Monday, May 15, 2017

Rough Holiday

Yesterday was Mother's Day, which is always bittersweet. But usually it's not too hard. My mom has been gone for 15 years and I am the mom of a sweet little girl. But yesterday was rough. I think it was partly due to that time of the month compounded with perimenopause.

Todd and Emily were very sweet to me. I got presents and ice cream. We had also gone out for Japanese food on Saturday, to avoid the Mother's Day rush. But as the day waned on, the sadder I got.

But I know I wasn't the only one having a rough time yesterday. Lots of friends have lost their moms due to death or toxic relationships. As people age, holidays morph and change. Mother's Day was fun when I was a kid, but I didn't experience a lot of loss until I was grown up.

If you had a rough day yesterday, be gentle with yourself today!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Concert Memories - Red Hot Chili Peppers

This is the 5th post in my Concert Memories series! To start at the beginning, click here!

This one is really out of order but since it's recent I wanted to post about it! A week and a half ago, Todd and I dropped Emily off at a friend's house for a sleepover and then we headed off to Charlotte.

We got into Charlotte early so we could go eat at Cabo Fish Taco. We've eaten there before and really liked it. We originally heard about it because it was on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

After tooling around the city for a bit, we got to the Spectrum Center early and were one of the first in line to get into the building. We found our seats, which were pretty decent for what we paid and we just waited for the show to start.

A drummer started things off, and it was good but I'm not a huge fan of just drums. Mostly because it leads to migraines. Of course, I knew going into the show that I was going to be hurting something awful once it was over. The price one pays when one has chronic pain.

The opening act, BabyMetal, came on. BabyMetal is a Japanese group of girls who wear school uniforms and play hard rock. I actually have one of their albums and it's pretty fun music. I usually listen to them when I'm working out.

Their set was ok, but they were singing in Japanese so it made no sense at all. Plus everyone was sitting down in our section except these two guys in the front who were in the handicapped section. They completely blocked a couple of peoples' view and didn't care at all.

Finally it was time for the Chili Peppers to come out and their show was so worth the migraine I had later! They played a ton of favorites and quite a few songs from there new album. Flea is my favorite of all the band members, even more so than the lead singer, Anthony Kiedis. Both of them were jumping around the stage the whole show and took off their shirts at different points as well.

There was a screen behind the stage that showed a variety of things. Sometimes it was video of the band, and other times it was weird images that made me feel like I was on a bad acid trip. Several of those images flashed, and I would have to hide my head in Todd's shoulder because it was making me super dizzy.

They finished up and the crowd cheered and cheered for an encore. Todd wanted to leave, he didn't think they were going to come back on but I wanted to wait. I was right and they came out and played a couple more song, finishing up with Give It Away. We got out of there after that, and managed not to get stuck in traffic which was pretty awesome!

I spent the car ride home feeling pretty miserable, but it was worth it. One of the best concerts I've ever been to. The only one that beats it is the Korn / Evanescence (and a bunch of other bands) show we saw in 2007.

Up Next - 3rd Eye Blind!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Concert Memories - Huey Lewis and The News

Image: www.zimbio.com
This is the 4th post in my Concert Memories series! To start at the beginning, click here!

I don't remember exactly when we saw this concert, but I think I was in high school or perhaps the first few years of college. It was a summer concert at one of the county fairs, that much I remember.

My parents were big Huey Lewis fans and so am I, so we were all excited to go. Sadly, we were seated waaaaaay in the back so we could hardly see the band. The speaker system wasn't that great either, if I remember correctly, and there were rude people around us.

Sadly, this was probably the worst concert experience I ever had. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good either. Which is sad, because I love their music!

Up Next - Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Concert Memories - Barry Manilow

Image: www.tennessean.com
This is the 3rd post in my Concert Memories series! To start at the beginning, click here!

The next few entries of this series may be out of order. My memory for dates hasn't ever been very good but it's gotten worse since my seizures happened a few years ago. Plus with Barry Manilow being in the news, I wanted to write about him first.

I'm pretty sure I was in college when I got to see Barry Manilow live in concert. If I remember correctly, I went with my mom and my sister. I can't remember if my dad was there or not. The concert took place in Grand Rapids.

