Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vegas, Mother's Day, Medical bills

Wow. Where do I begin?

Over the course of the past month, I've managed to single-handedly stack up the medical bills to reaching our yearly deductible. First it was my knee, which required 3 x-rays, an MRI, a family practice doc, a sports medicine specialist, and physical therapist. Not to mention the fact that I can no longer run the Ogden Marathon OR Ragnar, which puts me out another 200 SMACKERS. Not to mention my acute decline in self esteem and optimism having failed my short term fitness goals. Not to mention I had to cut my daily calories nearly in half because now I burn zero calories.

NEXT, I got the family illness which began circulating around Easter time. This included a sore throat/cough/nasal congestion/fever/chills, starting right in the middle of my conference in Vegas (more on that later). That led to a raging kidney/bladder infection which nearly {key word: NEARLY} resulted in a loss of my night contract bonus. WHEW! Sorry if that was TMI. But here I am, whole and healthy...3 bottles of drugs later! Thank goodness for modern medicine! I'm not the only one on drugs...3 out of 5 of us now are on antibiotics. Poor Ammon suffers from his 3rd double ear infection!

Don't worry, I started physical therapy on my knee. My physical therapist's name is Lynn. He is very nice. He gave me a brace that will help shift my deviated patella and hopefully reduce the annoying 'clicking' sound. Hopefully I can now run on it. It looks shriveled with atrophy, so I hope it can support my weight in a running gait.

Now for a cheerful report! The week before Easter, Dad and the girls came out. Mariah and I went shopping together and had an absolute ball. We even bought the most adorable matching white hats and decided to wear them the rest of the day so we could be twin nerds. Come to find out later that day, Allison was so plagued with a post-delivery complication that she was hospitalized! Stacie was with her at the time {thank goodness!} and was able to watch baby Michael while Allison went in. Her inlaws that lived in the basement also helped out with Jakob. She had so undergo surgery the next morning, so Stacie and Mariah got to be up all hours of the night with the baby!

I felt so helpless, like there was no way I could help. I did go and visit her right before Ryan Bitter's wedding reception. I did all the things a sister-nurse should do. I drilled the poor schmuck that was taking care of her and hand-filled her water mug to ensure adequate hygienenic measures were taken in the process. Luckily, she came home the next day! Darin was also able to get work off and was by her side through the whole thing. That put my mind at ease a great deal. Darin is as dependable as they come.

Anyway, on Easter morning, Dad and the girls came over to watch the Easter hunt. It was really fun. The girls got new panties and a few other toy things, along with candy...way too much of it. I had worked the night before, so I tried to stay up and go to sacrament meeting, but once I got there and sat down, I couldn't keep my eyes open to save my life. Once the sacrament was done, the girls and I went home. I had to explain to them that 'mommy was so tired from working and needed to sleep.' It was all they could do to keep from crying. I felt so bad. I hate working Saturday nights!

On Monday, I spent the day packing and cleaning, cleaning and packing. I was super stressed. The kids were crying. I felt like I couldn't get anything done. I couldn't finish up the laundry. Nate was off studying for his test. I was ready for a VACATION.

So the next day, I left! My manager sent me and 2 of my co-workers to a critical care conference in sunny Las Vegas! I packed SUPER light. I walked around the entire time with a tiny bag holding just a few essentials, such as lip gloss, wallet, cell phone, pen. It was FREEDOM! I didn't have to pack a diaper bag everywhere I went! I didn't have to prepare 20 meals a day! I didn't have to prepare ANY meals! I even put lotion on my feet and night and painted my nails! It was SO nice. We stayed at the Venetian, which was just fancy shmancy. The conference was held there, and the continental breakfast and snacks they served were gourmet. There were probably over 1000 people there! I took tons of notes and learned lots. I came away with a resolve to be a better nurse.

Judy, one of my co-workers, also had an injured knee, but hers was on the right. We were able to hobble around without trouble, though. We were just a little slower than average. We were able to see the wax museum, Phantom of the Opera (thanks Dad!), the Bodies Exibit, and some fun restaurants. We went out with my family a couple of times, and Mom and Mariah came to the Phantom with us! Dad came with us to Bodies and was kind enough to drive us to the airport.

I got on the homeward bound airplane with flip-flops on...only to arrive in a UTAH BLIZZARD! I was so sad. SO SO sad. But when I got in the expedition and saw my little angel babies, I realized how much I had missed them! (And Nate, too, of course) I had gotten them a little souvenier at the M&M factory and they were thrilled. When Ammon saw me for the first time, he got such a big smile and became very very shy. He couldn't stop smiling! The poor baby had been sick the whole time I was gone and NEEDED HIS MOMMY!

