Friday, March 22, 2013

Why are we even discussing this??

I wrote about my thoughts on Jennifer Sebena's death and her husband's state of mind in December.  Clearly there were issues that needed to be tended to and were over looked.  It is a tragic story of how war takes lives and souls, long after the soldiers are away from the battlefield.  I focused on Officer Sebena's husband in that post.  

Today, I am going to focus on her.  Clearly, enough people are losing sight of the fact that an officer of the law was killed on duty. Officer Sebena deserves every honor available to her memory.  But for some reason, not everyone agrees.  There are some people who believe that she does not deserve to have her name on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. - because her death was caused by her husband.  Not by a bank robber, not by a runaway car chase, not by a hostage taker, but by her husband - the one person who swore before God and all who loved him, that he would love, cherish and protect her - before all others.

And that is not tragic enough??

So, their original decision was that her death was not a LODD, but a domestic dispute and therefore she did not deserve to be memorialized. 

After much public outrage, political statements, the NLEOMF has decided to put it off a year and discuss it then.  

Ummmm, why??

Photo courtesy of Jeff Vavera - Oct. 2007
NLEOMF, your memorial says it all.  How can you exclude her?  She was a police officer that lost her life on duty, on CHRISTMAS! 

Our police, fire and military personnel put their lives on the line EVERYDAY to keep the community and nation safe.  There are names of LEOs on that memorial that had heart attacks during training and died in car accidents - that they caused.  But, because she loved the man who took her life, she is less worthy???  I can't even begin to wrap my head around it.

BUT, what is even more confusing to me is that the precedent has already been set. As stated in the Wisconsin Professional Police Association's letter to the White House, three other officers who lost their lives under similar circumstances are already on the monument.  How can you say no?? 

But I think what bothers me the most, is that her own department is not fighting for her. I can't quote what I have heard about their stance, but it seems to be that they are respecting whatever decision the NLEOMF makes.  


You lost one of your own.  How are you NOT fighting for her name to be on that memorial forever and ever amen??  I am certain that there are officers pushing, but why is the department not fighting for her memory to be literally etched in stone; her sacrifice there for the public to see??  The MPD, Governor, Attorney General, Wisconsin Professional Police Association, ME - we are all fighting to keep this in the front of people's minds.  But her department, her brothers and sisters, are taking the political route?? That makes my stomach TURN!!

If you take a moment and research her story and feel so moved, you can sign the petition here.  Please realize I feel that this is a small token to memorialize a life taken far too soon.  

To those who are serving in our neighborhoods and overseas, please know that we are grateful and blessed to have servants like you among us.  To those of us who are receiving the services and protection of these ordinary heroes, take a moment to say thank you.  Thanks a moment to sign the petition.  

Officer Sebena, please know that there are many pleading your case.  Your sacrifice was not in vain.  Thank you.

In Valor, there is Hope.

Hug your muppets, love your FFs and be sure to take a moment to say a prayer for safe return for all those who protect us.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stir Crazy

So, I may or may not be a little touched to begin with.  That jury is still deliberating.

But you know it is bad when you are ubber excited to get out of the house and wait at the DMV to get your temporary handicap rearview mirror hanger thingy.

It is sad, really.

I just have to make it to Monday!  I get my hard cast.  Tuesday I get to go back to work.  I get to be a real person again.

My hubby has a cold and it is a shift day. Sniffle.  I am still working on getting him moving.  ;)  Not sayin' a word...
But, when he does come home tomorrow, he has a PO and a Vacation Day back to back, which gives him back to me for a week.  Exciting.

I am thinking about coloring eggs this weekend. Getting it done before it is the stressful night before would be good.  Off to Pinterest I go! 

Happy almost Friday.  Show some love to those FFs and muppets. Let them know how amazing they are.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baby Blues

And boy have I got them bad.  

Our youngest is 5.  We are done.  We were "done" before our youngest was born.  My body could probably not handle another pregnancy.  But that does not mean my heart does not twinge a bit with every baby I see. 