Barry Manilow was one of the musicians that I listened to a lot as a child. His songs were fun and sometimes really beautiful, in the case of I Write The Songs. His stuff is very 70's and of course my favorite of all his songs is Mandy

Seeing him in concert was awesome. He played all of his hits and put on a great show. I believe he had a bunch of dancers and lights for Copacabana. I sang, danced in my seat and was highly entertained. If I had the chance to see him again, I would!

Friday, April 7, 2017

My Tubal Ligation Story

It's been a while since I've blogged mostly thanks to ongoing illness. Also I had some surgery that took a bit to recover from.

A few months ago, I had my normal bi-yearly appointment with my regular doctor. While there, I mentioned that I wanted to get a tubal because I'm beyond done with having kids. My doctor thought it was a good idea and got me a referral to get the surgery done.

It wasn't too long before I had my consult, and the surgery was scheduled for the day after my 40th birthday (which was a Monday). At first, I didn't want to do it so quickly, but my dear husband pointed out that having it done sooner than later meant I would be recovered before April 17, which is the day we are going to see Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I, thankfully, didn't read up on personal tales of tubals before my surgery. I knew the risks, and that it's not 100%. But it's pretty close and permanent, which was important to me. While I was laid up after the surgery, I did read some articles and personal accounts, which leads me to want to post my experience. Be warned, there may be some TMI past this point!

A lot of the personal accounts were of the "DON'T DO IT" variety. But I think that is because people regretted it because they ended up wanting more kids. This seemed to be a theme especially with people who had their tubals done after having a c-section. I could have had it done then, and I remember them asking me. But because it was an emergency c-section and I was overwhelmed at the time, I said no.

Anyway, my surgery was scheduled for 4 pm on that Monday. I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight so I literally stayed up until nearly midnight stuffing my face because I knew that I was going to have a very empty tummy all day.

I had started feeling nervous that evening so I slept poorly. I got up with Todd and Emily so I could guzzle down some Sprite and some broth before 8 am, which is when I had to stop drinking anything. Plus I wanted to see Emily because she was going home from school with a friend.

I got hungrier and hungrier and more and more nervous as the afternoon went on. Finally, we were off to the surgery center to get the party started, as it were. I had to be there an hour and a half early because they to do bloodwork and I had to take a pregnancy test (which was a little funny since I had started my period the day before).

They had to hurry up and do all this before the people from the lab went home. Thankfully everything came back fine. Also the anesthesiologist wanted to see me right away too. I had been plagued with a really bad cold / virus and had gone to the doctor earlier in the week.

I had let the nurse who called me with pre-op questions know and she said I was good with the medicine I was given as long as I didn't have a cough. So I spent most of the week leading up to my birthday trying every known cough/phlegm remedy known to mankind. It worked and the anesthesiologist was impressed on how clear I sounded.

Sadly all the hurry up lead to a lot of waiting. I was gowned, and had my stuffed Iron Man bear, but I had given my phone to Todd, so I just mostly sat there. Todd and I talked some, but the anxiety didn't make me a good conversationalist.

The worst part was that my surgery got delayed by like an hour because my doctors were in another surgery. And because it was later in the day, I was the only one in the rooms down that particular hallway so I felt like I had been abandoned a bit. But the nurses did check on me and brought me blankets from the warmer.

Finally, after it felt like ages had past, the main doctor came in and told me it was only going to be a few more minutes. They got everything going, put the lovely hairnet on my head and soon I was whisked to the operating room. I had to be positioned on the table a specific way, which took a few minutes. And then I don't remember anything until I woke up in the recovery room.

I was in quite a bit of pain in the recovery room and of course, very groggy. Todd came in a bit after I woke up. I, being the mom I am even all drugged out, wanted to make sure he let the person that was watching Emily know that we would be along for her shortly.

They had already given me some pain medicine before (or while?) I was waking up but it wasn't cutting it. So the anesthesiologist had them give me Dilaudid, which is my absolute favorite pain medicine. Side note - I suffer from chronic pain, and am not a druggie.

The Dilaudid eased my pain enough that I was able to go home. I was sent home with some prescriptions, though the OB/GYN office had already given me a Vicodin prescription at my pre-op and had already filled that.

