Monday, April 21, 2014

all of my most recent mistakes (compiled) this post, for you- maybe reading my failures, lack of brains will make you feel better today.  If so, I've done my job.

  • getting braces.  I regret this every single day.  Don't even say it'll be worth it.  I don't want to hear it.
  • losing my lens cap at the beach yesterday
  • not reading "The Book Thief" sooner.  (SO good)
  • getting a cat.  
  • getting a cat and naming her "the Duchess of Fog" because whenever we go anywhere and my kids tell strangers about our cat, Stella doesn't really say "Duchess of Fog" very well so it comes out like "diches ahhhh fawwwck."  You figure out what that sounds like.
  • Overdosing on calcium tablets in my grandparents basement.  Okay so this isn't recent.  This was like 25 years ago or something.  But I have calcium deposits IN my bladder which I have to think are related to that fateful morning when I sat with my cousins, eating orange tablet after tablet.  How we didn't die?  I don't know.... but I'm paying for it now- I know I am.  You can't eat that much calcium and NOT pay for it.... (PS- mom & dad where were you???)
  • showing the kids my catheter.... its long gone, but the story isn't.  And they like to tell everyone about "mama's pee pee bag."  So awesome!
  • spending any kind of substantial amount of money on kids clothing because its kids clothing and they either wreck it or grow out of it in a day.
  • listening to doctors "who know everything" (SARCASM) and going off my oil regimen and onto their prescription medication regimen.  I'm back on the oils... I don't care if they don't know the specifics about the oils... I'll take my chances and get off the flomax (an old man prostate drug).
  • youtubing the video "redneck fat chick falls into ballpit"  I can't- I won't ever get those images out of my head (thanks Emily & Kayla!)
  • Taking idiot (LOLA) to the beach yesterday.  She escaped into the dunes (where you get fined thousands of dollars if a cop were to come across you) and lost her brand new leash.  Seriously.  Anything to do with that dog is a regret.  (except I love her a lot...and she's so freaking cute).

the end.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let's Talk Holiday's

After dinner, our van pulled into Target. 

I was sent in on a simple mission:  Grab some eggs for breakfast.  (Bad mom confession right here- I totally skipped dyeing eggs this year).

Ryan dropped me off and said he'd swing around in ten minutes to pick me back up.  An hour later, and a half a dozen eggs short, I was out of the hell hole (sorry Target!).

But really, EASTER has people going bananas.  

I suppose its not just Easter...  its every holiday, and day in between.  Looking on pinterest is the quickest way to feel like the biggest mom failure ever. 

I mean, since when are we supposed to feel guilty for buying boxed valentines day cards verses doing the handmade, printables with five different types of card stock?

I don't know.  But I am so, SO, very over it.

Target was packed with last minute shoppers, me included.  The Easter aisles were bare.  And when I left I felt frenzied, "Did we get the kids enough for Easter?"  I asked Ryan.

Getting home, I realized a huge tragedy;  we were one basket short for a peanut butter egg. 

Unacceptable.  Because how dare my kids wake up tomorrow morning and be shorted a chocolate egg?  Right?

I feel like the biggest idiot even typing this out.  But what is it about holiday's and kids that has us parents on edge?  I don't want to live like this.  I don't want to care about a missing chocolate egg!

In the end, Ryan went out to Publix and got the dang egg.   And now I can sleep. (sarcasm)

So tell me, do you fall into the holiday/pinterest/#1 parent of the year award trap?  Or are you over it?

I suppose since I have 4 Easter baskets sitting here, all equally filled and looking lovely, I can say I've fallen in the trap. 



Friday, April 18, 2014

Anyone use this?

I just signed up ( and my score is 51... apparently anything over 50 is considered "social"  hahaha :D
I don't think its a super big secret anymore; I wrote a book.  40,000 words, 10 chapters, my heart and soul, 2 years of late nights and self discovery, tears, truth and hesitation.

And now trying to get it into the hands of someone who cares even a little bit is proving to be about impossible.  Granted, I only queried my top five fave. agents..... obviously I need to expand out a bit.

One of my goals is to boost my klout score... that sounds so lame.  But apparently it's important for anyone trying to get their stuff out there.

