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This Week’s (Month’s) Highlights via Instagram

I’ve been really out of sorts because of the pulmonary embolisms, but here are some nice things that have happened this month- lots of birthdays!

First up, Maisie’s 4th birthday was on 10 September! We usually have huge parties, but my health hasn’t been the best, so we just did a family party, with grandparents from both sides and her first cousins from her dad’s side. She received My Little Pony, Spirit Horses, an Ant Farm (her fave, ours too), and the outhouse dollhouse built by my dad (with base and landscaping by us):

 

Her Norwegian dollhouse hosted the new Spirit horses:

Later in the week, she received macarons from our dear friend and we had a blast doing mundane things- also, my friend brought us wild paw paw fruit, which tastes like mangoes squished with bananas and pineapple! I was able to ripen them by sticking the branch in water for a week.

It’s still been brutally hot out here, so she had a lot of beach time and park time as well:

Then we ended this week with silver and gold henna tattoos- plus I received 2 new Tiffany heart bead bracelets to commemorate surviving the last 2 months since my embolisms ❤

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Today Maisie is 4- and earlier this week my dad was 76- What we’ve been working on for her bday (Instagram)

 

It’s a busy birthday week at my house- today Maisie turns 4! I don’t have any pics of her yet this morning, but wanted to update everyone on our projects (and my dad’s bday) this week.

Pic of Papa wearing Maisie’s hat 🙂 –

Maisie on my dad’s bday- she dressed as a ‘cowgirl ballerina’:

We build ultra realistic log cabin dollhouses for fun. I love doing miniature things. Maisie complained that her dollhouse cabins had no bathrooms- so my dad made an outhouse out of poplar, barn wood, and cedar shingles- he even made the handle for the door out of copper wire he hammered and aged!

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New #dollhouse #outhouse collaboration for Maisie's 4th birthday with my dad! We have to get this completed by tomorrow- her actual #birthday. She was complaining that her dollhouse dolls had no place to potty, so Papa made the outhouse like one would do a real one- he framed it with #poplar, I believe, added #barnwood sides, #cedarshingles… it is a 2 holer. I did the poo and gross things under out of #polymerclay- it even has a #snake in there, but you can't see it without a flashlight. My dad and I stained and tore teeny bits of printed 'newspaper' and added that to the septic system lol. I purchased replica 1:12 1918 and 1897 mini #searscatalogs from #eBay and they're actually READABLE. R made the rotating base and painted it with milk paint. I am currently doing the #landscaping. #miniatures #dollhouses #outhouses #momlife #surprise #present #birthdaypresent #grandfathers #replicas #tinythings #blogger #toddlerlife #childhood #diy #handmade #incredible #dolls #dollhouseminiatures #dollhousefurniture

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I did the ‘poop’ and a snake to go in the 2-holer, out of polymer clay- and we have teeny antique (readable) Sears catalogs in there!

R made the base, it revolves- and painted it with milk paint.

R put the static grass down, but I did the rest of the landscaping and painting and stone crafting out of egg cartons- and I made ‘weeds’… it is a marvelous collaboration! I can’t wait til we surprise her with it later this afternoon!

She’s also getting an ant farm, which she asked for 🙂

Will update more later! xo

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My Beautiful Baby before Connor’s Graduation Party on Saturday

If you scroll the instagram, you can see a shot of her with me, not in a hospital gown for once lol.

She is such a lovely child and well behaved and soooo smart!!!!! She will be four on 10 Sept!

She does not stop talking, though. She is a font of information. I adore that. You can have an actual intellectual conversation with this tot and it’s ADORABLE.

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Updates on Last Hospital Visit/Pulmonary Embolisms

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at Kalamazoo Hospital- warts and all, no fuckin’ filter. 

Consolidating everything here:

I had a DaVinci Robotic hysterectomy on 12 July- they kept my ovaries (and doc says I may not go into menopause til near 60, as I apparently have abnormally young bits, yikes)- this surgery cured a lot of pain, but caused even worse. I almost died suddenly from blood clots to both lungs which were directly from the surgery, they surmise.

3 Weeks after my initial diagnosis and my embolisms on both sides are exactly the same as they were on August 8, but have not gotten new ones and they haven’t grown- had chest CT at Bronson last night.

Doc believes the first embolism may have occurred on July 27th, as I had an ‘attack’ that I thought was a newfound food allergy- but consistent with PEs.

However, it doesn’t sound like they’ve gotten any smaller, either…

I need to see a cardiologist at Bronson ASAP and have a Holter monitor done to find out what is going on, but they cannot do that In the ER.

They seem to think that my symptoms are because of this PE and I need to take it easy until the cardiologist fits me with a Holter- 

I feel very frustrated that I am basically supposed to be bedridden. The doctor said it was more important for me to hydrate than to move around at this point

Hospital cut me loose last night with a long acting beta blocker (metoprolol)- I am only supposed to take a fraction. He wants mr to start with half at bedtime, but I’ve played this bp med game before. I will do a quarter tonight.

I am waiting for the referral to go through with the cardiology department at Bronson in Kalamazoo, MI- which is 45 min from me, but a better hospital than the one around the corner.

Until then, I am basically supposed to act like a vegetable and keep hydrated.

My resting heart rate is higher daily, no matter what I do. This morning I woke up to it being 83 on avg while flat on back. I am power hydrating. My old avg per fitbit was 69-70. It goes up every day now this week. If I stand, it shoots up to 120-130 minimum.

