Wednesday, December 29, 2010


When people heard about me getting my gallbladder removed, I learned that most females I know don't have that organ anymore, (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not.) And everyone said the same thing. Real quick, easy, recovery.
I suppose that I should have taken that as compared to a normal 4-6 week surgery recovery. I guess I kind of thought I'd be up and at 'em by now. Two days later. I am not.
I think I may be allergic to the pain pills they prescribed. I itch everywhere, all the time. This morning they made me throw up. So I'm done with them for now, and will instead be using just regular ibuprofen and Tylenol. Hopefully this will allow me to open my eyes past half mast.
You should see my bruises now.

Oh, so, the experience of going in for surgery. First of all, a funniness. My surgeon was Dr. Valentine, and my anesthesiologist was Dr. Love. And he's a winker. I think he winked at me three times within one and a half minutes of meeting.
They did a lot of prep, this time the I.V. was administered on the second try. (Yay for more bruises. :( )
They said I might not remember being wheeled in to the OR, but I do. I remember scootching onto a different bed. After that though, I have no memories. Not until waking up, that is.
I woke up to myself moaning pitifully. A lot. Loudly. I think I realized it was me the whole time, but didn't really care. Normally I wouldn't want to do that in public, but I guess I was sedated enough to not care. That's when the Dr. said, "Give her 10 of morphine." He probably said a unit of measurement too. I also heard a nurse say, "Dr. do all your patients wake up?" I moaned off and on. I was eventually able to open my eyes a little at a time. But I didn't want to.
Oh, they kept bugging me about breathing. A monitor I was hooked to had this obnoxious alarm that would beep if I didn't have enough oxygen or something. "Melanie, can you take some deep breaths?" "Go ahead and breathe, Melanie." "Melanie, are you breathing?" Sheesh! Can't a girl rest?!
Oh, and Lydia pretty much cried the entire time I was at the hospital. Sorry, Stephanie! That baby is so finicky about taking a bottle. After starving her all night, I just breast fed her around 7:30 the next morning. So now we were both being drugged.
This is really scattered, because that is how I am right now. Oh so light headed.
Mom had been a wonderful help. Thanks mom! I couldn't do it without you. The children are happy for my mother too, I'm fairly certain.
The breathing tube that was used for the surgery has left me with a hefty sore throat. Soups it is.
I'm so drowsy. I wonder if this post will make sense a few days from now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Ready for a story? It might be looooonnnnng...

To make it easier on myself I'm just going to type up what I wrote in my journal. 

Dec. 23, 2010
I went to the ER last night. No. Two nights ago. I had been out doing some last minute shopping with my kids and was hungry. At Target I bought some Zingers and ate TWO of those horrible snacks before getting home. 
At home I started to wrap some presents. But didn't get far. My gall bladder started getting that familiar ache. I tolerated it for awhile, but it kept getting worse. Soon it became clear that this wasn't going to be mild. I got up to take some vitamins that should help. I didn't go back to wrapping presents until the next day. It quickly went to the unbearable, constant, gnawing, pain. I writhed around on the couch for awhile, but it hurst so bad! So I left the living room to go to my cool, dark, room all by myself, so I wouldn't have to hide my tears from my family. Oh how it hurt! Nothing I did would bring relief. I prayed and prayed for it. I remembered back to the intense gall bladder attack when I first got here. It only lasted 10 minutes or so, but during it I plead with God for relief, and said that "I'll go in to the Dr. to get it taken care of, just make it stop hurting!" Or something. Well,  the pain subsided, and I let it go. Oops. I'd been having mild to moderate pain since then. But then came the most horrible attack two days ago. After 20-30 minutes of "I want to die!" pain, I went back upstairs and requested that someone take me to the hospital. It seemed like maybe it was past time for me to fulfill my end of the bargain. Mom agreed to take me. She was great. She got Lydia all ready to go, filled a bottle with formula, and packed her in the carseat. Morgan said he wanted to come. But I knew how much of a handful Morgan could be at a Dr. office, plus Mom already would have Lydia to take care of, an I told Morgan that he would be staying home. He was insistent that he was coming with me and he even made record time with putting his shoes and coat on so he would be ready. He usually requires reminding and way too much time. I was feeling too crappy to object much, and so when my mom, with Lydia in the  carrier, and I, piled out the door, Morgan was right there, making sure he didn't get left behind. When he was safely in the car he said, "See Mommy? I told you I was coming!"
At the ER they didn't take long at all to call me back. However, it was like, two minutes after arriving that my pain decreased dramatically. Still, I went through the process of changing into the gown, answering medical questions, getting an I.V. for blood work, etc. (Boy was that a pain! There were two major failed attempts to find a vein before there was success. Now I have 2 huge bruises in each elbow pit.)

