Kidney stone update

Well, I survived.

Honestly, that was my main fear going into this procedure, that I wasn’t going to come out of anesthesia.  My main intake nurse was awesome!  She had this nifty light box that shows all your veins!  I don’t know why they don’t just use that every time they have to do IVs.  Another nurse held the light box to show the veins and then my main nurse just slid the IV right in, easy peasy.  I didn’t even bruise.  I mean AT ALL.  She was crazy good.  Jesse sat with me for a couple hours until he had to go pick up Ezra from school and wouldn’t you know it, a couple minutes later is when we got started.

I met Dr. Gannon for the first time when he came in to introduce himself and to go over the procedure.  I had met with the nurse practitioner the first time through but he had a good bedside manner and I felt comfortable with him.  The anesthetist gave me a dose of something that I felt almost immediately and then we were rolling down the hall to the operating room. A day or two earlier I had watched a couple YouTube videos on laser lithotripsy and that was a mistake.  It’s interesting to watch it happen to someone else but when you know it’s going to happen to you it’s a whole different matter.  Basically they have you spread eagle and go in with a catheter, guide wires, and a camera and once they find the kidney stone they bring in a small laser and blast the hell out of it.  I sat on the OR bed and got situated and the last thing I remember was placing my left arm into position.  Then I was waking up.

As much as I’m grateful for coming out of anesthesia, I freaking hate the process.  I feel like it lasts a long time in my system and I’m always nauseous and end up vomiting and just feeling all around icky.  I was in the recovery room for a couple hours and then Jesse took me home.  They left a stent in my ureter that needed to come out a week later and sent me home with a bunch of pills.

I took it easy the rest of the day and all the next day and aside from cramping throughout the week that followed, it wasn’t too bad.  I had the stent removed one week later and that was a strange process.  They took me back into this little procedure room and had me strip from the waist down and then they had to clean me.  It’s a weird process in which everyone tacitly agrees to not mind that your downstairs parts are on display and being methodically handled.  Dr. Gannon came in right after my bits had been smeared with lidocaine.  I think I was more nervous for the stent retrieval than the more invasive procedure I’d had done earlier because I was completely awake and aware.  But, he had me watch the camera scope on the screen and it was pretty interesting and not painful, just weird feeling, and then it was done.  That stent was MUCH larger than I thought it would be!

I wasn’t surprised that I had been cramping after that.  A day or two later and I’m feeling pretty much back to normal.

They said it was about 20% calcium and about 80% uric acid which comes from eating a lot of protein.  Dr. Gannon said to just make sure I drink more water and to try to eat less red meat.  I told him I could comply with the more water but eating less meat probably wasn’t going to happen.  The thing is, without regular CT scans there is no way to know how long that stone had been building.  It could have been a couple months, it could have been 10 years, there is just no way to know.  So, I’ll just keep an eye out for any similar symptoms and go from there.

Leo had his 2nd birthday a few days ago.  I always think about the day I gave birth to him (read parts 1, 2, and 3) and the trauma that followed after and I always get little panicky feelings, especially when I remember coming out of the ketamine and the crazy psychedelic hallucinations and the terrifying, smothering memory of being intubated and feeling like I was suffocating because I couldn’t take a full, deep breath.  I try not to think about it too often but it’s there in the background.

On a lighter note, we got new kittens!  Two female kitties, Keiko and Lana.  Keeks likes to be cuddled and pet more than Lana, Lana is a bit more flighty.  They have already grown so much in the couple weeks we’ve had them.  Here is a shot from when we first brought them home.

Benny is quite infatuated with them.  They haven’t helped calm him down, really, but at least they will grow up getting mauled regularly by a dog so it won’t seem traumatic to them.

I watched Gone with the Wind the other day for the first time.  It was more interesting than I thought it’d be but it’s not one I need to watch over and over again.  That Scarlett was a real wench!  Always thinking about her needs.  I would have thought her character would have grown from the beginning of the film to the end but she pretty much stayed self-centered throughout the whole thing.

