Monday, May 30, 2011

A Memorable Memorial Day...

My personal "HEROS"

      Stephen Carter (Carter) Portillo
     Katie Martens (my Beautiful Baby Girl!)

To all of the selfless men and women who have given up their own personal freedom to protect and preserve that of our Nation, I wish to say:  "Thank You for your service and may God bless you and keep you safe!"  Katie and Carter are very much in love and ready to commit their lives to one another.  They will be getting married, on the Island of Belize, on July 4th, 2011 ~ even though the Navy won't allow them to actually live together for two more years!  They'll work it out...

Captain Morgan

And now for a long overdue update and explanation:

Many of you know that in March of this year, I suffered a serious injury to my left elbow.  I had surgery to remove the damaged (shattered) bones and a prosthetic elbow was implanted.  I spent about a week in the hospital and believed that I was going to be good as new.

Jack Daniels and Kahlua (Kahlua is sold)

Unfortunately, a few weeks after the original surgery, an infection developed in the surgical site.  At first the doctor thought I was just "popping a stitch" but they lanced the area and took cultures to test for bacterial infection.  Two days later, I was admitted back into the hospital for more surgery. 

Karma (sold)

My doctor reopened the original surgical site and thoroughly cleaned and scraped the entire area.  He inserted a large drainage tube and a pump to keep the inside of my arm clean.  The hope was that this would stop the infection yet save the prosthetic elbow.

Jim Beam

Unfortunately, it didn't work.  Three days later, I was once again in the surgical suite and this time they removed the prosthetic elbow and scraped out the entire inside of my arm.  A smaller drain was put in place and more cultures taken to determine the type of bacteria we were dealing with.  Another week in the hospital.


I was sent home from the hospital on IV antibiotics.  I had a "PIC" line installed in my upper right arm, with a thin wire that ran under my skin, up my shoulder, down my chest and into my heart.  Family and friends would give me daily (infusions ~ inject powerful antibiotics into the PIC line) to clear up the ongoing infection in my now elbow less arm.    The antibiotics made me nauseous and weak but were necessary to get rid of the infection.

Karma, Jim Beam and Tequilla

For a couple of weeks, it seemed that things might be working out.  I was still not feeling well and very weak but the arm appeared to be getting better.

Kahlua (sold)

Until the day that I couldn't get out of bed.  I'd had no appetite and been very tired for several days but on this morning, I could not get out of bed.  I had the chills so badly that I looked like I was having seizures!  (yet no temperature?)

Jim Beam

When my temperature rose to 102 after two hours, my friend Katie W., rushed me back to the emergency room which is 45 minutes away.  By the time we reached the emergency room, my temp was 104.5.

Angus and Karma (Karma is sold)

When I used the restroom in the Urgent Care Center, I was stunned to see the reddest skinned human being I have ever seen in my life, staring back at me from the mirror.  The Urgent Care nurse was the first to utter the word:  "Sepsis".  Apparently, the deep, dark flush is one of the first signs. 

Alice's boys:  Tanqueray & Dom Perignon
(Dom is sold)

Within minutes, my Sepsis evolved into Septic Shock (blood pressure bottoms out and all body systems shut down).  Needless to say I was in Intensive Care for that!  In fact, I was in Intensive Care for three days.


Somehow, the doctors supported my body throughout Septic Shock in spite of the fact that most people who experience Septic Shock do not survive.  I do remember a point in time where I was begging them NOT to fight any longer.  I wanted them to let me go and stop hurting.  My poor Kids were standing at my bedside, watching me, in excruciating pain, begging me to hold on and listening to me begging to be allowed to die.

What a nightmare.
Fortunately, I don't remember much of it!

Brandy (sold)

It turns out that my PIC line was the cause of the newest, most dangerous infection.  After 3 days in ICU, all of my systems were returning to normal ~ other than my lungs, which were filling up with fluid because of all the fluids they were pumping into me to keep my blood pressure up.  Gasping for air and not being able to breath have always been one of my greatest fears.  Thank God, I don't remember that day!

Chance with Brandy and Jim Beam
(Brandy and Chance are sold)

The next day, the doctors said that I could go home.  The nurses, myself and my family were VERY concerned!  Only 24 hours ago, I'd been in Intensive Care, fighting for my life.  The fact is, insurance would not continue to pay for my care now that I was no longer critical.  I had to go home.

Captain Morgan & Jack Daniels

So, after another week in the hospital, I returned home to the care of my family and friends.  Although we did make trips to the emergency room the first two nights that I was home, I am now, finally, truly feeling better.


I'll be on these powerful antibiotics for another week.  Then the doctors will asess the status of the infection.  If it looks good, I'll get to stop taking the antibiotics but stay under close monitoring for two more weeks.  If all goes well, I'll be able to move on with my life at that time.  I'm still weak and my left arm will never be as strong as it once was, but I am alive!  I actually said a little prayer yesterday:  thanking God for keeping me going in spite of what I thought I wanted at the time.  Needless to say, my kids are pretty happy.


DREAM says...

"I was supposed to tell this story, but you know Mom when she gets typing!  Perhaps she'll let me chime in tomorrow, when we tell "THE REST OF THE STORY..."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Loving the Lambs...

My Beautiful Baby Girl took leave from the Navy to come home and take care of her Mama. Needless to say, I am a happy camper!   Although Katie exhausts me with her constant working/cleaning/cooking/organizing (I was young once too!), she too is finding the time to relax and enjoy the perks of the Bluff Country...

Chance is so obnoxiously friendly that it's

Little Angus doesn't want to get lost in the crowd.

Katie explains "the rule" for ram lambs:
Four feet on the ground and chin up!

It may look cute when they're little but a full grown ram MUST have a healthy respect for his owner or he WILL be trouble.

Angus seems willing to learn.

We introduced Zaria and her twins, Kahlua & Mimosa to the rest of the flock today.

Mimosa was a bit shy at first

But Katie reassured her it would be fun.
I'm not too sure that Mimosa was convinced!

All in all, it was a beautiful day in the Bluff Country and the Katie's getting great fodder for her Facebook page...

DREAM says...

"It's getting pretty crowded around here!  How's a girl supposed to get any privacy???
I've got an idea...check back tomorrow!"

What are you up to NOW, Dreamer?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lambs at play...

Always under Mom's watchful eyes.
Dilema with Brandy, Jack Daniel;'s & Jim Beam.

The ewes were thrilled to be turned out to fresh pasture and the lambs LOVE playing on the old stump!

'Captain Morgan' & 'Jack Daniels'

Alice's boys enjoying a snack on the playground.

('Tanqueray' and 'Dom Perignon')
Life is easy when you're a lamb!

My little "Karma"
(named before I started the cocktail theme)
is a bit on the unfriendly side...

Give me time...

I'll make a pet out of her yet!
Both of her brothers are friendly.
Here's "Bacardi"

and "Angus"
(also named before I decided to use drinks as a theme)

'Dom Perignon' is a real sweetheart!

After a busy afternoon of playing,
('Jack Daniels'  and 'Captain Morgan')

It's time

('Tanqueray'  & 'Dom Perignon')

(Brandy and Jim Beam)


and time for me to go sit with my sheep and take more pictures!
My Beautiful Baby Girl is here and we're having a wonderful visit!!!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Zaria's Gift..




Meet "Bluff Country Kahlua" :

and "Bluff Country Mimosa"

Oh my!!!

I've GOT to go to bed...!

(see you tomorrow)


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