Todd got me home and in bed, and went to get Emily. I passed out right away, but  the rest of the night I woke up every hour or so to pee. Thankfully my husband is a night owl because I needed help getting to the bathroom the first few times.

The first day post-op, I took my good drugs and slept most of the day, having peed myself out. I was awake by the time Emily got home from school because Todd had gone back to work. I talked to him over the phone and told him that I could handle the parenting but I was still really tired and very sore. He opted to take a half day off of work and I passed back out.

One of the things I had read about beforehand was the gas causing pain. They pump gas into you to expand the area to be able to see better. Most of the accounts said that the gas pain happened in people's shoulders. This is not what I experienced.

On day two, the gas attacked. My stomach was harder, kind of like when I was pregnant. I kept feeling like I needed to poop. And I kept passing gas, like a ton of gas. I spent most of the day in and out of the bathroom. Finally, finally I was able to poop (and boy, did I poop a ton!) and my stomach felt a bit better.

Now, I was told that it should only take me a couple of days to bounce back from this surgery. That was unrealistic, for me at least. I was still having considerable pain by day three but it was starting to be less. Sadly for me, on day three my cold of doom that I had shooed away with home remedies came back with a vengeance.

So I had a sick migraine, was all stuffed up with a sore throat and coughing while my middle was still really sore. It was unpleasant to say the least. But a few days after that, the pain from the surgery was very low. If it hadn't been for the doom cold, I would have felt pretty good.

All in all, I didn't have a bad experience. I wish my surgery had been scheduled earlier in the day. After my surgery, the rest of my period was pretty non-existent. I bled a little one more day and that was it.

I am one of those people who can feel myself ovulating, so I could feel my tubes aching for probably a week post-surgery. This week, I have been ovulating and my tubes are aching a little more than usual. I haven't had a period since so I'm not sure how that will be.

In the end, it was the right choice for me. No regrets and the recovery wasn't too horrible. This was my experience so it may not be yours. But I wanted to get something out there that isn't all doom and gloom!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Concert Memories - The Beach Boys

Image: www.musicstack.com
This is the 2nd post in my Concert Memories series! To start at the beginning, click here!

My parents were born in the early 1950's so they were teenagers in the 1960's. A lot of the music they listened to as teenagers was the soundtrack of my childhood.

One of my parent's favorites was The Beach Boys. Their music was a staple in my house when I was young. Though my mom, whose name was Barbara Ann, wasn't always fond of the song that had her name. It came out when she was in middle school and she got teased about it.

But one summer in my childhood, we got tickets to see the Beach Boys in concert. I honestly don't remember a ton about this concert. I do remember that one of the original members was missing - probably Brian Wilson.

It was an outdoor, daytime concert. They played all their hits, and it was fun! Though of all the concerts I've been to, it would have probably been near the bottom. Not that it was bad, but I've seen a lot of better concerts since then.

Up next - Barry Manilow!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Concert Memories - The Monkees and Weird Al

Image: http://www.monkeeslivealmanac.com
My 40th birthday is next month and I had asked my husband to plan something special. He really outdid himself because he got us tickets to see Red Hot Chili Peppers in April!

I've seen quite a few concerts over the years and I thought I'd blog about them. I may not remember all the places and dates - my memory is still a bit screwy after the seizures I had a few years ago. But hopefully the internet will help some with that.

In the 80's, Nickelodeon started showing The Monkees TV show from the 60's. My sister, cousin and I loved it. We all had our favorite Monkee - mine was Micky! Because we all loved them so much, my parents got us tickets to see them on August 4th, 1987 at the Ionia Free Fair.

It was a big outdoor concert and we were pretty far back. The opening act was Weird Al, who I didn't know at all. Oddly enough, as an adult, I really like Weird Al.

I do remember him playing "Like a Surgeon" and "Fat" - he even was on stage, in August, with the fat suit on! A lot of the crowd was there just for Weird Al. He had started to become hugely popular around then.

But finally it got dark and The Monkees came on stage! They were missing Mike, because he didn't want to be part of The Monkees at that time. But it was still an awesome concert. I'd never done anything like that before - I was 10 years old at the time.

We danced and sang along with all our favorite songs. It was awesome! The glow of the stage, staying out way past my bedtime and knowing that my favorite singers were right there in person!!

Up Next - The Beach Boys