimmy has been dealing with yet another medical issue (not related to his most-recent surgery). He's been in bed the last 3 days, sleeping away the snow and started watching Breaking Bad. He's on Season 3 already. Addicted, apparently. Just like the rest of 'Merica.

On foot, I ventured out to Downtown Decatur today which turned out to be a really good couple of hours. The sun was shining, which helps. Some shops were open. Fro-yo was open! I totally got some. And then I came home and had hot tea in front of the fire. Makes no sense. I know it.

Since I came back from my walkabout at dinner time, I was so glad I had (for once in my life) planned ahead and had something cooking in the crock pot.  

Yay, domesticity.

I think maybe the snow will be melting off tomorrow and then we can go back to everyday life and then our lovely neighbors to the north can stop taunting us.

But seriously. How adorable does this inch of snow make my patio?
It's beginning to look at a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just One Day

If I could take his place for just one day, I would. 

For him to walk again? That would be good and well. 

But for him to feel good. 

Really good. Like normal good. What his feeling bad used to be? We'd take that.  

For him to be so tired at the end of the day from a long day of work. Work tired. Working-hard-for-the-money-and-feeling-it-tired. We'd roll out the welcome mat to have that back. 

Not ill tired. Not SCI tired. 

Just one day. I would take his place. 

My heart breaks on the regular for this one. 

I wish I could take it away. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

O Magazine

I remember first picking up an Oprah Magazine when I just started dating Jimmy. His roommate's parents were staying at the house and there were more female-like items laying around than normal. It became a thing: I would look forward to, and they would save me the O Mag.

Now that I'm a grown-up gal, I get my own copies thank you very much.

Every month, I get something out of this magazine. There's so many different topics of inspiration and education. I always learn so much about some amazing women and what they are doing. This month, there's an artist from Charlotte featured who carves cities out with an X-Acto knife and sells the maps. That's a very specific, very cool talent.

President Obama recently said, "Oprah's greatest strength has always been her ability to help us discover the best in ourselves."

Alright. Enough with the Oprah lovefest. She doesn't need any help. I really just wanted to share something lovely I came across in the February issue; just a few little life nuggets.

I'd like to have coffee and cake with this lady.

5 Things I Know For Sure
By Anna Quindlen
  1. Teachers rule the world. -- There's nothing more powerful when you're a kid than having the influential people in your life tell you you're good at something. If I had it my way, teachers would be paid a fortune. 
  2. Chocolate is a food group. Pie, too. -- Yeah, I get it that kale and salmon are good for us, but the Italian part of me says eating is supposed to be joyful (at least some of the time). There's good reason for marking birthdays and weddings with cake, so have some!
  3. Motherhood is not a test. -- I wasted years asking, Am I doing this right? But right is careful. Love cut liberally with fun -- that's the ticket. You want a kitchen sink full of pans and flour spread over the counter from making cookies, and memories. And who cares how the cookies turned out?
  4. I can't get by without my friends. -- I often hear brides say their groom is their best friend. Really? My husband is my husband. My best friend is someone who has the patience to listen to a monologue about the heinously expensive purse I want. When I'm falling, my girlfriends are my soft landing. 
  5. The best things take effort. -- With all our talk about God-given gifts, we've convinced a generation of kids that if you're good at something, it must be effortless. That's so, so wrong. The best work is a slog. Then you reach the summit, take a breath, and say, Well that wasn't easy, but here I am.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five Nights In The Hospital

This morning was the first of many in which I woke up feeling semi-refreshed. It took a couple of days to get me back after our recent stay at The Shepherd Center. This most recent stint there was necessary, yet exhausting.

Jimmy had Phase I of his scalp wound repair done (this injury stems from The Crash). He was in a crap ton of pain but each day seems to get better and he has had some meds to help him through. Jimmy had tissue expanders put in his head. Over the next six weeks, he'll get the skin expanded with some air put in and at then a final reconstructive surgery to cover his massive head wound with his stretched skin. I know. Whoa.

The upside in all of this? He may have hair on his head again in areas where that might not have been the case pre-injury.

Surgery day was one of the longest/hardest days we've had in a long time. We waited until our surgery time and then they weren't ready for us. We waited a few more hours. They finally took us back. We got over there and waited some more. They finally took him in.  I would soon learn the theme off the whole entire day is: WAIT A WHOLE BUNCH.

A surgery that normally takes 2 hours took almost 4. It was almost 8 o'clock at night when the doctor finally came to talked to me. He explained that he discovered another source of injury on Jimmy's head that caused him to proceed with even more caution as there was a fear of bleeding out. Well shit. I then felt a wave of fear and relief in one exhale. 

The doctor went away telling me "they" would come get me after Jimmy spent some time in recovery. More time went by. The waiting room was clearing. I ate junk instead of dinner because I had no timetable for all of this and I didn't want to miss the doctor.

So, a hungry/tired Jaimie doesn't operate the best. My nerves were shot. A bunch more time went by and I felt... forgotten about. I thought for sure they had taken Jimmy back to his room at Shepherd without telling me (The surgery was at a neighboring hospital.). It was almost 9o'clock. I was exhausted and tired and smelly and hungry and shaky and fighting the tears. And truly, I had lost that little battle.

Finally, a nurse-looking woman comes out of recovery area. She walks right past me. 


She calls out "Moore Family?" 

I stood up quickly and proclaimed with one arm in the air, "YES!"

She told me I didn't look good and asked if I was okay. I told her I was in fact not okay but just wanted to see my husband so let's go.

I followed her back.

