Sick Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

If Wonder Woman & Mr. Mom Had A Baby

GarthNHRN and I have been married for 25 years (and YES, it totally does sound like a lot of years to be married and IT IS a very long time to be married, to the same person!) and we've been parents for 22 years (wut?!?!) and I've been a full-time mom (while working part-time from home as a professional blogger, writer and content producer) ever since.

Until this past April: When I accepted a full-time position at my current job.

And then my husband lost his job, in October.

This is the first time I'm speaking of it in a public forum, because my husband is much more private about his thoughts and feelings, while I'm more of a better out than in type of over-sharer.

You guys have lived through some of the best and possibly THE WORST times in my life, most recently with my Father recovering from heart failure AND kidney failure.

 

Watching a new day unfold from my parents' kitchen window and hoping for a better day for Dad. His recovery has been a...

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Saturday, January 2, 2016

I can honestly say, without hesitation AND with complete confidence that GarthNHRN would also agree, these last 5 months have been absolutely dreadful AND have offered up some of the MOST stressful periods of our ENTIRE marriage, EVER.

On the OTHER hand!

We've experienced some of the BEST stop, drop, laugh your ass off, snort-worthy funniest moments...EVER!...as a family...and, oh YES...there is the food!

 

My husband made us lunch. And my first thought was...WOW!!!...he really needs to lower the bar, a little. And then I ate it in like four bites. Carry on, Garth(NHRN)!

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Monday, November 2, 2015

Now that I am working full-time and commuting into the city (a.k.a. New York City, if you're NOT from Jersey) my husband and I have gone through a sort of Freaky Friday role reversal kind of thing. For example, GarthNHRN does ALL the:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Driving kids to school
  • Food Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Picking kids up from school

And then, he does a whole lot more:

  • Drives my Dad to (and from) dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Does the food shopping for my mom, while Dad is at dialysis 
  • Because dialysis takes about 3 - 4 hours
  • Each time
  • Has met with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and pretty much every "ist" there is to make sure that "my" parents are getting the best care possible
  • Without going bankrupt
  • That last bullet is ongoing

Aaaaaaand yet, the man still manages to make the rest of us feel pretty gosh-darned thankful he's around.

 

GarthNHRN (singing from the kitchen): Tiiiiiiny bubbles, in the wine...Me (singing along): Maaaaaakes me happy...GarthNHRN: All the time...I love it when my husband ad libs :)

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Long story short: If Wonder Woman and Mr. Mom had a baby, he or she wouldn't be even half as awesome as GarthNHRN, however, I imagine it would look a lot like this:

Have you seen Channing Tatum & Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's "Pony" lip sync battle?!? It. Is. EPIC!

Aaaaaaand, before you get your boxers all in a bunch, honey (not YOU, I'm talking to GarthNHRN, but feel free to hang around, Queen Tatum Bey, honey) this post is meant to be a reminder...for the times when...you know...you are feeling most un-awesome...or whenever we're having a bad day...but not today.

Okay? Okay. Now YOU do me (TWSS!)

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Ocu-LOL-inctus

Yesterday started out uneventfully enough -- I hopped onto the train (okay, so it was more like a slow side-step, being very weary of not falling in between the dreaded gap) settled into my seat (near the emergency exit, of course!) and then started playing around with my phone.

Crushing Your Head
What?!? I get bored, easily.

And then my left eye began to twitch and I started rubbing it...and rubbing it...and daaaaaaang, what is UP with the itching...so I rubbed it some more, blaming the stupid cat or the dumbass dog for dumping hair all over the house. 

I got into work and then the coughing started...cough-cough...hack...gag...cough-cough...OMG!!!...what is up with all this...cough-cough...hacking?!?!?! I've had this weird sort of nothing cough since spring, so I thought maybe it's allergies...rub...rub...rub...and the itchy eyes must be like fall allergies...OR...I'm just allergic to work.

What?!? YOU TOO!!! Ugh, one of us needs to win the lottery and end our agony, right?!?

So, by the end of the day, my left eye was beginning to hurt and now my right eye was getting all weepy, but I really needed to finish up a few projects before leaving for home, so I texted my husband:

Pink Eye Text

So, I got on the train and then the pain hit...not like, hmmmm, this sucker hurts...I'm talking about the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here...ME EYE!!!! And then I InstaFacebooked it:

YUCK!Seeeeee, totally gross, right?!?!?

