Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Perfect Holiday!

On Christmas Day, Shawn had to drive to Toledo to pick up his daughter since that's where Toni was, spending Christmas at her Moms. He didn't get here until around 8:00 p.m., but it ended up being the perfect holiday!
Here's my granddaughter opening one of her presents from her Daddy.
And here she is, opening a SpongeBob gift from us.
I just love this picture above.....wish I knew what she was thinking about here!
The very happy Gamma :)

Since I don't get to see this little girl very often, I truly cherish every minute that I do get to spend with her! She is turning into such a smart & beautiful girl & growing up way too fast!

Jim is off from work until the 5th & we took our dd to Traverse City on Saturday for 2 weeks, so we're just enjoying the time alone right now :) We don't have any plans for New Year's Eve yet.....we may just spend it alone, watch some movies or maybe even go see a movie like we did last year. There's a lot of movies out right now that we both want to see.....Marley & Me, Yes Man, 7 Pounds.....they all look really good.

Jim has to bowl tonight, but I'm taking some time off from bowling for a while until I get my health back in order. Luckily, my teammate's sister is going to fill in for me on my Tuesday league, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do about our Wednesday league yet. Jim is going to try to find someone through work to cover for me for a while, so we'll see.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year! I know I'm looking forward to a much better year & will be glad to put 2008 behind me!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry CHRISTmas

From our home to yours. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday! Even though I never got to finish my shopping, everyone was very happy with their gifts & our day has been wonderful so far. I'm still waiting for Shawn & hopefully my granddaughter to show up. We'll be having dinner around 5:00 and then we'll probably just spend the evening at home with some hot cocoa & movies.
Thank-you to all of my blogging friends for all of the prayers you've been saying for me while I'm going through these health problems. I got the results of the neck MRI back & I have bulging discs in my neck, which has been the cause to all of the pain throughout my whole body. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on January 6th, so until then, I just have to cope with the pain and keep the Percocet on hand. For the past 2 days, the pain went from my feet & is now in my right hand, making it very hard for me to even type. I've been wearing one of my old bowling braces on it as it's the only thing that's working to keep me from moving it so much & being in too much pain. Thanks again.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

19 Fabulous Years!

19 years ago today, I married the most wonderful man in the world! We've been through better & worse, for richer & poorer, good times & bad, in sickness & in health & we will be together until death do us part! And these past few weeks, he has certainly showed me exactly how much I mean to him!

Thank-you Jim.....for marrying me 19 years ago, for sticking with me, for putting up with me, for supporting me, for being my best friend & soulmate, for being a wonderful husband & father, for being a hard worker, for being you!

