Monthly Archives: January 2011

One Year Ago…

So one year ago today I was aimlessly wandering around New Zealand. And today I have talked to a lot of my friends I met through that study abroad program and it had me missing the old times.

Here is my oh so personalized acceptance letter email. (Click picture for better view.)

Instead of writing a really emo post, I am going to put up some of my favorite pictures (mostly nature) I took on the trip. I have made so many friends through that trip and I never will take it for granted. I loved every minute of it and I really do wish I was there right now.

 

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The Saga: Part II

So I’ve been a little apprehensive about writing this post because 1) I can’t remember much of it and 2) it is really rather boring. And no, I haven’t forgotten it because I took so long to write it, I can’t remember much because for the rest of the story I was very heavily medicated and slept for a large portion of it. But I’ll give it a go anyway.

So the nice doctor just came in and told me I had the appendicitis. She also said they were going to find me a proper room (huzzah! No more ER!). I don’t know how long it actually took, but it felt as though took them about 1-2 hours to get me into a regular room. When the nice doctor left, the weird/semi-mean PA came in to discuss my surgery. I have no idea what time it is now, but I think it was close to 6am. She said she thinks I’ll be getting surgery around 7:30, but don’t quote her on that because it could be anywhere up to 12pm. Yeah, yeah, she was quite positive that I would be in surgery no later than 12pm.

So why couldn’t I just go to surgery now? Because the surgeon wasn’t there, and HER WORDS “I’m not going to call him in now if he is just going to come in an hour. She can wait. There is no need calling him now– that is just silly and he will be in shortly.” BITCH. Seriously, I have justification for calling her that because **spoiler alert** I didn’t get my surgery for another ELEVEN HOURS. If she would have just called him in at that moment, I would have been saved a lot of pain. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I’m still vomiting, but by now the pain meds have set in and boy oh boy did they make me hate everyone. I mean, that PA had a little something to do with it, but still. This one nurse came in and was all “blah blah blah” (I can’t remember what she said) but whilst talking, she was leaning on the side of my bed (it was an ER bed, so they had the railing up so they could move it to the CT scan and stuff) and she was shaking it and apparently it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, but I think my body was radiating hate because she was shaking the bed and I was getting sick and THEN this little male nurse came in to give me more pain meds and he was all “Oh blah blah blah I’m a giant tool bag and why did they put your IV here?” And my mom was all “I think the doctor had some trouble finding a vein” and then the giant tool bag was all “umm yeah a doctor wouldn’t have done that. It was a nurse” and my mom was all “whatever” but not in the “I’m a teenager whaaaaateverrrrr girlfriend way” but in a “I will give you three seconds to leave this room then I will let my daughter rip you to shreds.” It was all very dramatic. And because he talked to my mother like she was an idiot I gave him a death stare and he was all “Yeah, this shouldn’t take too much longer” and then he didn’t speak a lot after that because he knew I hated him and I think he just wanted to leave. Fast. Mission accomplished.

So then FINALLY I was taken up to my room where I was deemed a fall risk. How very exciting, no? So I am in bed with my IV and my meds and the meds have now made me itchy, not bitchy. So there is a lot more crying done because I am still in a lot of pain. 7:30 rolls around and I have not been to surgery yet. This goes on for a while until it is about 11:30 or something like that. Then this other PA comes in and is all “yeah, so we have a lot of surgeries scheduled for today, and they were all planned, and since Lauren isn’t a planned surgery, she is going to have to wait until they are finished. So she should be brought down around 3pm.”

Oh let me tell you- my mother and father….not two happy people. My nurse was already avoiding my room because my father kept asking her to call down to surgery and see if I was going to be seen in this lifetime, and so she only came into the room to deliver the meds and then she booked it out of there. So when this PA came bouncing in, my mother was having none of it. So a lot of hours go by, many of which I am asleep for, and finally it is 3pm. And I look at my mother and she looks at me and I say, “I really can’t stand another hour of this” because by this point not even pain meds were working. I couldn’t move; I had to stay as still as possible on my back because the second I turned to one side or the other I thought I was going to die.