It is sad, really.  My baby is a big girl.  As I hear vocabulary coming from her that is a few years ahead of her age, I am reminded very clearly during our conversations.  My youngest son is about to enter middle school and my oldest is a teenager.

I know, I know.  No more dirty diapers, puked on shirts, sleepless nights from teething.  I know that I will never have to look for a changing table.  Sleepless nights from the kids are the exception and not the rule.  I celebrated with O was finally totally potty trained.  And now, being a FFW with a newborn and FOUR other muppets, I know that is insanity.  I know that, but sometimes...

And now, as I sit here on my own trying to not take that next pain med, I long for those days when I could scoop the babies from the bassinet and just be amazed that I was able to have such a part in that miracle.  The baby smell, the sleepy smiles, the milestones.

But, alas, the times they are changing. In 10-15 years there will probably be babies back in our house, they just won't be mine.  They will be my grandkids.  I am not in any rush, but at the same time...

Hopefully some babysitting will take care of it and I can get my baby fix that way.  Wish me luck.

Monday, March 18, 2013

When to ask for help

It is not always the easiest.  Especially when you are used to just throwing everything on your back and just getting it done.  When you suddenly need help getting dressed and taking a shower, it is a whole new ballgame. 

I hate feeling like a burden.  Hate it.  I am a stubborn mule, if I can't do it myself, it probably doesn't really need to be done.  Not my best attribute, but it does, none-the-less, make up part of  who I am.  I can open the door and carry the groceries and get it from the top shelf all by myself.  Except, now, I really can't.  I can't go down to the bunker to grab some snacks, I can't stand long enough to get to the bathroom without pain - much less make dinner.  Heck, I cannot even change my own pants alone.  

If nothing else, this is a humbling experience.  

My husband has been amazing.  Never once has he said no.  Never once has he made me feel like an interruption or a burden.  He has just been wonderful.  He is the most loving and patient man I have met.  I see why he makes such an awesome med.  His compassion and love for people flows deep and is genuine.  You can't fake that.  He has also learned how much I do around here.  Laundry has been an issue and he is starting to see it.  Enforcing chores and making sure they are done right.  Meals - all the time. Getting dog food.  It sounds like silly mundane day-to-day things, but he now has to do them.  It is nice to know that he can see the other side of it now.

I have to learn that dog fuzz and messy counters can wait.  I can't stand up to get it done and it will just have to wait.  I have to ask for help getting in and out of shower and changing my underwear.  The most simple and yet personal parts of my day, I cannot do alone.  I have to ask for help.

Maybe this is also a time for me to learn to slow down.  I have snuggled with my girls more than I have since school started.  Chatted with my husband about nothing, more than usual.  Maybe the Big Guy was saying, "LISTEN UP Girlie Girl.  Time for you to reflect."  And here I am reflecting...a lot.
And I am a strong woman!

My FF is back on shift today.  It is our first day on our own without Daddy.  BUT, it also means he'll be home with me during the day tomorrow. :)  Wish me luck.

Kiss your FFs, snuggle with your muppets and enjoy your day.  And when you need it, ask for help.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Surgery and Recovery

From Friday morning...
I am T minus 164ml.  

That is all that is left in my nerve block pump. 

After that I am on my own.  Pain management will be out of a pill bottle and the scares the heck out of me.

We are now 65 hours post-op and I am now sick of my recliner.  Sick of not being in the world.  Sick of being waited on. And almost ready to part ways with my nerve block pump. 

I won't miss wearing the lovely fanny pack around my neck like a pack mule.  Forgetting and then remembering after one stride of the crutches that I need to take the fanny pack that is connect to the tubing that runs from my hip to just below my knee with me, or I will regret it.  Part of me is even thinking I will be happy to feel my toes again.  

