Monday, January 11, 2010

Where to begin

Dean had his surgery, then developed a clot. Great. He had a near-constant fever that would go up and down along with some nausea and generally unwellness until he finally called the surgeon on Sunday, four days after the surgery. The surgeon was concerned and had him come in. The surgical site looked good, no signs of infection. He said the only other reason for a fever that long after the operation would be a clot. So he was to take a full-strength aspirin and we were to call again the next morning if the fever hadn't resolved. So, sure enough, we went in again to Wilmington - an hour away. The surgeon sent Dean to a vascular surgery clinic to have an ultrasound, where they quickly found the clot in his calf. He's on coumadin to prevent any new clots, and self-administered shots to help break up this one. And he's finally now not really having the fevers, and doesn't need to take the percocet around the clock any more, but it is still uncomfortable and when he walks much it hurts, as it did going to church today, and to a wedding reception last night.

In other news, the boys and I won't be able to go to Korea with Dean. What a bummer. He's been given a few more options, but none are desirable. He could go to Riyadh, the capitol of Saudi Arabia, to do public health stuff (such as checking the swimming pool water and microwaves for proper-ness - I don't recall any such classes in vet school, hmmmm), take care of whatever working dogs need care, and food safety. Yeah, not so appealing for him, not to mention that apparently the climate is much like that of Phoenix, AZ, which is most unappealing to him. He's been emailing with the guy currently there (it has to be a man, which makes the position harder to fill, as most new vets these days are women), and that guy says the position is a "diamond in the rough". It would be tax-free pay, but that still doesn't take the sting out of the rest of it. Another possibility would be to go to a unit in Georgia. That is even more unappealing because he would spend the whole time training (in the "swamp" of Georgia - miserably hot and humid) for a deployment. That one is certainly crossed off the list. So, that leaves going to Korea by himself, or Riyadh, either one for a year. The commander in Korea is expecting him anyway, and it would be a nice job with lots of learning experience for him, namely to be the CO's assistant in planning and operational stuff, with some occasional veterinary work.

So, what about me and the kids? I've always thought we'd just stay here if we had to be separated, like when he was supposed to deploy a few months ago. But, since he would be leaving in the summer, it seems like a good opportunity to just go back to Ramah, NM for a year (my home town, of about 400 people). There, the kids could spend a lot of time with all their grandparents and cousins (some of whom are in Albuquerque) and experience all the stuff I did as a kid, like real snow, going on the ranch to find a Christmas tree, and care-free summers. But, in such a small town, there's not much of a rental market. As an autonomous adult for more years than I care to admit, I don't wish to live with anyone, namely the folks. That is not to mention that they are settled in their house full of stuff and wouldn't really have room for four extra people anyway. So, they are asking around, as there are a couple of old vacant houses just being used as storage and such. It would really be nice to sock away and save during that time, living the simple life. If nothing else perhaps we could move to Albuquerque, or just stay here. If I did that, though, I'd probably want to put Kyler in private school for kindergarten, as his birthday is Sept. 2, so he just misses the cutoff. There wouldn't be any socking away if I did that, but at least he'd start school on time instead of having to wait a year, which torments my soul. There wouldn't be any such options in Ramah. I'd probably be better off putting such money away for college for him, but it really bothers me that he'll be a year behind in school. That's a sore subject for me. Dean and I were both August babies and excelled in school. Hunter was a premature Sept 9 baby and started the year he turned 5, and was a "role model", said his teacher, not to mention at the top of the class academically.
We have tried out my Christmas presents, including a new popcorn popper from Dean, which was what I had asked for. It's an air popper, which I wanted. I always lusted after one as a kid, and my mom always said "no". Although my younger brother Curtis says they had one for years - must have been after I left. We all love it, and it's fun to watch it pop - just ask the boys. I also purchased a new digital camera online from Staples right before Christmas. Then I opened the present from my mom, which was a similar camera. What a dilemma! I had actually thought that I should hold off a bit to buy one. Then Staples solved my dilemma by sending an email saying I didn't qualify for the rebate that had been advertised with the camera. What? You suck Staples, so I'm sending it back and keeping the one from my mom.

