Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let's try this 2013 recap again

Poignant moments of 2013

2013 had a pretty great start. It was the beginning of my getting to know some fantastic people most of which pretty far from home. There was a lot of time spent in airplanes and airports, but worth every minute of it. I’m grateful for the people I met who embraced me. They took a chance on me since I live in a different state. Some may have requested my license plate number and a vial of blood first, but I guess I seemed ok enough. Their generosity and open arms won’t be forgotten. So to them I say thank you. 

I have to talk about my sister telling me they decided to move to Maui. This news didn’t set well with me at all. I got the text while I was at work and had to excuse myself to my car to have a meltdown. I support them in their decision, but it’s hard having my sister and her husband 3,000 miles away. It’s especially hard since I wanted to go out there during Christmas break, but die to this surgery and recovery junk, I won’t  see them until March or June. We did FaceTime opening gifts from each other, which was nice. but certainly not the same. 

I won’t forget making the drive to the airport when I got a message from B.J’s best friend telling me he was in the hospital. He was put into a coma and passed away the day of the Concert for Kidd’s Kids. He was a great guy and I consider myself so blessed to have gotten the chance to know him. 

I cannot speak of 2013 and not mention Kidd’s death. The man was a genius. He was funny, creative, and so incredibly business savvy. I didn’t go to the golf tournament in NOLA this year because it was my sister’s last weekend in town. But she went on a girls trip, so I flew up north for a birthday celebration. I had my phone on the patio table, and when I saw it, I had two missed calls from Kellie and a text from Al telling me to call her back. Kellie said she wanted to be the one to tell me the news of what happened. I lost it. I felt like I hadn’t proven my loyalty to him or the show by not being there with them when it happened. I know that beating myself up over it does no good, but it crosses my mind a lot. 

The transition of the show has been an interesting one. It’s really a difficult task to step into the studio and have a show when it’s obvious that the name sake is gone. I think that we have done our best to deliver a product that Kidd would be proud of, but I know it’s different for everyone. We are all just really grateful for those of you who have stuck with us. 

No matter how sick I am of talking about it, I have to mention this dumb brain surgery I had. It’s not been easy  at any point. It’s hard to convince myself that the people who have been around to help want to be there and don’t consider me a burden. I feel like I’m just that. I tell you that I cry a lot and that’s one of the main reasons. I suppose it’s sort of a peek into the value I hold in myself to be unable to accept anyone wanting to help me. I’m crying just typing this. It all happened so quickly and I tried to time it out so that I could finish off the year at work and not cause anyone to miss work, but it didn’t happen that way. If you know me, you know that my job is a huge part of my identity. Work period is a huge part of my identity. I’ve not done that in what seems like forever at this point. And, if you want more honesty, I’m feeling pretty terrible. I can keep nothing down. Today I woke up feeling worse than I did when I had the flu with some nasty projectile vomiting. Food is like an enema to me at this point. I fight to keep it down as long as I can so I don’t die of malnutrition. It’s gross, but that’s how it is. And I get so many messages from people telling me I’m an inspiration and they admire my strength. I feel like I’m letting them down. I don’t feel strong at all. No part of my life is what I want it to be right now. I hurt someone i care a lot about, my parents worry about me instead of taking it easy on their time off, and day after day I wake up and it’s the same damn question. Now what? It’s exhausting and I’m not strong. Not at all. I’m losing my ability to even fake being strong. I’m sorry to be a big disappointment to everyone who comments on my strength. It’s a front. A pathetically weak front. 

In the meantime, Happy 2014 to you and even if this year was a great one, I wish even more greatness to come. And thank you from here to the moon for all of your love and support.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here's the latest...

Well, Christmas 2013 is done. December 20 is gone. My do or die date got tossed when all this surgery stuff happened. I guess it's all part of the universes plan for me. I'm not too fond of it, but there's nothing I can do to change it. I'm trying so, SO hard not to get frustrated, but if I'm being honest, I'm crying a little as I write this. I am very blessed to be alive and be able to see and hear. That isn't lost on me for a second. My neurosurgeon even had a hoodie made for me. It says "Blessed" on the front and has "Murphy" on the back. I gave him a Superman hoodie in return because he's 1/2 of the surgeon team that took my tumor out. I'm not sure that the other surgeon would want a Superman hoodie, so Dr. Dickerman gets the prize. Yay him!