But I prefer NOT to feel the pain that I know must be coming. But at the same time I HATE pain meds.  Like, with a PASSION!.  You have no idea.  A friend of mine who has gone through 6 of these surgeries, stopped in on my FB page to check on me and was the only person to give me frank advice.  Perhaps she is the only one because she is coming from experience.
"Also, if your doc didn't tell you, once your nerve block wears off and you are starting to feel more pain, don't let your pain get too bad. What I mean is let's say you feel ok and don't take your pain medication for several hours. If you put it off for several doses, the pain will catch up to you and by then, your dose may or may not give you any relief."
I need to hear it like that.  Because I will go as long as I can.  I will skip doses of drugs.

So I started taking Tylenol last night on the 4s.  My body must be expecting it, because here it is as midnight waking me up for it.  I am trying to figure out where I can fit in the Tramadol in order to avoid the Oxy and Percocets.  I am not a girl who likes to take drugs.
My everyday meds with baby aspirin and antibiotics thrown is as safe guards.
I really can do without more.

I think I am more frightened of this than I was of surgery.  I tolerate pain well, like scary well.  But what if this time I don't.  Last week when I broke it, my FF knew it was bad because I was whining when I moved...and I took the Percocet.  By Sunday I wasn't taking anything stronger than Tylenol.  And by Monday I was taking my husband to the hospital to get some things checked.  Swinging myself through several wings of this building while they fit me in within 2 hours of me calling (AMAZING may I just say) with no pain meds whatsoever in my system.  I take enough meds, I don't need to add to them without cause.  So, on the hospital pain chart, I can tolerate up to a 5/6 without any drugs, or perhaps just OTC. 8 is where I am assuredly taking OTC and considering scripts to sleep.  10 does not happen often, but that is where I am actually using the drugs offered to me on the scheduled times.  I am hoping to not reach that.

Wish me luck.

T minus 133ml.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Fast Can You Get Here?

Not the question I wanted to hear at 6:45 in the morning.  But it was the hospital calling.  Somehow my surgery got mixed up with the gentleman next to in the cast room.  Ladies first.

My FF had to stop in HQ for something, then we fought rush hour traffic, arrived at 7:25 and things went like dominoes.  I barely sat down after checking in when they called me back. It was amazing how smooth the transition was.  I have never seen people move so fluently for a surgery.  Within an hour they were taking me off to pre-op and then into the OR

I hate the foggy feeling after surgery.  I tried so hard to get myself to wake up.  In and out of it, I kept wondering where my FF was.  Why wasn't he back there with me?  No one ever told him. :(  The only hiccup of the day, but I felt bad when he came back.  You could see in his face that he was wondering what was going on.  It was not until he asked  where I was in the process that they told him I was in recovery for the last 45 minutes.

It was a clean break.  It required a plate with 5 screws and another screw through the bone for good measure.  My surgeon was going to show me the x-ray, but decided to wait until my follow up appointment.  I'll take a picture when I go in.  My D really wants to see it.  

Now, I am a prisoner in my own home for a few weeks.  Chillin' with the polar bears.  My hubby is on rtw (Return to Work) duty, so I have the luxury of having him home at night.  They have me on a portable nerve block for the next few days.  I can't feel anything from the knee down.  Still in the quasi cast split with an ace wrap while the swelling goes down.  

I have been sleeping in the recliner since I broke it on Saturday.  It is the only way to elevate it well enough and guarantee no dogs will jump up on it.  My awesome FF has been sleeping on the couch to keep me company.  It was the sweetest thing on Tuesday night - he pulled my chair over next to the couch so we could at least sleep near each other.  He has been amazing through all of this.  I am so very blessed to have fallen in love with this amazing man.

I'll have some picture for you after my appointment.  Until then, Love on your family and indeed know you blessed to have them in your life.  

Happy Almost Friday! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And then the other shoe drops...

...or boot, perhaps.

I made it through the weekend.  I kind of hand everyone waiting on him hand and foot.  Which actually got annoying after a while.  If I want something to eat, I want something to eat.  It got old real fast.  I got tired of sleeping in the recliner, even though it was the only way to really keep it elevated and be sure the dogs don't step on it.  And that was only Sunday.

