Friday, October 19, 2007

Everything I Know About Spines

Came in handy tonight as there was a question on Jeopardy that actually used the same spinal model they showed in the class today. It was very interesting learning about the spine and after seeing the intricacies involved it only reinforced my belief that although I know man evolved, there was some intelligent design guiding it.

Other than Jeopardy answers here's what else I learned:

Nothing to eat after midnight before the surgery.
Daily meds can be taken with small sips of water morning of surgery.
Bring all meds with you in their original containers. (Not pain meds)
Show up two hours prior to surgery
Go through the Main Entrance of the hospital to the admitting office next to the gift shop, do not stop at Starbucks.
From the admitting office take the elevator to the second floor.
Check in on the second floor.
Patient will then be taken to pre-op, family may be allowed to go with them.
Surgery will take 1-2 hours per level (ours is two levels)
Post Op will take 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on recovery time for patient and work load of nursing staff.
From Post Op patient will be taken to room probably on 5th floor, possibly on 7th floor.
Patient will be in hospital 2-4 days.
Follow up with surgeon in 4 weeks, driving will most likely be approved at that time.
Roller coasters may be approved after bone density testing.

Any questions?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gotta love 'em

Megan went to the movies of Friday and I was dozing in the chair around 6:30 Sean came in:

S: My mom needs to borrow something.
G: What?
S: I don't remember.
G: Should we call your mom?
S: Nope.

Sean begins wandering around the kitchen. Then says, "that" pointing at the spice rack.

G: Salt?
S: No
G: Pepper?
S: No, the one with the red on it.
G: Lawry's
S: No, the one with red.

I meanwhile have been walking into the kitchen I pick up the Lawry's and say, "this?"

S: Yea, seasoning stuff.
G: What is your mom making.
S: Steak
G: OK then she probably needs this.

I fit the salt into his pocket and off he goes to ride his bike home. About 5 minutes later Robin calls, "I need butter for the potatoes, I have no idea where he got the idea I needed Lawry's"

Back comes Sean with the Lawry's and I send him off with a stick of butter.

About an hour later I went over to Robin's

G: How come I wasn't invited over for steak?
R: Steak? We had pork chops.

Later I was on the phone with Robin's uncle when her landline rang. We figured it was Megan calling for a ride home from the theater. Robin had Josh and Sean on her lap and asked Sean to answer it. It rang again while he looked at Robin, then again while he slid down her legs, then again while he turned up the volume on the TV, then again while he twirled across the room, then again while he tossed everything off the table looking for the phone ringing yet again on the counter. He picked it up and said, "they hung up." Reminded me of a living "Family Circle" comic.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Best Laid Plans

We left the Detroit area around 9:00 pm, the plan had been to leave around 7:00 but I had planned the plan very loosely with many plan B's, so I was still okay. Mapquest had us driving to Port Huron and crossing into Canada on the Blue Water Bridge, but we did that the last time and Megan wanted to go across the Ambassador. I can do that. The plan was to fill up on gas and get soda and ice just before crossing. I haven't crossed on the Ambassador in years and I was a little confused on where to turn. We missed the gas stations but I had 3/4's of a tank so I figured I was okay. We were in Canada when Gordon mentioned soda and ice. Damn, Canada has yucky diet soda. We stop at a gas station and for 3 sodas, a coffee, 4 candy bars (Aero), and a bag of ice it was $15.00 even. And yucky diet Pepsi at that. Oh well, I had ice now so I would have good, cold soda soon.