So finally my dad had my nurse call the doctor that was supposed to be performing my surgery, and it turns out he was at another hospital doing another surgery. On another person. As in, he hadn’t been at my hospital all day and they didn’t know when he was going to be in because the surgery was going over time. So my mom said we want the next available surgeon and that this was ridiculous. So at 4pm they FINALLY took me to surgery. Or so I thought. They actually wheeled me down to OR prep and asked me all those same questions I’d been asked before, and then they put a hair net on me, and then she gave me oxygen and then I don’t really remember much. I do have random memories of looking at my doctor and seeing a bald, black man and thinking that Turk was operating on m. And I do remember being wheeled from prep to the actual operating room, and then moving from the one bed to the operating table. But other than that I just remember waking up and my parents were there and everyone was telling me I did a really good job in surgery. Thanks, I tried. I kept waking up in the recovery room asking where I was, and the nurses were all very nice and told me again and again and then they would tell me I did a really nice job. They kept saying this over and over as if I had performed some sort of magic trick whilst under the knife.

As it turns out, I was operated on by the chief surgeon and the doctor they originally scheduled assisted. And my mother informed me that they kept me in prep for over an hour, so I really didn’t get into the OR until around 5 or 6pm. Can you believe that!?!? And when the PA came back in that night (the one who said she wouldn’t call the doctor) she was all “yeah I hear it was pretty plastered in there” and so my mother and I think it was a loooooot worse than they let on because 1) the chief of surgery operated on me and 2) they kept telling me I did a good job which was probably due to the fact that 3) it had started seeping or started to burst because 4) how else would it be plastered down in there?

Anyway, I was discharged the next day after receiving a nasty shot in my leg and I have been at my mothers house recovering. I started out in a reclining chair but slowly progressed to the couch. Now I am able to sleep in a bed (granted, I am surrounded by about 30 pillows) and I can get up by myself and I no longer need a walker to get around. I still have a lot of pain near the three incision points (they are really gross) but other than that I am doing well. I still need help putting on socks and sometimes pants and I have a little trouble getting in and out of the car, but overall I’m healing nicely. I’ll be really happy when all the pain is gone, but until then I am enjoying taking it slowwwww.

So there you have it. I told you the second part was wicked boring. I hope you enjoyed my terrible journey into the hospital!

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The Saga: Part I

So remember that time I made  resolutions, and like, actually wanted to keep them? Let’s look at the ones that have already kicked the bucket:

5. In 2011 I will go on a hike. Somewhere. Somewhere that involves real nature.

8. In 2011 I will do more things outside, and fewer things on internet.

10. In 2011 I will not wallow in self pity, but do something adventurous and new.

See, I had big plans. I was going to go on a hike on Saturday, I was going to start on my new novels I purchased (all 500 of them), I was going to finish my lesson plans, I WAS GOING TO EAT FISH FINGERS AND CUSTARD!

I had DREAMS!

I had ASPIRATIONS!

I HAD AN EMERGENCY APPENDECTOMY!

Yes, yes, all my dreams and aspirations were shot to h-e-double-hockey-sticks because I had to go and lose an internal organ. Well, not lose as in I can’t find it, lose as in get ready for a long and tragic story involving the removal of an organ whose purpose I am sure does not exist. (Seriously, what does an appendix DO besides hurt a WHOLE FREAKING LOT?)

