Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dear Wheelchair Maker

I recently finished the most comprehensive wheelchair evaluation imaginable through Assistive Technology Partners in Denver. After four two-hour visits (it usually takes one or two visits, but what can I say? I'm complicated!) my H3 is finally being ordered. Yaaaaay! The pessimist about these things that I am, I think it'll be the most costly birthday (end of March) present I've ever received! - Or want to receive, for that matter!

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook today, and I do believe, I done missed my mark with my eval! ;-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rehab-ing!

Yes, I am alive and doing very well, if I do say so myself! This may come as a shock to those of you not on Facebook. I believe my last mass e-mail was written from ICU after I tore my MCL and stopped breathing, etc. LOL, life is great, ain’t it? – You never know what loop-dee-doo is going to sneak up on you.

When I think about my 2009, I visualize my favorite Six Flags Magic Mountain ride of all time:
VIPER!
Watch this video and hold on to your cookies!


From the website:
“Starting with the world's tallest vertical loop at 14 stories, and two other loops at 9 stories and 6 stories. Add to that a 4-story corkscrew and a double-barrel boomerang turn.”
The highest point is 19 stories, and Viper is 3,830 feet long and speeds up to 70 mph. Imagine creeping through these amazing flips, turns and drops at a mere .25 mph and there you have my life this year! Every time I get head-up, there seems to be a surprise corkscrew around the corner.

I have to say that the MCL corkscrew was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. Now, wait, before you start thinking I’ve lost my mind, you must know that we have been seeking competent physical therapy for me since Benny was born. We have tried more than half a dozen PT’s, some of which admitted they were clueless; others were clueless but chose to waste our time and money. Before my ligament snapped, my quad was so contracted that both hip flexor and hamstring/knee were stuck at 90 degrees - the pain constant. I spent six days in the hospital, and another seven days at an acute rehab hospital. Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital is changing my life in ways I never thought possible. All I can say is WOW! We never would have discovered them if not for my recent injury. I go three days a week for 2 hours, and my progress is stunnning!

Funny…I’m doing so much better after this last loop-dee-doo! Nearly pain-free, and regaining voluntary movement/mobility. I'm standing with Lefty down, kneeling, beginning to crawl, etc.

This post is intended to catch my non-Facebooking friends up with my ever-extended recovery. I have more news, and of course, kid updates coming to you real soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cute and Sporty Kiddos

Benny was born a Kicker. Those of you that were close to me durinng my pregnancy with him may recall him practicing Goalie Kicks on my right ribcage for months. It's true, it was insane and painful, but it became a beloved pain of security - On the rare days he needed to rest, you could find me at the birthing center, hooked up to the monitor, listening to his heartbeat, watching his heart and movements on the strips the machine spit out. As I think about it, Benny and Desty's temperments were evident from the get-go. Desty enjoyed tender moments, teasing me with spurts of soft baby movements. I swear she was in there rolling, floating to the sounds of bubblies and her garbles, intentionally tickling me with her long toes! At first, I was quite disconforted by her reserved approach of contacting me. In the beginning, in fact, I feared something was wrong with Desty. After some reassurance though, I enjoyed our tender moments together, and I came to really appreciate the lack of abuse she expelled in me. Part of it might be that I was so tired and distracted from keeping up with "the time bomb" (as his daddy lovingly called infant/tot Benny), Desty knew that the best tactic was Hard To Get!

Mommy-Tangent! Oh well, that's what this blog is all about, right?! :-)

Benny's been wanting to play soccer for a long time. I was determined to get him into some kind of soccer program this summer. Unfortunately, I fell short after attempting to fill out a YMCA Soccer Camp application. It required the same verifications as does our Section 8 (housing subsidy) recert. Lacking the time and energy to go through all that, and still pay too much for four mornings of a 45-minute 'Soccer Camp', I threw in the towel.

