Concussion

Feb. 12th, 2013 08:01 am
ginawdw: (Bad Day)
On Sunday, Chris realized he was sick, so stayed in bed for the better part of the day (after we went to the farmer's market to get fruit and veggies). Around 5 p.m., when I started making dinner, I noticed the refrigerator making a loud buzzing noise. I never heard it before, yet instinctively knew there was a serious problem. I checked inside the unit to see if anything appeared to be to thawing, and was correct; the refrigerator portion was not cold, and the stuff in the freezer was thawing. I hesitated to tell Chris, because he was sick and trying to get rest, but after an hour and a half of listening to that noise, I couldn't take it any more. When it was time for dinner, I went up to get Chris, and tell him the news: 1) it's time to eat, and 2) I think the fridge is broken.

After dinner, I cleaned off the top of the fridge, he pulled the unit away from the wall, and I got behind it to vacuum all the dust and scrub the floor. It was a real nasty mess back there, and afterwards, the compressor started to sound better, so we thought all it needed was a good cleaning. We went to bed, thinking we'd probably have to get a new fridge, because getting the compressor fixed on this one was going to cost about the same. He researched refrigerators before he fell asleep, and realized it would be about $500--money which we didn't have currently.

I woke up at 5:45 the next morning, because I needed to leave at 6:30 a.m. to drive to Middletown to get Jacquie's husband to work, and I wanted some hot tea before I left. When I entered the kitchen, I heard the loud, buzzing noise again, and thought: "Oh, crap, how long has that been going on?" I checked the unit, and everything in the freezer was more than partially thawed; our ice cream had leaked out all over the bottom of the freezer. Panicked, I cleaned off the large chest freezer (also in the kitchen), and started taking things from the small freezer and putting it in the big one. I wiped it out, so the ice cream wouldn't cause more problems, and then closed the door.

Or so I thought.

I opened the fridge door, bent down to get a gallon of milk and a couple of items to put in the chest freezer, and STOOD UP.

However, the door to the freezer was partially opened and the left side of my head slammed into it.

I dropped to the floor, seeing stars. I felt nauseous and panicked a little more: I couldn't throw up! I had to leave at 6:30 to go to Middletown. I started to cry, though, because the pain was so great, and after a few moments, found an ice pack and sat in the living room. I talked to my brother, who leaves for work at 6:30, and we discussed the abdication of the current Catholic Pope. He then left, and I did about 5 minutes later. My head hurt, but I chalked it up to stupid clumsiness; I'd hit my head before, and figured I'd be okay once I got back home, got some food and drink and took ibuprophen.

I realized I was greatly mistaken when I was almost to Jacquie's house. My head hurt so much, and my vision was getting slightly blurry, and it was hard to move my head, limbs, and eyes. I could barely speak, because it would hurt my head. I nearly fell asleep four times while driving, and could have killed people. As soon as I dropped Jacquie's husband off, I called Chris, crying. I told him what had happened. He was so sick and could barely breathe, the poor guy. He was in no shape to take the kids to school, so I did. I pulled up into the driveway, honked the horn, and they came out, and I whisked them off.

Yes, I put more people in danger. Not at all smart, but that "I have to do this, because people are expecting it" feeling took over.

I finally got home, around 9:00 a.m., and in so much pain and completely exhausted, peeled off my clothes, and climbed into bed next to Chris. Around 11:00 a.m., I woke again, this time with my head hurting so much more; my neck, left shoulder, and spine were throbbing with pain as well.

I stayed in my bedroom for as long as possible, because it was dark and quiet. Chris gave me ibuprophen and I thought that would do the trick. I still hadn't eaten, so went into the kitchen to make soup because Chris wasn't feeling well. I had to close my eyes to slits, because all the light was making my head hurt more, and the area where I hit my head was throbbing. Around 12:30, when it was apparent the ibuprophen wasn't working, and I was moaning in pain and stumbling around, Chris called our doctor; he was going to get an antibiotic for himself and we needed to know if I had a concussion. We couldn't be seen until 2:45, though, so I went back to sleep at 1 p.m.

At 2:00, I got up, got dressed, and went to the doctor's. Chris drove the van, because Billy would need my car to pick up Connor at 3:30 (Alex goes to Karate after school and wouldn't need picking up until 6 p.m.). I kept my head down and my hood over my face the whole time; sunlight was a terrible nuisance. Chris had to hold my arm and lead me like a blind person to the building and up to the doctor's office. I had to be examined with the lights out and the door open with the hall lights as the nurse's and doctor's only source of light.

