Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I swear my b00bies are going to fall off!

I thought I was done changing the dressings on my boobs for good. I s'pose not. I'm so very, very done with it. I'm going to Acute Care this week to have it checked out. I'm not going to lose four hours of my workday to be told nothing can be done. I'll go in afterward, see someone in the Acute Care clinic and see if they can't get a second opinion. I think they should cut me open again and fix their mistakes (again). Fix the pockets, fix the hole. I'm tired of them. I have to be smoke-free for six weeks I think. That's no problem. You want my weight down? No problem; I don't have to eat. At least, I don't have to eat a huge plate or bowl of food. I just want them fixed. Oh, and for my trouble, I'd like you to rid me of about ten pounds of fat in my mid-section. And maybe a little bit of the skin, too.


Concerning my "Mormon" post

I won't allow "Anonymous" comments anymore, as I would like to reply back to them. I haven't published it [yet] because it was posted as Anonymous. I'll post it here. If the anonymous poster finds it, please comment.

I wrote about my experience because I wanted people to know what it's like to be an outsider in an area such as Utah. I wanted people to know how difficult it is to raise non-Mormon kids in a predominantly Mormon area; how curious children are supposed to watch their tongues, what they say so they're not "banned" from their friend's house. I have gotten that information from various sources over the years.

I like that you are sharing your opinion, and I do... I like that you are sharing your opinion, and I do believe (because I have lived out of UT) that many mormons that live in Utah are different than those outside...but, they are not all that way...One thing, you only think you know what you are talking about. But, you don't. I don't understand why some people (not just mormons) don't allow themselves to be more open to other people whether its race, religion or whatever it is...Please don't allow yourself to pass judgement or spew info that you really don't know enough about. I think its great to have an opinion, but when you state what you have here, it causes others to unfairly judge for themselves...I was taught differently than the children you grew up with, and have taught my daughter differently, I hope you teach your children (if you ever have the chance) to not be prejudiced against mormons. There is good and bad in most any place...religion, and life in general.

I just want this person to know that I will teach my own daughter tolerance. I will teach her about prejudice. I will make sure she knows what it was like growing up for her mother and auntie. How it put us through a hell that children shouldn't go through; that of being shunned because they weren't part of the rest of the population.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I have a(nother) hole in my boob

There's been, well, a sore of sorts on the outside of my right boob. It's been needing to be lanced (punctured) for awhile now so it can drain. It's been like this for awhile now; after Thanksgiving but before Christmas. I poke at it every night, to agitate it so that it can finally pop and drain. I was getting ready for my shower yesterday evening and it looked, for lack of a better word, ripe. It hurt a lot and was tender, so I didn't touch it until I got in the shower and the hot water softened it up more. Then I squeezed. SQUIRT! It went up the front of my shower near the shower head and got some good distance (running joke with my husband; another set of TMI stories there). I kept squeezing it to get more pus out and blood. The blood was a DARK red; it almost looked like a dark brown. I believe this would be considered "bad" blood or blood with infection.

When it was "done" draining, I looked at it more closely (or as closely as I could considering my make-up from the day and the water were both running down my face) and there was a nice little hole. I'm used to seeing things like this on my boobs. There are scars from other holes that have erupted; I've even got a "pocket" for pus and nasty stuff on my left one near the intentional scars. I have to squeeze and drain this one on a nightly basis, as it fills with sweat and soap, etc. every day.

When I was finished with my shower and dressed, I walked downstairs and announced, "I have a new hole in my boob!" This is when I told them what happened. I also showed my husband and mother-in-law (she's seen me in far worse condition; she also helped me post-FIRST surgery). We decided to get the new bacitrecin tube I had from a couple years ago (from the revision of the first surgery), applied it directly to the hole and then put gauze on it, using paper medical tape, as I'm allergic to the nylon medical tape.

Now, one may be wondering what kind of surgery I'm talking about. In February 2005, I had a breast reduction surgery. Normally, I was about a 38DD; when I was on my period, they were more like 42DD. During a well-womens check-up (still active duty), I was referred to the local Navy hospital (Naval Medical Center San Diego) for a breast reduction consultation. This was about a year prior to the actual surgery. It took six weeks to get approval for the consultation and another six weeks on top of that to schedule it. When I finally had the appointment, the surgeon told me I was a perfect candidate for the surgery and proceeded to tell me how he's doing to do it. There was only one thing holding me back; my weight. At 5'7" (or 6", depending who is doing the measuring), I was to weigh no more than 163 pounds. If I were a dependent, I think they tacked on another 10-15 pounds. I lost the weight (lots of water, veggies and sex) and was scheduled for the surgery for nearly mid-February. I quit smoking just befoer the new year, as you have to six weeks before surgery. It was difficult because I wasn't ready to quit, but I did it. Surgery went well. Spent one or two nights in the hospital and was off from work for about three weeks. He had taken me down three whole cup sizes. I was finally able to wear C bras!