It was my Assistant's idea and resources that got me back in the ring, but more importantly, Benny into cleats. She comes with a posse of athletes, and one of her friends' agreed to give Benny some soccer lessons. This clip is from Benny's 2nd lesson...check out his perfected Goalie Kick!

video

Here is a little Benny Soccer album, dedicated to his Mee-Maw, and her soccer-clan, and also to the Cutler's who recently took us to a competitive game ;-)

Now the great soccer news! Desperate to get Benny in a program in the fall, I decided to take a stab at Boulder's NOVA, a soccer club that I've heard has great Junior program. The financial application was one page - no $ info, just questions like, "why do you want your child to play soccer?", and "which of these programs are you on?..."! I hand-delivered it on Friday, and within minutes, rolled away with a full scholarship for Benny - probably for as long as he shall live! Soccer Mom SCORE!!! Honestly, in a time when everything seems like a battle - it lifts my spirits when something is so easy.

Thank you NOVA SOCER CLUB! Benny will be placed on a kindergarten team in two weeks, then play on his own school field in the fall.

And finally, on Wednesday, Benny was allowed to participate in Slide-Time with Desty's swimming class. Watch Big Brother in Action!

video

Funny, he's so protective of his kid-sister at activities like this, but at home, she needs protection from him!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Our Little Swimmers!

The one constant activity in our lives is Infant Aquatics Survival Swimming Classes. Benny began swimming in June 2007 at nearly age 3; Desty began swimming in September of the same year, and she was a very teeny near 2-year-old.

Both kiddos LOVE swimming, the confidence and freedom that comes with knowing how to be safe while having a blast in the water! Mom and Dad love the comfort of knowing we have done everything we can to make them comfortable, safe and confident in water. The bottom line is that Benny and Desty have a much better chance of surviving the typical water accident than if they were dependent on floaties, an adult or the like. If these kids fell in, they'd automatically roll over, and look for an edge. No swim suit necessary - they've floated in their snow coats and boots!

No, I'm not overly confident - adult supervision is ALWAYS a must, but in an accident, time is the worst enemy. Give kids as many tools as possible to prevent a slip into a pool, a pond, whatever, from turning into an terrible accident. No guarantee...but a sure better chance. Isn't it like teaching a teen to drive safely, or preparing a pre-teen/teen about the pressuures/dangers of sex? Only, the joy and dangers of water come long before driving and hormones! ;)

Now watch our fishies go!

video

Of course Benny can doggy-paddle and he just moved into Stroke class, but they can both Swim, Float, Swim, which is key to survival. Here in these clips, the kids are focused on swimming, but they can relax and float for a loooooooong time.

video

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Dustin and I began writing down and collecting Benny and Desty quotes several months ago. Dustin has posted them on Facebook, but I want to post 'em here too, for everyone's ennjoyment. This is just a short sample from our collection.

HAPPY 4th to you!!

Benny said "Mommy I think I know how your hip got hurt. When you drink Dr.Pepper, it goes down your throat - all the way down - and stays in your hips and that's how your hip got hurt."

"Cheesecake! Cheesecake makes my tummy laugh!" - Destiny

Destiny: Talking tummies are Tummy Dums
Benny: You said a bad word - Tummy DUM!

"Some tummies talk and some don't. I call talking tummies 'Tummy Dums' and I have a Tummy Dum. Part of the name is a half bad word - Tummy DUM" - Destiny

Benny: "Hey, Mom, you know what? WE DRINK MILK FROM COW PEEEEEEEE!"

Destiny: My Leg Hurts
Mommy: Like Mommy?
Destiny: Uh huh
Mommy: Did you have a surgery?
Destiny: Not yet.

Benny: "Hey, Mom, you know what? WE DRINK MILK FROM COW PEEEEEEEE!"