Took over a dozen sticks, an u/s, and 1.5 hours to get a 20 port IV into me so I could have a CT. The head mosquito vascular nurse said I broke her streak. I’m a horribly terrible poke. LOL. Basically, I am the micropenis of the vein world. That’s a comforting thought. 

However, probably the nicest hospital experience I’ve had in years. Immediate, prompt care- real eye contact. Immediate info and they didn’t hold us hostage for 3 days and keep trying to drug me with hysterical Victorian woman meds.

There you have it.

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Rough morning after 2 weeks of smooth recovery

Been feeling better than anyone could have imagined, with having pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. My lung sounds and functions were clear, my ‘spells’ less so- I felt fantastic… until this morning when I woke abruptly this morning.

I woke up at 6 am, sweating and not able to catch breath. It’s 2 weeks since I was diagnosed with bilateral PEs and I haven’t had a ‘spell’ like this in over a week. I’d been feeling better.

I feel like it burns all the way into the middle of both lungs, hard to catch an inhalation, feel like I have to cough phlegm, but nothing.

My bp is lower than normal 102/80. I woke with tachycardia (fast heart rate) over 120, that went down to the 90s.

I’ve not had spells this bad since the hospital. My pulse ox reads anywhere from 93-98, depending.

I still can’t take a deep breath right now… it’s getting better, but it’s scary nonetheless.

I don’t drink, don’t smoke. I just started getting my steps back up from nil to 7k the last three days. I’m on the ketogenic diet.

When they said recovery is a process with pulmonary embolisms, they were not kidding. I can have relatively normal, excellent days- then BAM! Scary, back to square one.

Some folks in my support group say it takes months to years to recover.

My stubborn self was hoping for WEEKS. I push myself too hard. I am depressed, as much as I can be. Mostly because I don’t like to be idle.

Saw my gynecological oncologist this week and everything in that area is looking great since the hysterectomy. This surgery caused my PEs, btw.

I am too ornery and cantankerous to die. Too much to do… and I have a child to care for.

I refuse to succumb, but if anything happens to me, tell my baby I loved her.

So far, I am told I am lucky to be alive as it is. For this, I am absolutely grateful.

I have so many people I love and have loved. I don’t want to go anywhere.

I want to celebrate being alive. 2018 was rough. I am not the only person in my family to nearly lose their life in a sudden accident this year. We are blessed to be here right now.

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Bilateral Pulmonary Embolisms (blood clots in lungs)- in pain and in hospital, but still alive, so far

I haven’t been updating my hysterectomy saga, as I’ve been recuperating- or trying to.

Almost died this week, and am still in hospital. I have Factor V Leiden, a genetic condition that makes me prone to blood clots- and they formed after my surgery.

More:

I am in shock.

Dr came in, they found two blood clots, on either side of my lungs. One had already burst into many bits- or ‘fillings’-I am being put on Eliquis to dissolve them and must be on this med for at least 3 months… then I see the hematologist again after.

It feels like pneumonia or bronchitis with a bloody copper taste in my mouth- stabbing pains, numbness, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

They are likely a result of my surgery and Factor V Leiden.

I am very fortunate, as they somehow bypassed my heart and didn’t kill me instantly. I had been having chest pains and difficulty breathing everyone at first presumed was anxiety.

They are keeping me at least another day or two for a heart study, to make sure I don’t have a hole in my heart.

(Update: heart is great, no holes)

MRI of brain is clear of stroke, thank goodness. My headache is still crazy bad, so they are going to give me toradal once and put me back on my usual bp meds.

I KNEW something was wrong- when they say ‘feelings of doom’, it is real. I was worried I wouldn’t be leaving here at one point today. My chest hurt so badly. I try joking things away, but this is still a bit of a shock to me.

As of Aug. 9, still in hospital. I just had another chest xray, pain comes and goes and I sometimes feel like I am suffocating. Doc says this is definitely from my surgery. Even on lovenox injections, these can still form. SO scary.

FYI, I am not wanting to die.

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VINTAGE RECIPE: My Great Aunt Ellen’s Chicken and Dumplings- MY NEW VERSION- Now w/saffron and truffle oil!!

Making this again for the first time since the original post in 2016- my nephew is here visiting from Palau and I wanted him to try the foods of his American ancestors 🙂

I added a new, modern twist to this recipe- a pinch of saffron and extra garlic in the chicken cooking water- and truffle oil to finish the thing off, to taste.

It’s incredible with the new umami flavor profiles! Photos below of my nephew rolling and cutting the dumplings- and the last batch of ‘sauce’

Miss Maisie and Me

TO SEE PART 1, CLICK HERE

My version

After I finished writing the last blog post, I started on the chicken and dumplings.

img_4133-1 The original version omits any thickener for sauce

right away I could tell that 2 tsp baking powder in one cup of flour was WAY too much- also, most recipes call for some form of fat, which I added.

Aunt Ellen used ‘chicken cooking water’ and canned broth. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make my OWN broth.


CHICKEN AND BROTH:

2 packages of boneless skinless chicken breast (3 breasts per package)
a couple stalks of celery, leaves on, broken up in large chunks
a couple unpeeled carrots, broken up into large chunks
UNPEELED onion, cut in quarters.
water to cover
handful of fresh parsley (do not chop)
tablespoon of chicken bouillon

Basically, I just dumped it all in a pot on high-…

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