During those three weeks, an abcess began to form in my right breast. The surgeon saw it as scar tissue; my husband and I knew better. When it became unbearably painful, we lanced it. And the abcess drained. And drained. We went back to the plastics office and showed my surgeon. He decided to have a wound vac put on me to suck out the bad stuff and to promote the healing from the inside out (to prevent pockets and possibly more abcesses). This was all fine and dandy.. until nearly three weeks later, I had ANOTHER abcess, but this time on the left breast. The wound vac was pretty much finished with the right side and it was moved to the left side. The wound vac on the left side and I was "packing the wound" on my right side daily. My boobs were in bandages for my wedding in April 2005; the initial surgery had been in February 2005 (constulation and referral around early Spring 2004).

The abcesses were bad. Almost a year to the day later, I went in for a revision surgery. Everything was okay.. for a little while. Then this pocket on my left breast formed. I've been squeezing and draining it for nearly two years now. With this new hole, I plan on going to Acute Care on a weekend (I can NOT lose the hours at work; too much going on; I HAVE to be here) and have them look at it and go from there. Ideally, I'd like to have another surgery done. For my trouble, I think they should get rid of about ten pounds in my mid-section as well.

The only downside to these breast surgeries is the ability to breast feed. I wanted to breastfeed Belladonna. I wasn't able to. She couldn't latch on, as my nipples were too small. I didn't even realize this fact until she got here. I pumped but I couldn't pump much. I was lucky to get two ounces after an hour of pumping BOTH breasts. I was able to get the majority from the left side, as the right side had the larger abcess. As one can deduct, my milk ducts were damaged due to the surgeries. I knew this going in. At the time, I needed the surgery and was willing to take the chances of not being able to breastfeed. My back was in constant pain and I knew it would be in even worse pain once I got pregnant (during my recovery from the revision surgery in February 2006). Even with taking Reglan, my supply was running low and I gave up. She got the colostrum she needed and I'm happy about that much. She's totally and perfectly healthy at nearly 14 months.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To Share an Experience

For the few people who actually read this, I doubt it will be offensive.

I know this because I lived in Utah (town called Layton, just north of SLC and in the county containing more Mormons per capita, Davis County). I was there for 10 years. My parents were in the Air Force and their orders took them to Hill AFB in Utah.

There's a slight difference between Utah Mormons and "out-of-state" Mormons. The OoS Mormons will hear you out and give you a chance; they're also nicer and not too hell-bent on converting you. The Utah Mormons.. that's all they do. They're mean. Here, I'll tell you about my experience when I was a child; this was when I learned the true meaning of prejudice.

We moved to Layton, Utah during my third grade year. The rest of that grade was fine; we were living in an apartment and everything was great. I put this with the fact that we lived pretty close to the base. When we moved into a house in an actual neighborhood, things were okay.. at first. Shortly after moving into that house, my dad left for a seven month deployment to Saudi Arabia; it was 1990/1991. The neighborhood we lived in was mostly Mormon; I think our house was the only non-Mormon home. I was about to start the fourth grade and didn't think about stuff like religion. I went to school and I played.

The school year starts and things are hunky-dory.. at first. A couple of weeks go by and the kids start asking my sister and me which ward we go to (a "ward" is in a large building, resembling that of a library, and there are several wards in one building; they're all on a rotating schedule so they don't impeded on another ward's time in a certain space). I said I didn't know what they were talking about. They came back a few days later asking what religion I was (4th graders in 1991) and I said I didn't know and that I'd never gone to church. I come home, ask my mom and she said to tell them Episcopalian (I found out later that was the church she was baptized in from high school). I went back the next day and tried to tell them (I couldn't remember what it was) and when they figured out that I wasn't Mormon, they said, "We can't play with you cuz you're not Mormon."

I was heartbroken. For the first time in my life, I didn't have any friends. My sister and I would come home crying from school because none of the kids would play with us. Looking back, I think it's ridiculous that their parents told them these things. The kids in the neighborhood apparently thought we didn't celebrate Christmas, so one year they decided to egg our house, shouting, "Christmas is for everybody!" or something like that.

I was banned from a [Mormon] friend's house because I asked a question. I think I was in the sixth grade. You see, from what I remember, Mormons believe that when a husband and wife die, the husband has to call the wife up to Heaven by a special name she's given while in the Temple (when they get married). The first thing that popped into my head was, "What if she died first?" I believe that was the question that got me banned.

Utah Mormon husbands (don't know about the rest of the world) believe their wife and children are their property. They also believe that when they die and are deemed worthy, they will be given their own planet to rule and they will have celestial sex with their wives to populate the planet.