We are in the process of getting Ezra tested so he can skip kindergarten and go straight to first grade.  He’s a little smartypants, is already reading pretty well, doing multiplication, all the things and more that he’d learn in K.  It’s crazy how resistant his school has been in helping us get him tested.  They wanted to just wait until K starts and then test him the first week and then maybe have him in half-day K and then half-day first grade.  How the heck does that make any sense?!  He’d be missing out on a whole half day of advanced information.  At this point we’ve filled out the paperwork and are just waiting on hearing back for when they can schedule him to be tested.  We want him to be tested for the Gifted program as well but because that starts in first grade we have to get the other testing done first.  Endless looping.

We have our new windows scheduled to be installed this week and our deck should get replaced in maybe one or two weeks.  It’s been somewhat rainy here so our deck guy’s other projects have been delayed so now our deck is delayed.  We have settled on a new landscaping company and now we have to finalize the process with them and hopefully than can start in the next week or two, FINALLY.

Kidney stones

I had my CT scan and it turns out I have a very large kidney stone.  Kind of crazy and I had ruled it out because I don’t have any pain but apparently it’s in a position where it doesn’t cause pain.  They said they don’t know how long it’s been there, could be years could be months, and I definitely cannot pass it on my own so I have to have a surgery to remove it.  I find it interesting they call it surgery because no cutting is involved.  I don’t have the right kind of stone to be able to use that ultrasonic wave machine to break up the stone so they have to go in with a laser to shatter it and then vacuum it out.  I’m not looking forward to that at all because I have to be put under and after having had my trauma with Leo’s birth I am super sketched out about that process.  Jesse says it’s silly because it’s not the anesthetics that caused my heart to stop, it was blood loss, but technically we *don’t* know what caused my heart to stop.  Most likely it WAS blood loss.  But there is no way to know for sure and I’m scared I won’t wake up from what should be a very easy procedure.  In any event, I have it scheduled in a couple weeks.

We put down payments on the windows and our deck finally and are trying to work out landscaping.  The people we hired to do the job have been kind of shady so we had another team out to bid on it a few days ago and are waiting for their quote now.  We’ve simplified the design but they are a larger firm with more overhead so not sure what it’ll all come out to.

Ezra had end of the year testing at his preschool at got a 166/167 which is apparently fantastic.  I guess they test at the Kindergarten level and he’s already where he should be by the end of his Kindergarten year.  His teacher told us we should get him into a dual-language program, the Gifted and Talented program, or skip him a year.  We’re looking into our options.

We’re still looking at kittens on KSL.  I see some that are cute but it seems like these people are all trying to get ride of 6-week kittens and I’m thinking they should be at least 8-week kittens before they leave mama, at the earliest, right?  Jojo is going to be PISSED when we get them.  She already hates Benny, she’s not going to want to share us with other animals.

Jesse is taking the boys with him in August to go see an eclipse or star show of some kind, I can’t recall.  I don’t have the time available to go with them so I will be staying home.  I have to say, I’m looking forward to that.  I get the house to myself, peace and quiet, and aside from fearing death at the hands of thieves I think it should be a relaxing time.

We have the family trip to Oregon in August as well.  It’s going to be a good month!

Leo has slowly started to string more words together.  Generally I still cannot make out what he’s trying to say but I like that he’s attempting it.  We’re still having some issues with Ezra not listening to us and general zaniness but I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think it’s because he’s five.  He learns so quickly!  He was singing whole strings of verse to me the other day.  Doesn’t quite have pitch and tone down yet but the memory retention is on point.

I started fermenting vegetables in a quart mason jar the other day.  I included onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, and asparagus then filled it with brine (salt water).  I don’t know how it will taste but when I loosen the lid ring to release the gasses it smells awesome!  I do believe I will start another kombucha batch either today or tomorrow.  It’s been so long since I’ve made it I’m going to have to look up the recipe to see how much sugar to water to use.  On the fence about starting sourdough bread again.  On the one hand I know fermented food is beneficial and fermented dough is easier to digest, but on the other hand I’m trying to eat low carb and even fermented bread is probably too much starch.  Will have to think on that.

