Figuring out life...

I have known for years what to do. I just didn't know how to do it. Now that I am finally learning how to do the things I need to do, I am afraid it is too late to do them. I hope not.


The day after...

Tam had surgery yesterday on her abdomen and it turns out none too soon. The doctor found infection on her left side along with deep connections to the wound on the right side. According to her doctor, had they not operated when they did, she would have probably died within a few more days. The infection was very deep inside her and that is why there was not any tell-tale signs on the surface of her abdomen. We are very fortunate and I hope if anyone reads this will say a small prayer of thanks and another for her continued recovery. As for me, I am completely wiped out. I slept at the hospital last night, in a recliner as visitors are not allowed to stay overnight in the ICU. I worked almost 8 hours today and am going to pull an 11 hour shift tomorrow in an effort to make up for some of the time I have missed. The doctor had hoped to only make a small incision but because of the extent of the infection she had to cut from one side all the way to the other. Because of this large of an opening, tomorrow and Monday they are going to take Tam to the surgery room and put her under anesthesia to pack the wound. After Monday they will evaluate if they can send her back upstairs and continue with wound care in her room, where I can spend the night with her or if she will remain in ICU for awhile longer. She was looking very pale last night as her red cell blood count was very low so today she was given 2 units of blood via transfusion and when I saw her tonight her cheeks were rosy and pink. She is my hero and I will do anything for her.


How time flies...

Tomorrow is October 25, 2005. Two years ago tomorrow I left Rapid City, not knowing if I would ever see the woman of my dreams again. Well, I have seen her again and we are very much together as one. Three years ago yesterday we spent our first day in Rapid City, a foot of snow on the ground uttering the immortal words "this is what we wanted". Little did we know we would back here in Texas so soon. Two years, it seems like such a long time and yet it has just blown by so quickly. Life is way too short to be screwing things up.


The toughest person I know.

My wife. As I held her hand, her fingers in a vise-like grip around mine, I watched the nurses change the dressing on her wound. I know there are others with worse injuries, but this is just one in a series of events she has been dealing with for two years now. Imagine a golf ball sized hole in your abdomen being packed with gauze twice a day. The agony she had to endure as they first pulled out two feet of 1/2 inch wide gauze, scrubbed with peroxide-soaked q-tips, and then repack with gauze broke my heart. I can promise you anytime I start to feel an ache or pain, I will just remember what she as been going through and it will not hurt so much anymore. All I can do for her is be there for her, take care of her and our home, and love her with all that I have. Twelve hour days on the job are nothing in comparison to this. Well, I called in Jess as a runaway today and within an hour they had found her. Blind, dumb luck as an officer went to a house to check out some type of complaint that in no way involved Jess when around from the back yard she came stating, "your probably here for me". He checked in and sure enough she was listed as runaway. So off I went to pick her up once again. I took her home and then returned to work. She is going to cost me alot of money before this is over but I just hope somehow I can get through to her about what it is going to cost her in the long run. Only time will tell. Ok, a bit of selfish dreaming. The following is a list of the things I want, material things that I allow myself to dream about from time to time. I will have them, someday, when other priorities have been met. 1. new laptop with dvd burner. 2. motorcycle. something along the lines of a 1982 Suzuki 650 or Honda V45 Magna. 3. A digital SLR camera, Canon rebel most likely. 4. A new George Foreman grill. This I will get for Christmas from someone. 5. A small trailer to pull behind my van for when Tam and I go on a picnic and to carry the motorcycle to her mothers in W. Texas for country rides. 6. A collapsable gas grill for the picnic. That is all I can think of right now, but I am sure there will be more. Most of this stuff ties all together. I like to shoot the pictures and then I will use the laptop to edit the photos, post them to the net and write about what we have done. The photos will be of the things we have done or 2-3 hour road trips on the motorcycle. This is what I want to do, it is my calling that I have been searching for. I don't have to have the motorcyle of course, but it will make for some enjoyable, relaxing excursions on a Sunday morning as everyone else sleeps. There are so many small towns within an hours ride of Tam's childhood home (where her mother still lives) that have so much character and stories to be told. I don't expect to ever do that for a living but with the internet and blogging becoming so mainstream, I don't have to. The satisfaction of leaving a type of lifetime diary behind, one that the whole world can take part of, is a fantastic thing. How many stories have been left behind, but only a few people ever heard or read about them? Too many I am sure. I know that alot of what I write about here is drivel, or simply one man's ramblings. But as I progress farther into this I hope to once again write something worthy of the test of time. That is why I started this blog, way back when we lived in South Dakota and I wanted a way for our families to be able to keep up with what we were doing. It was a good idea then and it has only grown into a way to leave behind a legacy. As long as our modern digital age continues, this history will stay alive. I do hope that at some point Google develops a way for a blog to be downloaded to the author's computer so that it may be archived. I just don't want a lifetime of writing to be lost by a company going under. Not that Google will go under, but you can never tell.


Another day....