My doctor was not happy that I didn't see him sooner, and that I drove my car after being injured. He discussed with Chris about taking me to one of three area hospitals, because he wanted me to get a CAT scan. Chris agreed to take me to Wilmington Hospital, as it was the closest.

That was *his* big mistake; we ended up sitting there for SEVEN HOURS so I could get a ten-minute CAT scan.

Chris was cross with me, only because I never told him I'd hit my head when it happened. My argument: I didn't want him to be mad that I woke him up when he wasn't feeling well. He, too, was mad at me for driving. I told him he should buy me a football helmet and bubble wrap. He replied: "Yes. I can see it now: 'This is my wife; she's special.' Well, at least I'd be able to take you anywhere!"

After all was said and done, I was diagnosed with having a concussion, was given a Percocet (1/2 last night and the other 1/2 to take today), and prescribed 600 mg of ibuprophen. I also need to get a lot of rest, I can't drive, do strenuous activity, read, watch TV, be on the computer (oops! I promise I'll get off of here when I'm finished writing), or make any important decisions. My injury can last from SEVEN TO TEN DAYS! I have to be seen by my doctor and get his approval before I can go back to doing any of my regular activities.

We didn't get home until nearly 11:00 p.m. I had something to eat, and started to go to bed, but Alex woke up, crying/screaming. He has an ear infection, and needs to see the doctor. Chris gave him ear drops, i gave him ibuprophen, and sat on the floor next to the bathtub while he let warm water cascade over him in the shower.

Billy has to get a filling done today and told me (last night) that he didn't know how to get to the dentist's office, so I wrote the directions down for him. Chris was trying to sort out stuff in the fridge, and figure out what to keep and what to toss. We both had some hot tea and a discussion about what to do; we have no money, we don't know what the hospital bill's going to look like, and we need a new fridge, and our son is ill. We are so screwed this year. I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. I'm tired, sore, and just really unhappy.

Chris is here today, because he's still unwell, but also because someone has to be with me for 24 hours to make sure I don't have convulsions, get a bloody nose, become confused, or stop breathing. If any of those things happen, I have to go back to the hospital--probably for another seven hours. :/
ginawdw: (Me)
I made a payment on our Walt Disney World vacation. Yes, I have just complained about money, but I had $110 on my Disney Gift Card, and used a portion of that to make a small payment. I didn't use money we don't have!

It felt nice to see the amount owed come down a little bit. We will not be able to go to Walt Disney World this year, as previously planned, but we will try to pay on it when possible--like today--and change the dates before the end of June. Connor wants to go for his birthday next year, so maybe we'll aim for that. I had hoped to go for *my* birthday next year (I'll be 40!), but it looks like that's not going to happen. I have told Chris repeatedly that I do not want a party; I want to go to Walt Disney World. If we *do* go, and others want to come along, then that's fine, but we are leaving all kids at home.

On Friday, Connor is going to receive a Royal Student Award; it's for students who have demonstrated great improvement and good behaviors. He hasn't had one of those since 2nd grade, so I'm going to try my best to show up at the assembly on Friday afternoon!

I went through some of my videos and posted a few on YouTube. Today, I went to Battery Park to look around and survey/video the damage that still lingered after Hurricane Sandy. The walking path that I love so much is utterly devastated in many areas, making long walks impossible. I hope that by summertime, the path is somewhat useable. There were a few other videos, such as the boys' reaction to going to Williamsburg last December but one had Connor and I cracking up: Alex trying to lay down on a pool deck chair. It kept see-sawing, making everyone around him laugh.

I have been over-eating again. I just want to eat junk food, like cookies and Doritos, and it makes me feel guilty, but I still do it. I'm overweight, again, and see the treadmill as an enemy. I hope the weather gets better soon, because 1) I can go to orchards and pick fruits and vegetables, and 2) if I leave the house, then I won't be tempted to consume the junk food here. I should throw it away, but I can hear Chris complain that it was a waste of money...

Chris and I are attempting to scrape up a few dollars to go to this year's Philadelphia Flower Show in March. The theme is all about Britain, something I am hoping to see. We will probably have just enough to get the tickets and something to eat; there will be no souvenirs or shopping in Reading Terminal Market. I'm okay with that; I just want to take pictures.
ginawdw: (Me)
I have bronchitis (my doctor says it's just severe enough to be called pneumonia) and am taking Levaquin, which is also used to treat clamydia, anthrax, and the plague (*none* of which I have!).

Alex has improved his attitude a little, but still needs lots of work. He still touches things that don't belong to him and still has many sentences to write. Connor is getting better, too, but needs work on his focusing on homework and reading. Connor's teacher said (in last night's conference) that he has improved greatly in math and writing, but is still behind in reading, and has been given a warning hat he may be assigned to the next grade, instead of promoted. I meet with Alex's teacher in a few hours (provided I can breathe through my nose!) to find out what the deal is with him.

