Monday, September 17, 2012

Like an Anchor (Part II)

To continue on with this roller coaster ride....

Down -- June to July: Unfortunately, in between and during the time I went with Brian to Spokane, my young kitty was not doing so well. She started having some serious issues and we could not figure out what was wrong with her. They came on suddenly and were "fixed" for a brief amount of time. We took her to our vet and an emergency vet twice -- neither could pinpoint the issue. So that was very stressful and sad! (Also I must note that I was doing summer school in the month of June; very exhausting time)

Down-- July: A dear family member had to go out of town for job purposes and will be gone for awhile. :(

Down-- July 22nd: On this day my mom had to get surgery for a hernia. Crazy thing, she was exercising in the early morning and soon after did not feel good at all. Her abdomen swelled up and we knew that it was most likely a hernia. She contacted her doctor and in the afternoon we headed to go to see her. Her doctor quickly set up a surgery appointment with a hospital downtown and by evening, Mom was in surgery. While it was a fairly hectic day I didn't worry too much. I knew that the surgery was routine and felt confident Mom was in good hands. Thankfully all turned out okay and her body has healed fine. Whew. (and last year about the same time she broke her wrist while on a walk with co-workers haha)

Up -- August: Took girl cat to an internist and he found out the problem quickly! Yippie! He found that she has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and it is treatable. So lots of money later.... haha Guess her 'formal name' has real meaning now: Coco Chanel. We love her dearly and are thrilled she is a healthy cat! That was a huge relief as we were leaving for SoCal soon.

Up-- mid August: On the 11th to the 17th I went with my mom and sister to Southern California. We went first for a cousin's wedding and then stayed to go to Disneyland, a Hollywood tour and to Universal Studios. This was certainly not a restful vacation but it was very enjoyable.

My cousin's wedding was a blast (the above picture is from that day) and a beautiful experience. I was able to take lots of good wedding pictures and loved being out in a true Southern California setting, a summer day in Newport Beach/Bay. It was also so good to see him happy -- he has been through quite a bit over the years and it's great that he has found someone he is compatible with.

Disneyland & tours were super fun too! Believe it or not but as a 25.5 year old, I had never been to Disneyland before. As a kid I had no interest in going (yeah yeah.. have been told I was 3 going on 21) and still haven't been too interested, but am so glad I had the opportunity. On the first day Mom and I rode 5 rides (mind you, that stayed mostly horizontal, I do not like actual roller coasters or scary rides): a carousel, It's a Small World, Jungle Ride, Mark Twain boat ride and Pirates of the Caribbean. Each night that we were in Anaheim we watched the Disneyland fireworks. For two nights we were at the actual park and saw how epic they were and then the last 2 nights we watched from our hotel. Loved, loved, loved the fireworks!  Oh and I did get to see Princess Ariel. I wasn't able to get my picture with her but I sure tried. The lil girl in me was happy anyhow. :)

Hollywood tour was awesome! That was a very long tour but I got to see so much: Hollywood Walk of Fame, "Kodak" Theater, Hard Rock Cafe LA, freeway ramp where the famous scene from "Speed" was filmed, Hollywood sign (from a distance but good view), Farmers Market at the Grove (where I shopped at Zara!! A Duchess of Cambridge store!), Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach (just like PDX but with less laws haha), and Santa Monica/ Pier (where I got to finally eat Pinkberry Fro Yo). Big big day!

Universal Studios was alright. It was a super hot day and very very crowded. Yes, I am thankful I went but it was just one of those "I'd rather be in the pool" days. I did go on the tram which was pretty interesting and got to see "Wisteria Lane" from "Desperate Housewives." That was really neat! The rest of the time I waited for Mom and Sarah while they went on some rides. I hung out at the City Street Mall area, which had lots of good stores. Then after awhile I wondered around Universal-- that gave me the chance to see Mr. Beans car from his "Holiday" movie. Love Mr. Bean! On the last part of the day I did watch Mom and Sarah on the Jurassic Park ride -- saw them at the end where they dropped a fast 84 ft. That was funny!

On that Friday we three parted ways.... I was sad to not be with my sis anymore but was so glad she had spent the week with us.