On St. Patricks Day
Benny: Pick out Green!
Destiny: No - Because Mommy Loves Me the way I am (she wanted to wear pink)

Benny: I don't want chicken strips.
Daddy: But these are chicken fingers.
Benny: Chicken Fingers! (runs to kitchen table to eat)

Daddy to Benny: It's not a roll - it's Garlic Bread
Destiny Interjects: There's a spider named Garlic Bread (Charlotte's Web)

"Mom, I want to be a baby again in your tummy and when I come out - I want a Pink Luvy!" - Destiny (Benny gave her a yellow luvy doll at the hospital when she was born)

Mommy: Destiny, do you have a brain?
Destiny: Yes, it's right here. (points to leg)
Mommy: Mine's in my head.
Destiny: Ha! Mine's inside my cheek!

"Daddy, this elephant needs to go potty" - Destiny

"I'm a people-changing dog. Did you know that? In just a minute, I'm gonna turn back into a bad dog." - Benny

"Mom! The dog's gonna scratch your hip!" - Destiny when Benny was playing like a dog

"I Love you Higher than Pluto. Higher!"
- Benny, who was studying space and planets at Sunflower Preschool

"I found this in your room - so it's mine!" - Destiny

"Chomp starts with Chomper." - Destiny
(Chomper is a young T-Rex on The Land Before Time cartoon series)

"I wish you had a Better Brain, Mom! You just Forget. Forget. Forget. Forget." - Benny

Mommy: I love you Darling!
Destiny: I'm not a Doggie, Silly!
Mommy: I love you Darling!
Destiny: I'm not a Dolly, I'm Desty, the Daughter!

Benny: Do you remember when we went to the Cemetary?
Daddy: Arlington Cemetary?
Benny: Yeah. When can we go back and see the Dead People?

Daddy: Be Careful not to step on Mom!
Destiny: I didn't - I stepped on Myself!

Each day, Destiny likes to tell us about the dreams she had the previous night, here is one instance:
"The Soldiers attacked my leg and that's how my leg got hurt Like Mom."
"I was in my Dream, and you weren't - you stayed Home."

"I'm never going to school again, Until I Die!" - Benny

"Huh?" - Destiny

"What?" - Destiny

"Get That Cat Out!" - Destiny, so angry she shakes

"There was a Poopy in the Potty and I tried to Pee it Down." - Benny

Daddy: How did your room get this messy Destiny?
Destiny: A Monster did it!

Daddy: You need to keep that icepack on there for a while so the bump & swelling will stay down.
Destiny: I want it to stay up!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Note From Benny

Our almost 5 yr old loves to write while eating meals. This is what he came up with this evening - we didn't realize what the note said until after Benny had gone to bed.
(note: we did not help him at all with the first word, but he had trouble spelling Destiny's name correctly).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Intimate Moment with Tammy's Newest Hip

This is what I'm recovering from...


This is only half of it. What you can't see is my hip and buttock covered in black and blue bruise.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cool Video

Hi everyone! I'm home and doing pretty well. I have a lot of pain but I'm doing much better than last time. I thank God everyday I only have two hips. Sometimes I need a bit of reminding why I did this to myself again. Remind me how kick ass my right leg is, any chance you get. LOL. The word "ass" is at the tip of my tongue lately, I wonder why! Maybe because mine is HUGE!

So, I've got a video for you all to watch. The funny thing about it is, the first time I watched it, I didn't even recognize myself! Now you can play "Where's Tammy?". Also, take note of the cool posters toward the beginning of the video. Dustin was the illustrator!

Fighting For The Community Choice Act from Alejandra Ospina on Vimeo.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Morning

Tammy is doing much better! Eating again, Color back in her face, Getting plenty of rest, Keeping medicine down. She has been out of bed several times now because Mr. Foley (She is a big Three's Company fan, in case you didn't know) is gone and she refuses to use a bedpan. We are now living A'la Commode. We brought our own commode/shower chair which we purchased from a friend after the last surgery and it works very well. It has wheels, back support and arm rests.

