Monday, February 23, 2009

Bike Riders in CA!

As some of you were aware, the Amgen Tour of California rode through the state last week and John and I were lucky to be a part of it for two days! This was the fourth year of the race and John has been lucky to go every year. I missed the race two years ago when I couldn't take time off from my new job. Last year I was lucky because it rained...and due to the rain the riders were over an hour later than expected...which meant they arrived after 5pm...after I got off work. Sweet!

One very disappointing thing about the race this year was that it was not stopping in San Luis, but it was stopping in Paso Robles instead! I know!!! The horror! All I have to say is that it's a good thing that Lance came back, because that definitely made the trip up north worth it.

The riders were expected to arrive into town around 3pm but John was able to get off work and we got into town around noon. Our early arrival was awesome for many reasons. One - we got an AWESOME parking spot, which is key when you are a gimp like myself. Two - we got to have a nice relaxing lunch at The Crooked Kilt which was tasty. Three - we had time to scout out where we wanted to watch the race.

Next to the main road was a small brick wall that we claimed. It was perfect because I was able sit and rest my foot until the racers showed up. The other reason it was perfect was because we were able to stand up on the wall for a better view.

Here was a HUGE map of the different routes on the race: (click to enlarge)Interesting how there is no action north of Santa Rosa. What does that tell you?

Here is John waiting with his 'Let Levi Ride' shirt...with the finish line behind him. (Last year Levi Leipheimer was not allowed to ride in the Tour de France because team Astana, whom he did not ride for at the time, was banned from the '08 season for doping. Even though they fired the entire old team, and hired a new team director and riders the team was unable to compete. There was a website where people could sign up to petition the UCI, the governing body of the tour, where this shirt was for sale. John sent the site out to everyone, and one of our friends bought him the shirt. He loves it!)
Here I am sitting on our brick wall with my Lance Fan.
John went to cruise some of the booths and came back with these sweet Columbia-Highroad bikers hats for us to wear. John totally reminds me of Wesley Snipes in the 90's.
We only had to wait 2 hours for the riders to show up which wasn't that bad at all...considering they rode by us in 3 seconds! It was a sprint finish, but John captured this awesome photo of the two riders battling it out for first place.
Mark Cavendish, in yellow and team Columbia Highroad, won. Yaroslav Popovych got second. (John likes Popo because he's from Luxembourg). Unfortunately we did not get to see Lance, because the bikers rode by us so fast.

After the race we tried to make it over to the awards stage but there were SO many people it was impossible. As we were walking to get to the other side of it we decided to stop directly behind the stage and a volunteer told us that the winners walk right through this area. We also found out that they did their post race interviews as well. Here is Levi. (Even though he didn't win this stage he was still in first overall.)

Here is his bike....see the #1?
While John was taking photos, I took a video of the race. You might need to watch it more than once as they go by so fast.

Overall it was a great day. Things couldn't have worked out better for us. We didn't even hit any traffic thanks to John knowing a somewhat hidden entrance on the freeway. The next day we headed to Solvang...stay tuned!

$5,189 Hotel Room

We had to arrive at 6am on the morning of the surgery, (my surgery was scheduled for 7:30am). Neither John nor I slept well the night before, or even the previous night for that matter. They took me into some prep room where I changed and got my IV. The IV definitely hurt, but at least the nurse got it in on the first try. I did almost pass out though! Geesh! I felt better once I laid down. I did have to have it in my left hand, since they were going to be operation on my right side, but at least the lady put it in a place where I was still able to use my hand w/o pain. (For my first surgery the lady put it right on my wrist, and I couldn't bend it).

Waiting for the surgery was really awful. John tried to distract me, but it wasn't that easy. We took a few photos to pass the time:
The targeted area

Ready to go!

One last normal looking shot
About 20 minutes before go time the OR nurse, anesthesiologist, and another lady came in to talk to me. They were all really nice and said they would all take good care of me. One lady had a cupcake printed head scarf on and I found out that she would be giving me my breathing tube. I asked her to be extra careful, and I think she was! Only the right side of my throat hurt after I woke up.

Then 10 minutes before go time my doctor came in to go over some last minute things and to ask any questions. I honestly can't remember what she said. I did ask her if she was ready, and she said she was.