Down: Shortly after the trip we learned that Granny had not been doing too well. During the trip she had fallen (thankfully didn't hurt herself seriously) and then she fell again at her house. She had about a week or so of not being 'right.' While she is 101 it was still disturbing to have any of these issues occur and there is probably going to be a change of her living situation in the near future....

Up and then super steep Down-- August 23rd: After feeling good about completing a 5k with my mom at a work race I was looking forward to a relaxing evening at home with my feet up. However, in the evening my dad called and he didn't sound right. He asked me if I could come over and bring him to our house because he was feeling very exhausted and weak. Immediately, I felt like something was wrong and asked him a bunch of questions-- my first guess was a heart attack. In all honesty, I have been concerned about his health for the past 5 years. While I haven't wished for anything bad to happen, I have felt like there has been the potential. Anyhow, I got myself ready and went to his apartment...meanwhile, Mom was on the other side of town getting us dinner. When I got to his place I instantly knew we had to get help but I wasn't totally sure what to do. What sold it for me was his droopy face on one side -- a stroke. He didn't have good balance, he slurred and he seemed 'off' cognitively. When I saw his face I literally yelled and was like "Dad!!! Your FACE! Can you FEEL your FACE?! Can you FEEL your ARMS?" I completely panicked (and when it counted!ha!). There was part of me that thought I was crazy and made it up, but my intuition was right. As fast as I could I got him into my car and we went to urgent care. Within like a minute of signing him in they saw him and soon got an ambulance. In hindsight, I probably should have called 911 but it all worked out. I got him help and that was the important part. Also, I know that God was watching out for everything and put the right people in place for the whole process. My friend who is an RN in the ER at the nearby hospital ended up being on his call. When Mom and I got to the ER I told her "Oh! Mom Joy works here!" and within a second of saying so she came out and whisked us away to dad's room. Such a blessing. Dad was int he hospital for two days and then stayed at our house for recovery. Thankfully he is doing much better but does have some noticeable changes. We are so lucky it wasn't any worse and hope that future strokes can be prevented.

Up-- August 25th & 26th: Brian's brother and SIL came to town with stuff from his mom's apartment. They took items to their sister's home and then came over to this part of town to deliver things for Brian. I hung out with all of them Saturday evening, which was a great way for me to relax some. Then on Sunday Brian, his brother, SIL and I spent most of the day together. It was so much fun being with them! I really love his family.

Up and then another steep Down -- September 6th: My family and I decided to go to the beach for a day and hang out with family members who were already there. The day started out awesome-- beautiful sunshine from here to the coast, easy/fast drive, lots of fun chatter on the way there and a wonderful morning talking with everyone. Then about mid morning we all wanted to go down to the beach and see what was going on. We sat on the beach for a little bit and then had fun putting our feet in the water. My aunt and Brian wanted to climb the cape so I went along with them. I really did not feel like going that day as the sand was hot and I was not prepared (it's a very steep climb)...but I figured oh well it's a gorgeous day and it will be worth it. Plus, Brian had never been on the cape. Anyway, we took some time getting up (except for my aunt she is in shape!) and I felt so-so... and when I got to the first ridge I felt winded. Brian felt that way too but 10x worse than me. After my aunt went down the hill, I noticed that Brian was getting worse and worse-- there was little color on in his face. Within a few seconds, he leaned back (fainting) and then his body started to convulse (and his eyes were open - absolutely terrifying to see). I started to yell for help and water -- now I was super super super panicked and freaking out. Thankfully there were amazingly helpful people on the cape and a God thing -- there was a medic and two nurses who came to his aid. The one gal tried to calm me down so I could call 911. I called them and help did come fairly quickly. They were able to get Brian off the hill, got fluids in him and then we rode an ambulance to a hospital. He was able to recover well and we weren't in the ER long. Mom and Dad picked us up from there and we went home... Oh what a day. I am just SO thankful he is okay. You just never know when the "fit" will hit the "shan."

Since that last drama everything has been fairly good.... Though recently Brian found out his dad hasn't been doing too well so we are hoping for the best. Ahh....

I recently went in and had a check up with my doctor. We had a good talk and she made a comment that will stick with me and I can draw upon it when I am feeling weak, "The beauty in all this is... it has happened outside of you... You have been like the anchor."

I hadn't thought of it like that and I honestly have never had be that way before. An anchor. I like that. I hope I never forget how strong I have had to be this summer. I also hope that there is a long road ahead of peace.

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