To begin this whole saga, we need to go allllllll the way back to this summer. June, to be exact. *music plays as you are transported to last June*

It was a sunny morning in Florida (when is it not) and I was getting ready to go to Orlando to see the Blue Man Group. I was going with my grandparents, my cousin, and my cousin’s husband. (On a side note- what does that make him to me? Is cousin-in-law a real thing? I supposed I could google this, but why bother when I have YOU?) Anyway, we were all getting ready to go and I had a severe stomach pain. I am talking double over, instant sobbing, terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE pain in my stomach, around the belly-button area. Now, previously I had been having a lot of similar pain and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. But this was the most intense pain I’d ever experienced. Now, I can take a lot of pain. A LOT. My mother calls me her “Silent Sufferer” because I don’t like to be a bother. But this was too much and I ended up in my grandmother’s bed (which is soooooooo comfy) and I was sweating most unfeminine like, and I was writhing in pain. I could not lay on my back, side, or stomach. Nothing was comfortable. About two hours later I ended up sleeping it off by twisting my torso in some way it was not designed to go, my feet half hanging off the bed, dry heaving, and all sorts of hot mess. But the point of the story- I slept it off.

So when I got home I immediately went to my doctor. I told her what happened, how the pain started in the belly button area, moved up to just under my ribs, then moved to the lower right side of my pelvis. And she was all “yea, this is definitely your ovaries.” So I went to a gynecologist, got a rather intrusive exam and sonogram, and they found NOTHING because NOTHING was wrong with my ovaries. So…… yeah, I’ve been misdiagnosed for quite a few years now. SUCKS, HUH?!?!?? Yes, but what sucks more is that my gynecologist was all “You don’t have PCOS, but I don’t know what is wrong with you. Keep a food diary and see if you notice patterns.”

………Yeah, that was about it. No referencing me to any doctors, no telling me what I could possibly have, just a kick out the door and a halfhearted good luck. Very sad. So I went for a few weeks not knowing what was wrong with me, all the while finishing the semester from hell and starting a new job. I didn’t have time for this stuff!

Now that you know all of THAT, let’s begin THIS story on Monday. *music plays as you are transported to last Monday*

Monday was my last day of freedom. I was going to spend the entire day in bed, watch movies, do nothing, because Tuesday started the “no-nonsense, you will finish your lesson plans Lauren Renee even if it kills you” regime. I was feeling fine all day. Soon my legs started hurting because I have Restless Leg Syndrome so I decided I would do something small. I didn’t want to ruin my all day in bed thing. So I cleaned my entire apartment. Vacuumed, mopped, swept, everything- the whole works. Then I was thinking that I wanted something to eat, but I just couldn’t bring my self to eat anything; nothing sounded appetizing. And then….. I started feeling sick. My stomach was hurting and I called my mom, because that is what grown-ups do when they do not feel well, they call their mommy, and I was all “grumble grumble I don’t feel good” and she was all “okay well rest and call me if it gets worse.” And then I called her and I was all “grumble grumble this is what it felt like when I was in Florida” and she was all “OH NO ARE YOU OKAY DO YOU NEED ME TO GET YOU” and I was all “No, I will just sleep it off.” So I went outside and told my roommate that I was going to bed, and she was all “At seven in the evening?” and I was all “DUDE YOU DON”T EVEN KNOW I feel dizzy and sick” and she was all “okaaaaaay well feel better!” And I was all “vomit” but I didn’t actually vomit because I realized I hadn’t eaten anything that day except for a little trail mix.

So I got a slice of bread and forced it down, hoping that I would throw it back up because throwing things up is infinitely better than dry heaving. At least I think so. But it did not work. So after writhing in bed trying to get comfortable and it is so not working, and I think I am dying, and it is terrible, and I am now on the bathroom floor, sitting on a pillow, resting my head on the toilet seat, still dry heaving, and crying, and finally I get up and go into the kitchen to get some water and my roommate is just staring at me because I am most certainly looking WILD. And she gave me some meds and wished me well and I called my mom and was all “YOU NEED TO PICK ME UP BECAUSE I AM PRETTY SURE I AM DYING AND I NEED TO GO TO THE DOCTOR.” And she was all “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