Love always,

Monday, December 22, 2008


I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I've been able to sit down & blog. No, I haven't been on vacation. No, I haven't been busy preparing for Christmas. Heck, I haven't even finished my shopping yet nor have I wrapped any of my gifts, baked any cookies or even finished decorating our tree (see pics below). All of that has been put on the back burner due to my health problems. What started out as shoulder pain 5 weeks ago (or is it 6 weeks now?) has led to so many more problems that I don't even know where to start! Thursday, December 11th, my orthopedic surgeon had a cancellation, so I jumped on it. After he saw the pain I was in, he decided that a cortizone shot would be best for me, along with physical therapy. So I got the shot that day, hoping & praying that this was the end to my problems. On Saturday, the 13th, I spent 8 hours in the ER from Kidney Stones! The pain started Friday afternoon & by Saturday morning, I couldn't even crawl out of bed! This was my first time going to this particular hospital for anything, other than for my MRI of my shoulder & let's just say, it'll be my last, too! To put it mildly, the care sucked! Since I was also constipated (okay, I know, TMI, huh?), they decided that I just needed to have an enema before they even tried to find out why I was in so much pain! Okay, no problem.....I can handle an enema.....at that point, I just wanted out of pain! One of the nurses brought in this bag of stuff that looked like something chocolate, but it sure didn't look like something I wanted to drink! Turns out, the enema was made from milk & molasses! YUCK! And it was the most disgusting thing I think I've ever had to endure! Who the heck thinks up these things anyway??? About 3 hours later, they finally decide to take me down to get a CAT scan & after waiting another 2 hours for the results, I was told that it looked like I had already passed the kidney stones as there was blood in my urine, but they still saw one in my kidney.
So my family doctor wanted to schedule me for an ultrasound of my kidneys, which I had done on Thursday, the 18th. Jim took the day off work so he could drive me to the hospital for the ultrasound as I was still in a LOT of pain with my shoulder (so much for that cortizone shot working!). Afterwards, I had another appointment with my orthopedic surgeon to find out why the pain in my shoulder was getting worse.....at this point, I couldn't even raise my left arm. Jim even had to help me wash my hair! Well, let's just say that I'm not too happy with my orthopedic surgeon right now, either! He didn't even look at my shoulder that day.....now his attention was on my hand because when I got there, Jim noticed that my left hand was cold & swelling up. The orthopedic surgeon then mentioned something called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy & called a hand specialist. He wanted me to go to this doctor on Friday, told me to cancel all of my physical theraphy for now, which I still didn't get a chance to start because the office couldn't get me in yet & that was that....didn't even do anything else about my shoulder. Afterwards, I went back to see my family doctor as he said he wanted to see me if I still wasn't feeling any better.....plus I needed to get some more pain meds! Luckily, I have a wonderful family doctor & he got me right in, but there's only so much he can do. He's now worried that maybe there's something wrong with my neck area instead, since now the pain is going into my feet, legs, hands & arms. So he decided to order another MRI, this time of my neck.
On Friday morning, they were forecasting 6-10 inches of snow! The appointment with the hand doctor was down in Warren, a good 30-45 minutes away from us on a regular day, so I knew that there was no way we were going to even attempt to go to the appointment. Jim called the office to cancel our 8:15 a.m. appointment which the orthopedic surgeon set up for us. The lady told Jim that we didn't have an appoinment at 8:15.....instead, she said it was at 11:00 a.m.! Do you have any idea how pissed I would have been if we would have gone there, only to find out that our appointment was almost 3 hours later?!? She then said that they probably wouldn't be open anyway with the snow storm.
Saturday evening was my appointment for my MRI on my neck. She did a regular one first & then injected me with some kind of dye & did some more tests. This time, I decided to ask if they could tell me anything, but she apologized & said she can't :( So now I wait some more......I just hope & pray that they'll know something before Christmas! This past weekend the pain was the worst! Jim had to get out his crutches for me to even get around the house! My feet have been throbbing for the past 48+ hours. But let me tell you, I have the absolute BEST husband in the entire world! He's helped me take showers, wash my hair, dried me off, blow-dried my hair for me, did all the laundry, cleaned the house, shoveled the snow, made fudge, ran errands AND put up with me the whole time! All while still battling a cold himself! Yep, now I know why I'll be happily celebrating 19 years with this man on Christmas Eve!

All of the above pictures are of the snowstorm we got on Friday. Our town/area was hit the hardest with 12"! Plus we've had at least another 6" since then! I think we'll definitely be having a white Christmas. But then again, they are calling for rain on Christmas Eve! What a mess that'll make!
Here is our partially decorated Christmas Tree. The lights & ornaments are on, but I still need to add the garland & the angel.
Well, since I've turned this post into a book, I think I better stop here. And besides, it's time for another pain pill :( Something I absolutely hate having to take, but also something that I'm very thankful for right now!

Stay warm,

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Angel Tree

Every year since losing Karen & Jimmy, I put up my "Angel Tree". And each year, I try to find another special ornament to add to it. I haven't even had the chance to go out & look for a new one yet this year, but then last night, Jim & my dd surprised me with this one......sparkly feather angel wings. They went shopping & had to stop at Meijer to pick up a few things & found this there. They said it was the last one, so they knew they had to get it for my tree. Well, needless to say, I lost it when they gave it to me! I couldn't hold back the tears!
It is now one of my new favorite ornaments!
And this one, above, is another favorite of mine. I bought it on ebay from a guy that made them & had one made for all of my sisters & my Mom & Dad as well. It's hard to get a good picture of it, but the glass is engraved with:
In Loving Memory Forever
Karen & Jimmy Lucas
On Eagle's Wings
August 29, 2004
This is one ornament that never gets put away. After I take down my angel tree, I hang this ornament on my bookcase cabinet door so I can see it all year long.
Here's my angel tree with blue & white lights, taken before I got all the ornaments on it. This is actually a different tree from last years green one I had. I found this one at Hobby Lobby after Christmas last year for $12.00! I just love the vintagey (is that a word?) look of it :) It reminds me of the silver Christmas tree that my Mom used to have (and I wish I had now, but it got destroyed in a flood several years ago!).

I called the Orthopedic Surgeon this morning to make my appointment, but he doesn't have anything available until the 29th, 3 weeks away! I just hope that I can put up with the pain for that long! The lady told me to call on Wednesday afternoons to see if they get any cancellations between now & then, so keep your fingers crossed for me that they do. The good thing is, after talking to several friends, this doctor comes very highly recommended, so that eases my mind quite a bit!