It's weird that right after I had my surgery, I went and got my eyes checked and my vision tested fine. But when I try to read or focus on things, it's not happening. I've got this motion sickness patch that I wear behind my ear. I was on 25mg of Phenergan, but that wasn't helping. So now it's Zofran and I still can't keep stuff down. And with the vomiting comes achiness and moodiness and I'm just tired. But I've got no appetite, so I guess that helps with the vomiting. I was doing better with holding onto things, but now I suck. Like I posted the other day I broke my Otterbox case from dropping my phone over and over on the carpet. My nephew spilled root beer in his Mac. I know how to clean under the keys. But I kid you not when I say it took me well over an hour to get just one key back on. I've gone from being pretty dang independent to this. I'm grateful to be alive and to have people to help me with things, but to go from working every day and going home to my tiny apartment and getting naked whenever I feel like it is a big change.

I can't complain because the fact is that I'm ok. I'm just used to living my life without anyone having to miss work to take cafe of me or call my doctor when my face swells up because I got too tired and had some kind of allergic reaction. It's hard for me to wrap what's left of my brain around. I'm not driving because I don't feel comfortable with it. I feel almost like out of body. I've never questioned my ability or willingness to drive, but now I'm scared. It's one thing if my dizziness gets the best of me and I drive into a pole or something, but it's another since I'm not alone on the road. I have driven maybe a quarter of a mile to WalMart, but I knew I would be an idiot to try any further.

Crying really has become my hobby. I'm sure I have occasional pity parties. I had plans! I'm supposed to be in Maui right now...instead we had to FaceTime my sister and Orlando when we opened gifts. I miss my sister. I miss a lot of things and a lot of people, but it's out of my hands to change the circumstances.

Anyway, enough of my progress report. It's Christmas. I did pretty good for myself. I got a seriously cool camera, my favorite brand of sneakers, a family photo picture frame from my nephew, a bag full or refried beans and a Target gift card from Kellie Rasberry, a beautiful book from Mr. and Mrs. Rasberry, a Hawaiian hoodie from Maui, a couple of new beanies from Kellie's best friend, Amy, a life proof phone case from my parents and sister and Jeff, and Santa even put vodka in my stocking so I would have it when I can drink again. I'm gonna be a really cheap date whenever that day comes.
Oh, Keith got a set of coasters made out of old records, I got an Amazon gift card, a cute little hat and matching scarf, a cool crafty bowl full of candy, and I think I can't remember what else. I know that Christmas is about being with friends and family and not the gifts, but now I have an extra set of sneakers to contemplate wearing. That can take up like 12 minutes in the day. And I've got lots of time. So it goes beyond that for me right now. The camera is something I can mess with until I've got it down to an art, so I'm glad to have it.

Next up? New Years eve. I don't think I've ever been nervous about the New Year before. I think maybe I'm scared because this year started out and I was happy and on top of the world. But then life happened and that feeling faded. Sucks. But I can only control my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. So I'm trying to convince myself that 2014 is going to be the year that things turn around for me. Since my do or die deadline has come and gone and I made no progress, maybe giving myself a full year to figure out whatever it is that I'm trying to figure out is more realistic. Baby steps and a lot of patience with myself are very necessary. I'm not good at either. But I will try.

Oh, I've been destroying my hands making those wreaths made of ornaments. I will post a pic. The hand holding the glue gun seemed to put hot glue on the other hand more than it did the ornaments, but it's OK. I'm gonna keep an eye out for clearance ornaments and stuff so I can make more and sell them next year.

Thanks for sticking with me. It means the world. It kind of sucks when you go through a big life ordeal and you see people's true colors. At least it sucks when their colors are bad. So I'm going to focus on those with goodness in them in hopes of becoming a better person on this journey called life.

And BTW. Have you ever gotten a flu shot right after surgery? Don't do it. That dang shot adds $46 to your bill. That's nuts.

Merry Christmas, you guys. And thanks again for the continued love and support.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Forgive my mess ups. But here ya go...as promised

Hi there. It's been a while. Bear with me when it comes to typos, repeating myself, and sounding like a cracked out idiot. I pretty much am.

As a recap I found out in October that I was born with a tumor. A rare tumor that was stuck between the brain stem and cerebellum, right around my 5th nerve. Dr. Dickerman told us it was a tumor that 1 in something people are born with, but I've forgotten the number. I didn't realize the severity of this thing until after the fact. At least the severity of the surgery. The tumor was benign and is gone. It was just in a really bad spot. One little slip to the left and I would have lost sight. One little slip to the right and I would lose hearing. Thankfully, I had the best neurosurgeons, wire guy, and other operating room people around. I truly mean that. They got the tumor out and now I'm on the road to recovery.

