Roller Coaster

perfectly describes my life right now. The good news is my sense of humor is still firmly intact because even though "roller coaster" seems to be the only way I can describe life right now, everytime I think of or say roller coaster, all I can think of is the Red Hot Chili Peppers version of the song that was done for the Beavis and Butthead movie. We saw it in the movie theater and that song is forever intertwined with Beavis and Butthead. Real mature, I know.

The kids are in more activities and outside homeschool related classes than ever before and I run run run all day everyday except Sunday. Although, even Sundays aren't completely activity free. I despise being in the car. Really really really despise it. We will be cutting back because I am quickly losing my grip on sanity and happiness.
About three weeks ago my husband went for his annual cardiology appointment. He was born with a bicuspid aortic valve but there are supposed to be 3 leaflets of the valve. It's something we knew would eventually have to be repaired, but they don't want to do it too early to decrease the number of times he will have to have the valve replaced and they don't want to wait too long because as the valve gets more and more stenotic, the heart has to work harder and gets enlarged.
Anyway, because he had been stable for so long, we believed he would be able to go another 5-10 years before needing the surgery. He called me on the way out to the parking lot from his appointment and dropped the bombshell...the doctor told him he needed his valve replaced before the end of 2010 due to rapid progression of stenosis. Plus, he had to have a cardiac cath beforehand to make sure the coronaries are clear and everything else looked fine.
So.....I am already stressed to the max with homeschooling, taxi services, trying to keep the household mess to a dull roar, being the household accountant and secretary....let's add an invasive test and open heart surgery for my best friend since I was 16, husband, lover, the only man who could ever put up with me and manages to make me laugh every single day.
Let that sink in for a minute. That's where I am. I went through about 2 or 3 days where I was totally freaked out. I used to scrub open heart and know more than I want to. Also, the cath lab where they perform cardiac caths? In surgery we referred to it as the "crash lab" because of the number of patients we would get emergently, a doctor or nurse straddling the patient, pumping on the chest as the patient is wheeled in for emergency open heart surgery. Fun times. And not a picture I like having permanently ingrained in my brain when my husband is about to have one of those things.
What does a freaked out spouse trying to keep it together do?
The freaked out crafting type of wife will decide it's imperative to knit a pair of luxurious socks made out of 100% alpaca yarn for the patient.
The freaked out homeschooling type of wife will immediately order a giant model heart that comes apart:
and an anatomy book that the kids will actually understand (we have lots of medical anatomy textbooks lying around here...but nothing that would actually be interesting). My favorite part of this book was in the Amazon description that there may be nude photos and that you must be 18 to order it. Ummm...duh? I mean, it's an anatomy book and since people are not generally born with clothes attached to them... The description is gone now. Bummer.
The homeschooling wife will also do an internet search about what is involved in a cardiac cath and find videos to go along with the description. If you're interested (it's not gross at all and they take you step by step), click here.
Homeschooling wife hasn't looked for valve replacement videos yet, but it's on the "to do" list.The freaked out frumpy feeling wife will get all her hair chopped off and make weird faces in the super filthy mirror (sorry folks, with the magic of photoshop, I edited out the flithy spots so it LOOKS like I clean. Probably should have edited out the suitcase sized bags under my eyes too)....
The freaked out wife goes on vacation with her family. I admit this one was actually scheduled two years ago...but it's a good segue for sharing vacation photos with you poor unsuspecting people without writing a separate post...
Every fall for 8 years we have stayed at Brown County State Park for a few days. Last week was the week. My husband thought it would be brilliant to schedule his cardiac cath for our last day there so we could just "squeeze it in" on our way home. Gotta love a multi-tasker!
Cabin 12. The cabins aren't posh...but they are cozy and comfortable with a wood burning stove, lots of space, a kitchen so we don't spend a fortune on food, and the cost is incredibly reasonable.
In the blog post here, I described and showed a photo of the dino jaws of Trail 6. We did that trail again this year and the kids were anticipating and talking about those dino teeth from the moment we stepped on the trail. Too bad it's about 3/4 of the way through and they had a difficult time enjoying the rest of the trail:
Same trail, photo of hubs and me.
How we get when too many pictures are taken...
After hitting the trails, we got some food at an overpriced restaurant. But I still managed a smile
Every single year for 8 years, we have done Trail 2:
We got lots of cute pictures on the North Tower Lookout (plus we enjoyed the view):
We finally remembered our tripod to take the family photo on the bridge. The best use for it was rooting around for the garter snake that disappeared under the fallen log.

At the end of our fun relaxing trip, we drove to Indy, squeezed in a cardiac cath, then drove the remaining 2 hours home. James did great, charmed all the nurses and played along and let me take a picture when one gave him a urinal with a straw to drink the water he requested.



Jen, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.Hugs!

Jennifer Cameron

thanks Mallory. I appreciate it and know I sound like some wimpy whiner kind of girl compared to what you have been through.

Patricia Wood

Sending good thoughts your way. Hang in there:)


Keeping you in my thoughts Jen! I can't even imagine the load you are carrying and you are doing great!Hugs and Love to you and the fam!


You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for the post, I can see the love in your family. Hang in there.

Amy Kuczewski

Jen, I'll be thinking about you and your hubs- it looks like you're well prepared for the technical side of things and just need to emotionally prepare! (great socks.) Your pictures are amazing- it looks like your family had a beautiful time on the walk!

Pretty Things

Hubs is very very cute, and that photo of you two goofing off is just -- perfect. I'd have that blown up and on my mantle, seriously.And Beavis and Butthead. They got me through college late night study sessions. Ha!

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