Joseph Smith was a manipulator. He claimed that an angel from Heaven stood before him and handed him brass plates, straight from God. I don't remember what was on them (maybe the Book of Mormon). He was compelled to write the Book of Mormon, which tells tales of when Christ made his way to the Americas to spread the word of his Father. Unlike the stories from Egypt and Israel and other places Christ traveled to, there is no archaelogical proof that Christ was ever in the Americas. None. If I remember my Utah Studies class(es) (yep, we had to take that class more than once in school), the Mormons would shunned from a town in Illinois (don't remember which) and they moved West. There is a monument for the place he stood when he said, "This is place," meaning it would be the place where they would live and prosper.

The state icon is a bee hive, because they worked, worked, worked, like bees to make Utah a place to live. The crops flourished and towns were established. Then the locusts came and ate the majority of their crops. They prayed and prayed, looking for answers. Next thing they knew, seagulls were flying over the horizon, taking up and eating all of the locusts. For this reason, Utah's state bird is the seagull.

I don't remember the significance of Brigham Young, but a university was named after him.

If you're Mormon, but don't go, you're a Jack Mormon. If you're a Mormon and make Joseph Smith look like a sinner, you're a Molly Mormon.

There is also something in their Book of Mormon (I think) that says something to the effect of, "As you are, I was once and as I am, you will become." This is supposed to bea message to the Mormons from God (Heavenly Father, as he's referred to by them).

Mormons are very set on doing good deeds, no matter what. They feel the more good deeds they do, the better their chances are of being received into Heaven. In their book, Heaven has seven "kingdoms" with the Celestial Kingdom, I believe, being the best and highest of all the others. They also believe that they are the only ones going to Heaven; at least, this is what I gathered from the Utah Mormons I was with while living in Utah.

They also do "Baptisms for the Dead." In school, I always knew when one of my friends was doing this, as they would show up to school in church clothes. Speaking of school, they would have, in junior high and high school, something known as Seminary; on their schedules and in the school notebook, it was referred to as Released Time. This would be the same time-block as a regular class, but they wouldn't get any kind of credits toward graduation with it. For this reason, a lot of the non-Mormon kids graduated after the first semester of their senior year; I was in school for a semester and a half my senior year. This "released time" was just another form of church. "What about the separation of church and state?" you may ask. The schools and the church were smart enough to construct these buildings off of school property, though it was always in plain site.

From an early age, the little girls are told that they will marry and have lots and lots of babies; that their sole purpose in life is to be the loving, doting, SAHM with all of their 10+ children, with always one on the way. They are told to marry young, early (a lot of times, right after high school). Most of the time, about a year after graduation, they're pregnant and don't stop for several years.

For a long time, they did not allow blacks into their Elders society, nor in the Prophet's seat (as far as I know, the same guy is still there from 15 years ago). The Elders is a group of old men from the church who basically make the decisions for the church. They own stock in Coca-Cola so caffeine is now okay, but only in moderation (for a long time, caffeine was a big NO-NO). There was one Mormon man, a black man, who wanted a seat in the Elder Council. Whent hey told him no, he said he was going to sue for racial discrimination. The Prophet, not wanting the Mormons to get a repuation of being racist, "had a vision" that said it was okay for blacks to be on the Elder Council.

Women rarely hold powerful or high positions anywhere. They are not allowed in the Priesthood and are not required to go on missions, like the men are. The men have to go on a two year mission, shortly after high school graduation. The women may go if they want to and even then, they go for a year. It is ideal to marry a man who's freshly returned from a mission.

Also, in order for Utah to become a state (1858, I think), they had to do away with a common practice: polygamy. This is the practice of having more than one wife.

This is all I can remember for now, from my memory. I do apologize if any of this is offensive to the Mormon moms on here. Please keep in mind this is from another perspective; one that was shunned for 4-5 years of the 10 spent in Utah. This is not meant to be an attack on anyone here. This is what I was told, what I read and what I saw and heard.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!

Or something like that. Here is a year in review, for me. I may end up using previous journal postings to help me with this one.

January 2007 - I returned to work at PSD 32nd Street, from my 42 days of convalescent leave; I gave birth in November and was released from the hospital in perfect timing so as not to have to take any extra leave for the holiday season. Bella's birthday rocks for that reason. Short-timer's syndrome starts.

February 2007 - On the 6th of this month, Patrick and I have been together for three years. Celebrated Valentine's Day, I think. Bella's appointment was this month and she's right on track. I love her pediatrician's office. Short-timers is REALLY bad; have stopped caring about the Navy and PSD altogether. Went to TAP class (tranistional assistance program) for four days. Glad I'm an admin bitch, otherwise I wouldn't have known a lot of the information. Thanks to the one month extension I had received earlier, my EAOS, originally this month, is next month.

