Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kirby Salesman

So today I had an interesting experience. I had a door to door salesman for the Kirby vacuum/carpet cleaner come to the door and offer to give me one room free carpet cleaning to show me the product. I needed to get my front room cleaned anyways so I said "sure".

The guy comes in and gets started showing me everything. It was a good product and it worked and I was impressed but it was VERY expensive.

So I called Adam to see what he thought and we agreed it was just too much right now with Christmas coming up and we just had to drop 2000 on our van cause our AC gave out and we're hoping to get the kids a new puppy for christmas.

That's when the true colors of the salesman came out. Now, I've worked in sales my whole life. One of the main rules is that you NEVER burn the bridge. Even if the customer says "no" the first time, that doesn't mean you haven't planted the seed of a good product and that the person will not say "yes" a few months down the road. This guy apparently did not get that memo of how to treat a customer or future costumer.

He started out by asking me if I was LDS. I said "yes, how did you know." and he said "it's a feeling you get when you walk into a home." and I said "well thank you, I take that as a compliment" (I have had many repair guys in the house and I have heard that almost every time. They say that LDS homes have a level of peace they don't feel other places.) and the guy says "you can take it however you want. another way to know an LDS person is because they are not willing to finance anything." and I said "ya, that's probably true, but Mormons are taught to have zero debt, to have money put away for a rainy day and food storage in case of job loss or natural disaster, etc". (Mormons are in no way perfect and there are I'm sure many LDS people that do have debt and don't have money or food storage but it is what we are taught and asked to do so most LDS people do strive to do those things just as I'm sure a lot of non-LDS people do. I know I have a cousin that is not LDS that has zero debt and money put away for a rainy day) He made one of those rude snorting laughs and said "ya, you're prepared for everything except the kirby salesman." and I said "We save our rainy day money for important things like if my husband were to lose his job or we had an emergency medical thing or home repair or our recent AC going out in the mini van. But no, we don't conside the kirby salesmans vacuum to be an emergency need" He then did another snorted laugh.

He made a few more comments about my religion as he packed up to leave. Then as he walks out the door (I'm still trying to be nice but firm) and I said "good luck with your future sales but I will not be wanting to buy your product at any point in the future." and he said "Well, I'm sure the next person will buy the product and hopefully their home will be cleaner too."

That pissed me off!!! If you know me you know that I am a tad bit OCD about my house. Granted I have 3 kids and my house is not perfect but I keep it pretty darn clean so what he said was totally wrong not to mention totally uncalled for! I mean seriously!

So anyways, there is my experience with the kirby salesman. I immediately contacted the company and complained. Such a jerk!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Being Tested.....

Here is a picture the difference between a healthy muscle and a muscle affected by psoriatic arthritis. On my personal MRI's you can actually see the black dots all over my spine, knees, feet and hands. Nasty I know...

Well, I'm certainly being tested in patience and faith. My last labs showed that my inflammation had increased and not decreased with the treatments. So they are going to increase the dose I take for my chemo and the IV treatment and will probably put the IV treatments closer together.

Since the radio frequency ablations didn't work as well as they had hoped we are now going to do epidurals on my lower spine, medial branch blocks on my middle back and injections into my neck, plus chiropractic work regularly. At least once a week. My poor chiropractor. I go in once a week and every week pretty much every muscle that can be popped out of place is. My muscles are just so week that i can't hold things into place. She spends and house just popping me back into place. She has to pop my hips in several different areas, my neck, my spine, it's nasty and freaks me out but it helps so I keep going back.

I know that something is going to work and help me. I REALLY believe that. I feel blessed that my MRI shows that something is actually wrong. I was watching dr oz and it was about chronic pain in people and so many of those people have nothing that shows up on any tests but they are in horrible pain 24/7. I could relate so much to each of the people on the show. Once woman describes how she has to get up early to make sure she has enough time for her pain medicine to work. I set my alarm for an hour before my kids will get up for the same reason. I can't get them ready for school in the morning until the medicine kicks in. Then there was another who said she was not the mother she had envisioned herself to be. I wanted to much to be an active fun mom that was always running and playing. I use to be that way, and I hope to be again, and every now and again I am able to but mostly I'm just not the mom I want to be. Another woman went through 1o doctors who told her she was just depressed or it was all in her head. I went through 8 that told me I was just having depression cause I had just given birth to my daughter. so many people don't believe you and if they can't find the answer they just say it's in your head. They either think you're just over reacting or that you're trying to score drugs. Dr. Oz touched on all those things. It's sad how many people suffer and no one pays attention to them.

Maybe someday I can be a spokesperson/advocate for pain management. That would be cool. :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Humbling myself enough to pray...

As I have struggled over the past year and a half with this disease... well it's been difficult. There has been a lot of bad, and a lot of learning. So much learning. I believe strongly that all of our trials come to us to help us learn or to help humble us. I believe this disease was given to me for the same reason. I've learned a lot and humbled myself in many ways since this all started. However, i think I've relied too much on medical practice. I believe medical practice is guided by God's hand but it can't be the only thing i rely on through this process.