(Check it out. I think this was day two. Just one elbow pit, obviously. They kept getting worse as the days progressed. I purposefully wore a long sleeved shirt to church today so people didn't suspect me of being a druggie.)
Morgan was interested in that part. He saw a lot of my blood and was intrigued. He was also so very sympathetic. He would pat me gently and say, "You'll be okay, Mommy." Or hug me and say "I love you so much!" But he was still a handful for Grandma, so after a couple of hours, they left.
After much waiting, blood tests came back, which showed elevated something, so they ordered an ultra-sound. My whole bed was wheeled through the hospital corridors to the ultra-sound room. It me feel rather silly. I was capable of walking. 
That was a painful ultra-sound. Lotsa pressure on the ribs and sternum. But during it, I realized that a career as an ultra-sound tech, interests me. I even asked the gal there about schooling for it and stuff.
Back in my room I waited for forever before the doc came back with the findings. Gall stones and sludge. She gave me a prescription for nausea and Norco for pain. I didn't fill them though, because of Lydia breast feeding. The doc also told me to call a general physician or surgeon the next day to follow up. Then I was discharged. dad came and got me. I was there for over 5 hours. I was exhausted. 
Now, two days later, the pain is still there. All the time. I haven't eaten much food. I've drunk a gallon of apple juice. I'm usually nauseous, and have frequent heartburn. And diarrhea. 
I talked to a surgeon today. He'll remove my gall bladder on Monday. They were great about getting me in before the end of the year, for insurance purposes. I'm kinda anxious about the surgery. How can this be a pleasant experience? 
Oh, and I have a bit of jaundice. It's probably because a gall stone is blocking the bile duct from the liver, preventing food from being digested with bile. And it makes my stool very light and my urine dark, and my eyes and under-tongue yellow.
Ouch, my abdomen hurts! I can't wait to feel better. 
I won't get to eat Christmas dinner.
Anyways, I really should be sleeping.

After I wrote that, though, I couldn't go to sleep, due to the pain that was present and increasing. I was awake at 3:00 when Lydia woke up to eat. I was awake at 4:00 when Morgan woke up to throw up all over himself and his bed. I was awake at 5:00 when Lydia woke up again. But I was asleep before Lydia woke me up at 7:00. 

Christmas eve dinner was ham, yams, shredded cheesy potato casserole, rolls, broccoli, salad, corn, and pie. I ate only corn and salad with an extra virgin olive oil basalmic vinigarette dressing. I don't much like the dressing, but it was the only one I supposed my gall bladder could handle. Before everyone else finished eating their dinner, I was having another attack. We think it was from the butter on the corn. 

I'm terrified of eating, and always hungry. I am on my third gallon of apple juice, (which is supposed to be good for gall bladders) and eat lots of pickles. Also, I have found that I can handle ramen noodles. But they never feel like real food. 

On the plus side, I have lost 5 lbs! I think I even notice it in my face. 

So, tomorrow I have surgery. It is just laparoscopic surgery, so only a few small incisions. Normally they do three, but I will get a fourth because of the jaundice bit. There might be a stone caught in the main bile duct which will need to be fished out, and they need the fourth incision to do it. 

I'm looking forward to eating again. I do worry about my Lydia though. I have tried to pump some milk in the past few days, but she usually takes it all! All I have is 5 ounces. I wanted enough, not only for the time when I'll be at the hospital, (which could be only half a day) but for when I will be on pain meds that I don't want her to have to be on as well, you know? Maybe she'll just have to get used to formula for awhile. 

Interesting note. My three worst attacks have all been here at my parents house. The first was last winter when I was here and separated from my husband. Stressful time. The second was when I first arrived here again, due to failing marriage. Stressful time. The third was the day after a suspicion was confirmed. Stress. Notice something there? 
Maybe the gall bladder was named that for a reason...

Well, wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Christmas present

My parents got all their grandkids a gift that was meant to be opened on Christmas Eve. But then they realized that only 4 of their 7 grandkids would be there then. Monday though, everyone was here, and the last chance before Christmas to get them all together. So they got to open a present real early.

My mom found these little bobble-head stuffed animals, and loved them. Morgan got a giraffe, and Lydia got a cow.
See, Morgan is reading the tag to see who's it is.

