Friday, October 30, 2009

Fresh Air

A few weeks ago, on Columbus Day, before Matt's unfortunate medical saga, we enjoyed another outing to Sandy Point State Park. This time with our friends Aaron & Angela. After eating homemade seafood chowder at their house we walked near the water, walked on the trails, walked on the jetty, and jumped in the sand. (May I inject here that if you're in the mood for a good giggle, have someone take a photo of you jumping. It's SURE to extract a smile or two :o)) Other than a few fishermen and lots of seagulls we were the only ones there. Fresh fall air... ahhh...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Matt's Update, by Matt

So, many of you know that I've had some medical fun this past week. I just wanted to put up a quick summary of what happened (sparing some gory details).

Last Tuesday evening (Oct. 13) I started feeling bad - abdominal pain and general icky-ness, though I didn't think much of it. Wednesday morning I woke up with some swelling and more pain, but again didn't think much of it. It got progressively worse, but the combination of having a very high tolerance for pain and being generally fairly stupid, I kept assuming it wasn't that bad and would go away on its own. By Friday night I had camped out around an 8 on the pain scale for several days, and decided it was time to break down. I called and made an appointment with a "doc-in-the-box" for Saturday morning. They examined me and said it was a pretty bad intestinal infection, but the doctor believed it would be dealt with through antibiotics. So, they sent me home with some drugs and instructions to go to the hospital if it got any worse.

By Sunday night, I moved from a constant 8 on the pain scale to a constant 9. The swelling was much worse and there was no indication that the antibiotics were doing anything at all. So, we paid a visit to the hospital around seven o'clock Sunday night. Checked into the ER, got into a room and after a quick examination, the doctors concluded the infection had progressed well beyond the "something needs to be done" threshold, and they began to prep to go in and clean out the dead tissue. The ER doctor said that because of the severity of the infection, she couldn't handle it, so she passed me off to the ER surgeon who, for the same reason, passed me off to a normal surgeon. Because of the severity of the infection, they had to make plans to get me in an OR that night and knock me out with general anesthetics. However, because I ate a granola bar before coming to the hospital, we had to wait.

So, seven hours after checking in, armed with an IV and multiple painkillers, I was wheeled down to the OR and that's about the last thing I remember. I vaguely remember waking up once in the OR after surgery and them telling me everything went well, and then again in my room where for some reason they wouldn't let me sleep (the nurse who was trying to keep me awake was nice but I remember almost punching her).

I woke up the next morning (Jenna stayed & slept on the "couch") feeling alright and was told that everything went really well. They explained that they got all of the infection out and that no vital tissue had been damaged (though if they'd waited much longer it would have been). But, because so much tissue had been eaten away, merely closing up the wound would have lead inevitably to another infection. So, I had (and still have) a gaping incision that has to heal up naturally over the next few weeks.

They kept me there until Tuesday afternoon monitoring the incision and trying to find a painkiller that would help me get through the rest of the week - it turns out I'm nearly immune to hydrocodone (lortab, vicodin, etc.), oxycodone (percocet, oxycontin, etc.), morphine, and codeine. However, hydromorphone (dilaudid) has some effect and has managed to keep the pain away.

My initial plan was to return to work on Wednesday (the day after being discharged). The doctors did well to hide their snickering when I said that. I spoke with my supervisor and he was very willing to work with me to fill my hours for this week. Of course, all of the sick, annual, and flex time I've accrued is now gone, but that's what it's for, right? I have plenty of time to save back up before our holiday travel plans. I plan on going back to work this coming Monday or Tuesday, depending on a number of variables. But all in all, recovery so far is coming along well. Jenna, it turns out, is an outstanding live-in nurse and has taken great care of me. I've also received plenty of phone calls and emails from family and friends, in addition to balloons, a fruit and snack tray, cards, and even a book to help pass the time. I've weaned off the pain meds - from every three hours the first day down to once or twice a day now. Everything seems to be healing well. No signs of re-infection or additional pain. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be back to normal.

So that's the story.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last Thursday Matt took me to see So You Think You Can Dance on tour in Baltimore! (It was my birthday present from back in August.) The show was sooo entertaining and worth every penny! It was extremely moving to see dancers preform live and not on TV. If you followed season 5 over the summer... we saw the butt dance, the necklace dance, the cancer dance & so much more. It was sooo enjoyable to watch!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not One Bean; Oodles of Bibs

Where do we live now?!? In a place where after looking in four different grocery stores, these were no where to be found:

But where these are easily found in mid-October. Even at Target:Slowly but surely, little adjustments, one at a time...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Baking Bliss

This afternoon was a good afternoon. Thanks to a new friend's dessert at lunch Sunday (chocolate-chip pumpkin bars) I was motivated to get reacquainted with an old love... baking. Today's peanut butter cookies, pumpkin bread and my new favorite experiment, almond poppy-seed cookies, all get two thumbs up!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Move Mapped

Two months ago today we finished our big trip of a move:

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Friday, October 2, 2009