So.. yeah- anyone use the app before?  I'm lost!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

a list of things that are good right now:

  • my hair is pretty rad right now... I have to say- I just really like the length of it and what its doing. 
  • my big fat gypsy wedding.... my problems aint got nothin' on those chicks.
  • date nights (tonight- thursdays :D)
  • nautical anything.  I'm in stripes constantly. 
  • instagram (that's not a new one... but its just like the best app ever)
  • august & everything after- just busted it out to get ready for Counting Crows in June.... ohmawurd..... forgot the emotions of that CD.
  • handmade stuff from etsy (thank you YL paychecks for allowing me this splurge)
  • the weather... storms & wind... love.
  • my writing.... contrary to this disaster of a post, I've been enjoying writing for lengthy periods at night... its a good thing
  • linen pants
  • the fact that Jack Johnson is going to be HERE.  Like HERE, here.... in a few weeks.  
  • sidewalk chalk- specifically the crayola kind that has the whacked names- "macaroni" and "oatmeal."  It's just funner to color with stuff named aptly.  
  • books (what's new) specifically "The Book Thief"- just finished it & it was beautiful.
  • at the moment my kidneys seem to be holding out.  I go in for a surgery consult May 1st to figure out what to do with all the calcium deposits... but right now, they're fine
  • my dreams... they're huge and wild and make me so happy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Diving In: A Letter To Me

...deep tonight.  Bear with me.

A way, long, (like MONTHS) ago time I saw this posted on facebook: 
I wrote up 3000 (not really- more like 6) posts, trying to come up with the most perfect set of words.  TWO words....  That's really tough.  But tonight... tonight, I think I have it.  And I'll start with two words, but Lord knows it won't stop there.


And now here's where the letter starts:
Dear Ashley,
You're about to walk into first grade and pee your pants.  It's going to be one of the most formidable moments of your life and you have no idea.  You'll stand there, unable to control your bladder (that still is dysfunctional) and pee in front of a room of your classmates and be laughed at.  Then your mom will come and change your clothes, and send you back in.  And you'll experience your first panic attack.  But trust Him.  It will be okay.  Kids forget.  Someone throws up the next week, and that's the new topic of interest.  Trust.

You're about 9.  You and a friend steal baskets of flowers and vegetables from the neighborhood.  You get caught and your dad says its time for a talk.  This is the worst.  Your dad has to talk to you about stealing.  How will we ever get over this?  Trust Him.

You're in 6th grade and 40lbs of nothing but bones, straw hair and bottle rimmed glasses.  Your self esteem is as small as the tiny freckle in the corner of your eye.  To make yourself feel better, you do the typical 6th grade stuff.  Find a team of friends, a group, a clique, and form a barrier.  You're not kind to everyone.  You tease.  You gossip.  You know this isn't right, but it creates comfort.  And more often than not, you come home from school in tears because of your lack of self esteem and the way you made others feel.  You know the next day you'll need to face the girl you sent a note to, saying "We're not friends anymore, don't talk to me, etc."   How can such a mess ever be cleaned up?  Trust Him.

You're going into high school and the equivalent to a gnat in the eyes of everyone but that kid who talks to you in Spanish.  You're bumped around in the halls, nobody looks you in the eyes and you eat alone at the lunch table for a solid 5 months.  And then you'll meet a friend named Angela.  And life will never be the same.  You'll be each others shadows.  Trust Him.

You're 15 and you're sitting in the car with the BIGGEST crush of your life, RYAN MCKENNEY, and you're sweating bullets because he wants to ask you something.  All you can do is stare out the window, trying to find your friends faces in the windows of Suzie's house, knowing they're watching the car scene as it  plays out.   "Ashley will you be my girlfriend?"  And you say yes.  And floating on air, with empty insides and a thumping heart, you burst through the front door and all your girl friends dog pile on you, squealing that you have a boyfriend.  Trust Him.

It's the summer of 2000 and you volunteered to be a counselor at a Christian camp.  You're sitting on a soccer field with a girl who wants nothing to with God or religion.  You're frustrated, and just when you're about to give up, she breaks and tells you her story.  And you're left speechless.  But somehow, your hands cover her and words come.  Later that week, you'll fully surrender, and give your whole heart to Christ.  Trust Him.

He's graduating high school and going to college and you're still stuck at Western.  You're heartbroken, thinking this is it.  He's going to meet different people, form new relationships, do new things, better things.  And I'll be the ghost of girlfriends past.  So many tears.  So many fears.  Trust Him.

It's your turn to graduate and  you have no idea what you want to do in life.  Trust Him.