It amazes me how amazed hospital staff is about the things we have come up with to work for us. When seeing Tammy's shower chair they said "I love these brakes" "Oh, look it even has a velcro seatbelt." and "this is better than most of the equipment we have" - They were equally amazed with the custom built platform which a friend made for Tammy after last surgery. The social worker was even amazed that I thought to use the empty plastic notice holders on the doors to put Pictures of and artwork by Benny and Destiny. " I never thought of that - I'm going to recommend it to all our families!" I don't know if it's just the mandane work environment that extinguishes any flame of creativity around here or what - I just don't get it. In March, when Physical Therapy tried to transfer Tammy for the first time they brought 5 people and a transfer board - I thought they knew what they were doing but it was such a joke, causing pain to Tammy, going extremely slow, and just not working. I remember I said "I just don't see how this is going to work when Tammy has to hurry and get to the commode". This time, some of the same Physisical Therapy Assistants were back, they let me show them what we had figured out works best and things went much better.

In March, we really felt pushed out of the hospital before we felt comfortable going home. This time things are different. Perhaps having a surgery during the week makes a difference. Last time the surgery was on a Friday and after that Friday we did not see our Surgeon until the 6 week post-op visit but this time he has stopped by himself twice, besides the visits from his surgical team. Our Surgeon also contacted the Rehab unit to make sure they met with us and understood what we were comfortable with this time (Tammy gave feedback about the discharge last time :-) I told the rehab unit how we were pushed out last time and really had to just figure things out after we got home, how Tammy felt horrible that first week at home and has done everything possible to make this time easier. Tammy has spent weeks arranging her in-home care following surgery, we have moved into an accessible home, and we have a new accessible van. We have our platform and our shower/commode chair. So, I have been telling all the hospital staff that we planned on a 3-4 day stay just like last time (and we were planning on being forced out like last time - transferring to the rehab wing was not offered to us last time) and unless Tammy is still needing Oxygen and IV, there is no reason for us to stay.

Things are so different this time around - in a good way. We are anticpating that we will be discharged this afternoon. Even though we now have a wheelchair accessible van, Tammy may get medical transport because she doesn't know if she wants to try sitting in her chair all the way home (especially since our route home is on 270 - one of the most awfully bumpy portions of Hwy in the Denver Metro area - I hope part of the stimulus package funds for rebuilding roads will do something for that stretch- it should because President Obama loves Colorado :-)

When they decide to discharge us - it will happen fast and I won't have time to write another post but I will try to write a comment on this post - so please check back later in the day to find out what happened.

At UCH, whenever a baby is born, they play "rock a bye baby" over the entire PA system - we heard the lullaby twice this morning fairly close together so I'm thinking someone might have had twins. As I write this, the lullably just started again - triplets? Maybe they are not all from the same mother.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday Morning

Tammy will be getting a blood transfusion this morning. Her blood levels are very low, she is pale and feeling rather weak and tired. Low blood levels are normal following surgery but with her symptoms, getting extra blood is supposed to help considerably. Tammy feels she can use any extra help avaliable and has chosen to get the blood transfusion.

Tammy slept much better last night but has not eaten much of anything. I am not terribly worried because as I recall and as you may recall, her last post-op hospital stay in March followed a similar cycle of eating well then not and then having a pretty tumultuous day before being discharged the next day. If the cycle continues we will be discharged tomorrow but I have not heard anything about discharge at this point. Much still has to happen before we can be discharged. Today should be a big day so we'll see how things go.

Since last evening, Tammy has been sleeping most of the time but overall Tammy has been much more "with it" and alert than last surgery. This surgery she has chosen to avoid taking Oxycodone and is instead taking Dilaudid. Pre-surgery she found Dilaudid worked better for her and the one time she ran out of Dilaudid and tried Oxy, it really upset her stomach.

Last night at 3AM, I was presented a scapel by our nurse and allowed to cut up Tammy's pink pillow wedge that goes between her knees/legs. These wedges come in a one size doesn't fit all form. Since Tammy is so short the pink wedge was way too wide and long and she needed it trimmed down. I tried getting a good knife from our day nurse yesterday (you will remember her from the last post, we will continue to call her Sam) and she offered me a plastic butter knife or some fisher price children's scissors. I told her neither of those would work and I tried again with our night time nurse and she got me a scalpel and thats how I ended up carving Tammy's pillow at 3AM. I really liked our night time nurse and for me having a good night time nurse is more important than during the day because frankly at night I am just too tired to deal with this but during the day I am prepared to fight. Those scalpels are really nice and sharp btw; it worked much better easier than hacking at the thing with our kitchen knife like I did in March.

