About Jen

Jen isn't quite sure when she lost her mind, but it is probably documented here on Meditatio. She blogs because the world needs her snark at all hours of the night... and she probably can't sleep anyway.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: October 27, 2019

For Today… October 27, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. It’s deceptive because it looks warm while it is a bit chilly–about 46F.

I am thinking… about all those affected by the wildfires in California.

I am thankful… to not be in California right now with the fires and power outages. PG&E should be facing criminal charges for the crap their horrible equipment is creating. If they had actually maintained their equipment appropriately and updated safety measures, California wouldn’t be facing this problem.

One of my favorite things… crocheting while watching YouTube.

I am wearing… blue long-sleeved shirt and black khaki-type pants. As usual, I am barefoot.

I am creating… a charcoal-colored ribbed hat.

I am watching… various things on YouTube.

I am hoping… for a good resolution to a situation on my mind. (I’d talk about it, but that would violate some privacy policies and put me at risk of litigation.)

I am learning… that I really need to read EVERY part of a pattern.

In my kitchen… yet to be determined for dinner tonight.

Shared Quote… “Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he… ‘Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.'”
? Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

A moment from my day… A lot of churches are celebrating Reformation Day today and my former priest posted this today. I’m kind of dying of laughter while watching this…

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Things on My Mind Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Why do cats pick the most inconvenient place to sleep? Currently, my prince of darkness is curled up on my feet, which is not the most comfortable place to have him. CATS!

— 2 —

My post-op appointment on Tuesday. My lovely Ukrainian OB/GYN showed me pictures of my insides at my appointment on Tuesday. Apparently, my adhesions were more serious than they expected and they were also taken aback by the vascularity they found, so my surgery took longer than expected. It was strange to see pictures of my ovaries–I expected them to look a bit different. In any case, he was happy with the progress of my healing and took the time to answer my questions. He has a very dry sense of humor, and it was good to see it come out. If I need any further treatment, I will request him specifically.

— 3 —

My students. I have several students who are receiving Accounting help from me and one who is getting general computer help. My mind is pondering ways to help them as well as the predicament one is in. (I just sent that student a “pep talk”.)

— 4 —

My CPAP mask. My old one was irritating me, so I decided to try a new one. I think it might grow on me after I get through this first adjustment period.

— 5 —

My crocheting. I made a fatal mistake in a crocheting project and had to frog the whole thing… twice. I’m on try #3 and it just might work out for me. I need to just do that at home and bring my nephew’s baby/big boy blankie when I work with students as that one is more brainless crocheting.

— 6 —

Daniel’s 22q clinic appointment. It’s a “clinic” appointment, so we’re going to be there for HOURS while specialists come in and out of the room.

— 7 —

Local elections. We have an unqualified outsider seeking to unseat our mayor… who was qualified BEFORE she was elected, has gone back to school and achieved MORE qualifications in her two terms as mayor, and who is supported by the town police and firefighters. I’ve lived in Mount Vernon for longer than our mayor’s challenger and *I* am more qualified for the office than she is, so I can’t understand why she is bothering to run.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: YouTube Channel Edition

7 Quick Takes

I thought I’d share some of my favorite YouTube channels with you.

— 1 —

SixBlindKids SixBlindKids is quite literally a family with six blind kids. 🙂 They have a biological son who is older and sighted, Joe (the dad) has a son from a previous marriage, and the rest of the kiddos were adopted overseas from various countries except for one who was adopted domestically. Most of the younger six have at least one other issue (autism, CP, intellectual disabilities, etc.), and all but one are young adults now. They are the coolest people and it’s amazing to see how they do things. The episode posted today is them wandering the Homesteaders of America 2019 Conference.

— 2 —

World’s Strictest Parents. World’s Strictest Parents is a 10+ year TV show in which unruly teenagers from various countries are sent to families with strict parents to learn what it is like to live in a strict family with rules and boundaries. The American version used to be broadcast on CMT. Every Saturday, they have a full episode from one of the international versions.