You're 21 and just moved out of your parents house out of spite.  You have never felt so unsure of yourself in your entire life.  You were engaged, but you called it off and everyone thinks you're stupid for ruining the one good thing going for you.  You break up with Ryan.  You become a ghost of who you were.  You haunt the streets, inebriated and numb.  You hurt in places you didn't know you had.  You fill them with things you didn't know existed.  On a set of church steps at 2 AM, you'll watch a good friend be carried away, so intoxicated, hurt. Sobs will shake you like never before, and you'll get a reprieve; a brief understanding of life.  And you'll decide its enough.  You'll get out.  Trust Him. 

You're 22 and getting married.  And scared to death.  You know you love Ryan but you're terrified about filling the shoes of a wife  You burn dinners and you suck at cleaning.  Just keep going.  Trust Him.

You're 23 and you get a positive pregnancy test.  You sit on the floor for hours, unable to process what's about to happen.  And when the door opens, finally, after a long day of work and he comes in, you get it.  You'll snap to it, hug, cry and know that life at that moment is moving faster than you'll ever be able to calculate.  Trust Him.

You're 24 and in the emergency room, 36 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.  Your heart is racing, and you can't breathe.  You're having what they call, a "panic attack."  The doctor orders a drug that's not safe for the baby, but necessary to bring your heart rate down.  You cry, fight your body to calm down, but its not until the drug is in that your mind lets go.  Finally, its released;  You'll feel your baby's moves cease, the drug entering her blood stream.  You feel like a failure, a worthless mother.  Just TRUST Him, Ashley.

You're still 24, and now in the most intense pain you've ever been in.  It's raining and faces are a blur.  You hurt and you're angry.  You're pushing and there's no progress, just rip roaring pain.  And then there are scissors, and she's out.  You're bleeding and vomiting.  She's crying, and this is nothing like you had pictured it would be.  You're terrified out of your mind.  You love her with a love that scares you.  Trust Him.

You take your new baby girl home, and sit in the shower for hours crying.  You're afraid to hold her, or contaminate her with germs.  You're entire life revolves around keeping her alive.  You sit up, watching her inhale and exhale, making sure her chest is rising and falling as it should.  After a month, you lose your mind.  Trust Him.

You're on the floor of your new home.  The one your husband just built with his own hands; the one that you painted and decorated in anticipation of a new future filled with baby giggles and summer memories.  He's telling you its okay, but its not.  And off to the ER you go.  Your vein is pierced and medicine is flooded in, again, quieting the thoughts, numbing the feelings, fading the room.  When you wake, you're home and its two days later.  Your parents and husband say its time to get some help.  You're terrified, more than ever before.  But just trust Him.

You're unable to drive because of the medicines and thoughts.  Your husband drops you off at your first appointment.  You cry the entire length of it.  More medicine prescribed.  More shame.  More guilt.  More failure.  Trust Him.

It's around April of 2008 and you realize, you feel okay.  The fog is lifting.  For the first time in months, you feel light.  There's a window that's been opened and you're gasping for that sweet, sweet air.  And you get it.  In your lungs, it fills you and you're sparked with hope.  A spark that will turn into a flame, and eventually turn into a fire.  Trust Him.

It's June 2011, and you're pregnant with your third child. (holy!)  Your hands are full with two healthy, beautiful babies.  Your house is being taken away.  Bills are piling up, voices are being raised, stress levels are high.  Life is charging faster than you can pedal and keep up.  You're in a moving truck, with everything that would fit, headed for Florida, without a place to live.  Just a hope that things will work out.  But by this time, you've had a lot of practice in trust.  That's not to say you didn't cry through 3 states, and wanted to turn around and go "home."  But you made it to Florida.

You're here.  You've done things you didn't think were doable.  You have four kids.  And you cook dinner, and sometimes clean the house.  Your kids get sick, and you have occasional panic attacks, and the car breaks down, but you trust.  Last year you took a leap and its paid off financially, in ways that are literally unbelievable.  You never imagined yourself here.  You couldn't have, its too good to imagine.

Everyday, with your trust in Him, you gain strength.  Strength to be a better mother, wife, a better person.

Trust Him.

Love, your incredibly wild, still slightly untamed, but strong and smart, funny, innappropriate, stringy haired, short legged, 29 year old self. 

