Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

5/12/10-GAME 7 (16-2)


At first, I was taking a picture of the incision every day to capture the healing process, but then I started to forget or by the time I remembered he would have already put medicine on it making it look too shiny. Every morning it would look a little bit better, and each day he felt up to doing more.

I originally planned on documenting in detail how Nathan felt each day, but so many things were going on with the kids between the end of school stuff and baseball and me trying to do most everything by myself that the blog stuff had to get put on the back burner. And since I'm posting this a month after the fact, the details are foggy for Nathan so, pictures will just have to be enough.

1 day after surgery
3 days after surgery
4 days after surgery
7 days after surgery
Ditch the stitch
Nathan got his stitches removed 8 days after surgery. The doctor said it was one long, continuous stitch, but I counted that it wrapped around 14 times. Whatever. It was pretty uncomfortable for him, but I know he was relieved to get them out.

We were also supposed to get the test results back from the surgery to rule out cancer, but Nathan got a phone call the Friday before saying that they weren't back yet. The nurse said that his samples had to be sent off to the Mayo Clinic for further testing, and it would take a few more days. She said that it didn't mean anything was bad, but how could needing further testing mean anything good? So, once again, the waiting continued.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Okay, I know this is lame, but this post is going to be mostly pictures. I'm so far behind on the blog that I just can't stand it, and I don't feel like writing something thoughtful and meaningful. I know it's sad because my stories are wonderful and everyone enjoys them :)

These are from Mother's Day. Nathan slept in since he was still recovering from surgery, but the kids just had to wake me up extra early because they made stuff at school for me. Very sweet, yet very annoying at the same time.
Cole made a book of stories that were slightly depressing. The teacher gave them topics and two of those were about how he would feel if his mom were gone and a time that his mom disappointed him...At least that's what Cole said. So I got to hear that he'll be glad that I won't be there to boss him around and tell him what to do anymore, and he was mad at me for not taking him to Blockbuster to get a video game one time. Are you serious?! AND on Mother's Day?!?! Why on earth would the teacher say that, and then allow it to go in the book? What a stupid idea!
Brooke's was much nicer....A silhouette head that she thinks I should hang up in my bedroom.

And the reasons why I do the things I do...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

GAME 5 (10-9) & GAME 6 (19-0)

Since I've gotten so far behind on the blog, and events just keep piling up, I guess I'll have to start combining multiple things in some of the posts...Starting now.

While I realize that I've already put up several baseball posts, it's pretty much what consumes are lives at the moment. The video clips and pictures are mostly for the grandparents who can't be here to watch Cole play because I know they desperately wish they could.

5/6/10-GAME 5 (10-9)

For some reason there is a random horse right by where Cole plays baseball. I guess because the ball fields are in the country parts and someone just decided to stick it there. Usually Brooke always notices it in the middle of a game or practice, and I won't take her over there. This time we had to be at the game extra early and we happen to park right by it. I couldn't say no and she ran far off ahead of me to go pet it. I don't know what it is about horses and dogs, but she is just overwhelmingly drawn to them.
We didn't stay over there too long because this horse was kind of mean, and some guy standing outside the trailer on the property kept banging on his mass of lawn junk and stare bearing us. Uhhh...creepy.
Cole warming up before the game.
This game was 3 days after surgery and Nathan's first big outing (other than the doctor). He really wanted to go because he can't stand to miss a game, but he really shouldn't have. Besides the fact that he was pretty much confined to sit in a chair instead of standing inside the dugout helping out the team, he felt very lightheaded and sick to his stomach most of the time. None of the parents knew about the surgery, so guys kept coming up to him to say hi and roughly patting him on the shoulder. They had no idea how physically painful that actually was for him.
We sat right by the dugout so Nathan could talk to Cole and try to feel like he was being of some kind of help. Every time he would stand up and try to walk around, I was so worried that he was going to pass out and fall over or something. He usually stayed close to a fence that he could grab onto though.
Sitting by the dugout didn't allow me to take that good of videos so, this game doesn't have a lot. I'm that stalker lady that normally sits directly behind home plate staring every kid down with a camera. I don't care though.This was the closest game yet. We actually almost lost it because of fielding errors. Luckily, the kids were able to pull out the win. On the last out the opposing team's pitching coach threw his glove down on the mound, kicked it high into the air, and then picked it up and chunked it across the field into the dugout fence. All of the moms on our team saw it and were definitely not happy about it. What an idiot. Immediately after I saw two kids on that team chunk their glove into the dugout because they were upset about their first loss. Nice. I'm so glad my son doesn't play on that team. We barely won, but we still won 10-9.

5/8/10-GAME 6 (19-0)

We noticed one of the boys on Cole's team wore his pants up higher, and we thought it looked super cool. Nathan has always liked how Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers does that so, we started doing it, too.
Brooke likes to play with the little brother of one of Cole's teammates when he's around. Strangely, she has no problem talking to the boys. She often asks me if she can talk to the boys that are in the dugout and sitting out during the inning. Hmmm....Maybe I should be worried.
This game was early in the morning and very chilly. It was bad enough for us sitting in the cold wind, but it must have been absolutely awful for the other team's parents. Their pitcher was beyond terrible and they had to grab two kids from another team just to have enough to play. Their kids were pretty young and had so many errors that allowed us to completely blow them out. It really wasn't fair, but oh well. We won 19-0.