The plan included driving until I was tired and then stopping for the night at a hotel. But the plan included the proviso that if Melody was in labor I would not get tired. Gordon was in charge of that. Sure enough about 12:45 when I was thinking about another hour and we would stop, we got the call that Melody was going to the hospital with contractions 3-4 minutes apart. Book light and trivia cards came out and we were now on a mission. Adrenaline kicked in and I never did feel really tired. We decided to stop and put some gas in still in Canada just to make sure and do a potty stop. I put in $20.00 for less than 1/2 a tank and the restrooms were closed for the night. Once we crossed back into the US (around 2:45) we checked in on Mel and the contractions were still 3-4 minutes apart they had given her pain medication but not the epidural yet. We had to make another stop for restrooms and I filled up the rest of the tank at $3.15 a gallon. (Cheap compared to the $3.50 it was in Michigan.) Once we got to Rome we could follow the blue hospital signs and made it to the hospital with no problem around 6:00.

Melody had just gotten the epidural. I was allowed into the room with Mary and Jonathan but Melody, Bryan, and Gordon had to go to the waiting room with John, and various friends of Melody and Jonathan. Melody was experiencing some side effects of the epidural one of which was shaking. It was very unnerving to watch her just tremble in the bed. The adrenaline was gone and around 7:00 I said "I think I'm going to pass out" had I been standing I would have been sure that I was going to pass out. After that I could hear everyone talking but I could not respond in any way. I was saying to myself that I couldn't do this, but I had no control at all. I heard the nurse call for the Rapid Response Team, they had just introduced such a team on ER so I new what it was and did not want them to respond. Eventually the smelling salts got to me and I came out of it. The Rapid Response Team was there and wanted to take me to emergency. I declared that I did not drive for 9 hours to sit in an emergency room while my baby had a baby. We agreed on a trip to the cafeteria where I got some cereal. While I was out they had brought Gordon in and sent him to the car for a soda for me. The car was on the other side of the hospital and Gordon is still walking a bit slow, so we made it back to the maternity ward about the same time. I insisted I was fine and went back in. Melody has stopped the trembling but was starting to itch. She was digging at her face like a mad man. She had no feeling from the waist down and her legs kept slipping off the bed and someone would have to lift them back up for her.

While I was down at the cafeteria her doctor had said that it would be soon, he was going home to change and get his kids off to school and when he got back she would be ready to go. We never saw him again. The midwife that had seen Melody last week while she was in was now on duty and she took over. She was incredible. Melody was at about 9 1/2 centimeters and her water had not broken yet. The midwife explained that since Mel was in no pain and was totally comfortable she preferred to let Mel's body do more of the work right now in pushing the baby down, that Mel could start pushing now but that it would be better to wait for the baby to get further along. So we waited, Mel napped. Around 9:15 they broke her water and we waited, Mel napped. Around 9:45 they were ready to start pushing. Mel pushed like a champ. The midwife coached like Sparky Anderson. As Melody was pushing the midwife was letting her know which pushes were doing the right stuff. "that's a good one, another one just like that" "nope a little lower push down some" Apparently the epidural does not numb everything so as the baby got lower Melody could feel the pressure, which felt a whole lot like pain to her. Soon we could see her head slipping out when Mel pushed but as soon as the push was done she would slip back. With each push a little more would come out but then go back as the push was done. It felt like she pushed forever and just as the head was staying out a little after the push Melody declared she was done and could not do this anymore. The midwife in true Sparky fashion "oh yes you can, and when you feel like you want to yell use that breath to push harder instead" Mel did and the head was out. There was this glorious head of dark hair. The midwife stopped Mel from pushing and did what she needed to do. When she was done Mel pushed again, the rest of the body came out and the baby turned around. We could now see the face but not much else. They put her (and we weren't positive it was a her) on Mel stomach and Mel yelped. The baby was not crying which scared us laymen a little, but they rubbed her back and she was off. Jon cut the cord and the gender was confirmed. Lynn Marie was here.