Full of stress and hard work! But seriously, it was overall a good day. Because I was absent yesterday I had plenty to catch up on. Hard work is so good for the soul. Whether it is work or play, when something is accomplished it leaves such a satisfying feeling when the day is finally done. But because I submitted so many claims today, tomorrow will have plenty to do posting all of those claims. Tam will possibly be released tomorrow, if not, then on Thursday. She is doing better and moving around alot more. The pain medicine they have her on keeps her pretty much asleep so I don't get to really talk with her alot. Everyone at work is aware that I could have to leave at a moments notice. Tam's mom came back from West Texas today. It is nice having the help and company. Another day of not hearing from Jessica. I am accepting that I have to let her go, but I miss her alot. This is not how it is supposed to be. And I need her help at this time also. So I am torn between disappointment, anger, and sadness. I hope and pray that she is ok and that she will figure it out before something really bad happens to her. I so love using laptops and wireless internet access. These two laptops I have are old and so slow by today's standards, and yet they surf the net fine. I am writing this entry on one of them right now. I look forward to the day I have a new one, or at least qutite a bit newer than this one, with XP loaded on it. Christmas I will give myself one. I have this old, little wooden coffee table my Dad made almost 40 years ago and it works perfect as a living room computer table. I use it when scanning, making change forms for work (forms telling the accounting dept where to post payment memos), or posting payroll adjustments. Surfing the net? No problem, except for video. That is where the slow processor can really hinder the experience. But in time, I will have something in the 1ghz range that will handle that also. $400 and a couple of days on Ebay will solve that problem.


Interesting words...

"But if for some reason the shit hits the fan, you just deal with it."--Bram Cohen, inventor of BiTorrent.
This is how I have to start looking at things. So much can, does, and is happening in my life I just have to deal with it. I have to keep my head on straight and take it one day at a time, one issue at a time. Today started out tough for my wife. She had a PICC (Perifirily Inserted Central Catheter) inserted into her arm so that penicillin can be delivered with a portable machine she will wear as a butt-pack. Later, her abscess was debri'd, or cleaned out. It is not for the faint of heart to watch that. She has about a 1" inch hole with about a 3" diameter opening under the skin. It was so painful for her when they cleaned it out but it had to be done. I alwasy knew I didn't have a problem with such things and today proved it. No queasiness or anything like that. I watched them so I would know what to do once she gets home, all the while stroking her feat in an attempt to distract her from the pain. I ended up taking the day off from work as she told me she was scheduled for another MRI but that did not come to pass. It was good to be there for her as I was able to help keep her comfortable and wait on her hand and foot. I am learning alot about what it means to be a husband. I am growing more, I can feel it. With all that she has been through over the past 2 years she is fragile right now and will need alot of care and tenderness as she heals from everything. I plan to be there to take care of her. I know she will do the same for me someday when I need it. I love her more than I had ever thought I could, and for those that have ever read this journal, know how much I have written about my love for her. She is my world and will be for the rest of my natural life and beyond. The Lord has blessed me with another chance to be her husband, I intend to not miss this boat. There has still been no contact from my daughter. I really do not understand what is going on in her mind but she is going to learn about life the hard way. Some people just have to learn for themselves. I will do what I can for her as she goes through life but I am going to let her learn for herself because that is the only way she will figure it out.


Latest news...

Tammi was admitted to the hospital Thursday. Her muscle strain is not healing and on top of that she has developed open infection. It is tough seeing her so weak, but I am doing what I am supposed to do: be strong and helping her. I am taking care of the home and working as much as I can to keep us afloat. Last Monday, her employment with the hospital (not the one she is being treated at) was terminated. We do not know how that will affect her insurance. Her cobra ran out at the end of September as her new insurance took effect October 1st. But she was let go before having made a payment on the insurance so we are not sure if she will be eligible for cobra here or not. So, we may be stuck with no insurance and $50,000 in medical bils. All that matters is she gets better. We will deal with the rest as best as possible and keep plugging away. Jess has been gone for a week now with no word from her. I don't know what to do with her. I don't want to just dump her off on her mother when and if I find her. But I can't keep going on with this. If she was a year older I could just let her go but at her age the courts will not allow that. I wish she would figure it out and do things right. I really miss my blogging but I just don't find the time right now to write about much. And I surely don't have the time to go off and shoot pictures much. Since I have brought back all my film cameras, I have decided not to go digital exclusively. I have so much gear that it just seems a waste to not use it. So I will do both. I have 2 scanners and they work fine so putting film online is not going to be a problem. I did some scanning with my old one at high resolution and they came out really good. Check out these:


Full Circle...

Today is October 8th, 2005. Two years ago today, tonight, my wife told me she no longer wanted to be married to me. One year ago today, tonight I wrote here about how much I missed her and loved her. How I had finally accepted that I had no desire to ever be with another woman. I could never love another. And, thankfully, I don't have to endure that life. A year later and we are back together, happy with each other. Oh, we have our moments. No fights, just disagreements as most married couples have. We just know that we want to share our lives together. I finally got my raise. After three months of being promised my review they just gave me a dollar an hour without a formal review. I guess that is ok. I did ask for a bonus for the amount I would have gotten over the previous three months when it should have beene effective but that does not seem like it is going to come to pass. Can't win them all and better late than never. The fact I am allowed seven to ten hours of overtime a week makes up for alot. I am not going to rock the boat right now. I have too much going on, and it is not like I am treated bad or anything. We are struggling with my daughter. She stole her grandparents car last weekend and was caught by the police. So now she has that charge to deal with on top of the assault charge from last month for beating a girl. Different counties is the only reason she is getting off on the second one, if she completes a six week counseling course. I have to attend the counseling with her but it is worth it. The assault charge will be erased if she completes community service. I hope she is finally "getting it".