I've rambled on and on, and I'm crying and I can't really remember where I was going with this except that, I wouldn't be who I am, without having gone through each of these events and many, so, so many more.  Do I wish I would've been kinder in my middle school days?  Heck yes.   Would it have been easier to have not peed my pants in front of my entire 1st grade class? Yeah.  Could I have done without the post partum anxiety and depression?  My God, yes. 

But the learning that's taken place... the lessons in trust.  They're invaluable.  And I don't think I could have gotten them any other way.

Am I in just the most perfect, peachy place right now? HAAAAAAA no.   Life is beautiful.  It's beautifully brilliant and hard at the same time.  There are glorious days where I look at the life we've created and I think there's nothing more than this.  There can't be!  This child's laughter, her smile, his pirates lined up, ready to fight; this is what life essentially IS!.  This is as beautiful as it gets.  And then I have awful days.  I have days that I cry more than I laugh.  There are days I should be quarantined to a "grouchy room" or something.  I cuss like a sailor (thanks papa)..., and I'll grow resentful of things.   I have days where I dream of driving off to somewhere and being free of all responsibilities.  But the thing that stops me is this;  trusting Him.  Knowing beauty, peace, and hope is ahead.  Maybe not tomorrow, or the next day, but its there; HE's there, waiting. And as many times as I have felt like giving up, He's never once wavered in His decision to hold me in his hands. 

And if my world falls apart tomorrow, I'll still trust Him.  I might be clawing my way through a hole, bitter, unable to see any good at all, but I'll still stand on His truth. The security in knowing, and believing this is like having a the comfiest, coziest of quilts thrown over me.

Anyways, that's my story.  What's yours?  What TWO words would you tell your younger self if you could?  Let yourself be honest and brave.  Admit your shortcomings, and applaud what you've done.  This life is hard and there a million things I think we all wish we could have a "do over" with.  But it doesn't work that way.  Time only goes forward;  we can gather and collect our past experiences, prepare as best as we can for the coming day.  But when all is said and done, I believe this life, having joy, harvesting hope and peace, can only be achieved through having trust in Him.   

And because I feel heavy (yet happy), I'm going to end this with a nice little bullet list of things I wish I'd known when I was younger (and yeah, I'm singing that song... "I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger!")
  • First off, dangit Ashley, you should've gone to the bathroom BEFORE choir class that morning in 1st grade.
  • Don't ever get into the Sam's sized pack of cheese balls.  Was the neon orange puke for two days worth it?  No mam.
  • You really shouldn't have stolen your neighbors vegetables and flowers... (Chelsea.... do you remember this?)  
  • Tell your sisters they're beautiful.  Every day.  Because they are- and they need to know and hear that.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  • You should've hugged Ibby before leaving for school that day.  Thanked her for being such a good dog.  
  • You should have never, ever told your mother you hated her.  Stab through the heart.  And I know that now.
  • If you ever go camping, be prepared for a monsoon... right Ang?
  • Long bus rides are awful.  Don't ever sign up for one again.  I'm not talking like an hour... I'm talking like 2 days on a bus across the country with 50 other kids... IYC.  There were some good times tossed in there, but mostly I just remember car sickness, and a throbbing bladder from having to pee ALL.THE.TIME. 
  • Say what you think you should say, no matter how stupid or embarrassed it might make you feel.   Unless its just downright mean... then keep it to yourself.  I can't and won't say her name, but I will never get over my silence in "that situation."  I'm more sorry than you'll ever know... you know who you are.
  • The tattoo on your foot is awesome- the price was not.  You got ripped off... should've gone to a different shop.
  •  Listen to your dad about your braces.  Duh.
  • Don't ever give alcohol or anxiety drugs the power you thought they had.  They're band aids that become covered with grime and fall off, leaving the wound open, and vulnerable again.   
  • Don't underestimate your body; You can carried and pushed out 4 babies (one whom was close 9 lbs!)
  • Always say "I love you" to those you love.  Because, why not?
  • Lastly, never leave silence silent, where words and actions should and could be.  I'm not sure if that makes sense to you at all, but its big in my mind right now.

Thanks for listening to my heart, and (hopefully) not judging.  This is one of those posts that I hesitate to push the "publish" button.  Butterflies- I know (or at least I like to think) its for the greater good.  If one person can take away something positive from this, then I'm happy.