We also went caroling on Monday. We usually sing a hymn like Joy to the World or Angels We Have Heard on High and do all the parts. But the little kids are old enough now to participate, so we sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The idea was that the grandkids would sing the echo parts, but that didn't really end up being the case. Oh well, it was fun.

Lydia all bundled up.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jumpin' Jungle

Last time I lived in Nampa, it was Eddie's Bakery Outlet that was right behind Wels Fargo. Now it is Jumpin' Jungle, a fun place with all sorts of bounce houses and slides and stuff.
Morgan went there with his dad back in November and hasn't stopped talking about it. So we went together the other day.
My camera was pretty much dead, and I didn't have any batteries. So I would turn it on, try to convince it to take a picture, which was never when I wanted it, and if it did, it would shut off immediately. Then I would wait a little while and would be able to get it on again. So, I didn't get all the pictures I would have liked to have.
This car is what Morgan rode in from one stop to another.
He liked this big slide the best, I think. It was funny watching him try to shoot a basket. Never came close.

We'll have to visit this place again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just because

Sometimes I just take pictures of Lydia because she's in a new outfit. Such is the case for the following pictures. Also, the headband, which I think is cute.

Look at how round she is. Round head, round cheeks, round eyes, round nose, and round lips.

And then some Morgan Superman with his cousins.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread village

I am not very ambitious with gingerbread houses, though I enjoy making them, so while at the store, I purchased a gingerbread house kit, rather than make my own bread. I actually got a kit for a mini-village. There were enough houses that those at home could all make their own. However, Casey gave up after his failed attempt at getting his house erect.

Morgan took some pictures of the rest of us working.

Do you suppose he has something against heads?

Morgan did his mostly by himself. Well, I got it to stand up, and I put the frosting where he wanted it. He did the rest.

I didn't take a picture of the finished products because I thought they were all pretty ugly! However, someone caught Kaien hanging out by the houses later on and snapped a picture. I think it's great! He totally looks like he was caught!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Everyone loves Lydie

Though I don't have pictures of everyone holding her, Lydia is pretty popular.
With Uncle Cameron.

With cousin Anna.
With Aunt Stephanie

With cousin Emmy

With Grandma Martin

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ison Family Christmas Party

Every year the Ison's have a family Christmas party. The last couple years we've not attended because we lived in Utah. This year I took Morgan and Lydia though.
We arrived late, so missed the Christmas story, but we were in time for the Christmas bells and songs. There was a poster with the colored squares that matched the colors of the bells. Morgan was in charge of the light blue, which had a lot of matching squares. He did excellent. I was surprised at how well he did, (when he was paying attention, anyway.)

Then we sang Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and who do you think showed up? The big red man himself. And he carried a bag stuffed with presents.
Santa took his place, opened his bag, pulled out a present, read the tag, and called, "Morgan!" Morgan was a little tentative as he approached, but that didn't stop him from telling Santa that "I'm Superman, silly!"
Morgan got on his lap and when asked what he wanted for Christmas, instead of saying a Thomas train, or the Cowboy train, (the one from Toystory) he said that he wanted three cars. I was pleasantly surprised.

Morgan came back to sit by me and opened his gift. Guess what it was?!
A Hotwheels pack of THREE CARS. Santa is magic!
A little while later, Lydia was called up.
Lydia met a second cousin or something who is only 5 weeks older than her, but boy are they different in size!

Little Levi kept reaching out and holding her hand. It was adorable.

Here is Lydia with Great Grandma Ison. Grandma Ison's mother was named Lydia.

Then Lydia with Grandma Nelson.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Dress

Lydia is starting to fit into the 3-6 clothes, so I put an outfit on her that I've been excited to use, because it's adorable. See?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweet moments

A few days ago, Morgan woke up from a nap with a seriously bad attitude. He was clearly still tired. He went to the couch and laid there in his grumpiness. But then I put Lydia on him, and he quickly became happy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It Snowed!

We got us a nice snow storm last week, so instead of driving in it to volleyball Wednesday morning, we stayed home and played.
I went out with Morgan and my brother Casey. Morgan was mostly just interested in eating the snow.
But he did help roll a snowball for our snowman.

Morgan got cold and went inside before we finished. We kinda tried to make him Yoda, but really it's just a snowman with funny ears and arm stubs.
Then I decided to make a huge snowball. I was over ambitious. I didn't know how hard it would be to push a giant snowball through the snow. I pushed it as far as I could, then I finally got Casey to help me, and we pushed it as far as we could. And still it wasn't that big.