This was officially the week where we threw in the towel and decided that electronics were going to raise the kids. It’s fine. They’ll survive and we were in auto-pilot and survival mode as parents.
The Nintendo Switch loves you, boys. Go tell it your problems.
Despite praying that Bennett wouldn’t have (tonsil surgery) recovery complications on days 3-7, he totally did. Rude. We are tired. He is tired. Jack is over all of us.
There were no meds that kept him happy, and certainly, nothing worked longer than three hours during the night. And during the day it was constant comforting and snuggles. It was like having a newborn all over again.
I’m so far behind on work because of these last few weeks. If you have emailed me or posted a comment, I am SORRY. I have read them but haven’t responded. I appreciate you and will be responding this week. Swearsies.
He started to turn the corner a bit on Friday and things improved a little bit more each day. I’m ready for some normalcy and we’re all ready to get out of each other’s faces. Everyone is looking forward to him going to a Lego day camp Tuesday through Friday.
I always think it is funny that the go-to advice for post-tonsil surgery is to stock up on ice cream and popsicles. Neither of my boys wanted those things for more than 1-2 days after their surgery. But, I am running an ice cream stand out of my garage freezer now. Swing on by.
One of the post-op suggestions in the packet of paperwork from the surgery center was to offer the kids Gatorade/electrolyte-based drinks. Bennett never gets these so he was excited to drink them, but he always said it hurt to drink.
Well, your throat is raw buddy, everything hurts to drink! We kept pushing them because if he didn’t pee twice a day, every day, we’d have to take him to the ER for fluids.
Side note: why is there not a better option for getting people fluids? Like an IV at your ped’s office or something. Those nurses know how to do IVs! Why does the ONLY option to keep your child hydrated involve a $3k copay?
Finally after like four days that I realized electrolytes = sodium. And salt water on open wounds would be PAINFUL. Doh! I got some apple juice (another thing he isn’t usually allowed) and the kid drank 28 oz in 6 hours. Lesson learned.
Now, after all this pain and hell, if he gets sick as often during this next cold and flu season, I’m giving up. I’m shipping him off to a boarding school for boogery first graders. We’ll see you at Christmas, pal. Hope you’re well.
I had a post-op follow-up with my doctor this week. I just love her. My partial hysterectomy is scheduled for October 19th. She said that after having kids, a uterus is as useless as an appendix. I’m keeping my ovaries so no early menopause for me!
They took bloodwork (more on that in a second) but she also referred me for two iron infusions over the next few weeks. She wants my iron and ferritin levels freaking stacked before surgery.
Another note as to why she is awesome. I know of someone who had similar periods to mine and a ferritin level of 2. TWO. Her doctor said iron infusions weren’t necessary for her. Ok then, who are they for if not someone who is almost legally dead?!
Meanwhile, I didn’t even bring up an infusion and my doc is like, “let’s just get this taken care of and get you healthy”. She’s a gem that one.
That being said, I woke up yesterday to an email with my bloodwork results, and y’all, my ferritin went from a 7 to 46. From ONE missed period. That’s how much I was bleeding every month. For 26 years.
And despite feeling like death, I never took a break or missed a beat. That’s not a brag, it’s just saying feeling half-dead each month was my normal so I pushed through. I may have told Troy “weaker sex, my ass” when I showed him the results. 😂
About 10 days ago I was on a walk and noticed that my mile pace was almost back to my normal pace. And I haven’t once felt like needing a nap or the bone-deep tiredness that I had been feeling before. I’m as bouncy as a border collie puppy doing zoomies!
So, I’m going to touch base with my doc this week to see if the iron infusions are even necessary. I’m kind of a ferritin superstar at this point. And that feels GREAT.
I also wanted to share a little story about how awesome, you, dear readers, are and how you inspire me each and every day. This all took place on Instagram, but I know that many of you are also hanging out over there with me so I am sharing it in both places.
Two days after my surgery I was driving down the road and had a “recovered” memory of my operation. I realized that I woke up in the recovery room FULLY CLOTHED. I had worn joggers, a Golden Girls Ninja Turtles shirt (jealous?), underwear, and a sports bra to the hospital that morning.
They made me take everything off in pre-op, even the sports bra which seemed weird. I changed into a gown. And yet, there I was in post-op, fully clothed, even the sports bra in place.
I’m not sure about you, but I can barely put a sports bra on myself while fully alert. And somehow these ninja nurses got it back on an unconscious adult? Magic!
I posted my recovered memory to Instagram stories and laughed about how silly it was that someone fully dressed me and I had no memory of it. I thought it was hilarious.
Well, guess what? I learned a lot about privilege that day, in a very kind and gracious way. Some people think that learning about privilege can only be bad because they think it is intended to make you feel guilty. My friends, learning about my privilege that day made me 1) feel lucky and 2) realize how much I don’t know.
I had so many female readers reach out to me via DM to tell me that as an assault survivor, coming to, fully dressed in different clothing, would be hugely triggering for them in their trauma recovery journeys.
Never once had I thought about this. That is privilege. That’s not there to make me feel guilty. It’s there to educate me.
Not one to sit still on a learning opportunity, I used my privilege to see what I could do to help future patients. For you see, I have very insider knowledge of the medical industry in my area. For seven years I worked as an academic advisor at a nursing college. Privilege mode, activate!
First up, I reached out to all the practicing nurses I know (which is A LOT) and shared this story with them. I asked them to share it with their perioperative department. Not one nurse I spoke with had ever considered this detail before. It’s no one’s fault; it’s simply new information.
Then, I used my connections to track down the email for the hospital’s Director of Nursing. They do not advertise that on their website, but…I know some people. 🙂
In my email, I first praised my nurses by name (because nurses rule, work hard, and deal with a lot of gross stuff) and mentioned our shared history/connection via the nursing program.