I gave John one last kiss and then got wheeled into the operating room. I remember seeing quite a few people and then the lady with the cupcake scarf asked me to roll over so she could put on the heart monitors. Then that was it, I was out cold.

The next thing I remember (slightly being conscience) was needing to pee. The recovery nurse gave me a bed pan but I couldn't go. She said I probably just feel like I have to pee because I had a catheter. Excuse me?? I had a catheter? It makes since since my surgery was so long, but I had no idea! Patients are so vulnerable when they are under. I was thankful that the nurse was REALLY nice in dealing with me since I was so out of it.

I'm not sure how they knew I was ready to be moved, but right when I sat up and the bed barely moved I started throwing up. It was AWFUL! Especially when I told EVERYONE that anesthesia makes me nauseous. I thought they gave me something to 'help' with it, but was supposed to make it go away. Yeah right! Getting sick on top of everything else was just awful. I was already in so much pain and the added pain was miserable. I think I was throwing up the whole time I was on the move.

I FINALLY got to see my family at 4pm! I couldn't believe that John had to wait 8 hours to see me. I felt so bad. I know if the situation was reversed I would have been besides myself. I was still so drugged and nauseous when I saw them that I could barely keep my eyes open. Luckily my mom, dad and uncle left as I was in no shape for any type of conversing.

Once I got in my room I just slept. Here is a photo John snapped of me:
Don't I look awful?? Talk about going through a poor body. Even though I'm trying to sleep I still had my puke container handy. I had so many cords everywhere IV, the drainage tubes, the oxygen, and the calf expanders (to prevent blood clots). The drains totally grossed me out. I didn't realize they were held in by stitches, and I was worried that if they hung down they would pull on my neck causing more pain. They never did though as they were pinned to my gown. I was still paranoid, so every time I got up to go the bathroom, I made sure to hold on to them.

I don't remember much from that first day except being in a lot of pain and being so tired. The nurses were constantly coming in to check my vitals and I was also having blood drawn often to check my calcium levels. John sat by my side all day and helped me with whatever I needed...basically helping me those calf expanders. I am so thankful he was there and and in the moment I wasn't appreciative enough. How can you repay someone who sat by your side for three days straight? Ok, so I know I don't need to repay him, but still...he was so incredibly self less for those days. He didn't even leave to get dinner on that first day, but got some cereal at 9pm that night. He was going to stay the night in the hospital, but I told him not to, as he needed to be well rested.

I had one of the best night nurses that first night. She was so nice and prompt with everything. Every time I had to go to the bathroom I had to call her in to replace the calf expanders and she was nice enough to also take my vitals while I was awake. I think I was awake every 2 hours that night.

The next morning around 6:30am my doctor's crony came in to check on me. She really had no bedside manor, but she said things were looking good. A little later breakfast came in and it wasn't too bad! At least I had a bit of an appetite, which I didn't have the day before. A little bacon and eggs hit the spot.

I had a great daytime nurse, Julie, who was actually my nurse for all three days. John showed up and sat faithfully by my side, then my parents showed up WITHOUT calling John first. That was the only request I asked of them. (Just to make sure I was up for seeing visitors, as most of the time I wasn't.)

My good friend Rebekkah was supposed to drive down the morning of the surgery, but her daughter got sick and wasn't able to make the trip. Her daughter was better by the next day and she and her husband stopped by on their way to the East Bay. It was a total surprise and great to see her.
I actually didn't look at my wound until I left the hospital. I was afraid it would make me nauseous to think of what I just had done to me. I had no idea the incision was so long. I also thought I totally looked like the bride of Frankenstein with the stitches in. Well minus one incision, and the sweet hair do.
John was staying with his good buddy Scotty during the nights, but on Saturday he met John for lunch, (cheese steaks). After they ate Scotty came by to see how I was doing. I was pretty impressed as I know if the situation was reversed John wouldn't have been as comfortable. I'm becoming more and more grateful for dependable friends, and Scotty is definitely one of them.

It was slightly nerve wracking having the nurses taking my vitals all the time. At one point I was told that my blood pressure was a little low, and then I was also told that my calcium was low. In addition I guess my lungs didn't sound very good, so they gave me a breathing apparatus to practice getting air deep in my lungs so I wouldn't get pneumonia! There were so many other things to worry about then just my incision, although I think I was the only one stressing out about them.

