Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Didn't Mean to Hurt Him. Honest!

About two weeks ago my husband was sitting at his desk, hard at work. He called out to me that his neck felt very hot and he was rather uncomfortable. I checked it out and his neck was quite red and the redness seemed to be creeping up to the back of his head. He said he felt as if a heatlamp was shining on him. Odd. After about an hour the color returned back to normal and we both went about our business.

The next day was Saturday and I was out and about running errands. My cell phone rang and it was my husband.
"It's happening again."
"What's happening again ?" I asked.
"The redness is back but this time it is all over my body. I am watching it spread. It looks like I have a sunburn. It feels like I have a chemical burn."
My sister is a medical assistant for a dermatologist so I suggested that he call her. She asked him if he had any taken any new medications or eaten any new foods or used a new laundry detergent. No, no and no.

Once again the redness disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. We scratched our heads. We tried to diagnose via WebMD. I was convinced the rash was caused by stress. I believe that stress is the root of many medical evils. My husband wasn't convinced.

Day three arrived. The red rash started on his hands. We watched as it spread up his arms, across his chest, down his back. Here we go again. We now were starting to get concerned. Our daughter didn't want him to go near our new grandbabies and we totally understood. Was this measles? Blood pressure issue? Time to call 'Ask a Nurse'. I mentioned to my husband that he should tell her about the incredible stress he has been under lately. Stress can cause body malfunctions.

The nurse asked him question after question. "Mention the stress. Mention the stress," I mouthed. He told her he had taken no new medications. No new skin products. No known food allergies. I wrote a huge note which I waved in front of his eyes.
Mention the stress!!! He brushed my hand away and tried to pay attention to the questions being asked him. She asked him about the daily vitamin he takes. "Do you take any other supplements?" He told her about the fish oil and the glucosamine chondroitin. He mentioned the niacin supplements which we take. I had just bought a new bottle of the heart healthy capsules last week. She asked him how many milligrams were in each capsule. He read the small print - they were 2500% of the RDA. What? That couldn't be right. I am very careful about what we eat and try hard to keep us healthy. Niacin supplements have been part of our heart healthy regiment for months. I got out my reading glasses so I could read the fine print and had an 'aha' moment. While shopping I had bought the niacin but had not paid attention to the amount of milligrams in each capsule. I had bought the superduper niacin capsule which had caused my husband to have a niacin flush. In my rush I had not read the fine print.

I truly feel horrible that I had caused my husband worry and discomfort. How ironic that in my quest to make sure that we are doing all we can to be as healthy as possible I was the cause of the flush. I am so thankful that the side effects weren't more serious and once we stopped taking the superduper niacin capsules his flush disappeared. I learned my lesson...carefully read the small print and then your stress may disappear.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Things My Mother Never Told Me...

For the past sixteen days I have been redefining who I am - once again. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a mom, an aunt, a mom-in-law, and now I am a grandmother. Of course I have also been called a few other things over the years but we won't go there today. I thought I would just become a grammie with no thought required but that has not been the case. I have been reflecting a great deal about what it means to be a grandmother. I have been reminiscing about raising my four children and how fast the years flew by. At times I have even been sad as I face the realization that my baby raising days are behind me. I have spent hours thinking of my own grandmothers ~ how much I loved them and how much I miss them. It is amazing that two baby boys with a combined weight of less than eleven pounds have had this type of effect on me.

Part of this introspection has included thoughts of my mom. She is now a great-grandmother. My parents live in Florida and I don't get down there to visit as often as I would like. They are not able to travel any longer so unfortunately I don't know when or if they will get to meet their great-grandsons. I have sent pictures but that's not the same as being able to kiss those cute little toes and inhaling that wonderful baby smell. I miss my mom and wish she were here to share this next chapter in life with me. I want to see her holding her great-grandsons, rocking them and soaking up their sweetness. I want to talk to her, up close and personal, about being a grandmother.

So as I process new feelings and revisit stored memories and try to make sense of this new phase in my life, I linger on a few of 'my mom' memories. My mom is a sweet lady. She is not an adventurer, not a risk taker. She plays life safe. She was a stay at home mom and did whatever my father told her to do - right, wrong or otherwise. That is also another post for another day.