— 3 —

Megan Fox Unlocked. Megan Fox is a Mennonite millenial mom with two precious kids in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I love watching her videos because she’s interesting, she’s always really upbeat and positive, and she’s great about answering questions based on her life.

— 4 —

Lynette Yoder. Lynette Yoder grew up Amish until she was a teenager when her ENTIRE CHURCH went Mennonite. She grew up in Ohio and Canada, but she now lives in Florida. I love watching her videos to learn about sewing, food, homemaking, and Mennonite life. She was one of Megan Fox’s inspirations in starting a YouTube channel, and the two of them did a collaboration this year!

— 5 —

Vinteheiro. Lord Vinteheiro is a Brazilian pianist. I can identify a lot more classical music that isn’t by my favorite composers after watching some of his videos. What impresses me is that he plays while staring sideways at the camera… which involves an insane amount of muscle memory!

— 6 —

Talking Kitty Cat. Sylvester is a snarky black kitty cat whose human puts voices and words in his mouth. He reminds me of someone, but I can’t think of who…

— 7 —

la harpe de melodie. This is the channel of a harpist who was a doctoral music student at USC. (I found out who she actually is online, but I am not linking her by name as she does not attach her name to her YouTube site.) I love her channel for lots of early music and folk music.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Recovery Edition

7 Quick Takes

My hysterical hysterectomy was on Tuesday. Here are the deets on recovery.

— 1 —

The surgery itself. There were no complications other than me having to have four incisions instead of three. (We’re talking incisions that are maybe an inch long, so this is minor. They had to fix some adhesions, and my uterus apparently developed a new blood supply in the last 10 years, but it had to come out anyway so that wasn’t a big deal. My surgeon was happy with the outcome.

— 2 —

Anesthesia. Upon finding out that I was electing to stay overnight, my anesthesiologist offered to put in a morphine block that would keep me pain-free for the first day but would make me a little bit itchy. I took him up on it, and was more than a “little bit” itchy. I wanted to sleep in a vat of Benadryl gel because it was so bad. God bless Lindsay, my night nurse, because she was coming up with new and creative ways to help me deal with this. Still, my anesthesiologist was fabulous and had a fabulous bedside manner.

— 3 —

Why I love my church. A woman from my church asked what she could do to help, and I asked if she could sit with me while I was waiting for surgery because Mom was supposed to be getting Daniel off to school at that point. Even when my surgery got moved 2 1/2 hours later, she offered to stay with me and another woman joined her. They kept my mom and me calm, prayed with me, anointed me with anointing oil, and made small talk to keep me relaxed. What they didn’t know was how terrified I was that I wasn’t going to wake up from surgery… because we’ve had that happen in my family in the last five years, and part of that was because all of Daniel’s stuff depends on me. They’ve checked in with me every day since, either in person or by text, and one of them has even helped me negotiate all the pain conversations with my surgeon’s nurses.

Another woman (who sings alto in the choir with me) brought over a gallon of chicken soup and some Asian pears today. The soup is helping to settle my stomach.

My priest checked on me intermittently on Tuesday, and he finally got me awake on Wednesday morning, so I got more anointing oil on me (which is the best smell in the world) and the laying on of hands for prayer.

— 4 —

The pain. The morphine wore off around 4 p.m. yesterday, and my mom arrived home with my Toradol and Tramadol at that point. Toradol works well with the pain. Tramadol made me feel dippy, but it did nothing to help the pain. This culminated in me having a screaming panic attack at 2 a.m. because I was vomiting from the leftover anesthesia in my system (because I removed the Scopolamine patch from behind my ear too early) and having pain that was a 6 or 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. (God bless my parents because I was inconsolable for a while.) I didn’t know that I could have added acetaminophen to the Tramadol, so it was 8 hours of misery. I’ve been meticulous as all get out about taking my Toradol at EXACTLY six-hour increments today. My surgeon’s nurses and I had a conversation over the messaging system their office uses about my pain, and I have permission to take acetaminophen with my Toradol along with some Ativan for anxiety if I need it.