When I have been given blessings from my husband, bishop, and grandfather throughout this illness they have all said roughly the same thing. When that happens its such a faith builder to know that the blessing is truly my Father-in-Heaven talking to me and not just the person giving me a blessing. The thing that my Father in Heaven always tells me is that I need to humble myself on my knees to pray and ask for help.

It's stupid but when I'm saying prayers with the family or around the dinner table, I always pray for each and every person individually but I never feel comfortable praying for myself. I feel guilty and selfish praying for myself. I think my Heavenly Father is telling me to stop that. He wants us to ask for help for ourselves.

I have been having a flare up and it's been really painful and difficult and this morning I was crying in pain and was just so frustrated that the radio frequency ablation hadn't worked when I had been so sure it would. As I sat there crying the words of all my blessings came flooding back to me. Over and over again I kept remembering "humble yourself enough to get on your knees and ask for help." It took a moment for me to do it but I dropped to my knees and I started to pray. I prayed hard and I begged for help in taking my pain away. I didn't ask for a cure or for it to be gone forever. I just asked for the strength to get through it and to lessen it enough that I could get through the day. And if I need to drop to my knees and humble myself enough to ask for help EVERYDAY then that is exactly what I should be doing. It's what my Heavenly Father asked me to do.

The moment I said "amen" my little boy came in the room and asked me why I was crying. I told him in children's terms that Heavenly Father asked mommy to ask him for help when I needed it and that I hadn't been doing what he asked, but that I was doing it now and that it was happy tears. He gave me a hug and said "did it work mommy? Did Heavenly Father help you?" and in that moment I realized that I wasn't hunched over anymore. I had not taken any pain medicine in several hours so I knew it wasn't that. But suddenly in that moment of asking for help to when my son came in the room.....the pain was gone. It didn't stay gone....but I got through the day. It was lessened enough that I was able to get things done, play with my kids, and actually enjoy the day.

I have such a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood and the gift that has been given to us to be able to receive blessings of healing and comfort. I have a testimony of the power of prayer. That if we can just humble ourselves before our father and ask for the things that we need in humility that he will bless us with those things that we need. That he will never give us more than we can handle. That if he gives us a trial that he will deliver us through it and that we have to stop thinking that we need to do everything by ourselves. He is there to walk with us, to hold us up and when we need it...he is there to carry us through it.

You better believe that I will never forget to say my prayers and ask for help when I need it again.

Why I had 3 kids so close together.....

Sometimes I meet people that think I'm nuts or "wrong" for having 3 kids so close together. I've met people that think it's selfish, and others that think it's unfair and just plain wrong. . .

I was watching this commercial today of this family that all comes together of all different ages. The parents were older (grandparents), all their children grown (4) and their husbands or wives, as well as their children, came to this beach house for a family reunion. They looked so happy and they had all their cousins there to play with. It was awesome. That's what I hope my future looks like.

For the people that think I'm nuts for having my children so close together, or who think I'm selfish... i have to ask them... wouldn't it be selfish to not give them each other? To not give my future grandbabies their cousins? When Adam and I are gone my children will not be alone. They will ALWAYS have each other, and having a sibling is different than having distant relatives. My kids LOVE each other to pieces. Sure they fight like siblings do but when it comes right down to it, when things get tough they are the first ones there to take care of each other. Not a friend down the street that they see once a week for a play date, but the best friend they have under the same roof. They have that closeness because they are close in age and they relate to all the same things. Unless you have kids close together in age or have a few of them, you cant imagine the closeness and love that siblings have for one another. They respect each other, they take care of each other, they look out for each other, they are each others best friends always. They are not a friend that may come and go from their lives, they are forever.

Adam caught a cold at work, and despite our efforts the kids caught it. They would lay together on the couch stuffed under a big blanket with their tissues watching movies together. Michael would start coughing and Emma would take Michael's hand and say "it's ok brother, it's ok". Michael helps me tuck Emma into bed every night. He loves to read her a story. We take turns. He reads to her and then I read to her. He sings a song and I sing a song. He helps her say prayers. Then we both give her a kiss on her forehead before we leave the room. I'm pretty positive that Emma would be thrilled to have her big brother put her to bed and totally ignore me being there. haha. I'm totally fine with her feeling that way though. They love each other and that's beautiful.

Don't think Hailey is left out. Far from it. She ADORES her big brother and sister. She follows them around and mimics everything they do. Often times I find them all 3 playing together and I'll say "can mommy play"? and they say "no mommy, this is just for brother and sisters." Emma loves to put Hailey to bed. Emma calls herself a "little mommy". She always wants to take over feeding Hailey her dinner. Michael is always giving Hailey kisses and running to find her favorite puppy stuffed animal when she is sad.