So my husband, Garth (not his real name) picks me up at the train station and takes me to the doctors office. We were waiting for quite a while and I was getting restless, because ME EYE!!! So, as a way of distracting myself from the full-metal-holy-crap-I'm-dying-ova-here, I started telling my husband about the conversation I had with my co-workers, before leaving the office.

"I told them it was probably pink eye and then one of them asked me if I had heard about the licking eyeball fetish?!?"

[blank stare]

"I looked it up on the train home and found out it has a name, too: Oculolinctus."

[blink-blink-rub-rub-blink]

"Even though I was a little afraid about Googling licking eyeballs, because you never know what the Internet will spit out!"

[one beat, two beats]

Aaaaand, oh how he laughed...and laughed...

[the sound of crickets chirping]

Moral of the Story: I put the LOL into Oculolinctus!

[the sound of crickets gasping for air, and then falling down, dead before even hitting the floor]

Stupid pink eye, dumbass OcuLOLinctus.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Carpe Dentum!

It’s that time of year, again! November is National Blog Posting Month, when many of us blogger-types are reminded about how much we USED to blog...dammit...and, truth be told, although committing to writing every day in November is ambitious (even for social media enthusiasts, like me) I could really use a good brain-vomit (you're welcome!) soooooo, let's catch up, shall we?

My Dad is very sick. Long story short, he was admitted into the hospital at the end of August for congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease (which went unchecked for nearly 2 years) so he's been in and out of hospitals since the beginning of September.

 

Presenting the newest member of the Zipper Club, 2 days post op and looking good :)

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on

He had open heart surgery about 6 weeks ago -- we did the math, the other day, and figured out he's been home about 7 days in 2 months -- but his kidneys are failing, which is now complicating his recovery. His kidneys keep backing up fluid into his system, so they tapped his lungs last week and, well, it's been a one step forward two steps back kind of stretch these last few weeks, yo!

My brother, my SIL, my husband and I have pitched in and try to help, however and whenever we can, staying with Mom and taking her to the hospital to see Dad -- I've even worked remotely from the hospital snack bar, because FREE WIFI -- and one thing that I am trusted with doing, while at the hospital (because, you know, I am a professional dork!) is helping Dad with cleaning and brushing his dentures. 

We had a close family friend visit when Dad was in the ICU and I sort of got distracted (my trying to talk, listen AND do stuff at the same time almost ALWAYS leads to disaster!) while rinsing Dad's dentures in the sink in his room. 

I grabbed the tube of toothpaste and smeared just a little bit on his top denture and started to...oh...so...very...gently...brushing, but the cream was soooo thick...like cement...and it smelled...like...I don't know...like...wait a minute...raising 4 babies, I know this smell!!!!

BUTT CREAM?!?!?!?

[eyes go wide]

I took a closer whiff and...YUP!!!!!!...I had, in fact, accidentally grabbed the Desitin and tried to brush my Father's dentures with BUTT CREAM!!!!!!

[rolls sleeves up, blows bangs out of eyes]

Guess what? Butt cream is REAL hard to get off of dentures, especially when you don't want anyone to notice what an asshole move you've just made, because butt cream is no where close to being even similar to toothpaste!

Funny thing is, the nurses didn't even question my smelling his dentures to make sure I got all of the butt cream off, because I think maybe they have pretty much seen everything.

The End.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Don't Break My Heart...My Icky, Sticky Heart...

It's been about 6 weeks since my "episode" and yes, I just "air-quoted" the word "episode", because I've had all the tests done to me, since the "episode", and I'm WAY MORE comfortable telling you about my "episode", because hypertensive heart disease sounds so...you know...icky.

I mean, not as icky as a sticky heart valve...like the one I got, too...but I've been assured that it is more common than I thought...and who knew...there's a bunch of us walking around with one or more sticky heart valves...[fist bump]...ain't midlife grand, YO!

Oatmeal, It's What's For Dinner!
I like to stir craisins into my oatmeal, how about you?