I felt pretty good all day, however later in the evening I got more tired. John did get me up to walk the halls so I could remove the calf enlargers. I had also tried to take a pain pill on an empty stomach and it totally made me nauseous. From then on I had to have it crushed and mixed with apple sauce. John was also awesome in the fact that when I'd get a meal he would tell me what it was, but he made it sound sooooooo good! Such a smart man as I ate it with no hesitation.

On another note, I was SO lucky I didn't have a roommate. I couldn't imagine having one for 3.5 days. I had one after my first surgery and I was only in the hospital for 24 hours, and let me say that was 24 hours too many. Especially one who SNORED SO LOUD. Even though I didn't have a roommate my next door neighbor was so loud that it was like she was in my room. I think she showed up the during my first night and all I heard was a bunch of moaning and her yelling for the nurse. I just couldn't believe she could be in that much pain, because I was in a lot of pain and I wasn't being vocal. I couldn't help but think she was faking it or just looking for attention because she was SO over the top. Finally a nurse went and shut her door and then I heard her mumble 'bitch'. Like we all want to listen to her? I'm sure having the door shut made her quieter for the nurses, but not for me.

She continued to be just as loud throughout my whole stay. She would always be yelling into the intercom 'WHERE IS MY NURSE? I NEED MY NURSE NOW!' If anyone went into her room that wasn't a nurse she would yell at them to get out. My daytime nurse, Julie, told me she hadn't even had a surgery but was in there for kidney stones.

Near the end of my stay I heard one nurse telling her that she needed to poop before she was released and if the suppository didn't work then she would have to have an enema. Things were quiet for a minute, and then there was a shriek, which I assumed meant she got a suppository.

After that there was more moaning that got louder and louder until she yelled 'I'M SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTING!' No joke! Then a nurse went to her room and shut her door to 'give her some privacy.' What a scene.

My nighttime nurse on Saturday night was AWFUL. Well he had big shoes to follow in after my other nurse and he failed miserably. First of all he had on the STRONGEST cologne which did not help my pre existing nausea. You could just tell he didn't like his job and didn't care about me. I didn't need him to 'care' about me, but it would have been nice if would have showed some compassion. He was sloppy and he even forgot to turn on my IV antibiotic. I knew the routine. I'd get the liquid antibiotic for a half hour, then they were supposed to flush out the IV for 10 minutes after that. He came in an hooked it up and 30 minutes later the machine started beeping so I called the nurse and some other lady came in. She stopped it from beeping and that was it. I knew something wasn't right so I had to call them again and then the male nurse came in and said that he never started the IV, so I had to wait another 30/40 mins. I couldn't believe he forgot. Laying in that bed I was so vulnerable and dependable on the nurses. I shouldn't have had to worry that they were doing their jobs right, but I learned after that.

On Sunday I woke up feeling pretty good despite the rough night. I was just glad that Julie was back. I still still didn't get a lot of sleep, but I felt a bit better than the day before. Little did I know that would not last. My doctor's crony came in again to remove one of my drainage tubes and after that I didn't feel too hot. John showed up after that to be my assistant, even though I didn't have much for him to do, as I continued to sleep. My doctor did show up on her rounds with her two young boys. They were really cute and gave me a thyroid cancer awareness bracelet. She said things were looking good, but my calcium levels were still low.

Here is a photo John took of me resting. (As you can see my ear plugs, water, puke container, and apple sauce on my table.)
Self portrait which was similar to one we took after my first surgery:
Two years ago:
I was taking doses of a single tums, but later they upped it to two capsules. I took them and then they caused me to be really nauseous. It was really bad, so I called the nurses station and told them I needed something to get rid of it, and then when I thought the nurse entered my room, I looked up and it was my mom! What the heck was she doing there? John wasn't even there, as he was getting lunch, but when he showed up he felt really bad that he wasn't there to help me. Some nurse finally came in and said that she thought I had already gotten some meds but I didn't. Meanwhile I had to tell John to tell my parents to leave as I was in no shape to visit, (another example of why I wanted them to call before they came over.)