I got a second wind when I saw him. I got excited and high-pitched but that was immediately met with his yelps of pain, uncontrollable shivers and anger. He was so mad. He didn't understand why he was in so much pain.

My body fell back into that tired, weak state again. I turned around to get something and had a quick pep talk with myself as I started to well up. Okay sister: There will be time later for all of the crying and all of the feeling later. Now it's time to pull yourself together. Even 70% together will do. Just for now. He's a lot worse off than you. Be strong. Don't cry. 

It was a long night. I opted to stay with him because I didn't feel comfortable leaving him. Even in a hospital. Even at Shepherd. 

Most of the Shepherd nurses are amazing. Truly wonderful. Like, can-you-pleeeeeease-come-home-with-us, wonderful. But even they have other patients and can't be at Jimmy's bedside as quick as he would sometimes like. That's where we get spoiled by our home health care. So that first night felt like the right time for me to stay. 

People were in and out all night. Some had a better bedside manner than others. I forgot about and was reminded of the lack of rest you really get in a hospital. 

The rest of the time there was a blur. Probably for Jimmy too. Lots of our old staff (respiratory therapists, doctors, nurses) came by to visit when they heard Jimmy was admitted. It really was so good to see them. 

The feeling of exhaustion I felt over the course of our five days there was reminiscent of Fall 2011. I felt older this time around, though. Not as resilient. I guess there's not much more of an explanation other than: I'm two years older. I forgot about those long hours at the hospital and how it can drag you down. The early mornings leaving the house. The late nights coming home. The worrying, caring and all the nerve racking moments in between. 

At the same time we were there, a friend's father was dying. I was so sad for her but it helped me to be thankful for the many more breaths I know Jimmy would take. Jimmy would be okay. I ought to thank my lucky stars. And, I did. 

It was a scheduled surgery. There was an end in sight. We are back home and while I am starting to feel back to normal my poor husband continues to feel like absolute shit. The dark circles under his eyes won't seem to go away and he's experiencing a level of weak that we had forgotten about. 

He remains on the ventilator for help and I completely have his back on that decision. I know he'll slowly get back... wherever "back" was.  Hopefully it will happen before the next (and final) surgery in about 6 weeks. 

I'm trying to take care of myself so I can be strong (mind and body) for Jimmy. Today I walked downtown to attend a Pilates class. My arms and legs feel jello-y but it was a great class with lots of first-timers (like myself). Joy!

There is a significant football game on in two days, and, although Jimmy was hesitant, I invited some friends over to watch with us. 

Jimmy is sometimes like me in that I spend time dreading certain social functions until they happen. And then? And then we're okay. We may even be HAPPY to have our people around.  AND, we may even benefit from it. 

I think both of us are fighting the small part of ourselves that are introverts that want to hermit. I guess I now know better.

Loved ones do a body good. Wait, no that sounds weird. 

Friends are cool beans. Wait, I'm not 12. 

Friendsies, yay! Wait it's no longer 2013.  

Apparently my husband and I like people. There.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So, This Happened Today...

Tah Dah! Hair is did. 

Bunches were cut off and and tis new color. It came out darker than I had hoped. Well, really much darker than I had hoped. It's not like cry in the car bad, though.

Whoa, though. My hair has never been this short. Close. But never pixieish. The change bug allegedly got me. 

I left the house today telling Jimmy, "I may or may not come back looking drastically different."

Poor guy. He never knows what he's gonna get.

He seems to like it.  Probably wouldn't tell me if he didn't. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Surgery Cake

And calling it that makes it okay to eat. 

We are preparing for Jimmy to have surgery on his scalp wound that he got in the accident. His surgery was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but moved to Friday. 

So tomorrow we'll head to Shepherd to get admitted and he'll be ready for his Friday morning surgery. 

Today I cleaned the house like a Merry friggin' Maid. Seems like he should return home to clean conditions, right? 

We'll be spending an unspecified number of days on our old stomping grounds. Jimmy is excited about getting a newly renovated room. I'm excited about free coffee. So, ya know. 

I really feel I need stop eating Surgery Cake though. I'm not even the one having surgery. 

I'm going to find something else to clean.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Flying Tire: Top 5 Readsies of 2013

5) An Untold Story
If Jimmy and I were living in Georgia as a married couple less than 50 years ago, we'd be breaking the law. Just by being married. Uhm, that's not that long ago you guys. Read more...

4) Terrifying Excitement
Jimmy and I have started taking the steps to begin IVF. After several consults and discussions, we decided it's going to the best route for us. Read more.. 

3) The Egg Retrieval
I am resuming my morning coffee today after yesterday's procedure. The egg retrieval went well. It was super quick and painless for the most part. My friends picked me up at home and drove me and waited for me to be done, which was amazing. I didn't have to be alone at all during this. Read more..

2) The Thing About IVF? Sometimes It Doesn't Work.. 
It didn't work for us this time. As sucky-hard as that news is, Jimmy and I are doing okay. This was a gamble. We knew striking out was a possibility. Right after I published a cheery blog about my egg retrieval and moving forward, the embryologist called us and said we had no fertilization and that I should stop taking my medication. Read more...

And the most read blog of 2013 by you, the reader?

1) Your Emergency Row Ambassador
Tomorrow. Tomorrow at 2:30pmish. Two years ago. A text I received while on my way to work would begin the process of unraveling what has happened. It was too soon to tell if it was permanent. That news would not come on this day. Monday, August 8, 2011. The last time Jimmy walked. The last time he drove a vehicle. Just like that. Read More...

I'm excited to see what happens in the coming year and more excited to share it with you. Thanks for being with me through everything and supporting me and Jimmy. We are lucky to have ya!