We filed our taxes, but the federal refund we should be receiving isn't going to come to us until March at the earliest. Normally, we get our refund in two weeks, but because Congress played around at the end of 2012, the IRS had its hands tied and now everything is backed up. Our state refund should be coming to us within two weeks (we hope), so we can pay off bills (mostly credit cards).

Two nights ago, Alex saw something in his playroom (around 4 a.m.), and it looked to be human. He woke up his brother and told him it was there, but when Connor looked, it disappeared--as Alex was watching it. This freaked Alex out more than anything, and he started screaming, which drew my attention. I was already up (thanks to being congested), so I ran into the room to check on them. Connor and Alex ended up sleeping in our room for the remainder of the night. Last night, there was no problem, because I instructed Connor to close the door to the playroom.

I have no doubt that Alex saw something; when I had woken an hour earlier, I had walked past something in my own bedroom. I felt a chill run through me, the hairs on my arm and neck stood up, and I paused briefly, then kept going until reaching the bathroom (although I was spooked, I really had to pee!), where I flipped on the light and looked back into the bedroom. Nothing was there, but it certainly looked as though something (side of a head and a shoulder about my height) was leaning toward me when I paused. My bedroom isn't immersed in complete darkness each night; I have thin curtains, and one of my neighbors has a floodlight they keep on a few nights a week. It's not difficult to see where things are in my room at night. So if something out of the ordinary is in the room, it's pretty noticeable. Anyway... I kept the bathroom light on the ENTIRE night--even after the kids came into the room, because I was a little unnerved.

In the morning, I videotaped the boys telling me their version of events, so some of my friends could see and tell me what they thought. One said it could be either a spirit passing through, attracted to my house because of Alex's enormous amounts of energy, or it's a manifestation of my own making, because I have been angry, tired, and depressed A LOT lately. Mostly angry, because of the disrespect I get from my kids. I hope the latter isn't true.

Took Connor and Billy to the mall yesterday (yes, I'm sick and there I go, spreading germs), where I added a few more dollars to my Disney gift card. I'm at $90, now; Connor has $40, and Alex has $55. My goal (as is both the boys) is $200.

My car is fixed; Chris couldn't afford to make one whole payment of $400, so asked the mechanic if he could pay in installments. Luckily, the mechanic said yes, because Chris has been a long-time loyal customer, so I got my car back yesterday and it has heat. It *did* need a new belt and thermostat, but the housing for the thermostat was also bad, as was the water pump. Now, it's all new! The mechanic's assistant praised the car for it's condition, despite being so old. :)
ginawdw: (Default)
Our two youngest sons have trampled over me for the last time. I am tired of the disrespect received from them when it comes to... well, just about everything.

I cook for them, and one (sometimes both) doesn't even want to make an effort to eat it. I wash, fold, and hang their laundry, and they just toss it under beds, in the closet (on the floor), and then tell me a day later they have no clean clothes. They hide food in their room (and weapons, apparently, as evidenced by Chris' Japanese sword found under Alex's bed!). Homework doesn't get done. They aren't reading as required by their teachers. They fight each other, sass us and their teachers, torment our pets, become glued to the TV, computer, or DS, run though stores, don't keep their room clean or do their one or two chores.

In essence, they are like little animals.

To combat this, I have taken things from them. I gave them a dozen copy paper boxes, and instructed the pair to fill them up with everything they had in their playroom: trains, tracks, action figures, stuffed animals, night lights, DVD player, TV, Wii system and games, CD player and audio books, DS and games, Legos... the only things I left for them were paper and crayons, board games, one card game, and many, many books.

We took the items to my mother's house in order to squelch the temptation to sneak into the basement to take back their stuff.

If they continue, I will take the remaining items left behind... but not the books. Those stay.

After that, I take their dressers and bed frames.

If they are even more determined to be little beasts, they will not be allowed to vacation with us this year. I will send them to my mother's, where I know they will not have any fun.

I dislike resorting to this, but must show them they need to be better behaved and nicer to me, someone who cares for them 24/7.
ginawdw: (Summer)
This list is a compilation of three that I found on the internet today. At the end, I've added a few of my own. I hope to visit as many of these places as possible with my kids before all three are no longer residing with us.