XOXO to you all.  Have an awesome week :)   

Friday, April 11, 2014

in her eyes

Not a whole lot to say tonight, which is strange for me.  I'm normally filled with words, too many words (see last post).  I took this picture of Maeve tonight.  Obviously I converted it to black and white, other than that, it is what it is.  Raw, and her.  I love it.  In fact, I think its my favorite picture of her ever.  

Photography makes my heart beat faster; knowing I'm recording a moment and making it mine forever is pretty empowering.  I need to get the camera out more. 

 Not the iphone... but my camera. 


It's Friday.  

Thank God.  

Today I'm thankful for:  my camera, the beach, my personal model/camera hog (Maeve), and I suppose I'm pretty thankful for the other 3 who like to dodge the camera.  Coffee, hearts and arrows, good music, a cotton candy sunset, billowing sails out on the horizon, and a guy who just told me I'm the prettiest girl in braces he's ever seen....

How many things can you tick off?  GO! :D 

Happy weekend. :)

Photo Challenge Submission

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Chronicles Of My Narnia Kidneys

warning- if you can't read things about pee or bladders don't waste your time on this post

About 26 years ago, when I was around the age of 4, I got my first bladder infection.  I don't remember it.  My parents tell me I was sick; high fever, lethargic, dehydrated.  The first infection I remember ever having was when I was about 7.  (mind you I had probably 50 infections between the age of 4 and 7)  I had a unicorn night gown on and I had wet the bed.  That never happened.  (well only when there was an infection).... I went in my parents room and my mom gave me a lukewarm  bath, and tried to keep me comfortable until morning, when we made our way into Dr. Bigelow.  I had no idea how much impact those words, "bladder infection, kidneys" would have on my life.

For today, I sit here, alone in our room, drinking a coffee (don't judge- I need the caffeine BAD), with a catheter hanging out of my right side.  This sucks.

Just when I think I've had every single little thing a kidney or bladder can have, something new pops up.

Flashback to when I was a kid- around the age of 14 (after COUNTLESS tests and hospital trips) they concluded there was no valid reason I was getting these infections.  Not one doctor from Foote (the hospital in Jackson) to the Uof M (Ann Arbor hospital) could say WHY I was getting infection after infection after infection.  But back to the age of 14- they kind of stopped.

I remember going into high school, and the frequency of my infections slowed down immensely.  Instead of having an infection once every three weeks or so, it was once every few months.  And I could handle that!  Totally fine.

The bladder and kidneys continued on this infection every 3 month trend until I had Maeve.  Obviously pregnancy messes up EVERYTHING- including ones susceptibility to infections.  I can't remember the exact number of UTI's I had with Maeve... but it was a lot.  Same with Henry, same with Estella.

In the fall of 2011, 6 weeks after Stella was born, I was woken up with the most horrific pain.  I thought I was having another baby... for real- I blogged about it HERE.  It wasn't another baby though, it was a 4mm kidney stone.  And by FARRRRRRRR the worst thing I had ever been through.

Since that first 4mm stone.... they haven't stopped.  In fact, they've formed an army- in both kidneys.  And I battle with them every. frickin. day.

I don't know how many times I was in the ER in 2012 for passing a stone;  maybe 4 or 5 times??   In the summer of 2012, I had 2 surgeries... (and obviously blogged about both, HERE)- the first was just exploratory.... a looksie at my innards to see why I was making kidney stones and why I had a near constant bladder infection.  They found a bleeding spot on my bladder which was deemed "concerning, but not overly." And we'd just keep an eye on it.  HAHA.  (Dear Doctors, find a different way to explain this to patients.  Especially your overly anxious ones).

The next surgery (August, I believe?)  was to blast a stone in my left kidney that had grown to the size of a dime.  I was knocked out for it, and it there wasn't even an incision.  It was crazy- I peed out dust for a day and felt like someone had beat me up, breaking all my ribs and pelvis, but other than that, it worked.  Those stones were gonnnnne.  And I had hopes we were on the way to recovery- meaning never seeing another stone or urologist again.

I think it was less than a month later I passed another stone.  le sigh

Kidney stones are just part of my life, as are infections.  Like you might suffer a migraine out of the blue, I'll pass a stone.  And apparently there is NOTHING to be done.  Or so all the docs in St. Augustine have told me.

So I got an appointment at the Mayo Clinic.  This was HUGE for me.  I mean, I cried on the way up there... I had thoughts of walking through the doors and them knowing exactly what was wrong with me, fixing it with a touch of their hand and then me, skipping out, free as a bird.