— 5 —

My nurses. My nurses at my local hospital were amazing. My pre-op team got my IV in painlessly. (They do a small injection of lidocaine first, which helps a lot.) They also made sure I was comfortable and fetched me a lot of cranberry juice and ice chips on Tuesday and Wednesday because it was the only thing I really wanted that I was allowed to have (I was on liquids on Tuesday night).

— 6 —

My mom. Mom has taken over all of Daniel’s care this week, and she has completely rocked it. She learned all of my jobs last week, and I went into surgery breathing a little easier knowing that she could take care of Daniel. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tweaked things a bit and done a couple of things that she hadn’t learned how to do by feel yet, but she has enforced me resting… which is important because I have to be doing something.

— 7 —

My surgeon. He is a very formal Ukrainian gentleman, but his bedside manner was excellent. He did all of my care on Wednesday morning including removing the catheter and packing that I had in me. (It was uncomfortable, but that couldn’t be helped.) As he was talking to me both before surgery and after, he was holding my hand, which was good in keeping calm when I was either scared or really uncomfortable.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Hysterical Hysterectomy Prep

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The cleanse. Daniel and I survived the cleanse with most of the layers of the skin of my hands intact. (Picture rotavirus on steroids and the cleaning of hands involved. That was my weekend.) Thank God for nitrile gloves! (Kiddo is not potty-trained.)

— 2 —

Hysterectomy Take #1. So, surgery is on Tuesday the 8th at 7:15 a.m. PDT. I’m guessing it will be 1.5-2 hours but I could be wrong. We’re trying to figure out who is taking me to the hospital and when my parents will switch off because someone (my mommy) needs to feed my child and get him on the bus. A woman from church might be sitting with me and keeping vigil until Mom gets back to the hospital unless Dad wants to bite the bullet and endure several hours of girl stuff. I won’t make him paint my nails though… except that he’s an engineer so they might look better than they do when I paint them! (Just kidding… nail polish isn’t allowed in surgery.)

— 3 —

Hysterectomy Take #2. Since I’ll be in the hospital all day Tuesday and possibly into the rest of the week (depending on if there are complications), Mom is having to learn how to do Daniel’s tube feeds and give him his Metamucil and Miralax. She is doing really well at placing the feeding peg and will probably have the art of tube feeding mastered by this weekend. She started dosing Daniel with the Miralax and Metamucil today, and she is also doing that well. I think she’ll be OK.

— 4 —

Hysterectomy Take #3. Daniel’s school schedule just changed and he’s getting home an hour later. This is good in that it gives me an extra hour to work and do errands, but it also means that I have one less hour to squeeze in all of Daniel’s wonderful feeds and fluids unless I want to send stuff to school with him. (The answer to that is “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” because while I trust Daniel’s teacher to follow my instructions to the letter, the school nurse doesn’t have the sense God gave geese and does not understand the words “DON’T TOUCH THE [EXPLETIVE] FEEDING TUBE IF IT COMES OUT!”) So… once I’m not about to have surgery, we’ll figure out another dosing schedule.

— 5 —

Hysterectomy Take #4. I went back to work at the college this week because I need something to do with my life and they need an Office and Business tutor. I already put in 6 hours this week, and I’ll have two hours on Monday of next week before I’m off for four days for surgery and recovery. I’ve told them that if all goes well, I will be back on Monday the 14th scooting around on an office chair. If there are complications, it might be a few days (or weeks). I think I’ve ensured that EVERYONE will be praying for me. I’ve also told my drop-in students that their instructors have these amazing things called OFFICE HOURS and that they should take FULL advantage of them.

I was also told by one of my students today that I am annoyingly cheerful. Mission accomplished! #squadgoals #maryFREAKINGsunshine

— 6 —

Hysterectomy Take #5. As much as I have been begging for a hysterectomy for 5 years, I’m getting surprisingly emotional about it. It’s either my uterus realizing that its days are numbered and flooding me with extra hormones, or it’s the fact that it’s a hard realization that one’s childbearing years are being cut short a little earlier than expected. I definitely have been TTA for the last 10 years (since we realized that something wasn’t right with Daniel and that my chances of reoccurrence of the HELLP Syndrome are astronomically higher than normal), but that doesn’t mean this is a happy thing in the slightest.