Well, now I gotta go finish decorating our other tree. We're doing it in gold & silver this year & so far, it's turning out really nice :)

Have a happy Monday,

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Results Are In

I just got back from seeing my doctor & I have Supraspinatus Tendinitis in my shoulder along with fluid in the Subacromial Bursa. The report also says that I have "degenerative changes glenohumeral and acromioclavicular in nature with mild impingement", whatever that means. Basically, there is a reason behind me still being in pain! He's referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in shoulders & knees, but I can't get ahold of them until Monday. He said I will need to get a cortizone shot in my shoulder, which that alone is scaring the crap out of me, as well as going through some physical therapy. He went on to say that luckily, I don't have any tears, so that's great news :) But he also said that I won't be able to use the weight machines at the gym for quite a while & that's not good news :(

Thanks again for all the prayers & positive thoughts! They truly mean a lot to me!

Off to watch the snow come down,

Friday, December 05, 2008

Still Waiting :(

Yesterday, my doctor's office called & left a message on my cellphone, but since I didn't have it turned on all day, I didn't get the message until last night. I have no clue why they didn't call my home phone! ARGH! So I called them first thing this morning to see if they got the results of my MRI in & the lady said that my doctor wants me to come in so he can go over them with me, but they don't have any appointments available until tomorrow! ARGH AGAIN!!! Do they not know that I haven't been able to sleep because I hate waiting for results? Do they not know that I'm nervous as heck?? Do they not know that I'm impatient??? And now I'm scared even more because if they came back normal, wouldn't they just be able to tell me that over the phone? Why would he want to see me to "go over the results" if there wasn't anything wrong? Yeah, now I'm really scared :( They're going to call me today if they get a cancellation, but otherwise, I won't find out the results now until tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Thank-you so much for all the prayers & please, keep them coming!

In good news, last night I tried on a pair of jeans that I haven't worn in probably over 12 years! AND THEY FIT!!! Jim couldn't believe that I even kept them that long & honestly, neither could I, but they were my all-time favorite jeans :) So I made Jim grab the camera & take a pic. As of today, I'm officially down 55.2 pounds!!! And only .6 of a pound to go till I hit my halfway mark! I honestly have no clue how I'm even still losing weight with not going to the gym that much right now (I've only worked out once in the past 2 1/2 weeks & that was a very short work-out do to the pain in my shoulder). But I'm definitely not going to complain :)

Tomorrow, I'm doing a Family-2-Family Sale at the gym & hoping that some scrapbookers belong to the gym as I've boxed up a LOT of embellishments & paper that I want to get rid of, along with some households items. Thank goodness Jim has been helping me get prepared for the sale....he has been such a big help these past few weeks since I hurt my shoulder! And he said he'll stay there & do the sale for me tomorrow when I have to leave to go to the doctor. Dang, it's no wonder why I love that man!

Remember that artificial Christmas tree we bought on Black Friday? Well, it quickly went back to Home Depot! We were putting it up the other night & fluffing out the branches when I stood back to look at it & something looked funny, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. I kept looking at it & looking at it & then it dawned on me.....the lights were different colors! And they were CLEAR! The ones on the top had a yellowish tint to them. So Jim got his real tree once again :) We found a Balsam Fir at Home Depot that was about 8' tall for $26.00! And we literally bought it 'sight unseen' since it was already wrapped up & frozen with snow on it. I picked it out for the top & so far, it doesn't look too bad.....it's gonna be a few days until all the branches fall into place, though.

That's all for now. Here's hoping for good news tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


First of all, thank-you for all the well wishes & prayers....I appreciate them so much. I had my MRI done this afternoon, but unfortunately, I won't know the results until Friday when they call them into my doctor. I haven't slept the past 2 nights because I guess I was worried about having it done. I had no clue what to expect.....Jim just told me that they are very noisy & to ask for ear plugs. When they were getting me ready, they handed me a set of earphones & asked me what radio station I wanted to listen to :) Jim didn't like that too well cause they didn't give him that option when he had one done. But where I messed up was I didn't have them turn the music up loud enough, so I could barely hear it from all the noise anyway.

The test itself only took about 20 minutes & I thought I would freak out a little, being so confined in such a small space, but that really didn't bother me. I probably could have fallen asleep if it wouldn't have been so loud. I did feel a lot of twingling in my arm & shoulder while they were doing the test & that kinda scared me. I asked the guy afterwards if that was normal & he said yeah because they're sending radio waves (or something like that) through you.

So, that's all I have for now.....hopefully I'll know more on Friday. I just want to figure out what's wrong so I can hopefully get it fixed! I did manage to bowl tonight (if you want to call it that!), but the pain started getting worse into the second game. Even though it's my left shoulder & arm & I'm right handed, I have to hold the ball a little bit with my left hand first & usually, I use my left arm for balance, but tonight, I just kept it down to my side. I probably looked pretty dumb, but after the way I bowled, I didn't care!

Till Friday,
A Very Exhausted Benita