So anyways... for those that think having my 3 beautiful children so close together was selfish or having 3 of them was too many and was wrong.... well all I can say is that those people are wrong. And judging me for having such an amazing family that loves each other and counts on each other and needs each other and is perfect together .... then perhaps those people should look internally at themselves and realize just how "wrong" THEY are.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feeling a little let down....

So this Friday I have my followup appointment with the doctor. My RF should be at its max pain relief that it's going to work by now. I feel let down cause I'm still in constant pain. I would say that since my procedure probably has had 50% improvement in my hand pain and about 80% in my knees and feet. I am so grateful for that but I had really been hoping the pain in my back would get better but instead there is really no difference in my back. It's disappointing because my back has held the majority of my pain and still does. It's nearly debilitating if I'm being honest. Most nights I can't sleep more than an hour or two because the pain is too much and most days I have a hard time moving much at all.

I try hard to stay positive most of the time but sometimes when I feel like this its difficult. I need to try and get back to my happy place. :-P

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011

It's been awhile since I've updated the blog. Procedure number 2 went well too. It takes about 4 weeks to fully work and its only been about a week since the last procedure. I'm still waiting for relief from the pain but I'm optimistic that it will work.
It's chemo day today. It stinks. I won't lie. I'm sick to my stomach and the pain always gets worse on these days. Adam came home early from work and let me sleep for over 4 hours while he took care of the kids. That's always really helpful and he does it every Monday. So there is the update on my health. Not real interesting. Not much has changed yet.
My kids are amazing. Emma has been so sweet lately. She is so helpful! She wants to do everything herself. Very independent. She wants to fix her own breakfast, lunch and dinner. She sets the table, she cleans up after herself and if her brother or sister have a spill she is the first one there with a towel to wipe it up. She is right by my side 24/7 helping me. Yesterday she was helping me put Hailey down for bed. She handed Hailey her puppy dog, blanket and binky and said "Love you Hailey, sleep well." Then closed the door. I got down on my knees and gave her a big hug and said "You're such a good big sister sweetie." and she looked at me with those big beautiful eyes and said "no mama. I'm a good mommy." haha. So cute! So I call her 'little mommy' now.
Michael has been doing better with his aggression. He can be so sweet sometimes and at other times he can be so aggressive and mean. I never know what personality is going to come out of him and it can change at the drop of a hat. But lately he has done better. He is playing with his sisters more and being more helpful. He has his moments but I think he is trying and I'm trying to be more patient and understanding of him. At church yesterday he colored a picture with a heart on it and asked his teacher to write "I love you Camryn" on the back. Then he begged me to walk around church until we found this little girl that he is head over heels in love with. She is probably 6 years old and just cute as a button! She is the older sister of one of his play dates. When we found her he gave her the card and she read it and gave him a big hug and said "I love you too Michael." and he just glowed from ear to ear! And ALL day he was talking about his "girlfriend Camryn". haha. I was trying to put him to bed and he kept opening his eyes and said "did you see her long pretty hair mommy. Wasn't is perfect?" and then he would say "what color do you think Camryns eyes are? I think I will have to ask her when I see her again." It was so adorable to see him with his first REAL major crush. He has had a few in his few short years of life but this is the first time he seems to be really in puppy love. Just adorable!
Hailey is truly the most perfect baby in the world. I can't even begin to tell you. She is just ALWAYS happy and smiling. She will only cry when she wants to go to sleep, and it's just to let me know. If she has a dirty diaper she just toddles over and gets a clean one and brings it to me. When she is hungry she goes to the fridge and slaps her little hand on it until I get over there. She picks up her toys, she eats whatever I give her (not picky at all), and she is just always smiling and laughing and dancing. There is not a happier baby girl in all the world.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have the children I have. They are beautiful, healthy, smart, sweet, just all around amazing kids!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Procedure #1. . .

So I had the first of two procedures. Luckily, the twilight sleep actually worked this time!!! The doctor was so funny. He came to me and said "alright. First time, I gave you the regular amount of anesthesia and it didn't affect you at all. Second time I gave you almost triple and still... nothing. So this time you're getting some mega should feel REAL good by the end of this." ha ha. Even the nurses were commenting how they had never seen someone need so much anesthesia (especially someone my size). It was successful though. I do remember everything. I laid down on the table like the last two test runs. They told me to be still. Pushed the drugs, I got dizzy, felt the needles go in, gripped the table when they burned the nerves. I remember the burning smell (maybe it was in my head. I'm not sure) and I remember thinking that it hurt but not really caring. I guess that's what the twilight sleep does. You're aware of what is going on but you just don't really care.
So it was over pretty quick. I was REALLY sore for a couple days and I won't see results for a week or two...maybe more. But once the results do show up I will be free from pain. It should take at least 80% away. Possibly 100%. Wouldn't that be AMAZING!!!! It would make getting through everything else SO much easier!!!