Then I shared what I learned from you amazing people and noted how this could impact the post-op recovery process for many patients. Mental health is as important as physical health when it comes to healing.
And then I added this to my email: “May I recommend that pre-op nurses inform patients that they will wake up fully dressed and back in their clothes? This simple head’s up might alleviate a lot of trauma responses for some, which of course, will help in their post-op recovery. Some patients may even request to stay in the gowns until they are fully alert so that they feel safe and in control.”
I sent it not knowing what would happen. I figured it would be glanced at. I could only do what I could do and I did my part.
Y’all, I got a response in TWO hours from the Director of Nursing and she copied their Perioperative Services Director on the email (who was one of our grads. So proud!). Both of them were so kind and appreciative of the feedback.
And then 30 minutes later, the Perioperative Services Director replied “this can make an impactful change to some of our most vulnerable patients. I will most definitely work on this with the team.” Not gonna lie, I almost ugly cried with joy.
Let’s recap shall we? 1) you all are AWESOME. Your honesty, vulnerability, and grace in sharing your experiences with me was humbling. What a gift. 2) we need to collectively stop using privilege as a bad word and call it what is – the luck of the draw. There but for the grace of God we all go.
And, we can also use privledge as an opportunity to learn, grow, and potentially help where possible.
And while this has nothing to do with anything I have talked about today, Jack informed us that he doesn’t want to do track this fall, and frankly I have never loved him more.
I kept my face neutral and said that he was welcome to change his mind before the season starts in a few weeks. But inside I was doing backflips.
Right now, Butcher Box is offering their Back to School bundle through the end of today. That gets you free gluten-free chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and burgers with your first order.
Starting tomorrow, they will be offering additional chicken breasts with your orders for free for a year. We go through A LOT of chicken breasts and this is a heck of a deal!
If you’re a new Butcher Box customer, make sure you’re also signed up for Rakuten to receive cashback from Butcher Box and Rakuten. And if you’re a new Rakuten member, you’ll also receive $30 cashback with your first purchase!
In the Garden This Week
The lettuce has officially crossed the rainbow bridge. We had the coldest spring and start to summer since 1945, and THEN also broke a record for most days over 90 degrees. It’s been a very wonky few months when it comes to weather.
The blueberries are lovely right now but it takes A LONG time to pick them. We have two low bushes under our kitchen window that is easily loaded with $100 worth of organic blueberries. EACH. In addition to 20 other bushes.
I have to sit on a stool to pick them because they’re so low to the ground. And no, a blueberry rake won’t work for these bushes since the berries all ripen at different rates. The blueberries are larger – it’s just that the bushes are totally loaded.
I bought lettuce from my favorite farmer’s market vendor and she threw in a 12-pack of baby butter lettuce starts. They’re too small and the weather will be too hot this week to put them in the garden. I’m going to keep them alive in their little flats for another 10 days and then will hope for the best.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK
You know I love the podcast How I Built This and somehow I missed this episode with Mark Cuban from earlier in the summer. He discusses his new mail order pharmacy company and it’s absolutely fascinating.
I respected hearing how this is a labor of love for him and he is content with losing personal money to keep this business going. In most cases, the company offers prescription meds for the price of a co-pay with insurance.
If you or someone you love take generic medications, check out the podcast episode! And just to be clear, I have no affiliation at all with this pharmacy. Buy something, don’t buy something, it’s all the same to me!
What I’m reading this week
It’s an embarrassment of riches on my Kindle right now, as a lot of library books were downloaded at once. Happy nerd “problems”!
I’m currently reading two books. Kind of. I started What Happened to the Bennetts last Friday while my Bennett was in surgery. But then some medical things around a child happened in the book and I just decided right then and there to stop reading that!
I switched over to The Kingdoms of Savannah and I am all kinds of “meh” about it. It’s one of those books where you start reading it and it feels like it’s the second book in a series and you totally missed the backstory on the first book.
I’m going to finish it but I can’t say I’m excited about it right now. I also haven’t been reading much this week so perhaps it is my mindset that needs adjusting.
READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK
This recipe has found a way into our regular rotation for Tofu Tuesday. We just vary the sauce, noodles vs rice, and veggies to keep things interesting! Sarah makes the prep easy and easily customizable.
ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK
Our three posts this week have a theme – building blocks for awesomeness. One homemade ingredient helps to create a dry rub seasoning which in turn creates delicious turkey burgers. The circle of life (pretend I’m holding up baby Simba who is eating a turkey burger with his little paws).
We’ve been living fast and loose with meal planning over the last two weeks, and honestly, it freaking sucked. We were scrambling most nights and defrosting meat from our Butcher Box order on the fly.
Meal planning sucks but it saves my sanity and keeps things even-keeled and predictable. Glad to be back on the bandwagon for this week. Also, it’s going to be gross and hot this week.
Monday:: Hilariously after what I just said above, this meal is TBD. The irony.
The boys and I are floating on a river with my sister and some friends and we don’t know when we’ll be headed home. We might make it a takeout night or call Troy and have him make us dinner. It all depends on when we leave the river.
Tuesday:: Takeout if we don’t have takeout the night before. Otherwise, it will be grilled cheese sandwiches, watermelon, and salad.
Wednesday:: Troy is making dinner and we will enjoy eating it!
Thursday:: Pasta and veggies. Soccer night and Jack loves noodles before practice.
Friday:: Movie night – popcorn and leftovers.
Saturday:: Ground chicken lettuce wraps and Garlic Butter Rice.
Sunday:: The boys are going to my inlaw’s for the day, so Troy and I will just eat whatever is left in the fridge.