March 2007 - My last month (active duty) in the Navy. Big woots, here people. I appreciate the fact that I met my husband in the Navy and got to see other countries, but aside from that, I wasn't too fond of it. On the 25th of this month, my active duty contract was up and I entered into the inactive reserve. I'm in this status until May something 2010, exactly eight years after I signed my life away. Jobless until the end of the month.

April 2007 - This month, we celebrated Patrick's 30th birthday and our second wedding anniversary. We went to a movie (I forget the title) to celebrate. Bella's doing really well; not crawling or any teeth yet, but she's still doing really well. Oh, how I love that baby! AppleOne found me a weeklong temporary assignment, making $11/hour. Not the best, but not terrible. The week after, I was working another temporary assignment, making $12 or $13/hour. I was there for nearly two months.

May 2007 - This month sucked ass. Bella's appointment went well again; as before, she's right on track. Patrick left for a deployment (TAD to Peleliu) on my 26th birthday; oh how I cried! The following day, a photo of the three of us was up on Navy Newsstand. I cried again. The last week of May was my last week at my temporary assignment. They had interviewed me for two different positions, and I didn't get either of them; not even the front desk position I was filling! Bastards.

June 2007 - Jobless this month. Getting stir-crazy from being home constantly. Found out in December 2006 that my sister's pregnant; a year before her boyfriend of three years (I think) had proposed to her after a New Year's Eve party. She guesstimates she got pregnant about three hours after dropping me off from work the day she returned home from a three month "cruise"/deployment. Interviewed with Lockheed Martin and didn't get the job. Paid the sitter all of what I owed her; kind of hard to pay someone when you don't have a job to pay with as well as your spouse not making the amount they're supposed to be making. Interviewed with Babies R Us and got the job. Bella started crawling. Her two bottom teeth came in the weekend Patrick left.

July 2007 - Babies R Us working out all right; getting paid $7/hour for part time work (25-30 hours; a lot of the time, getting 33 hours). Deployment nearly half over and for this we are very happy! Started making videos of Bella for Patrick.

August 2007 - Bella starts saying "baby" clear as day. Working on trying to go to school, but not having enough for the down payment of $199. Cali Trip was this month. Those who showed up [to SeaWorld; as we didn't have the money to drive up to Long Beach and back, plus go to DisneyLand] were: me, Baby Bella [Baby B as she's called sometimes], Abbye, "Ye Olde Man" aka Narn, Triana, Alyssa and Shen. We had a fun and absolutely wonderful time. Bella was a hit with them. I think she really liked Shen and Triana best. My sister had her son on the first day of this month; "I guess I can share this month with him," concerning her birthday.. it's on the 30th. Big boy, weighing in over nine pounds and nearly two feet long. NO C-SECTION, poor girl. Patrick is home soon. Realized how much I despise retail. Started planning Bella's first birthday.

September 2007 - Realized again how comfortable I am with my Pagan path. I feel rejuvenized when someone sees me and knows and smiles. Patrick came home this month and it was wonderful to have him home again! I miss him very much. School began for me in July and I've started cracking down on the two classes: Business Management and Marketing. Both are very dull classes. It took some time trying to figure out how to "schedule" them, but found a way. Last full month with Babies R Us.

October 2007 - Interviewed with ITS Corporation late September and got the job. It's a contracting company. Columbus Day was my last day working with Babies R Us, though I still shop there. I have no hard feelings. The day after Columbus Day was my first day as an ITS employee; I've been contracted out to Defense Acquisition University, bringing in nearly $1,000 every paycheck. This was a very nice pay jump. Started feeling very overly-sensitive about things this month. Also did a little organizing with blogger, making two separate blogs.

November 2007 - Classes are going well; averaging a C/C+ between the two of them; it's passing. My mother-in-law's boyfriend came into town (was here in September, right after Patrick got home) for about a week. Really nice guy. Too bad he's on the other side of the country in Pennsylvania. New sitter, lives close to where I work (less than a five minute drive from the parking lot). Nearly cried the first morning, as Bella wasn't used to the sitter or her son. The next morning, she was perfectly fine and went to playing almost immeidately. Pappy in the hospital for his kidneys. Big to-do on CafeMom about religion; Christians vs Pagans (at least, that's how it felt to me). Refer to "All Apologies" post. Depression came down again, but worked past it. Nope I Don't Need Meds For My Depression! Bella turned one year old this month. Hardly any people showed, got depressed and upset about it. Took finals for the two classes. Passed Marketing, have to retake Business Management.

December 2007 - Emails between my sister and me about when we grew up. It sucked hard for both of us. My great sitter tells me she can't watch Bella after January 1st. So, Abbye took over until I find another one and she finds another job. Christmas with Patrick's family mid-month; they remembered little Billy and Bella, but forgot Patrick's son, Jeffrey.. the OLDEST of the three of them. Christmas and birthday pictures of Bella. I also told people to grow a brain.

Did I miss anything?