Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baby, I need to tell you something....

If you are a Veggie-Tales fan, then you know the next line: "I ain't got a belly button. Belly button no, no, no... No belly button." If you're not into Veggie-Tales, then you think I am merely quoting a child's song.

Here's the thing: It's not just a song. It's reality. I no longer have a belly button - a fact that I am still trying to come to terms with that. You see, when I had my fourth hernia repair on March 11, the doctor did a relatively new procedure called a "component separation" that is designed to remove the mid-line tendon from the abdomen (because
it just keeps shredding over and over). In my case, however, I already had gore-tex mesh over a previous hernia repair. During the last surgery, I also had abdominal reconstruction to remove all the skin left over from my weight loss. As part of the operation, the surgeon moved and tightened my belly button. I began calling it my "$25,000 belly button."

This time, I had a hernia above and below the umbilicus. With the removal of the mesh and the herniation, the surgeon couldn't save the belly button and sewed up over it. He explained that if he had left it there, it would have died from reduced blood supply. Just call me Eve. Both my mom and my M-I-L have said that I should just have a new one tattooed on. I've thought it might be funny to have it pierced. I'll probably just leave it there. If you had asked me when I was younger what my last expectation of my life would be, I wouldn't have even said, "to end my life without a belly button." The thought was pretty much inconceivable to me. And though a belly button isn't really necessary to life and happiness, I still wish I had one. Can't tell you why - just wish I did.

And that's my song.

Here are some comments from this post:
kenju said...
You know what? There are worse things to be without!! I know what you mean, though. I am missing about 1/4 of my left big toe - and I'd really like to have it back.

Thumper said...
I would totally got for the tattoo...

Carola... said...
who needs belly buttons anyway. I mean seriously - if your a guy they a generally hairy and collector or mass creator of belly lint. If your a girl and your prone to be sweaty - its a watering hole for your belly, and if not, its just another void to clean on the random occasion to stop it 'developing a smell'. And - if you don't bare your midriff, its not going to become a tourist attraction. And if you do - you could [like Thumper said] get it tattoed back on - but in a different place - and pierced in the place it would've been had it still been there. Now that would make me stop and want to ask questions! I could write other random things for you to do or say or think about to distract the attention your lack of belly button has brought upon you as i'm sure I would probably also miss mine too if it were gone [almost lost mine due to a Hernia operation too! Coincidence much? Mine now makes a smile underneath where my button is... hahah!].
I hope that you find something else to put your finger in - or other.
Dropped by to say hi [as your on my list of regular reading that I sadly rarely get read! What is this 'Life'! Bah! :)]

David said...
BB transplant?
if/ when I die i am an organ donor: My heart, liver, kidneys whatever they can recycle. why don't I add belly button to the list and you can have mine?
hee hee
God Bless you

Saturday, April 12, 2008

That Rare Day...

A really nice, unexpected thing happened today.

I had lunch with my husband.

A long, unfettered lunch where we laughed and enjoyed pizza, salad and each other's company.

I'm sure this sounds like no thing, but you must understand that in the course of our "normal" lives, this just doesn't happen hardly ever. Champs is a route sales driver and leaves the house around 4:30 a.m. every day, then drives 45 minutes to Bloomington/Normal to complete his route. Then he heads back to Champaign to unload the product he's picked up and reload his van for the next day. Lunch is always on the road and the stopping part of it lasts only long enough to drag out his wallet and pay for it. I, on the other hand, am normally on the phone from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 each day with a scant half-hour for lunch around 10:45 in the morning. If we go to lunch on the weekend, it is a family affair sandwiched in between errands. You can see that our schedules are more conducive to the occasional phone call rather than lunch.

Today, however, two things were different. First, I am on medical leave. I didn't have to be on the phone nor did I have any appointments to go to, and surprisingly I wasn't filled with the pressing need to frantically clean everything in sight (tomorrow is Saturday, after all). Champs, on the other hand, had made good time and was heading back to our town around 11:45 in the morning. The truck that brings each day's product to load was running late, so Champs decided to take a rare break and stop for a lunch that lasted longer than 5 minutes.

We decided to meet at our favorite local pizza parlor for this unexpected treat. We talked about soccer, coaching, Sweet Girl, customers and who knows what else. To be honest, I barely remember what we talked about and none of it was all that important. What was important is that we ate, talked, laughed and... connected. We sat for more than an hour. No fancy clothes, no high-priced bill, no after-dinner drink and no baby sitter bill, but I have to say that it was a rare day...

And one of the best dates I've been on in ages.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

13 Things About Blond Girl Lately

Yeah, I've been away for awhile. So, here's 13 things to catch you up on all things blond...

1. I surprised myself by really falling for my car. I really wanted to buy an import, but financially, we chose to go with a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu executive lease return. It had about 7000 miles on it when we got it and we've put about 1000 on it since then. Enough for me to find out that while you don't need a V6 engine or bells and whistles such as steering wheel mounted stereo controls or a moon roof, they sure do make the trip fun. Oh yeah, I like my car.