My neurosurgeon says that I'm doing really well. But let's face it. I had brain surgery. They cut into my head and went into my brain with tools and stuff. That's a pretty bug deal. I had the surgery on November 11, stayed in ICU for a few days, a regular room one or two days ( I think), and they let me go. Yeah!

I'm able to walk, talk, see, hear, touch, smell and everything else. Life is very weird and hard for me right now. I'm not handling this patience thing well. At all. I'm very frustrated. My surgery was a 100% success. But I'm on meds that have weird side effects. And I'm having migraines and having a hard time keeping food down and my vision is blurry and my coordination is pretty horrid. Luckily, I have a walker, so I can walk and not fall over. I'm not driving. I can barely get through the house without walking into a wall or tripping over my feet, so just be grateful I'm not on the road. There is no risk of seizures, but with my dizziness and nausea and other stuff, I just have no business taking a cross country road trip right now. And, unfortunately, I have no business going to see my sister in Maui over Christmas. That one sucks pretty bad. But I've always been a klutz. Knowing me, I would try and paddle board or something and break my head open. I bet that would hurt in salt water. So maybe I  will goo over spring break.

I was back in the ICU or CCU last week. My head was leaking and my neurosurgeon told me to go to the ER to have it checked. They admitted me pretty quickly because you can't risk infection with something like this. I was on IV antibiotics and all the other meds. I went in on Saturday and got out on Thursday, I think. I don't know what day it is now, so don't hold me to those days of the week.

How much does brain surgery cost, you ask??? A little over $145,000 to be exact. How much last weeks stay in ICU is gonna run will soon be known. They're quick to let you know when you owe them money.

Speaking of, seeing as how I'm not working at the moment, you guys have TRULY saved my butt with the fund you set up for me. Short term disability apparently does back pay. I wasn't saving up for living expenses and hospital bills, so I've been using the money from the fund you guys set up to live off of while I wait for disability to kick in. You literally have covered my rear and I'm so incredibly grateful for that.

I'm staying with my parents house still. I'm not very good on my own at the moment. It's just a matter of giving my body time and being patient with the healing process. My neuro said that when air hits the brain, it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to be "normal" again. I guess luckily I've never been normal, so maybe my time will be cut shorter.

Crying has become my hobby. This is so not me. One day I went to the doctor thinking it was something simple and the next I have two guys digging in my skull. I don't miss work. I don't depend on people to meet my needs. But that's all changed. Now that's exactly who I am and it stings. What if the show is better without me? It's scary to think about. I've spent a lot of time coloring to work out my hand-eye coordination. Scooby-Doo was my favorite book. I colored the whole thing, so I'm moved onto the Ninja Turtles. They're the giant books so I can stay somewhat in the lines if I outline them. I've made some wreath ornaments. I have a Rainbow loom thing, but I don't get it.

I'm very frustrated with my memory. It's pretty bad, but it has nothing to do with the surgery sort of. Maybe that air in the head thing contributes. But it's probable more the meds I'm on. Apparently I asked someone the same question 6 times and I don't recall any of them. I won't even get into how bad my thinking is these days because it's upsetting to me. But in the long term I will be fine and I'm very fortunate.

So, I guess that's that for now. My head is hurting pretty bad, so I've gotta get my bed set up to sleep at a 45* angle and go to bed. I don't know the specifics of when I will feel better or when I will be back at work, but it will be as soon as I can do what I do well. And, if you care, Kellie Rasberry has been fantastic throughout all of this. She came to the hospitals and has come to see me at my parents house and calls and texts. I'm very blessed to have people like her in my life. My friends and mom and dad have been great in helping me. My Aunt Terry is willing to drive a really long way to help. I'm just recognizing the amount of people in my life who care and I'm so fortunate. And I cannot and would not end this without another huge thanks to you guys for the non-stop support and prayers. I know it's not fun reading posts from the girl who had brain surgery and is recovering. I don't enjoy being that girl one bit. But you stick with me and send soooo many messages of support. It's truly overwhelming. I will do a better job of reading and replying to you guys when things are a little bit easier for me. Now I'm gonna take it a step at a time and master the art of which Ninja Turtle is which. And color them accordingly.

Much love to all of you. And a huge thank you.