So there is a hospital in the town I live, but I am pretty sure diseases are born there, and so we went to the hospital in the next town over. Except we didn’t know how to get there, so we called our close family friends who actually work there (they are nurses) and they directed us and we got there and I walked into the ER crying, and the lady behind the desk looked frightened/skeptical of my sickness. So I get checked in and I’m sitting down and I am still crying and then this woman comes in and sits near me. And then this woman starts vomiting. And not only am I a sympathetic crier, I am a sympathetic vomiter, as I suspect most people are, but in this instance as you may recall, I can not produce actual vomit so I do some more dry heaving. And in between vomiting, this woman calls her mom and tells her she is in the emergency room with a terrible migraine. So I am crying because I don’t feel good, and she is crying because she doesn’t feel good, and I am also crying because she sounded so sad and alone talking to her mom and she was vomiting and I was dry heaving and it was all a hot mess.

So then I get called back and I can barely walk, let alone talk, and the nurse is very nice but I think she thinks I have the flu, so she is asking me routine questions and I am trying to answer them as fast as possible, and she is all “okay we are going to put you in a room now” so I get a room in the ER and the nurse comes in and more crying happens and the rest is a blur but I’m pretty sure this is how it goes down:

A nice doctor comes in and asks me questions I’ve already answered. I answer them again. She touched my stomach and I do not approve because 1) I am in pain and 2) I am very ticklish. She says that she is ordering some blood tests and a sonogram. A nurse comes in and asks some more questions I’ve already answered, and then tries to find a vein but my veins are NOT cooperating, so ANOTHER nurse comes in and they are both poking my veins and sticking me with needles all while I am crying and trying to stay still but mainly doing some more dry heaving. So then they find a vein and take some blood and then I go for my sonogram. I make a joke and the sonogram lady laughs. I go back to my room and it is now about 3 in the morning and I am tired and my mom is tired and I can’t sleep but boy oh boy to I vomit. A LOT. FINALLY! Except now it will not end. SO the nice doctor comes back in and says both the blood tests and sonogram came back with nothing wrong.

Oh such a familiar tune. So she said she was ordering me a CT scan, but if it showed nothing, she could recommend some doctors for me to visit. Now, remember when I told you how I came back from Florida and went to the doctor? Well they too ordered me a CT scan and I asked them to check my appendix and they said it was fine. So once again I had to down two HUGE things of Barium, a nasty white liquid that coats your insides with dye so they can look at the scan. It is one of the nastiest things I’d ever taken in my life, and I had to do it yet again. I asked the nurse if I had to drink both of them and she was all “drink the first one and then as much of the second one as you can” so I took this to mean “drink as much of the first one as you can and don’t bother with the second one.” So they gave me some pain meds (finally) and my head was too heavy to lift, so my mother held the bottle while I drank out of a straw with my head hanging over the side of the bed. It was all very sexy. I was soooooo proud of myself, as I finally drank the entire thing, and then……you guessed it. I threw it all back up. I was like a fountain. ALLL OF IT came back up. So I was forced to wait a few minutes then drink the second bottle. So two hours after that I go to get the scan and the guy asks me the same questions I’ve answered three times already and then he gives me a shot of MORE dye and I was all “why do I need the Barium if I have this” but I must have asked that in my head because he never answered me. So then I waited a long time for the nice doctor to come back in, telling me that nothing was wrong, but she was all “oh by the way, you have appendicitis.”

WOWZA.

This is the end of The Saga: Part I. Please stay tuned for MORE.

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Fish Fingers in Custard? Okay.

So I’ve been finishing up the last series* of Doctor Who (Series 5) and now I don’t want to do anything besides watch more. Isn’t that always the case? I am rather late in watching the finale, and I managed to avoid most spoilers (almost all, now that I think about it) but I just want more doctor! I was thinking about what I liked over the season and what I didn’t, and I kept coming back to this scene:

This is one of the first scenes of the new series in which the audience saw a new doctor. Now, I loved, loved, LOVED me some David Tennant (aka Ten). I still do. He will always be “my doctor” never have I ever cried so much than I did when he regenerated. Keeping that in mind, I must admit………I am liking Eleven (the new doctor played by the adorable Matt Smith). No, no, he will never be to me what David was, but I must say he is doing an excellent job creating a new, fresh, (and dare I say it) Rose-free doctor. Rose and The Doctor (Ten) will always be my original paring, but The Doctor is an alien– he can’t really love humans and to have this constant love story weaving throughout– it was just making the doctor a really depressing character.