At 5:30AM Tammy noticed her new waterfall. Tammy really likes waterfalls. The waterfall I am referring to is the humidifier water thing attached to her oxygen which I mentioned in a comment on the last post. Tammy woke up and said "what's that water running?"

While writing this post, I have been able to get Tammy to eat some applesauce and gelatin. It would also be nice if our not so friendly friend called Nausea would say goodbye today. Hopefully Tammy will be able to eat without that not so friendly friend causing any trouble. Some big things we are anticipating today include: the blood transfusion, saying goodbye Catheter and hello Commode, and transferring. Benny, Destiny and several friends are expected to stop by today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Throwing Up and other Adventures of a Hospital Stay

Staying overnight in a hospital is not as exciting as "Night at the Museum", neither is it as peaceful as staying at a country bed and breakfast. Hospital stays are full of craziness and a warped sense of time passage - I've learned you always have to try to be alert and ready for anything! When we entered the world of UCH early yesterday morning I found my self repeating an "I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here" mantra. Quickly though I have accepted that we are here - an acceptance that was made easier by having a general idea of what to expect and knowing that this will be a short hospital stay. This is quite a bit better than a hospital stay where you never know when you will leave the twilight zone aka Benny's Birth at University of Utah Hospital July-August 2004 (a 2 week hospital stay).

Tammy had a rough first night as the lovely nerve block began wearing off. Today she has been working to get pain under control. Tammy has been eating well today (breakfast and lunch) and has been able to take some oral medications without throwing up!(I'm so glad because although I enjoy a friendly game of Dodgeball, I do not enjoy dodging projectile vomitting like I had to do 3 times yesterday). After lunch Tammy was able to sit up on the side of the bed for the first time with the assistance of myself and one physical therapist. Remembering our last experience of sitting up for the first time, I immediatley got the vomit basin ready but was thrilled not to need it.

Dang it! Our vomitless day has just been blemished! As I was writing this blog at 2:30 PM, Tammy threw up but luckily I was sitting next to her bed with a basin at the ready under my chair and I'm happy to report that I was able to catch it all like a baseball in a mitt or maybe more like something on that old Nickelodean show with the green slime?

Tammy says her day nurse hates us today. I think Tammy thinks this mostly because of an incident this morning when the PCA medicine machine started beeping because it was low. (if you have ever stayed in a hospital - you know how annoying these machines can be and how long it can take for nursing staff to take care of them) I let the CNA know who was in the hall, he said he would tell the nurse, I came back in the room and pushed the silence button and waited and then it started beeping again. As I was pushing the silence button the second time when the nurse walked in and said aomething like "no, oh no that's a bad idea" and I pushed the button anyway. We got in a little discussion because she said things like "If you turn it off - I won't know" and "we can't have you messing with the drug machine". I said things like "I already told your assistant about it", "it's only a silence button, I'm not going to mess with anything", "I live here and I'm going to press the button because I don't know how long it will take someone to come in" and "the beeping noises make Tammy spasm". Anyway I don't really think the nurse hates us because she smiled and it didn't seem like a mean smile to me. Tammy says I had more than just one heated discussion with her nurse today, but this is the only one I remember - I guess one was about getting the right amount of meds. I think it's just the nurse's personality you know, every nurse like every person is different and nurses are people too. Tammy says her nurse today reminds her of Sam on ER; Sam is the one who has a son named Alex and dated John Stamos and on the ER series finale she got a nice red car for her birthday. So, if you know this character from ER, you will have a pretty good idea of who our nurse is today.

