Thursday, January 29, 2009

Housework (gag) again / Judy

I seem to be doing all the blogging because Lloyd's been very busy lately. But he'll be back as soon as he can.

Since I've been sick, my house has deteriorated, as you can imagine. But I am still mostly able to do the five daily jobs: B, B, C, D, F (sounds like a bad report card, but actually a memory aid). B=beds, make every day; B=bathroom, give them a swish and swipe while you're in there getting ready; C=clutter, just the hot (and visible) spots; D=dishes, keep the sink cleaned out; F=floors, sweep daily. 

I have to admit I don't do all these things every day--it depends on how I'm feeling--but I try to wash the dishes every day and the other things at least every other day. So although my house is not as pristine as it could be, it's a heck of a lot better than it might be otherwise while I'm laid up.

Bottom line: if I can do this right now, everyone can do at least these things to improve the livability in their homes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

An update / Judy

Somehow it's boring to keep talking about my health problems, but at least I should mention how I'm doing now. Much better, actually. I still have the stent, which I'm generally able to ignore, and haven't had an "episode" of pain for several days. I go to the doctor again tomorrow and we'll probably decide how things are progressing and what to do next then. 

On a much more interesting note, you can see Ben in publicity photos for his play coming up next month if you go to pcpa.org, then click on Midsummer Night's Dream. He says this is the first time he's been in a publicity shoot at pcpa because they don't usually use "emsemble male #5" but this time he has a real part. The play is supposed to be like Bollywood, which is why everyone is wearing Indian-type clothes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mothers of Many / Judy

Yesterday Kristen and Nathan stopped by on their way home from the hospital with baby Luke (why didn't I think to get a picture with my new camera? It's a learning curve). Anyway, Kristen was telling me about how this recovery so far is much better than the last one. She said it was probably because her doctor knew about delivering babies of women who had lots of children. Evidently it's a whole different ball park. The doctor told her the fifth delivery is significantly different from the first four in several aspects, including how painful the after-pains are. You know, those abdominal pains you get when you're breastfeeding because the uterus is contracting. And after the fifth baby each succeeding delivery recovery is that much harder, although the deliveries themselves may get easier. So this doctor really knows what she's doing because she's had more experience than most with mothers of many and also she's done a lot of research about it. Kristen said one thing that she did differently was that after the birth, they kept in her epidural while giving her two more IV bags of pitocin. So the very worst pain was covered by the epidural. 

The bottom line, mothers, is that if you have several children, it's evidently very important that your doctor knows about how to care for you afterwards, because not all doctors do. Think about it, most mothers have only 1-3 children so most doctors will have mostly that experience. But having 5 or more needs different care. So ask before committing to a particular doctor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Continuing Saga / Judy

I went to the doctor today to have the stent taken out and now I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the two big stones (on my left side) are all broken up and now moving down the stent as they should. The bad news is that I have to keep it in for at least another week to get as much of the gravel stuff out of my body as possible. Mostly I'm fine, although the stent is uncomfortable, but I can ignore it to some extent. The main problem occurs when some of the stones start moving outside the stent and I feel like I'm having a full-blown kidney stone attack. However, I have learned how to deal with it--I take two vicodin and within about 30-45 min. I can bear it and then I usually go to sleep for a while. This is all taking much longer and feeling worse than I expected, but I know it will be over eventually. Then I can do the same thing for the one stone in my right kidney (aaarghhh). Today the doctor told me that I personally have as much "stone material" as four or five other people he treats. Sometimes it's no fun to be special.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Current Malady, cont. / Judy

I had my little "procedure" on Monday as planned. They put me completely under and then with a sonar gun or something shot the two big stones in my left kidney to smithereens. Then they inserted a wire and a stent so all the tiny pieces of the blown up stone could pass safely. I was home by 11:30 am and thought everything was pretty much over. However...

Now I stay on the couch, taking a pain pill every three hours then passing out and that is my whole life right now. I go back to the doctor's office next Weds. to have the stent removed (I try not to think of how they'll do that and how it will feel) and the doctor told me I would probably be "uncomfortable" until it was out.  

Fortunately, I have help--Lloyd is here all morning, and my brother is staying here and our friend, Liberty checks on me every day and does whatever needs doing. I wish I had more interesting stuff to talk about, but this really is all I have at this time. The one good thing about all this is that I can read all I want and I'm now in the third book of the Twilight series. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Current Malady / Judy

So here I am, minding my own business, and WOW, all of a sudden, I've got kidney stones. But don't panic, so far they haven't been bothering me, it's just that they are there and COULD be a problem any time. I've been to a doctor and had an x-ray, which is really the only reason I know I have them, and I'm scheduled to have them blasted into a million pieces on Monday. Also, they will put in a stent during this little procedure. 