Finally Julie showed up in a panic to help me and as she gave me the anti-nausea meds my hand started to burn, which meant that my IV had punctured through my vein. Then she had to scramble around to give me a new IV, all the while I'm feeling like I could hurl at any moment. She sticks me once, and it felt kind of weird, and for a good reason...she had gone through the vein. Luckily she got it on the second try and was able to give me the anti-nausea meds. That whole scene totally wiped me out. I was so exhausted that I told John to call my family and tell them not to come by after dinner. He did not want to be the bad guy to tell them that they couldn't see me, but I really needed him too. I felt so awful.

Despite the call he made, my mom still showed up later and woke me up! I was so mad. She and my sister had brought John some cookies, which was really nice, but they could have called him before knocking and coming in the room and waking me up.

That night I had another male nurse who was better then the guy the night before, but still not the best. We established a pretty good routine, and at least he didn't forget to turn on my antibiotic IV. He even set his watch for 30 mins so he could come in and turn the machine off before it started beeping. (During my first night it started beeping and I had no idea what was going on!)

Once again I woke up feeling good on Monday morning, and was really excited for John to show up so I could show him how much better I was doing. However that was before my doctor's crony showed up with 3 cronies of her own! No joke and they all looked totally scared. She came in strutting her stuff and had one of the dudes remove my last drain. I thought she might introduce them or tell me who they were, but nope. All business. The removal of the last drain was totally awful and I think I had a bad look on my face, because she asked if I was ok. I told her yeah, it was just really uncomfortable. After that I felt like crap again, so by the time John showed up I still felt bad.

Since I had my last drain removed it meant that I could be discharged. My plan was to get discharged after lunch since normally after I ate I felt better and wasn't that tired. Of course my lunch was late and then I didn't realize that it took time to get discharged, so I didn't get out of there until around 3pm. Poor John was so stressed out because he had to park illegally in front of the hospital, and was worried he was going to get towed.

The ride to my Uncle's house was TOTALLY painful as the streets in S.F. are anything but smooth. Every bump was so painful. I am so thankful I was able to stay at my uncle's. My parents had been staying there for a few days and my mom was in total clean mode getting ready for my arrival. My uncle also gave up his bed for me which was totally unexpected, and totally appreciated. I mainly just slept while I was there and watched a few movies. I was glad I got to hang out with my parents since I couldn't really visit while in the hospital.

I can't believe I had to stay in the hospital for 3.5 days when I thought I might have to stay 2 nights. This surgery was much more serious then I thought it was going to be. I also can't believe I was so nauseous for three days after surgery. They must have given me a ton of meds.

I felt really good yesterday and even had a positive attitude. I was hoping that was a good sign but I don't feel positive today. Monday's always seem the hardest because John is back at work.

I'm still having a lot of pain in my neck, limited mobility, and the random sharp stabbing pains. I'm wondering how long they are going to last. I also noticed today where my first IV was is a hard little ball. I'm hoping whatever it is is on the outside of my vein.

On Saturday I got a statement of my hospital charges. Any guess on how much it all cost? Here are a few expenses:

- Pathology exams on the lymph nodes = $691 each
- 338 Additional minutes in the OR = $15,886
- 338 Additional Anesthsia = $7,774
- One night in the hospital = $5,189
- Hydrocodone (pain meds) = $4.20 each

Grand total = $63,928

Isn't that outragous? I'm not sure how much we will have to pay of this, but hopefully it won't be too much. I just can't believe it's $5189 to stay the night in the hospital! Doesn't that seem outrageous? I'd expect more perks for that price.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Post Opperation Update

Hey all! Sorry for the lack of posts. I thought I'd have more time to blog when I got home, but for some reason things got busy. Well not really...just when you sleep for 12 hours a day half of your day is gone.

I've been doing well since I got home. The first day was rough, as I was trying to get my bowels back on track I went from one extreme to the other. That with the combination of a LONG day traveling home set me back a bit. I was pretty exhausted.

I am really thankful we were able to stay at my Uncle's. There is no way I would have been able to make the drive home on Monday. Even though his place was loud, (I was sleeping with ear plugs and a sound machine), that was it's only drawback.