I finally found a perfect bed for Hunter. I've been looking for years it seems, to find just what I wanted at the right price, namely solid wood, with drawers beneath, on a platform, with a bookshelf headboard. It was on, where I've looked numerous times - and finally got lucky. He loves it, and it's perfect, especially for $150. I even got the guy to deliver for $20. It has a cubby, which they've already been in apparently, as there's a pillow in there. I used to like to crawl in small spaces as a kid for fun. Hunter likes to read before bed, so he can put his books on the shelf. I just need to get a clamp lamp or something for light. A regular lamp wouldn't survive in their room. There was a matching dresser as well, so I got it and soon we'll get rid of the behemoth dresser that I hate. I found a race car bed for Kyler at a yard sale several months ago. I hate when people say to "make an offer" on an item. I have no idea what they're looking for. $10? $100? So I offered $10. The guy was taken back, but talked me up to $15. I would have paid more, but the sign said... He even delivered for free. I swear someday we're going to own a truck again. I hate not having one. Of course Kyler crawls in bed with Hunter nearly every night, so the race car doesn't get much use.

Notice that there are two bumps in Hunter's bed, and no one in Kyler's.

So, I took a break to run around and take a couple of pictures of the beds and my new haircut :) I had put away the new camera we bought to get it ready to ship back to Staplessucks, and haven't gotten into the new one from my mom yet. So, I started looking for the "old" one that we've used thus far. Yesterday I took it away from Kyler as he was messing with it, which he has done much in the past. Santa even brought him his own little digital camera so that he would have one to mess with. Santa brought one for Hunter as well. Naturally, Kyler doesn't know where his is, so he still messes with everyone else's. So I looked on top of the tall bookcase where I had put the camera yesterday, but it wasn't there. I asked Dean, and he did the exact same thing with Kyler yesterday, even putting the camera in the same place. This kid is making me crazy. He defied us both. So I looked around and found the camera under the desk in the guest room, with the battery cover broken off. So it's no good now. I called up my bff the other day and told her I would mail it to her, as she didn't have one, and it still worked just fine. Now, with that door broken off, the sensor won't be activated to power it up and it's worthless. I am so upset. I'll say that it is a good thing for Kyler that he's in bed right now. I am so tired of him being so destructive. I wish we didn't have so many appointments for Dean tomorrow, because I would keep the boy in his room for the day. So, perhaps the rest of the week, when we are home, he will get to spend all his time in his room, thinking about not being so destructive. I've had it. He needed a new bed because he d-e-s-t-r-o-y-e-d his last one. To smithereens. It was one of those tubular metal toddler beds. It went out in the trash, and he had a crib mattress on the floor for a long time until I got the car bed. Anyway, hopefully by this time next week he'll be a new boy. I know most people's blogs are about how wonderful their supposedly-perfect children are. Yeah, I'm happy for you, but you won't find that here. I will say that most people's kids that I'm around act much like mine, so I'm pretty sure they are all normal, but being so destructive is not acceptable.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Home Again

Dean finally had his knee operated on on 12/30. It was injured in the summer compliments of Army combatives, and all this time they've had him going to useless physical therapy that clearly wasn't doing him any good. There were broken chunks of bone and cartilage floating around in the joint which were causing further damage all this time. One of the tendons that holds the patella in place was torn, so when Dean was anesthetized the surgeon moved the patella around, and could see how it had clearly been dislocated upon injury. He replaced the torn tendon with a "new" one from a cadaver to help keep the patella in place. He also fixed up the cartilage and bone and took out the floaters. It took about 2.5 hours. Some generous and kind hearted friends took Hunter and Kyler for the day (starting at 4:30 am) so that I could take Dean to Wilmington and be there with him. He was released on the 31st mid afternoon. Around 10pm it started hurting more and more and his low grade fever started rising again. We called the nurse advice line at the naval hospital and didn't get any good info (the surgereon must have been revelling in the new year, as he didn't answer our page). So I called the ER and a useful guy named Tony answered and gave some good advice, namely to double the percocet, so Dean proceeded to sleep pretty well overnight. Dean will be convalescing for a month at home. He wears a gigantic brace on the leg. So that's how we rang in the New Year. I actually went to the neighbors' party with Hunter and Kyler for a little while, and was taught some dance moves by an older black guy, ha ha.