More later, probably. See Lynn's blog for pictures.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Clean Melody

Melody finally showered last Saturday. I do believe a good time was had by all. It reminded me of a Beauregard party with lots of beer and food flowing all day and most of the night long. There was a bonfire, a barbeque, presents, cake, cards, Kareoke, and at the end just some freestyling guitars. Lots of people in and out I passed, although not aced the test on names. I intended a much longer blog on the shower, and on how Best Buy employees talked me out of a totally implulsive purchase of a computer this week. But it has taken me two days to get the pictures from the shower loaded on my computer. (Mel, whatever that exlorer thing was that loaded on the CD would not allow me to copy the pictures to my hard drive, I had to open each one in my photo program and then save it to my computer.) And then upload to Yahoo. I kept Yahoo even after everyone else went to Flicker since I knew how to use it. Unfortunately, progress is everywhere and Yahoo is not the same as it was. A few (four) pictures failed to load and I have no idea why but you won't miss them. There's lots of pictures, mostly of the gifts and two separates sets so there are duplicates. But if you want pictures can be found at

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy New Year

Yeah, Yeah, I know, I'm sorry, now deal with it.

If it's any consolation I've thought about blogging several times over the past few months.

The things I remember that I wanted to mention:


We have become a society lacking in personal responsibility, and as such more and more warning labels have appeared to cover the rears of corporations serving us so as to save us from ourselves. The most disturbing of which I recently (recently is probably not the correct word since I am actually typing this months later) found when eating a Reese cup that had traveled for a while in my purse. Anyone who has had a Reese cup travel around in their purse knows that a decent portion of chocolate remains on the wrapper once the candy is open. The most efficient way to remove the chocolate is to lick the paper. When the paper is in such close proximity to ones eyes one is able to see "Candy is a treat and should be consumed in moderation." If only someone had told me that many years ago.


Upon completing the creation of inane warning labels, corporations have moved on to creating inspired promotions to get us into their stores. Having spent a lot of money at Circuit City in one trip during my Christmas shopping (around the last time I blogged) Circuit City sent me a gift card. The front of the card simply says THANK YOU - worth 10% of your next purchase of $50 or more. The back however is more informative "Offer good for one use and applies to total qualifying purchase on a single receipt within the specified offer dates. Not valid on previous purchases. Offer excludes computers, music, movies, games, game hardware, Sharper Image, Infinity, Velodyne, Bose, Polk, Apple, Kicker, MTX Thunder, LG, plasma TV's, LCD TV's, KEF, Outlet, and Gift Card Purchases." I'm not sure what's left in the store to spend $50 on, but I think I remember seeing some Reese Cups by the checkout the last time I was there.


Mostly from fiction. My entire knowledge of the Civil War is gleaned from novels such as North and South by John Jakes. I think what I learned in school was how to learn and have continued to do so every day. I guess a lot of what I know I also got from games and game shows. I know that Neville Shute wrote On the Beach only because it is a question in the original Trivial Pursuit game (I think I remember that the question was actually "what novel was a follow up to Neville Shute's ?????") I can't recall the name of the original book in the question but I remember if the author was Neville Shute the answer was On the Beach. I have no idea what the book was about. Anyway the pondering on the way that I learn came into play twice in the past couple of weeks. (In actual time it was the past couple of weeks, we are nearing the end of what I remember about what I wanted to blog.) I just finished an amazing book, Exile by Richard North Patterson. Although, I have loved all of the previous books by this author I wasn't really looking forward to this one and was slightly disappointed when Mommy started the other book I had brought home from the library and Exile was the only thing left that I had not read. By page 3 I was hooked, and I realized that I had no idea of why the Palistinians and Isrealis were fighting. I'm not sure how that happened but I do not remember ever "learning" about the conflict, I just "knew" that Palistinian equaled terrorist and Isreali equaled sufferer. But reading this book I understand more, I have a clue, not a phone a friend clue more of an ask the audience clue, but a clue non the less. The other instance where this type of learning came into play was regarding the dumber than a fifth grader show. A question last week dealt with area, math is one subject I have retained since my school days and knew the answer immediately, when I was talking to Gordon (not known for his math skills) about that show he mentioned that he struggled messed up on the "half" portion of the question but knew the formula for area since it is repeated throughout the Pink Floyd movie The Wall.

That's all for now, it might not take a couple of months next time.