So, I've got a new cardiologist. I mean, he's new to me, but he's also very old and I realize that I'm not young, either (thanks for noticing, BRAT!) however, I am younger than he is, so, there ya' go.

[blank stare]

Where was I? Ummmmmm...oh yeah!...my husband, Garth (not his real name) was nice enough to drive me to see my new, but very old, cardiologist and accompany me into the office...you know...for moral support...and tissues...oh and cough drops...my throat closes up when I get nervous (that's what SHE said!) and because CARDIOLOGIST!!!!

"Mrs. Thompson?"

I jumped up out of my chair and managed to scare the bees juice out of the rest of the people waiting their turn to see my new, but very old, cardiologist. I also happened to be the youngest one in the room and I'm guessing they just weren't very used to such quick movement...heh...and my inner-twelve-year-old tends to crack very bad jokes, when I'm nervous.

"Who is your primary physician?"

[blink-blink]

"I don't have one."

[blank stare]

"Well, I'm pretty healthy...normally...but...you know...except for this one time...I mean."

[blank stare]

"And if I'm really sick, I take myself to the walk-in-emergency-type-care-place down the corner and see whoever happens to be on duty."

[blank stare]

"So I'm pretty open to recommendations!"

This was getting awkward, you guys. 

[blank stare]

Blank stares are like non-verbal scoldings.

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Moving along...so, I sat down...because non-verbal scoldings are awful, and the rest of the people in the waiting room sort of just stared at me...or maybe they were sleeping with their eyes open...either way...doesn't matter.

[blank stare]

"Mrs. Thompson?"

Oh man, now what?

"We need to take your weight."

Yeah, the woman hates me.

"OH BOY, MY FAVORITE PART!!!"

Although, THAT made her giggle. So, I walked over to the scale and...well...I hate scales...especially, these type of scales...you know...the ones where you have to move the weights and they keep sliding...and sliding...and...DAYUM!!!... is she ever going to stop sliding?!?!

"Eleventy-thousand pounds."

[eyes go wide]

Now, mind you, I've made peace with my squishy size 12 body...a long time ago...but DAYUM!!!

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?"

She clicked her tongue (or maybe it was her teeth, doesn't matter) and then she nodded her head.

"Are you sure that thing is working right?"

She assured me the scale was working just fine, but because I seemed a little distraught (i.e. acting like the biggest baby, EVER!), she had me step on the scale one more time and started sliding...and sliding...oh, wait...it stopped about 20 pounds short of DAYUM!!!

"Correction, you're eleventy-nine-hundred-and-eighty-pounds."

So I hugged her, this time the woman actually broke out into a full-blown grin and I'm pretty sure those were her real teeth, too.

"You almost gave me a heart attack!!!"

[eyes go wide]

"Figuratively speaking, I mean."

[sound of a roomful of senior citizens, snoring]

Long story short: My new, but very old, cardiologist is actually very nice AND he laughs at my really bad jokes, so we now have a standing date...every six months...which means I've got plenty of time to work on some new material...YO!

[blank stare]

Stupid blood pressure, dumbass sticky heart valve. 

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

They Say Humor Helps Your Heart, Mine Is Cry-Laughing!

It's been a week since I've been home from the hospital and, well, did you know that laughter lowers blood pressure? Good thing, too -- now that high blood pressure and I have a history, dammit.

Me and Hope Trying to Ignore the Needle in My Arm!
She fainted while visiting her grandfather in the hospital a few years ago, so we've never been allowed to even mention the word and refer to it as "The place where really sick people go".

Long story short (you're welcome!): I haven't been feeling very well for quite a while and waited until "Holy crap!" and "MY CHEST HURTS!" oh, and by the way "I CAN'T BREATH!" before getting myself some serious medical attention.

"Your blood pressure is 193 over 112!"

Because of my family history, I am very vigilant about getting a yearly physical and I've never had a history with high blood pressure, until now.

"And it's not going down, so we're going to have to admit you!"

[one beat, two beats]

"That's...[huff]...what...[puff]...she...[huff]...said!"