Have I mentioned before that I think I want to get into flipping houses and owning rentals?  I totally want to do that.  I think owning property is a great investment for retirement.  I told Velvet she should get in the property flipping with me.  She’s done a lot of work around her house and would be helpful in this endeavor.  She seemed interested but neither one of us will have the capital to purchase property anytime soon.  I’m just getting a wee bit tired of what I’m doing for work.  They work itself is ok, I just don’t necessarily like having to deal with the public.  I’ve been doing in for over eight years now and it’s getting old, you know?  Working with my hands, painting, puttying holes in walls, it’s much more visual the stuff you get accomplished.  I think I would like that.

April 2017 keto log

4.1.17 – I was pretty much keto free for the month of March.  I attempted it here and there but didn’t stick to it at all.  I love me some Cadbury eggs.  And donuts.  And goldfish crackers…  I am up to 243 as of this morning.  My “Yay I lost two pants sizes!” pants are fairly tight on me.  So, back to the grindstone this morning.

I thought to just go all out with a fast but I think I would be fairly miserable pretty quickly so I’m just doing keto and maybe when I’m fat adapted again will ease back into fasting.  We’ll see.

4.30.17 – I did keto for a little bit of the month.  Does that count?  Probably not.  Hovering around 243 though was 248 a week ago.  I’ve been downing Master Blast ice creams from Sonic lately, their Peanut Butter and Cookie Dough Dream.  And then I add Heath Bar to the mix.  It’s fricking amazing.  But, not amazing for my waistline or blood sugar so no more for me.  At least for awhile.  Yesterday was my first low carb day again.  It’s shocking how much carbohydrate we eat without thinking about it and how much we miss it when it’s gone.  Fingers crossed May is a better month.

The poo saga continues

When we last left off, Leo had shat on the living room carpet upstairs.  I worried he would do it again as he loves to take off his pants and diaper and sometimes I’m just not paying attention.  I’m happy to report he has NOT pooped on the living room carpet upstairs again so far.  However.  He *did* poo on his bedroom carpet the next morning!

Ezra heard Leo moving around in his room so he opened the door to find him having just left a deposit on the floor.  *sigh*  We’re going to have to duct tape that kid into his diapers.

Lately Leo has been getting out of bed at night and turning on his light to play and “read” his books.  We go in an turn off the light and put him back down but it generally happens several times a night.  A few nights ago we decided to take out the bulbs in his bedroom light.  This was after several iterations of him getting up and we were all getting quite frustrated.  Us because we wanted him to sleep and him because we kept turning out the light.  After we took out the bulbs we heard him immediately pop up out of bed and scurry to flip on the light.  He was such a sad baby when the light didn’t work.  Cue the tears which I let go on for a couple minutes before I got up and led him back to bed.  He got up again to try it and after a few attempts I finally just let him cry it out and then he put himself back to bed.  I don’t think he tried the light at all last night.  Victory, sweet victory!

The new Nintendo came yesterday and it took so long to get hooked up and then to go through all the settings I didn’t have much desire to actually play anything.  I did install Mario 3D World and it was SUPER frustrating.  I kept accidentally jumping off cliffs.  It was hard for me to jump on the bad guys because I couldn’t get lined up correctly.  I’ll download a couple more games today and give it another go.  The handheld controller is kind of tough to get used to as well.  And it just came with the one controller so now I’m trying to figure out if I should get another gamepad controller or the Wii style controllers.

I’ve been slowly selling off components of the soap company.  Our back bedroom is so full of oils and butter and soaps and packaging material, it’s ridiculous.  A few people have paid me online for their things but then haven’t picked them up yet.  Come and get them!  I mean, I am selling this stuff for a reason, to get it out of the bedroom.  I don’t want to turn into a glorified storage facility!  I need to reach out to those folks again to schedule a specific time to come over…

Mary has been watching the boys for half days this week since our normal sitter went camping for their spring break.  The boys have loved having grandma watch them, and so have I!  You know what she does?  She cleans!  That’s right!  She has done some dishes every day, wiped down the kitchen, cleaned the upstairs bathroom!  It’s like a friggin’ cleaning angel visits us every day, it’s wonderful.  Most especially because I’m lazy and while I love a clean house I’m not too motivated to make it so.