So then, coming back to real life was when all these medical problems started that I was talking about. I'm happy to say though that once again we have been blessed by a Father in Heaven whose timing is so perfect, it takes my breath away. I have always received help in the very moment I need it.

Last week was looking particularly grim. It started with a doctor appointment with the sports medicine doc, Dr. Blackham. Before I got there, I started having a rapid onset of infection symptoms. At the appointment, he stuck a huge needle in my knee cap to drain all the fluid. After that appointment, I went to work, hoping tylenol and motrin would get me through. I was still having a fever/chills. I tried to be tough! I didn't want to go home because I would loose my night contract bonus. But soon I was so dizzy and delirious that I was walking into the wrong patient's rooms. Luckily, I had a student nurse that was precepting with me, so when I told the team leader I needed to go to the instacare before they close at 9, my student was able to stay with my patients until the float nurse came on at 9:30. Thank goodness I went to the instacare! After some fluids and a little antibiotic, I was feeling so much better. The next day I was feeling actually well enough to work. I called the team leader and sure enough, they were short staffed! I picked up the shift and was able to keep my contract! What a blessing!

Sunday was Mother's Day. Nate was SO sweet...for my birthday he cashed in ALL of our America Express rewards points (that had taken years to save up) and bought me an IPAD2 with 3G/wifi! It was hard to come by, so it showed up a few days before Mother's Day. It worked out perfectly because it was a present for both occasions! I have had SO much fun playing with it! It is the COOLEST thing ever! It's given me reason to re-think my whole life. I'm not even kidding! Allison was SOOO sweet, she brought me a little basket of spa stuff and a couple of movies. She said it was for Mother's Day and the fact that I have been so under the weather lately. She also attached 2 huge balloons, which of course the kids LOVE. Everytime Ammon catches a glimpse of one, his eyes get big, he points, and says, "Dah. Dah." The girls each picked their favorite and have been constantly asking to have the string tied to their wrists.

Anyway, on Sunday I was the only one who made it to church. Nate stayed home with the coughing kids. It was such a beautiful Sabbath. My cup was overflowing! It was so sweet to hear the children sing. I was sad my kids weren't up there! Then in Gospel Doctrine, we learned about not putting your heart on worldly possessions. VERY powerful. In Relief Society, we discussed the importance of WORK and RESPONSIBILITY. It made me appreciate and value the education I have obtained, and even though it's difficult to leave my kids when I work, I know I'm helping others when I go.

We had originally invited all the in-laws to come over for dinner for Mother's Day, but with all the illness that's been going on, we decided to cook the turkey we had over at their house. It was my very first turkey, and let me just say, it was pretty good! Wasn't dry or anything. :) Nate and Mark prepared the rest of the food. Yes, I ate too much.

So that pretty much brings us up to date. I had a good couple of days off to enjoy my family. Nate has had this past week off of school...unfortunately he has to start up again next week! It's been so nice having him home. We've been watching movies and stuff.

Both Kaylee and Brenna say the funniest things, I wish so much I could remember them all! There is one thing I want to mention. Today they were outside playing when we suddenly heard Brenna's blood-curling scream. Kaylee shouted,"Daaaaaaaaaaaad!!!!!" Nate went running out, prepared for action! When he went out there, Brenna was practically hysterical. "My balloon floated up into the sky!!!!!" She could barely get the words out! We both comforted her the best we could. Kaylee came up to her and said, "Here Brenna, we'll share mine! You can have a turn! It's both of ours now!" Kaylee never ever disappoints!


Jeff and Ashley said...

Oh my goodness.. That post made me tired reading it! ha ha I don't know how you do it all! Sorry about all the sickness and your knee. I am sure that was and is a bummer to hurt it before your races. Hopefully it gets better soon!
Glad you got to have a relaxing break from it all when you went to Vegas! :)

Kyle and Reesie said...

Oh Sarah. I am so glad I got to see and talk to you a bit while we were in Utah,...hopefully next time we will have longer to hang out. I am so sorry about your knee, and all the sickness going around the family. Life seems hard enough when you are all feeling well! You are such a trooper though. I love how you can see the Lord's hand in everything, even when times are not so good. I am glad your trip to Vegas was a good one! You totally deserve it. Love you. Hope the knee is improving.

Chaleese said...

Sarah!! I'm so sorry. You have had a rough couple of weeks. Why didn't you call me?? I feel so bad that you were going through so much...Sarah. I hope you know that I'm always here for you whenever you need me. I'm so sorry about your knee. I'm so sorry about everything. I love you to death! Please let me know if you need ANYTHING!!!!

Kathy Nielson said...

Ok Sarah you are so AMAZING! Happy belated Mother's Day to you! I look up to you SO much!! I am so sorry to hear about all the medical problems you guys have been having. I hope you are feeling better now! I am really sorry you can not run right now either, hopefully you heal quickly!