I will write of our further adventures at the hospital in another post.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Alive and Doing Well After Surgery

Tammy was only in the recovery room for 2 hrs - much better than the about 6 hrs wait we had last time. In the recovery room, Tammy was much much more alert than last time.

Nausea has paid a visit again and we hope the visit is a brief one this time. (we are going to hold off on oral medications today because it just aint been working out).

Tammy is pissed about one thing - The nurse in the recovery room failed to properly set up her PCA Machine and when she arrived in her new room (811) she was in severe pain. I asked the nurse twice if it was hooked up and she said it was - Luckily we have a more observant and attentive nurse tonight.

Tammy is doing well and in relatively good spirits! (especially now that her pain medicine machine is hooked up properly) Tammy says "This Block is Great! Can I have another tomorrow? LOL"

Heading To Surgery 6/2/09 6:04AM

In less than three hours, I will be on the operating table, getting my left titanium hip. Unlike when I was approaching my first hip replacement 2 ½ months ago, my biggest fear is that I’m not scared enough. This time, I’m hopeful. My right hip/leg is absolutely AMAZING! I did not imagine such a magnificent outcome going into this. My leg (wow, it is MY leg!) feels cured! – Typically I despise the ‘cured’ word, but I don’t know how else to describe it. I can kick some major ass with it!  All I can do now is h.o.p.e my left leg follows suit!

I love you all, and just in case I am overly confident this time, I remain confident that because of all of you, my family will be in good hands…

On that note! We’re off!

Expect regular updates from Dustin!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Major Life Changes - Tammy's Story

Hello everyone! Most of you that are on facebook know why I have not blogged in a long time. Some of you however, may not know. I suggest that you sit down if you are not already sitting. To make a very long dreary story short, on March 13th I will be the proud (right?) owner of a new 2009 titanium hip. Unfortunately it only comes in one color and to get it i will have a 6 to 8 inch slice along my leg. But don't worry, the doc says I'll be walking again in no time!!! LOLOLOL

Quick side story...I have a favorite pharmacist that we've known for two and a half years. He's a great guy, he really knows his patients very well and cares tremendously. Well, yesterday Dustin went to get some new prescription filled for me and the guy asked Dustin "So will she be able to walk after the surgery?" OK, when I heard this I thought is this really the guy that is making my drugs for me?? LOL! No he really is a nice guy though, but I will be double checking the pills against pictures of the correct pills on the internet from now on.

So when did this all begin? I have known this or something like it would happen because of the way that I sit and crawl. When I was younger, Physical Therapists would say "You know, if you sit like that, you're going to have major hip problems when you're older". I was 5-9 years old when I was hearing this - who cares?! Sitting in "W-Sit" and "Knee Walking" was how I could function the most. I figured I'd be 60+ when my hip went out. A couple of years ago, I began having a difficult time - post kids - with my hip. It wasn't anything too severe, just a little bit achy. I noticed it especially when I tried to crawl stairs at friend's houses. It gradually worsened and this past Summer, I stopped being able to do the machines at the gym. December, it was straight down hill. The pain is really astonishing.

Last April I tried to get my Boulder PCP to help me, it was the first time I ever really sought help for pain. Basically I was disregarded after no major findings were determined by a basic X-ray. What I needed was an MRI, but the doc was not concerned and did not order one. So this past September I went to a different doc in Boulder - same practice - and it took three and a half months to get the MRI that I needed. In the mean time I would crawl and my hip would give out and I'd fall over in agony. My doctor's office could not seem to get the MRI results. In fact, I went to her one visit for the sole purpose of getting the results. And she made up excuse after excuse as to why she could not get it.