- ALCATRAZ ISLAND, SAN FRANCISCO; www.nps.gov/alcatraz
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, ESTES PARK, CO (64 miles from DENVER); www.nps.gov/romo
- ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK; www.nps.gov/elis
- PLIMOTH PLANTATION, PLYMOUTH, MA (41 miles from BOSTON); www.plimoth.org
- THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (55 miles from ORLANDO), www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy
- REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK, CRESCENT CITY, CA (355 miles from SAN FRANCISCO); www.nps.gov/redw
- SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM, WASHINGTON, DC; www.nasm.si.edu
- SEARS TOWER, CHICAGO; www.theskydeck.com
- THE NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, MEMPHIS; www.civilrightsmuseum.org
- THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANAPOLIS; www.childrensmuseum.org
- INDEPENDENCE HALL, PHILADELPHIA; www.nps.gov/inde
- WALT DISNEY WORLD, ORLANDO; www.disneyworld.disney.go.com
- THE EVERGLADES, HOMESTEAD, FL (33 miles from MIAMI); www.nps.gov/ever
- UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM, WASHINGTON, DC; www.ushmm.org
- CARLSBAD CAVERNS, NEW MEXICO; www.nps.gov/cave
- THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM, ATLANTA; www.georgiaaquarium.org
- THE FREEDOM TRAIL, BOSTON; www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail
- SEA TURTLE WATCH at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, TITUSVILLE, FL (38 miles from ORLANDO); www.fws.gov/merrittisland
- THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, NEW YORK CITY; www.nps.gov/elis
- THE FIELD MUSEUM, CHICAGO, IL; www.fieldmuseum.org
- PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET, SEATTLE; www.pikeplacefish.com
- NATIONAL MALL and MEMORIAL PARKS, WASHINGTON, DC; www.nps.gov/nacc
- VENICE BEACH, CA (14 miles from LOS ANGELES)
- NIAGARA FALLS, BUFFALO/NIAGARA, NY; www.niagarafallstourism.com
- JOHN PENNEKAMP CORAL REEF STATE PARK, KEY LARGO, FL (60 miles from MIAMI); www.pennekamppark.com
- THE ALAMO, SAN ANTONIO; www.thealamo.org
- CHINATOWN, SAN FRANCISCO; www.sanfranciscochinatown.com
- THE GRAND CANYON, AZ (228 miles from PHOENIX), www.nps.gov/grca.
- YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, YOSEMITE, CA (192 miles from SAN FRANCISCO); www.nps.gov/yose
- THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, DC; www.whitehouse.gov
- COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, NEWPORT NEWS/WILLIAMSBURG, VA; www.history.org
- NOAH'S ARK WATERPARK, WISCONSIN DELLS, WI (123 miles from MILWAUKEE); www.noahsarkwaterpark.com
- THE LAS VEGAS STRIP, LAS VEGAS; www.visitlasvegas.com
- ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH; www.nps.gov/arch
- THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, ST. LOUIS; www.gatewayarch.com
- DINOSAUR WORLD, GLEN ROSE, TEXAS (70 miles from DALLAS/FT. WORTH); www.dinoworld.net
- THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA; www.blueridgeparkway.org
- SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, www.seaworldparks.com
- THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, SAN FRANCISCO; www.calacademy.org
- THE SAN DIEGO ZOO, SAN DIEGO; www.sandiegozoo.org
- THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, SAN FRANCISCO; www.goldengatebridge.org
- LA BREA TAR PITS, LOS ANGELES; www.tarpits.org
- HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HI; nps.gov/havo
- UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA AND ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE, ORLANDO; www.universalorlando.com
- ADLER PLANETARIUM, CHICAGO; www.adlerplanetarium.org
- HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD, HERSHEY, PA (15 miles from HARRISBURG); www.hersheys.com
- BUTTERFLY WORLD, COCONUT CREEK, FL (18 miles from FT. LAUDERDALE); www.butterflyworld.com
- MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA; www.nps.gov/moru
- NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM, NYC; www.911memorial.org/

... and a few of my own:

- Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
- Hoover Dam, NV
- The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO
- The Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA
- The Wildwoods, NJ
- Gettysburg, PA
- Monticello, Charlottesville, VA
- Coral Castle Museum, Homestead, FL
- South of the Border, Dillon, SC
- Wall Drug, Wall, SD
- Cape May Zoo, Cape May, NJ
- Bronner's Christmas World, Frankenmuth, MI (the world's biggest Christmas shop)
- Halloween Outlet, Worcester, MA (the largest Halloween shop ever!)
- Four Corners, UT
- Mall of America, Bloomington, MN (the largest mall in the USA)
- Ron Jon's Surf Shop, Cocoa Beach, FL (it's open 24 hours/7 days a week!)
- The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

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