Monday my FF had to go into the hospital for a procedure that required he be put under. That meant I took off of work, life was fine.  While I was waiting I called the doc that the ER gave me.  Um, yeah.  He was a spinal surgeon.  He was not dealing with anything as mundane as a fib fracture.   So, I call my doc and ask her who I should see and she refers me to a doc, in the same hospital I was sitting in.  Wouldn't it be awesome if they could just get me in... HA, okay.

So, I call central scheduling.  Get forgotten about the first time.  The second time central scheduling get me into someone - at around 11am.  She asks if I cam come in at 1pm.  Sure, I am already here.  AND my x-rays were still in my purse.  How convenient is that??  

We head over to that part of this monster hospital.  Fill out the paperwork and I, of course, do a Google search on this doc.  Surgery for some of the Brewers, so clearly he's good at what he does.  Then I move on to patient reviews.  There is no middle ground.  People either love him or think he's a arrogant, egotistical SOB.  There is no middle ground whatsoever.  I think to myself, "GREAT.  Now I have to work with a big fat jerk. WONDERFUL."  Nothing like prejudging. <hangs head in shame>

I made my FF take a pic so I could see it in the casting room.
They take me back to the casting room where there are 8 tables set up.  They take off my boot, check my x-rays.  The resident and fellow take a look and agree that it is a pretty clean break that will probably not need surgery. Then it becomes a bit of a conveyor belt medical appointment.  He goes from table to table, taking a look and letting them know where they are.  And somehow, with 5 of us in there, he knew exactly what was where.  I was easy - the only female in the room, but it was impressive.  A BIG guy, quite gregarious. We exchanged some banter regarding my choice of hockey jersey for the day and actually hit it off really well.  He looked at my x-ray, told me it would heal just fine one its own. But, it will probably hurt because it will always run against your ankle bone.  UGH!

That means SURGERY! 

I tried to talk my way back into my classroom today.  Yeah, I am out through next Friday.  Double UGH!  The put me in a demi-cast, splint thing.  Plaster on three sides and batting and ace wraps the rest of the way around.  Poor guy grumbled the whole time because I should never have been put in that boot.
We were able to save my jeans, amazingly.  But here
are my FF's sweatpants from the academy.

So, today, I will have surgery to fix it.  Hardware and all.  Send your prayers my way, if you have a moment.  And to my surgeon. May his hands be steady and sure.

I'll see you on the other side. Hug your FFs and kiddos.  Have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Hate Grocery Shopping

But, it is necessary and therefore I clip my coupons and go on Saturday's Double Days.  I sit with my ads, make my list, life is good.  This past Saturday, I did not make a list.  My FFW gal pal next door texted me around 7am to see if I wanted to go and get it out of the way.  I told her to give me a few, threw on some clothes, brushed my hair and teeth (separately of course), grabbed my grocery bags and coupon binder and away I went.  My FF and Muppets were barely awake, still in their PJs, eating cereal and watching cartoons - like a Saturday morning should be spent.  I also know that my FF did not have his phone charged.  I knew this before I left.  AND I made a conscious decision to NOT plug it in for him and let him be the grown up.

That was my first mistake.

I went next door, chatted with my gal's muppets while she finished up brushing her teeth etc.  We left and went out to her garage.  We are on an alley and have smaller garages, so she was just going to pull out into the alley for me.  We've done it a million times.  Well, the warmer weather caused the snow to begin melting, but unfortunately our nights are still cold enough to freeze.  That means ice.  Ice that looks like snow melt.  Ice that is nice a slippery.  As FFW friend put it, "You were there and then you weren't!"

Nope, I was on my arse whimpering   I knew what happened.  I rolled my foot out and landed on my ankle.  I felt the crack.  I knew it was broken.  BUT, I told her let's go get it checked out...just to make sure it is not too bad of a sprain.  She went and got her FF - both of them were home, even though it was a shift day -AMAZING.  She went in told her FF that I went "down" which FFs seem to interpret as a cardiac event.  Not so much.  He was like, "really, she just fell."  Anyway, the ER is only 3 blocks away, she took me there instead of the grocery store.  ehhh...yeah, not what I had planned.