On January 8th I fell over and could not move my leg for quite some time. The pain was just unbelievable. I thought I broke my hip. Dustin once again called the doc and left an angry message on her machine to get back to us. The next day he decided to just call the MRI department and find out why we couldn't get the results. It turned out all we had to do was ask for them, which my doctor never did. The results were faxed directly to us within 20 minutes of the call. Words like "tear" "displaysia" "detachment" "cysts" and "osteoarthrosis" seemed to fill up the entire page. Now picture it...we were here in our living room reading all this stuff. We had no idea what a lot of it means. Dustin called my doctor and left a very brash message saying that we indeed got the results on our own and the least she could do is go over them with us. Its been one month since that day and we have not heard a word from them. That afternoon Dustin and I had decided we needed to find a higher power. We managed to get a sick visit at a clinic through the University of Colorado in Denver. During that appointment we heard the words Hip Replacement for the first time.

We are bitter because if I would have received proper care from the Boulder health system I would already have a new hip and the pain would have never had gotten this severe. If there is one good thing to come out of this whole disaster its that we have finally found quality health care for both myself and the children. Unfortunately its all in Denver. I have a great doctor now! I have a great orthopedic surgeon now! And I feel better about my longevity! The kids are now in the Children's Hospital system after some major blunders by Boulder's ER. They have a wonderful pediatrician now.

When I go to these new doctors and compare them to what we have been dealing with for the past two and a half years it actually scares me! People like me and my family who are on Medicaid can get such poor treatment from the broken system. Many people on Medicaid would not have the choice to go to Denver for medical care. We are fortunate to have the resources necessary to travel. Even sadder is the fact that in the past three weeks we have come to find so many parents that are in the same boat that take their kids 25 minutes away to the Children's Urgent Care North Campus rather than 5 minutes to the Boulder Hospital ER. I should mention here that Destiny had a couple seizures two weeks ago and Boulder ER overdosed her and misinformed us. Luckily, Dustin initiated taking Destiny to Children's 6 days later and she is now recovered.

I have not crawled since January 9th and I will never crawl again. This is probably the biggest life-style change I have ever gone through even more so than becoming a mother. For those of you that know me in my home-life you understand...my entire world has been on the ground, all my life. Its depressing. The first week after learning that my only option is definitely total hip replacement was really tough on me and on Dustin. It didn't help that I was taking Valium as a muscle relaxant, but it is actually a depressant. Since then I have been reaching out. I found a very supportive "Hippy Support Group" and have been communicating with a lot of various people. One of the most difficult things for me in the beginning was that I thought that only older people (70+ - no offense!) had hip replacements. Well I found many many many young people that I can relate to that have gone through THR! This has been an awesome boost for me. I mean OK, I'm sorry that they're also having this happen to them, but its nice to know about it.

Soooooooooooooo we have a lot of work to do. Not only to prepare for major surgery and home rehab, but we need a new house! Right now my attendants and Dustin are pushing me around my house in my manual chair. Just another strike against my independence. Its hard on them and me. We moved our bedroom from the garage to the guest room. We have a king + sized tempurpedic adjustable bed that takes up most of our bedroom. It is a cute little bedroom. I lay in bed and I see a huge a tree out my window, but it is really small. I want my independence, whatever that will mean living my home life in a chair. It will all come it's just going to take some time. But patients is not one of my virtues. We are looking for a place that can house live-in attendants too. So that's exciting!

Many of you know that I type sitting on the floor. Well, that's over. Right now I can't type. However, in a couple weeks I will be getting an AT (Assistive Technology) evaluation and I will be geared up with some high tech equipment that will enable me to once again use the computer independently. Several people have suggested Naturally Speaking. Let the record show that Naturally Speaking doesn't speak CP!!! Check out www.eyegaze.com this is the more probable rout I will be taking.

I am leaving my pictures and graphics out of this email because right now I don't feel like teaching my wonderful typist how to insert those things. But I promise my next blog will be focused on the kids and their activities and it will be filled with pictures! Look for it next week ; )

This is where I will close...I miss you all!!! I'm sending my love your way and please send best wishes our way.

Oh and by the way, Boulder Colorado still rocks! We love this place! We only hate the medical care - that's all. Oh good news flash! Benny was accepted into the only Charter School in Boulder. Its a kids motivated school, K - 8. We are very excited about this!

Love you all,
Tammy