I don't remember much after my inner-twelve-year-old showed up, but my oldest daughter filled me in later:

  • I apologized to the nurse dude, while the poor guy tried to remove my shapeware-type camisole (because, OF COURSE!) and my industrial-strength bra (because, midlife girls need serious support, yo!)
  • He then removed my flats and I apologized for not freshening up my pedicure from 3 months ago
  • I apologized to the other nurse attempting to insert a port into my arm -- prematurely, since I did not end up biting her, I think
  • I apologized to the guy (or woman!) in the emergency bay next to me, because I pass gas when I get nervous...okay, fiiiiiiiiine...I fart, like a boss
  • I apologized to the nurse dude...and to anyone and everyone...FOR EVERYTHING...just in case I pass out...or something

Even longer story, short (seriously, you owe me a thank you note!): The next couple of days were scary...as all get out...and, well, let's just say I'm bruised from head to toe with all of the prodding...and the poking...HOWEVER...I'm not afraid of needles, any longer...okay, not as much...fiiiiiiiiine...my stomach still hurts!

"And then she kept apologizing for wearing her industrial-strength bra!!!!"

Because teenagers love embarrassing their parents, I think it's called payback.

"It's probably why she couldn't breath!"

And those were perhaps the BEST five minutes spent...just sitting around the kitchen table with my kids and Garth (not his real name)...cry-laughing...yeah, life was good.

Until!

"Well, now that we're all together, we have something to tell you and Daddy!"

My husband and I looked around the table and opted for the "shut up and listen" parenting strategy.

"We ALL pooled our money and rented you guys a studio apartment in Cape Cod to spend your 25th anniversary in August!"

To say that both our eyes went REAL WIDE would be an understatement AND THEN our middle girl (i.e. the spokeskid) looked me dead in the face.

"Sooooo, now YOU have something to look forward to!"

[one beat, two beats]

Garth (to me): "In other words...we can't get our deposit back...DON'T DIE!"

I gained back close to two years, that day!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

There's a Reason Why They Don't Call It Womenpause

Menopause. It's such an unattractive word. Let's be honest. What was the FIRST thing that came to mind when reading the word...MENOPAUSE...hot flashes...mood swings...old lady disease, maybe?

No one really likes to talk about...ahem...she who shall not be named...and I don't blame anyone visiting with us right now...especially, for the first time...for wanting to click away, at this very moment.

Because ain't nobody got no time to just sit around and think about how bad they feel about stuff...especially women...let alone, blog about it.

On the other hand: I've just entered my 12th year of blogging, so my kids are much older than your average parent-type blogger, which means I'm now in the "as close to forgotten without actually getting there" demographic, but my writing philosophy has pretty much remained the same.

I only share the stuff I would feel comfortable talking about...in front of my teens...or meeting someone, for the very first time.

"Could you talk about THAT...in ANOTHER room...please?!?!"

On the OTHER other hand: Apparently, I feel WAY more comfortable about talking in front of my teens...than my teens do...even though I wasn't really talking in front of them, when telling a good friend of mine one of my favorite transvaginal ultrasound stories...per say.

"Nooooo, I can't say transvaginal five times real fast!!!"

But, I try anyway.

"We can STILL hear you!"

Unfortunately for my teens, we live in a small house and my voice carries.

Right. So. Point being (because I do have one, it's in here, somewhere...OH YEAH...moving on) I've even taken to discussing my girlie troubles in the most manly way I know how, in mechanical terms, to help our more squeamish blog visitors feel a little less uncomfortable.

This is not one of those times.

WARNING, FRANK DISCUSSION AHEAD: relating to the female reproductive system, while using proper medical terms, for both internal and external bodily functions, and everything.

Okay, so while we wait for other folks to click away -- I really don't talk about this stuff all that often, so I really do hope you consider coming back and please make sure to give the storm door a real good tug on your way out, because it sticks, that's what SHE said! -- did I ever tell you about the time my uterus broke the ultrasound machine?!?!

SLAM!!!!

Now that we're alone. Last year, I was diagnosed with adenomyosis and there is nothing funny about this real painful, sucky part of perimenopause! Unless, you happened to be in the same room with me during an ultrasound and I'm feeling really, really uncomfortable about it.

"We're going to do the regular ultrasound first."