I’ve been having this weird medical condition going on since September where randomly I’ll have blood in my urine, and we’re talking A LOT OF BLOOD.  I’ve gone in a couple times (once to the E.R.) but they haven’t been able to figure it out so finally my doctor ordered a CT scan of my kidneys/bladder area and some kind of scoping thing where they camera around the bladder to check for polyps or cysts or just whatever.  I’m not in pain, no fevers, everything else seems to be working appropriately.  It’s mystifying.  A couple people we know said that blood in the urine was one of the first signs of their cancer but when I mentioned that the doctor didn’t seem to think that was the case.  I go in for the CT tomorrow so fingers crossed they figure out what’s causing it.

Spring has sprung

Spring is truly here!  Our backyard fruit trees are beautifully blossoming and are so pretty to look at!

We are only going to be keeping the one pear tree (white flowers) and cutting down the apple and peach as they are too close to our back fence line.  But we have another peach tree planted in a barrel so hopefully in a few years that will begin to produce.

Our landscaper was out to the house recently and it looks like we will finally get started on our new yard in about a week.  Here are some “before” photos of the backyard.

We are going to have a mulched play area for the kids and some garden boxes along the back of the yard and then the rest will be sod.  I have been imagining it for a LONG time now, super excited!

Leo has been pretty consistently telling us when he has to pee for about the last week.  Sometimes it’s because he wants to get in the tub and we usually try to have him go before getting into the bath and other times I think it’s because he genuinely realizes he has to pee.  Anyway, the other night he had just gone and I gave him his potty treats (three jelly beans) and I was getting dinner ready when he came in from the living room to show me his masticated jelly bean on his finger.  I think I said something like, “That’s nice,” though I might have also said something like, “Cool!  Eat it up!” and went back to making dinner.

A few minutes later I looked into the living room and thought there had suddenly sprung a bunch of dirt piles on the carpet.  Except it wasn’t dirt.  It was poo!  I hadn’t put Leo’s diaper on because he had just peed and I figured he was good to free ball it for awhile.  That jelly bean on his finger?  Yeah, that was poo.  I’m really hoping I didn’t tell him to eat it.  *shudder*  So Jesse got Leo into a bath while I cleaned up the carpet.  Good times with a toddler!  I guess the lesson here is if your kid hasn’t pooped all day you should either have them wait longer on the toilet or diaper up after getting off.  Probably both.

For the past year or so we’ve blocked off one of the bookcases upstairs.  I’d been using it for a shipping station and general catch all for all the crap I was too lazy to put away.  Well Leo has very easily been able to get past the gate for awhile now so I finally cleaned out all the things (sales have been really slow lately, anyway) and we took down that gate.  It’s crazy how open the living room feels now.

We moved the printer downstairs and got a new shelf for above the TV and the Xbox is on top of that now, and we rearranged all the cords so there is just the singular power cable cord plugged into the wall.  Leo has been leaving that alone so far.

I was working a case at work the other day for a handheld console that had 1k games preloaded onto it.  One of the games was Super Mario Bros., the original.  It got me to thinking how much I loved those old games growing up and while they were challenging it’s not like the overly complicated games available today.  These years past I’d bought either the PS or Xbox consoles but had drifted away from Nintendo.  I don’t know why, because I’d always enjoyed their games.  I toyed around with which console to get, the older/proven Wii U or the brand new Switch.  The Switch had a lot of points going for it but in the end I decided to go with the Wii U because they already have a HUGE stable of games and the tech is solid.  And it was about $100 less.  It should arrive soon and I’m excited!  Granted, I play video games maybe once a week so it’s kind of a silly purchase but I think we’ll all make use of it.


Did you know I made it 36 years without having a cavity that needed filling?  That’s right!  My teeth rock!  But alas, all good things must come to an end.  I am scheduled to have my first cavity filled in a couple weeks.  I’m a little freaked out by the thought but am pretty sure I can handle it.  I mean, I handled c-section recovery and also dying after childbirth with relative ease, what is a cavity filling compared to that?!

Since September I had lost about 40 lbs on the ketogenic diet, which was great.  The trouble is, it’s hard for me to stay on it.  I miss the crackers, chips, sweets.  Pretty much everything that got me here in the first place.  I’ve fallen off the wagon the past couple months and as a result am up 10 lbs again.  Today I start once more.  Wish me luck!