We finally headed home on Wednesday after my post opp appointment. My Dr. was really late on Wed. and we had to wait 1.5 hours to see her. Isn't that bad? At least we weren't in a hurry. When I entered the waiting room everyone fell silent . I'm hoping it was because I looked like I had just been bitten by a vampire as well as someone attempting to behead me. Don't you think that is better than the reason being my body Oder? What do you think?
Since we waited so long we wound up talking to two other patients. Here is what I found out from them:

Lady one:
- She had the same exact scar as me and it looked like it had been close to a year since her surgery...but it had only been 2 months!
- This was her 3rd surgery and her previous surgeries were done 13 YEARS AGO! (Really not the news I wanted to hear. I guess there is never a certain number of years where you can say you are in the clear of this cancer).

Lady two:
- Her scar went from ear to ear. They did a total neck dissection and removed 90 lymph nodes and 60 were cancerous. She also had a tumor the size of a lemon on her neck. It sounded to me like she was in denial of having a serious medical condition. She also said that she wished she felt 'normal' like she did before her surgery...lots of energy and 60 lbs. less. Ummmm I have the feeling she is normal now. She also said that she was in the hospital for a week, had multiple drainage tubes and has not had a recurrence.

It was so interesting to hear their stories and to learn that the first doctors they had were so bad that it caused them to seek out my dr. for a second opinion. How lucky am I to have started off with a great doctor? Could you imagine dealing with a bad doctor when dealing with cancer? Geesh.

Once I got called back I first had my stitches removed. (I think I had three long external stitches). I told the nurse ahead of time that I needed to be horizontal before she started the work and she was very thankful. She was so good at removing them that I hardly felt a thing! (Unlike the after my first surgery when I almost passed out from getting ONE stitch out. Granted it was long, but still!)

We met with Dr. Orloff and she was as nice as ever. I really feel that with her, and my local doc, that the fact that they are both totally normal and nice is why they are such good doctors. I've never had doctors like them and that is the one characteristic they have that other drs. of mine don't have.

She told us that she removed 43 lymph nodes and 16 had cancer cells in them. She also said that she normally removes extra lymph nodes to ensure that she gets them all. (Very smart). She also is very optimistic that the cancer cells have not moved over to the left side of my neck, especially since my tumor on the right side of my thyroid. I am to see my local doc within the next month for a regular check up and to check my calcium . (My levels are still low). I'm not sure how soon I will have blood work done but at least within the next 3 months, then I will head up to S.F. again and see Dr.Orloff for another ultrasound in 6 months.

I showed the dr. where my first IV was and how red and swollen it was. She said if it gets bigger then I should fill the antibiotic prescription she gave me, but since then it's gone down. Yeah! She also said I could shower, but to not wash or get direct water on the incision. I told her how my shoulder and the back of my neck were REALLY sore and had limited mobility. She gave me one exercise to do and an order to go to physical therapy if it didn't improve. Have you ever had a dr. give you prescriptions to use on a need basis? How awesome is that?

My shoulder is still really sore, but I'm getting more and more mobility out of it each day. I should have asked her what kind of position she had it in during the surgery, because it is SO sore. If I still have a lot of pain in another week then I will go to PT. That is right...I might be going for my Achilles AND my shoulder. How silly is that?

Before we left I asked to get a photo with the doc as I got one with my other dr. after my first surgery. I did not ask her to take a photo of my lymph nodes once they were removed, which kind of bums me out, but she said they just look like fat.
By the time we got out of the appt. it was almost 3pm and we still needed to have lunch. Needless to say John was MORE than excited to take me to the cheese steak shop that he had been eating at while I was in the hospital. It was totally sketchville, but our chicken cheese steak were definitely the best I've ever had. PLUS they had curly fries just like the ones they used to have a Burger King. (At least I had had gotten my appetite back.)
It was pouring rain all day in the city and as you know for some reason people don't know how to drive in the rain. I think it took us close to 5 hours to get home and didn't arrive into SLO until 8pm. It was SUCH a long day.