Because they make you drink A LOT of water before an ultrasound and, well, ultrasound technicians aren't exactly thrilled about the idea of you pee-ing...oh, sorry...I mean...urinating all over the examining room...either...still, I nearly kissed the ultrasound technician on the mouth, because I had to urinate THAT BADLY!

"There's a gown in the bathroom, put it on and I'll be back in just a few minutes!"

And when the ultrasound technicians tell you "There's a gown in the bathroom" what they really mean is look for the really long (and wide) sheet of pink glorified toilet paper.

[sound of a really long and wide sheet of pink glorified toilet paper, ripping]

ProTip: When it comes to womanly issues, it's easier if you just check your dignity in at the door.

Now the next real sucky part about waiting for a transvaginal ultrasound...is the waiting...I'm not very good at waiting...for anything...I get bored real easy and start looking around the room for stuff to read.

"Oh look, a uterus!"

Because, 4 babies...I kind of...sort of...know what one looks like.

"With a giant cluster of BLAH sitting...[squinting at ultrasound screen]...right there...OMG!!!...no WONDER this shiznit hurts SO MUCH...look at the size of that...wait a minute."

This particular cluster of BLAH had what looked like tiny arms and maybe even...

"OMG...IS THAT A HEAD!!!"

The ultrasound technician came back into the room just in time to find me with my nose glued to the ultrasound machine and tracing what looked like...

"Is...that...a...BABY?!?!"

Did you hear it? The two remaining gray cells in my brain EXPLODE?

Not My Scan

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

"Ummmm, that's NOT your ultrasound scan!"

Aaaaand, I don't believe I've ever been SO HAPPY to be in the "as close to forgotten without actually getting there" demographic...as I am...RIGHT NOW...not to mention...I may be the only person who's ever giggled her way through a transvaginal ultrasound...yo!!!

Moral of the Story: Don't go reading other people's ultrasounds!!!

Aaaaaand to the person to whom this ultrasound scan truly belongs: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!...you have a beautiful uterus!!!

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Stupid ultrasounds, dumbass menopause.

Updated to add: The doctor's office called me, while in the middle of writing this post, to give me the results of the ultrasound -- not pregnant, but there's a cyst on my right ovary and I need to go back for yet ANOTHER transvaginal ultrasound in 6 weeks...you know...for extra BLAH!

Can't wait to see whose ultrasound I'll be reading next...NOT!!!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Winter of discontent, breeder of constructive anxiety.

It's snowing (again!), the kids are home from school (see previous parenthesis!) and, although I am thrilled to NOT have to worry about my oldest driving (it's her day off, YAY!) or our school buses getting through this mess, I'm just hoping they actually finish out the year...before the 4th of July.

Maximus 5
2 out of 6 people in this house actually like the snow, I am NOT one of them.

The cold weather is rough for a lot of folks. Especially, if you are prone to winter depression. Most especially, when you are dealing with a physical disability. But, you know what's really hard? Watching the people you love, more than ANYTHING on this planet, try and fight their way through both.

Maximus 2

Aaaaand, if you are a parent, well, then you already know that there is NOTHING worse than seeing your child in pain. Physical, mental, emotional, it doesn't matter. Unless you are a parent of a teen, or caring for an aging parent, who's grown accustomed to feeling alone and helpless, then it's like walking around with an epic splinter, embedded deep inside your chest, constantly poking at your heart.

Maximus 7

I once thought the best Garth (not his real name) and I could hope for (as parents) is that our children grow up to be healthy, happy and relatively well-adjusted human beings.

Only NOW do I realize that it is a lifelong process, for ALL of us.

Maximus 3

So, when the problems seem insurmountable (like today), it helps to know that sometimes...some...ding...danged...times...the answer is as simple as embracing the ability to look beyond the storm.

Kids (in unison): Hey, daddy's home!

Finding that...one...bright...spot...of...hope.

Me: Oh, wow, they actually let you come home WAY early, huh?

AND then cling to that mother-trucker...FUH-EVER...or, at least, until the next BIG storm.

Garth (not his real name): I didn't text you, because you've got enough to worry about.

Although I prefer to think of it as more like "constructive anxiety" am I right?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Stupid ground hog, dumbass Winter Storm Maximus.

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© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.