2. On March 10, I had two appointments to prep for surgery the next day. I found out that the anemia I have ignored for the last 5 years had finally gotten bad. So bad that the surgeon refused to operate the next day unless I agreed to spend the night in the hospital getting two blood transfusions. Well, after everything I had done to prep for the operation and medical leave authorization, I wasn't about to miss my surgery. I left the emergency room at 3:30 a.m. and reported to the surgery center at 7:30 a.m. After all that, they sent me to a hematologist to get to the bottom of the anemia. Well, here's something I didn't know: if you've had a gastric bypass like mine, the portion of your body that absorbs iron is gone. All the doctors who had told me to take iron weren't helping at all. So, a week after surgery, I went in for another all day IV infusion, this time of iron instead of blood. Not exactly fun, but this will replenish my body's iron stores for 12-18 months before I need another treatment. I can already tell that I'm beginning to make more red blood cells. I have more energy and I'm not as cold as I have been for the last two years. And... I've stopped chewing on ice. So, that's all good. Nice to leave anemia behind.

3. And that leaves the surgery I mentioned. On March 11 I had my fourth (yes, fourth) ventral hernia repair. I think this one may be a (hopefully) permanent repair. The long explanation would take too long and be too boring to give, but basically, the plastic surgeon removed the mid-line tendon from my abdomen, joining the muscle bodies together. You might say that, instead of a six pack, I now have a three pack!

4. So, due to the surgery, I've been on medical leave and I will be until April 21. The funny thing about medical leave is, you think you'll do all this cool stuff. The reality is, it's medical leave. You pretty much commune with your sofa. That's about it. Wow, I forgot how comfortable this throw pillow and blanket are....

5. Which, of course, means that I've seen more TV than a person should. I really hate network daytime TV, so that means that I have seen just about every design show ever made by HGTV - and I can pretty much quote all the commercials word for word, ad nauseam. I think I'm glad I'm going back to work soon.

6. Not that I haven't gotten anything done. I have done our taxes and dropped them in the mail. It is interesting earning money in one state and living in another, but I got it all figured out. All hail Turbo-tax. Huzzah (pbbblllt).

7. It's about time, I guess. I'm 42 so I finally signed up for the Big Boob Squeeze. The TaTa Tango. Yes, I went in last week for my ma-ma-mammograb! In spite of my jocular attitude, I do feel strongly that it is an important test for all women to take. My mother-in-law, GranDee, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, making the test all that more relevant. It wasn't all that bad, really. For all the talk you hear about how much the squeezing hurts, that's not that bad. The part that hurt was the pressure of the machine against my sternum - and it didn't last that long. I got my "happy letter" today; I'm good for another year and I can focus on helping GranDee with her fight. I'll be back at Boobie-central next year for another test and every year after that. Yes, it's that important.

8. Tomorrow I'm taking my kitten, Jack, in for a very overdue neuter appointment. In fact, the way he's been acting lately, I don't think we can call him a kitten any longer. I should have had him neutered when he was around six months old, but I didn't have the money at that time. Now he follows Gus around, smelling his butt and hoping that he has somehow miraculously transformed from a tom into a queen since the last time he checked. It has, understandably, ticked off Gus to the breaking point. It will be nice to have them stop fighting, though I'm sure it will take awhile for the testosterone to leave Jack's body.

8. Speaking of testosterone leaving the cat's body, have you ever tried to explain neutering to a 7 year-old girl? It's a trip that goes something like this: "what's neuter, Mom?" "Well, honey, Jack's body has some glands in it that cause him to fight with Gus and defend his territory like he does. So, the doctor will make Jack go to sleep for a little while and take those glands out so that he behaves better. It is called neutering the cat." "Oh. OK. Where are the glands?" "See the little puffballs under his tail? Right there." "OOoooohhhhh. Ug!"
End of conversation.

9. I am desperate to get my hair cut. Instead, I'm having the cat's, um, puffballs cut. I can only afford one or the other right now. Oh well, I may look shaggy, but I am sure my carpets and Gus will thank me for my sacrifice.

10. I think my 7 year-old daughter has been hanging around the boys in her class too much. Why, you ask? Because she's been taking much joy in passing gas lately - and then demurely, delicately saying "excuse me!" all the time she has a gleam in her eye. She's having a hard time understanding that excusing herself is negated when she breaks wind on purpose. Tonight when she did it and excused herself I said, "I guess so, Miss Tootie Brain!" - and that's how Sweet Girl has come up with another nickname.

11. Has anyone else watched "Step it Up and Dance"? I like the show, but I cannot wait until Miguel goes home... he's just too full of himself!

12. Why are the last two items for the Thursday Thirteen the hardest to write? Auugh! I could write about my on-going identity crisis, but I've alluded to it for months and managed not to write about it, so why break a streak now?

13. Oh! I saved the best piece of news for last. When I met Champs, he was a soccer coach for the park district here in town, which he loved. He was with the same team for 6 or 7 seasons and he really loved coaching. He gave it up to move to Minneapolis and marry me. Once we started working and making a family, there just wasn't time for him to coach again. When we moved here, we had to focus on finding jobs and getting ourselves situated here. Now that things are more settled with jobs and finances, Champs has decided to return to coaching. The season has started, so it was too late for him to start as a head coach. He is assistant coaching a team, but will bid for head coach next season. It is so wonderful to see him back in the thick of what he loves. I am happy for him and proud of him and that's why this is my best update.

Blond Girl out. Night night!

And the comment from this post:
kenju said...
I am sorry that you had to have more surgery, BG, and glad to know you had a mammogram. Mine is scheduled for this Wed. Good for Champs for getting back into coaching!