It didn't happen quite like that.  At all, really.

I met with my nephrologist (I love him- and I trust him.  I do... but I'm frustrated right now)

I spent the entire day up at the clinic with an itinerary, walking from campus buildings, with my schedule in hand, I felt like I was back in college.  I was pretty stoked going from one machine to the next, because this was it!  This was my hallelujah!  This was the end of the road for me.  There was SO much testing, I couldn't wait to find out what was wrong and how to fix it.

I got a phone call later that night letting me know they had already analyzed my stones and they were calcium based, (most common) and therefore he'd be putting me on a medication that helps me rid calcium of my kidneys.  And obviously, going on a dairy free diet.  Cool..  I was all set.  I called my dad with tears in my eyes, describing the miracles that had occurred and joking about what I could possibly do with myself now that I won't be sitting at a doctors office for a kidney stone once a week.

The 2nd dose of medicine I took (and forgive me... I forgot the name of the medicine) I started to throw up and get an intense stomach pain- like food poisoning.  I called my Mayo nurse and told her;  she said it sounded like I was having a bad reaction to the med and to STOP taking it.  I stopped.  But the puking didn't.  And in January I made my 40000th trip to the ER for fluids and nausea meds.  My stomach was cramping like crazy- I seriously thought I was having appendicitis or some weird bird flu.  No such case.... just a bad reaction to medicine and a (in their terms) "really nasty infection" in my urine, with quite a bit of blood, indicating I'm probably passing a stone.  EVERYTHING that I had just done at Mayo came crashing down.  Looking back on this, I feel like an idiot.  This is not a life altering/crashing event.  Being told you have cancer, or your kid has cancer, those are life altering.  This was just frustration.  And the dang meds they gave me.  (I think I'm the only person in the world who has "frequent flier" on top of their ER chart, yet will not allow dilauded within 10 feet of me.)  Apparently that's the medicine they gave me on that terrible night and between the vomiting, the crazy strong medicine and my emotions, I felt completely insane.

We left the ER later that night and I couldn't even tell my mom and dad the verdict.  You see, this problem I have... its theirs too.  It's also my kids and Ryan's.  When Ashley/Mama gets sick, everyone else has to pick up the slack, dropping their needs, and it kills me.  THE GUILT.  OH the guilt.

My next Mayo appointment was scheduled for May 14th so I had awhile to go... and I knew I'd be in the ER at least a few more times before then.  You see, the thing about kidney stones is this:  They come in all different shapes and sizes.  And sometimes, they're so big, they get stuck and block everything.  Soooooooo.... even though I know what the rip roaring pain is, its kind of important to get some kind of imaging on it asap, because this one time (at band camp)  I sat at home for days with the pain, and ended up being hospitalized for 4 days because the stone had become lodged, and I could not stop puking, or running a fever.  Oh yeah, and I couldn't pee.  At all.  No matter how much water I drink- no pee.  Can you say PAINFUL????????? So yes, that's why I kind of race into the ER when I feel one... to avoid the misery of it getting stuck, ever, ever again.

This past Thursday I was at the beach with a Michigan friend (ANGIE! :D)  Our kids were playing, the weather was perfect- it was just a great day.   And then I felt that familiar twinge- a stab in the back, gutting kind of pain.  At home, I texted Ryan, "kidney stone."

We've been blessed to have BOTH sets of grandparents here this week (my parents live here, but Ryan's were visiting...) this meant a LOT of babysitters!  When Ryan got home he drove me to Baptist (if you haven't heard, I'm kind of done with Flagler- our local ER.  Ever since they got my birth date mixed up with an 80 year old woman's and gave me an unnecessary cat scan, I just can't bring myself to go back.

So yes, Baptist- its like 25 minutes away and a world of difference.  It took forever to get back in the ER, but when I finally did, the doctor was in right away.  At first it sounded like I was being automatically admitted because of my history... which kind of baffled me, but at that point, was in a lot of pain, so I wasn't questioning much.  After a CT scan, and finding NO obstructive stones (just passing ones and ones in my kidney) and all my labs came back, I was released.  They gave me IV antibiotics, some good pain medicine- NOT dilauded and tons of fluids.  I passed a single stone some time in the middle of the night I believe.