One memory was when I was thirteen years old. My sister and I were doing gymnastics on the beds. I was doing a tumble and landed hard on the wooden rail at the end of the bed. I landed real hard and let's just say I am glad I wasn't male because I would have been singing soprano. I ran into the bathroom and on further investigation I realized that I was bleeding. I started to cry. I knew I was in serious trouble. I wasn't supposed to be doing tumbles on the bed in the first place and now it appeared that I had internal bleeding. My thirteen year old dramatic imagination was on overdrive and I worked myself into a frenzy. I yelled out to my mother, "Come here fast, I am going to die !" My mother came into the bathroom and checked out the situation. She handed me a feminine product, told me how to wear it and then prepared to leave the room.

"Mom, what is this for? Am I dying? Why am I bleeding? Shouldn't we go to the hospital? What's wrong with me?"

"This is going to happen to you every month."

She left the room. I remember wondering what was going to happen every month. Was I going to do tumbles every month, fall on the rail and then bleed? Thoroughly confused, and not for the last time, I entered the world of womanhood.

I remember when I was curious about the birds and the bees. This was before the days of sex education. At all of the slumber parties the main topic of discussion was sex and I was once again confused. I went to my mother and asked her about some of the conversations. She turned and told me to ask my grandmother to explain it to me. What? To this day mom has never mentioned the 'S" word to me. Thoroughly confused, and not for the last time, I entered the world of sexuality.

I remember when I became engaged. I was so excited. My parents had been married forever so I asked my mom for words of advice as I prepared to get married to my true love, my soulmate. She turned and looked at me with sad eyes, and said, " You make your bed, you lie in it." Whoa. I didn't truly understand what she meant but I knew this wasn't happy, happy, joy, joy talk. Thoroughly confused, and not for the last time, I entered the world of marriage.

When I gave birth to my first child, I was beaming, excited, bursting with pride. I couldn't wait to show my new baby girl to the world. I was a mommy! My mother walked into my hospital room and I held out my arms so she could give me a hug. She looked at me and I waited for her words of love, her words of wisdom.

"Are you sure there isn't another baby in there?"


"Your stomach is still huge. Are you sure they got everything out?"

Thoroughly confused, and not for the last time, I entered the world of motherhood.

And now, I have entered the world of Grandmotherhood and I am finding that once again there are things my mother never told me. She never told me how much love I would hold in my heart for my grandchildren. She never told me how after sixteen short days I would protect my grandsons against any type of danger. She never told me about the bonds that form, a bond stronger than Gorilla glue. And for once, I am not thoroughly confused. I have entered the world of Grandmotherhood and I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Rockin'

Hello to my Blogging Friends ~ I just wanted to check in. I haven't had too much free time lately since I have been rocking, burping and loving the newest additions to our family. I have been offering support to the new parents, offering advice -if asked, and standing back and watching with pride as my daughter and son-in-law begin this newest adventure. I am figuring out how to be a grammie, what it means to be a grammie and trying to decide if I look like a grammie. I have a few potential posts to write and I promise to come and visit all of you soon! Thank you so much for your kind words and well-wishes. Keep your fingers crossed - the babies might be able to go home this weekend! Yahoo! Here I am with my grandbabies - just a tad proud and bursting with love and happiness!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's a Wonderful World

This is ridiculous. One of the biggest events in life occurred on Thursday and I can't find the words to express myself. Our daughter gave birth to our twin grandsons. They arrived six weeks early. They arrived fast. They arrived perfect. Sweet Pea weighed 5lb 2oz and Pumpkin weighed 4lb 14oz. They are perfect. Round faces, ten long fingers and ten cute toes. Our daughter and her husband are doing well. I am so proud of them They were so strong, so calm and level-headed during an extremely harrowing experience. My knees are still shaking. The babies are in a neo-natal intensive care unit being well-cared for by many wonderful professionals. I haven't been able to hold them yet but I have been able to whisper to them that I love them. I have been able to stare at them and imprint their faces to my memory. I have been able to gaze at them intently and shower them with the love that I hold in my heart for them . I stand by their little incubators and will them to grow and flourish. I talk to them of the adventures we will have, of the mudpies we will make, the forts we will build, the artwork we will create. I am ready to read to them, cuddle them, kiss them and play with them. For now I will cherish them, pray for them and adore them. And now I would like to introduce you to my two grandsons...

Sweet Pea ... ...and Pumpkin ! xxoo

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