Things have been pretty mellow since I've been home. I've got a great group of friends who have been bringing us delicious meals which have been really helpful. Especially since I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than 7lbs. (until next Friday). My shoulder/arm is just as sore, if not worse as where the incision is. I can barely raise my arm, but I was able to raise it high enough to wash my hair on Saturday. Even my ear is sore. That is right...there is a lot more of my body that is sore then just my neck. I'm sore ALL mouth, jaw, cheek, the nerve in front of my ear and behind my ear. In fact I'm just starting to get the feeling back in my shoulder ear and neck. They've been numb since the surgery. I'm not sure what kind of stuff they gave me but talk about long lasting!

I've also been getting sharp stabbing pains which I think are the nerves healing. They kind of take me off guard. I'm also finally sleeping through the night but the sleep hasn't been restful. I can sleep on either side thank goodness, but I wake up when I turn over. The first few days I was home I was sleeping about 12 hours. I think my body was so exhausted.

My incision looks really good too. It's a really thin line. I was surprised to see how far back behind my ear it went. I'm sure it will heal really nice like my first scar did. I'm not real worried about it, but I do know it's going to be a pain keeping it protected from the sun over the next year. (If you click on the photo you can see how thin the incision line is).
Another part of me that was affected is my bottom right lip/chin muscle. I don't have control of it 100%. For example when I smile it doesn't go down and it looks like I have a crooked smile. John says you can't tell that much, but I can. When I laugh/smile really big I can really feel the difference. I'm sure it will go back to normal but it's definitely something I didn't expect would happen. Here is a photo of how my mouth should look vs. how it naturally looks when I open my mouth.
I've been having a hard time staying still and recovering. At least with my hurt Achilles I am able to hobble around and do some stuff around the house. Only having use of one arm has really made it hard. I've been feeling so useless in having to depend on John to do everything. I had no idea that would be so challenging for me. In fact I thought I did know what to expect after this surgery, but I totally didn't. I keep trying to stay positive as I know it could be WAY worse. What if I had a surgery that took like 6-8 weeks to recover? I really should be grateful.

I'm hoping this week will go by fast so I can reach my 14 day mark. On Thursday John and I will be heading up to Paso to watch the Tour of California finish and then on Friday we will be heading to Solvang to watch the time trial. I'm really excited about it...let's hope for minimal rain. I'm also hoping to post about my surgery experience. Hopefully I will get it written in less than a week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Full Release!

Greetings all you Amber Fans. This is a rare update from John, because I know you are all starved for Grundman updates. So the news is all about Amber.

TIMELINE of Surgical/Recovery happenings:
Thursday: Pre-Op. No X-rays, no blood drawn. We filled out some paperwork and were in and out. Nurses are so cavalier about Right and Central neck dissections.

Friday: Surgery. Arrived at hospital at 6:30am. We had a whole 'Hurry Up and Wait' situation. (What, you don't know this term? Maybe you should have a sister in the movie biz!)
Amber went under at 7:30am. The dr. performed another hour of neck ultra-sounding prior to going in. The surgical dissection began at 8:30am. The next time I would see Amber would be at 4:00pm. The dr. assured me that she was very thorough.
To calm myself I re-read my favorite book from 8th grade, Johnny Tremain. Still holds up!
Once she came out of recovery I was very relieved. Our girl did not look good. She was very pale and completely exhausted. Just to make her surgery experience all that it could be, she decided to over-rule the anti-nausea meds and had a good 2 hours of attempted vomiting. Attempted, as the only thing she had in her body was IV fluid.
The first night was rough.

Saturday: Recuperation. Visitors included Dennis and Judy, Amy, Eric, Scotty F., and a surprise visit from the Steinbucks. Too bad Amber was drugged out and exhausted, but I had a good time.
While Amber slept I began reading a book called Double Luck. A true survival story of a boy born in 1940s rural China. I got the book on a recommendation, and don't worry, it has a happy ending. Chi Fa, escaped a multitude of a$$holes and communists to make his way to America. He now owns and operates the Coffee Pot restaurant in Morro Bay, CA. Anytime you think your life is tough just remember that at the age of 4, little Chi Fa was sold to some commies for 500 pounds of rice - by his sister-in-law!
Scotty F also turned me on to a website ( where you can see some of the current movie releases. Clearly this is not a Hollywood approved site. However Hellboy 2, Hancock, Step Brothers, and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans were all great time wasters. Don't worry they have other movies too, including (don't go crazy ladies) Twilight.