And then Friday happened.  I felt crappy; but that was a given- I had a raging UTI, had just passed a kidney stone and by the sounds of it, the doctor, after reading the scan, acted like I would be passing several stones.  So I chalked it all up to that.

Friday night around 11 PM, I tried to go to the bathroom.  I couldn't.  My bladder was totally full, aching, swollen- HUGE- but not a drop would come out.

Ryan was out with his parents that night and I texted him "can you come home soon?  Not feeling good."  Again- huge guilt for having to cut into hist time because my kidneys were misbehaving for the umpteenth time.

He got home and I explained what was going on.  He didn't believe me.  "Ash, only guys get that!  Its when their prostate is blocked or something!  Remember from The Green Mile?"

I honestly had no idea what was going on.  But I told Ryan if couldn't pee by morning I had to go back in.  I woke up several more times that night, each time sitting, nothing.  UNBELIEVABLE.  And the pain.... ohhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh.

Around 10:30 I said "screw this."  Ryan drove me back up to Baptist and I got right in.  Through tears and angry frustration I explained what was happening.  They did ultrasounds, lab work and cathed me.  I can't remember how the measure urine (like what kind of units they use) but it was enough to have several nurses come and "look to see how much urine was in her bladder!"  The doctor came in and talked with me about being admitted or going home with the cath.  My first thought was being admitted would be much easier- I wouldn't have to touch the dang thing... but then I remembered, "oh wait- I've stayed overnight in a hospital 2 weeks in a row now, and it really sucks.  I don't want to go through that again."  So I opted to go home with the cath and follow up in the Mayo ER tomorrow.

The nurse locked it into place on my thigh... the bag sits on my shin.  And overall, its disgusting and uncomfortable and just, plain.... BLAH.

I have been waddling around the house, my kidneys aching SO badly (from Lord knows what??!?)  my pee bag giving me a nice little rash around the plastic area.

The kids ask to look at it all the time.  They think its the best thing in the world.  And the most "KISSCUSTING" (disgusting).  They try and trick each other, "Henry, come here!  I need you!" Maeve will cry out.  Henry will come wandering over and maeve will lift up my pajama pant leg and say "HAHAHAHAHA MAMA'S PEEEEEEEEEEEE!"  and then they'll both run away screaming "KISSCUSTING!"

I have no idea what the Mayo clinic is going to do.... I'm praying I've passed everything I can pass and nothing is blocked or stuck....  PRAYING they take this thing out tomorrow and say something like, "follow up in 6 weeks!"  But I know, in the back of my head, the truth.  This stupid, ridiculous thing is going to be in there for awhile.  The doctor from the ER yesterday guessed a week.  A week.  A week of dumping my pee bag into the toilet.  A week of alcohol wipes and rashes on my leg.  A week of smelling like stale pee.  And I'm sorry- but if you have a cath, you DO smell like stale pee.  I would have to shower every single time I emptied the thing to NOT smell like pee.

So yes, this is where I am in the chronicles of Narnia Kidneys.  I don't THINK its anything super serious.  And that's why I'm being pretty light with it (I want to go visit my parents and splash some water on my dad and then scream and say "OH! My bag is leaking!" HAHAHHA :D)   More or less at this point, its just a big ol pain in the butt.  And I'm frustrated.

They gave me some anti-nausea meds but (and I KID YOU NOT) digize and peppermint in a capsule with coco oil work 100x better.  They gave me percocet for pain, which I AM taking in half doses as needed.  What scares me, is that I can start to feel the percocet wearing off, and the pain that starts to radiate through my back, into my groin....gahhhhhhhhhhhh.  I just keep thinking "how can I do this much longer?"  

But I will, because I have a balloon in my bladder and I can't pull it out.  And I will because I listen to other women's stories that are about 100 times "worse" or harder than mine.  Just reading a single blog post from "Oh So Posh" photography  pulls me out of the "woes of being me" mood.  And I hate even typing this out, because I don't want you to waste energy or time reading the ridiculousness of my complaints.  Take it more as an informative post.... like, if I don't respond to your FB message right away its because I'm literally hung up in bed.

In the meantime, take a quick look through these blogs and pray for these people.  They can use every prayer we have.   Thanks guys!

Oh So Posh (the blog)- Lidia
Sarah Russo- a local friend who's fighting cancer
Amanda Wells- another local friend who just lost her mother suddenly, at a very young age
Linnea Strauss- a friend in Jackson, Michigan who is fighting cancer with everything she has