Picture taken so I could see it.
On long drive over, I try calling my FF.  And of course it goes straight to VM.  Tried the other phone.  No answer.  Ugh.  We call the other FF and tell him to go bug my FF.  After the usual FF banter regarding man down definitions, my hubby makes his way to the ER to relieve my FFW gal pal.  

I was still denying the break...until the x-ray tech came.

I was whimpering like a little puppy as she turned my ankle and tried to straighten it and position it and angle it.  I was oh so glad they talked me into the Percocet before the images were taken - I HATE pain meds, with a passion!  My FF and gal pal came back into my room with a pity filled look on their faces from listening to me.  I tolerate pain really well, so if I am fussing, it tends to worry my FF.

AMAZING ER nurse kept checking on, my stressed out, tired ER resident came in to tell me it was a simple break, I would be in a boot for a few weeks and life would be fine.  But he wanted me to see a "bone doctor" sometime in the next week.  They fitted me with a boot, handed me a CD of my x-rays and sent me on my way with the name of a specialist.

I was done fussing about my FF being home and goofing up my rhythm.  I am oh so thankful that he is.  And he has been amazing! But, it was a shift day none-the-less.  We just beat the odds by having both FFs home.

Hug your muppets, kiss your firefighter and enjoy your walk to the bathroom.  Don't take it for granted!  ;)

Lesson for the day...don't go grocery shopping too early on Saturdays.  Be lazy, enjoy the day.  Let the sun melt all that horrible ice...and then send your firefighter!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There are always those days when you feel like it won't be over soon enough.  The death of a loved one, a scary diagnosis, a horrible break-up, the loss of a job, a betrayal or list could go on and on.  The first thing we usually do is question WHY??  And often times we don't hear the answers or perhaps we simply can't wrap our heads around them.  And that is when we feel alone or abandoned.

These low points seem to be the hardest ones for us to get through.  The joy filled moments seem to fly by.  We can't hang on to them long enough.  On the other hand, these patches of heartbreak or fear seem to linger...and linger...and linger.

Some things to remember:

We are never alone. Whether you are relying on your faith, your family or the kindness of strangers, there is always someone there.

The fire department is family.  I had to pick my FF at the end of a HORRIBLE day filled with bad news, broken pieces and stitches - because he, too, needed at trip to the ER and would be off work for a bit.  His BC reminded me that if I needed anything, whether he was on duty or not, to please call.

People are not mind readers.  It makes for cool story lines  but not so practical in the real world.  Speak up.  Tell people what you need.  A hug, a distraction from the issue at hand, a prayer, some time...

Even though we feel as though we are so far down, we can't see up, there is still an 'up'.  Sometimes that means you have to get up off your butt in the pit of despair and climb on out.  Sometimes it means you have to agree to take the hand that is reaching out to you.  Sometimes is means allowing yourself to smile and enjoy the sunshine.  There are so many things (within ourselves and from the world around us) that keep us feeling the doom and gloom.

So, allow yourself to cry, to grieve to mourn.  But then move on...and allow yourself to do so.  Make the changes that you can make.  Figure out how you are going to deal with those you can't.  Seek out the people best equipped to get you through this crisis. Most importantly, accept love.  Love from your friends and family, love from you neighbors and co-workers, from complete strangers with and warm smile and most importantly, love from yourself.  

Through all of this, know you are not alone.  If you need something, ask and accept.  When you feel so down, you don't know where to turn, look for the beauty that surrounds you.  Sometimes it is right in front of us, but we can't see it because we are looking too far down the road.

Love your FFs and muppets.  Find joy in them when the rest of your world seems to be crumbling down around you.  Seek out help, love and support when you need it.  Don't be afraid to just ask.  Smile...just because you made it another day.


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