Sunday: Recuperation. Amber took a little step back. Her neck really started hurting her today and her nausea returned. They removed 1 of 2 draining tubes. I had her out of bed doing some hallway walking. They also had to start a new IV in her other arm as the original had gone bad. She looked pretty cute in her gown, what with the whole back door open.
To occupy my time I watched some Arrested Development on If you didn't watch this show during its original run: 1. We are probably enemies, 2. I personally blame you for it's cancellation, 3. Watch the show! By far the funniest show you have never seen.
Example of some dialogue. Tobias, the 'how is he not gay' brother-in-law, has just painted himself blue for an audition with the Blue-Man group (which he originally though was a male support group for depression).
Tobias: "I just blue myself."
Michael: "There's got to be a better way to say that."

Monday: Recuperation. Get me out of the hospital. Amber is doing much better today. The second draining tube has been removed but this one ended up hurting for a while after removal.
We are now at Uncle Eric's new condo. Amber has taken full control of his bed and bedroom.
While she sleeps, I blog. Thanks for all the well wishes. She'll be back online soon. Until next time...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Time has Come.

John and I are heading up to S.F. tonight for my surgery. I've got my pre opp appointment Thursday morning, and the surgery is on Friday. I'm hoping we will get to go to Tommy's Joynt for lunch. As much as I loved the burrito shop that we went to last time, it's time to mix it up. Ok, not really, but we saw Tommy's Joynt on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and it looks so good! I'm planning on getting the meatball sandwich on a fresh sourdough roll. Can you beat it?

One of my new guilty pleasures is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. John and I are fully obsessed with this show. We also found out that the host Guy Fieri grew up in a small town near where we did and some how neither of us ever knew that.

We LOVE watching the chefs make the dishes on the show and have picked up a few good tips. I would REALLY like to plan a road trip and try all the different places he's gone. For some reason there is a ton near and in Salt Lake City. (I'm wondering if one of his crew members is from there). What was great about Tommy's is that most of the food is homemade and it has old school prices.

I'm definitely not looking forward to my surgery, but I can't wait to get it over. It seems like I've just been sitting around for the last month just waiting for it. Not the most uplifting. I also celebrated my birthday this week, and it was probably the most lack luster birthday to date. I didn't think having my surgery near my b-day would matter, but it does. I didn't want to do anything, or want any gifts...shocking I know. A few friends came over this past weekend for dinner which was fun, but it still didn't feel like a celebration to me, even with the awesome Madonna Inn cake Jen got for me. Even on the 2nd it felt like any other day. Well except for dinner. John took me out to one of our favorite Italian restaurants.

I really hope things will be back to normal after I've recovered. My Achilles tendinosis is still bothering me which I've found could take up to a year to heal. Isn't that great news? I keep trying to stay positive but it's definitely been harder than normal. Hence the lack of posts. It's no fun to post when you are down...AND I didn't want to post about this because I didn't want you to feel like you needed to leave words of encouragement, because I really do know things will be fine...and that they could be WAY worse. I just need to get through these weeks and hope my Achilles gets better so I can be more active. It's so hard to stay off of it.

I'm not sure when I will update again. I remember after my first surgery I didn't feel like blogging, so don't get your hopes up. But you never know I might surprise you!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


John and I have been waiting for someone to come and visit. Someone who drives a truck. We've been waiting since last spring when we remodeled our bathroom. We have yet to have that lucky visitor and as a result we've had our old toilet and counter/sink sitting on our front porch.

We now have a truck and were planning on taking the items to the dump. Then I realized how wasteful that would be to just dump it at the landfill.

I had heard the wonderful tales of Craig's list and how you can give stuff away. I told John we should post it for FREE and see what happens.

As of now we own one less toilet then we did 24 hours ago. Why couldn't I have come up with this idea 7 months ago?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tasty Tortellini

Last week I made this tortellini soup that my friend Jenna shared on Google Reader. As I was making it I wasn't sure how good it was going to be because it was so simple, but it was SO tasty! John and I even ate all the veggies. Shocking I know. Let me know if you try it and what you think! The recipe is here.