I was NOT looking forward to having this done, but last night my back did start to hurt and I got worried I might have a full blown episode. So I took a pain pill the doctor gave me "just in case," that is in case they "bothered" me before we could do this procedure (I had the feeling he thought I could blow any minute). Anyway, some of you remember how I react to benedryl...this pain pill was like that only more so. I sat down to watch a little Star Trek and the next thing I knew I was in bed and Ben was standing over me. He said I'd been asleep several hours and he'd helped me into my bedroom a while ago. He said all the way down the hall, I kept asking him what time it was, about 8 times.

Today, I seem to be okay again, although my back feels a little achy.  Now I am ready for my procedure on Monday because I don't want a full-blown kidney stone attack. Even a hospital experience is better than that.

Words to live by: It's always something.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Generous conservatives / Judy

There was an article recently in our local paper by a liberal writer from the New York Times that I found very interesting. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

"The problem is this: we liberals are personally stingy. Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people...Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates."

One study showed a difference of 30% and another by Google showed a 50% difference in private giving between liberals and conservatives.

"Something similar is true internationally.  European countries seem to show more compassion than the United States in providing safety nets for the poor, and they give more humanitarian foreign aid per capita than the United States does. But as individuals, Europeans are far less charitable than Americans. 

"Americans give sums to charity equivalent to 1.67 % of GNP...The British are second, with .73%, while the stingiest people on the list are the French, at .14%...

"Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives...the U.S. blood supply would increase by 45%."

Ha! I knew it! Go conservatives!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The spirit of man & computers (an analogy) / Lloyd

"'The spirit and the body are the soul of man.’ Man is a dual being, a spirit within a mortal body.

"It is difficult to teach about the intangible, spiritual part. But there are ways to do it. For example, your students know about computers. A personal computer made of metal, plastic, glass, and a dozen other materials will hold an astonishing amount of information. All of the standard works can be stored there, and in addition, sets of encyclopedias, dictionaries, books on a whole library of subjects, even illustrations and mathematical formulas.

"With the press of a few keys, one can select any part of what is stored and see it instantly on a screen. One may, by pressing a few more keys, rearrange, add to, or subtract from what is stored in the computer. Press another key or two and you can print a copy of whatever you desire, even in full color. You then can hold in your hand tangible, absolute proof of what is inside there and how it is arranged.

"If, however, you should take the computer completely apart, you could not find one word of it, not one illustration, not one tangible evidence that there are volumes, verses, poems, and illustrations inside the computer.

"You could dissolve the computer with acids or burn it and you would not find one tangible word of evidence. You could no more find words in the ashes of a computer than you can find the spirit in the ashes of a cremated human body.

"No one doubts that this great base of information is actually stored in the computer. It should not be too difficult to teach each youngster that there is within the human body a spirit. Notwithstanding that it is invisible and intangible, it is the very essence of reality. You can, in context of the gospel plan, explain what that spirit is. Let me say that again. You can, in context of the gospel plan, explain what that spirit is, where it came from, and what the destiny of each of us is." Boyd K. Packer in Mine Errand from the Lord, Deseret Press, 2008.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: On 9 Dec 1998 my brother Paul and I gave my father a blessing of release. He passed away early the next morning before we had awakened. Later that afternoon dad's High Priest group leader assisted Paul and me in properly dressing dad's body for a Latter-day Saint burial.

I can tell you that the difference in dad from the night before when he was alive, as sick and physically debilitated as he was, and at the time of our dressing him was dramatically clear. Before, he was our father; after, we clothed his remains. But we also felt that dad's body was sacred and important to him. It was a most reverent experience. -- Lloyd

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My new camera / Judy

These are the first pictures I took with my new camera. (This is so exciting!) Here are the DeMarco's on Christmas Day. This one is Grandpa Wight around Christmas Day (can't remember exactly). This is our little friar in front of the house. I put a Santa hat on him and I think it's hilarious.This is the bay where we all went a couple days ago. Everybody but me and Kristen went on kayaks and a big war canoe (held 12 kids and 3 adults). Kristen and I took the two babies, Brennan and Anna and sat in a warm cafe and visited.

So I'm on my way with the camera. Now I just have to remember to take it everywhere and then remember to use it. But I eventually got used to having and using a cell phone so I'm sure I can do the same with this. Hopefully, you'll see my pictures improve over time.

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