Oh my. I’m getting waaaay to into this.

Whatever. Eleven is a new chance to make The Doctor something wild. He cares for Amy Pond, clearly, but I do like that they have kept Rory in the picture. I find him far more charming than Mickey ever way. (Yes, I hated Mickey, a lot.) Needless to say, I am very excited for the new series, but sad it will not be coming to America until SPRING of 2011. Ah, blasted, I need to move to England NOW.

Also, a quick aside. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow and I really, really want to try fish fingers in custard. I mean, how intriguing? I’ve heard it isn’t half bad….Yeah, it is totally happening.

*What we, as Americans, refer to as “seasons” of a show, the darling Brits refer to as “series” and I’ve gotten very used to it. I actually prefer it– all around it just sounds a bit nicer.

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Happy Frickin New Year Everyone!

So hello to you all! Yes, yes, yes I KNOW, I haven’t been on this thing in quite some time. Whatever! It is the new year! Let us forget the fact that I haven’t properly blogged in months, and let us remember that I am blogging RIGHT NOW.

So at this exact moment last year I was sitting in a very small, very dark hotel room and I took this picture:

Notice my adorable pink nails, and also the cheap cup full of non-alcoholic spirits.

I was sitting in that very small, very dark hotel because on January 1, 2010 I was making the fourteen+ hour flight to New Zealand! Yes, can you even believe that was ONE YEAR AGO?!?!? It certainly does NOT seem like it to me. Anyway, at this exact moment this year, I am at my parent’s house, sitting in what I assume would be my room had I actually lived in this house prior to getting an apartment and I just took this picture:

Notice my "kissy face" to my demonic-looking cat makes me look completely wierd. She moved before I could take another.

Yes, very different way to bring in the new year, huh? I actually didn’t even watch the ball drop– let’s be honest, that got old a very, very long time ago. In fact, I rang in this new year watching Doctor Who! A splendid way to spend an evening, if I do say so myself.

An aside— for all you Doctor Who fans out there, YES I’m only NOW catching up with the last few episodes of series five, but OH MY FRICKING GOSH/WHAT THE FRICK/HOW DO YOU EVEN EXPLAIN THIS:

I actually gasped during this scene. Very emotional, and very well done. Complete shocker.

*Ahem* I digress. But seriously, if you watch Doctor Who, we neeeeed to talk about this STAT.

Okay, now then. On to those pesky little “resolutions” that never actually happen. (Well, for me at least.)

1. In 2011 I will not let student teaching defeat me.

2. In 2011 I will actually get my arse in shape. Well, at least enough to be comfortable in a bathing suit.

3. In 2011 I will try more things out of my comfort zone.

4. In 2011 I will get serious about my religion.

5. In 2011 I will go on a hike. Somewhere. Somewhere that involves real nature.

6. In 2011 I will work harder on my photography.

7. In 2o11 I will create more and buy less. (This doesn’t count the buying of items for the creating!)

8. In 2011 I will do more things outside, and fewer things on internet.

9. In 2011 I will work on speaking French, and not give up learning it.

10. In 2011 I will not wallow in self pity, but do something adventurous and new.

11. In 2011 I will learn how to play my ukulele!

Yes, yes, I think that is a great list. Maybe if I print it out and put it on my wall and in my calendar, I will actually do some of the things on this list! Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get my beauty rest so that I can go to work tomorrow. Yes, I got a job. No, I will not tell you where I work (I’m not that stupid) but I will tell you that tomorrow is my last day, and I am actually kind of happy. At least now I will have time to blog more, which actually violates resolution 8.

Crap.

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