— 7 —

Hysterectomy Take #6. So… please keep me in prayer. I don’t think Quick Takes will happen next week (or maybe I’ll throw something up in between naps), but I’ll be back the week after.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Yarn-Along: October 2, 2019

Joining Ginny for a Yarn-Along for the first time in years!

My blanket and book for this week.

I am working on my nephew Braden’s baby/big boy blankie. I started it in January 2018 when I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant, but I never got more than a foot done due to school, work, and developing arthritis in my hands. When Daniel started his behavioral therapy this summer, my mom was the one driving, so I would bring it and just crochet on the drive down, while we were waiting to see his psychologist, and on the long drive back (thank you for having horrible rush hour traffic, Seattle!).

Right now, I’m a little bit into Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’m also trying to be faithful at reading each day’s devotion from Nailed It! 365 Devotions for Angry and Worn-Out People by Anne Kennedy.

To see the amazing projects other people are making and what they’re reading, go visit Ginny.

7 Quick Takes: Endless Doctor’s Appointments Edition

7 Quick Takes

I was remarking to my priest today that I haven’t had a day free of doctor’s appointments since Saturday. Here they all are.

— 1 —

Urgent Care. I got home on Sunday to find that Mom recommended a trip to Urgent Care for Daniel to make sure he didn’t have pneumonia. His class has been living out Tom Lehrer’s song about friendship with a cold, so my precious sweetling was coughing to the point of vomiting.

The Urgent Care doctor’s verdict: it’s a virus. He probably shouldn’t be around immunosuppressed people… like his mommy. Oh well.

— 2 —

Gynecology. Monday was my pre-op appointment before my hysterectomy in October. I was dreading it because I thought there was going to be a thorough exam done. There wasn’t. Instead, it was my gynecologist telling me that he was going to take out everything but my ovaries, when the surgery would be, and how long I would be in the hospital. I then had to sign a bunch of paperwork stating that I knew that this surgery was going to be irreversible and would make me sterile. (The human race never ceases to make laugh.)

— 3 —

Family Medicine. My GP likes to see me every so often to make sure that nothing she has prescribed caused me to sprout a third leg. She is OK with my bloodwork as my diabetes is controlled with medication. I was apologizing that my diet is craptastic, and she replied that I have just a little bit on my plate (a little, you say?) and once Daniel requires less care, we can tweak my diet. OK then! Pass the gummy bears! (Not the sugar-free ones! Those are only for colonoscopy prep.)

— 4 —

Behavior Therapy. No new changes. We’re dropping down to once every week vs. twice a week. We also saw him earlier, so the drive home only took an hour instead of the normal two to three that it takes us at rush hour.

— 5 —

Occupational Therapy. Oh hai, therapy consult! It was an hour of Daniel trying to avoid working well with one of the occupational therapists at the local hospital. She won: he did what she wanted and ended up having some fun. We’ll be working with her to get his startle reflex to calm down.

— 6 —

Radiology. While emailing Daniel’s teacher, I discovered that Daniel’s pediatrician had put in the x-ray request and wanted it done before his appointment this morning, so we went straight from Occupational Therapy to the Lab/Imaging department at Skagit Regional Health’s outpatient clinic building. After two pictures were taken of Daniel’s tummy, we headed to his school to drop him off.

— 7 —

Pediatrics. D’s quarterly ADHD appointment wasn’t until 9:40, so we got to sleep in this morning. Woo. The x-ray apparently showed that my wee bairn’s bowels are full, so we’ll be doing a nice 3-day cleanse this weekend! I am SO excited!!!!! (Yeah, no. I’m totally wishing it was my worst enemies changing those training pants instead of me. Purgatory, here I come! #sinner #pettymamaproblems #jenstopcomingupwithhashtags) In other news, his pediatrician does believe Daniel has ADHD… as does everyone who has to spend any time with him on a regular basis.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.