And this is how Cole really is most of the time...Dorky! We're so proud. I like to say he gets it from Nathan's side of the family. For some reason, he doesn't agree. Cole gives us a good laugh though and we love him!


The very next morning after surgery, Nathan woke up in tremendous pain. I think he was shocked at how bad he hurt. He popped some more pain pills and went back to sleep until it was time to get ready to go in to the doctor's office to get the drainage tube removed.We thought this would be a quick and easy appointment since the hospital scheduled it for us and told us when to be there, but NO. Apparently, someone at the doctor's office didn't write it down on the books, and he had to be worked in. Just perfect. So, Nathan had to sit with his open wound in a waiting room full of germs, amongst all the wide eyed stares, and in serious pain for much longer than expected. Not cool. I was beyond ticked.

The kids were out of school because of the recent flooding, and Nathan obviously couldn't drive since he could barely move his neck, so it was family affair. Quite enjoyable waiting an hour with kids in a tiny room.

Nathan said that it was only fair that I let him take a picture of me with all the flashes I had been blasting his eyes with lately. Ugh...Fine. After all of that wait time, the doctor finally came in for two minutes, TWO whole minutes! Ridiculous. Of course, the nurse was the one to take out the drainage tube right away, so they should have just let us leave after that. The doctor didn't even do anything except basically just say, "Looks good...We'll see you next week." Grrrr!!!

And there it lies.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I don't even know where to begin...

I want to be very descriptive of how I felt through the whole process of it all and how Nathan felt, but I have been struggling to force myself to think about it all again. The whole thing was just so emotionally overwhelming that I just haven't felt up to writing about it. Now that I've gotten so far behind on posts because other events are continuously adding up, I'm forcing myself to get this done...Over the course of several days that is.

Any surgery big or small is scary, but major surgery on your husband, the one that holds half of your heart, is something else. Even though the chances are minimal, just knowing that there's a possibility of something going wrong during the surgery is emotionally unsettling. I tried so hard to keep those "what if" thoughts out of my mind, but it's impossible to do so.

Nathan and I have been together for half of our lives, have two children together, and have many goals, hopes, and dreams that are waiting to be fulfilled TOGETHER. So, letting those "what if" thoughts infiltrate my already scattered brain is simply NOT acceptable!

Surgery Day:
Nathan had surgery to remove half of his thyroid and a large nodule in his neck, on May 3rd. After a previous biopsy, the doctor concluded that a hemithyroidectomy was no longer an option but a must, and surgery plans were quickly in the works.
We get there and they tell Nathan to sit down so they could just talk to me. I was given this card that explained what each symbol meant that would appear next to Nathan's patient code on these huge, flat panel TV screens in the waiting room. Wow...We knew the surgery center was fairly new, but that was pretty fancy.Nathan had to be at the surgery center at a specific time but ended up waiting an hour in anticipation and fear and worry before he was even called back. He spent most of that time keeping quiet and looking at his phone. He really just wanted to get it all over with.He goes back there and a nurse soon introduces herself to me as my personal contact and go between during our entire time there. That hit me like a brick and was the only time I got really choked up. It took everything I had to pull those tears back in and keep from completely losing it in front of dozens of strangers.

Nathan's code changed to "PRE" as he was getting prepped for anesthesia, but it ended up being almost an hour and a half before they actually got started on the surgery. I think the previous surgery had some issues, but that really bothered me. I didn't like him being back there all alone in a cold room and full of nerves and unnecessary thoughts. I really wish I could have waited in there with him, but he said he actually fell asleep after a while.
I was supposed to get a phone call when the surgery started but someone must have forgotten. All of these other families were getting calls so, that made me a little uneasy. About 30 minutes after Nathan's code changed to the orange sleeping head, a front desk lady finally announced across the room that he was asleep and the surgery was in progress. About time, people!It's different, and not in a good way, being the one sitting in the waiting room that is the main person the hospital staff refers to...The spouse. It's hard when one of your parents or someone close to you goes through major surgery, but for some reason it's on a whole other level when it's your spouse. It's different when you're the one that the nurses and doctors look and speak directly at the majority of the time. The eye contact is almost uncomfortable because it makes your heart beat even faster at the realization of what is actually transpiring.

It seems like the surgery took about an hour and a half or so. Emails, texts, Facebook messages, Cheetos, Peanut M&Ms, a few potty breaks, and chatting with my mother-in-law seemed to make the time go by pretty quickly. The doctor actually called us back there himself to go over everything once the surgery was done. I did get teary eyed while listening to the doctor, but for some reason, just being in there didn't even seem real. Thank goodness I remembered to record the conversation on my phone because I know I failed to absorb at least half of what he was saying.

Nathan's code changed to "PACU", which apparently means recovery, and we had to wait another hour and a half before we could go back and see him. I think that portion of waiting was the most unsettling for me because I kept wondering if something was wrong that was causing us to wait so long to see him.
There weren't very many families left in the waiting room when the door finally opened and the nurse called out, "McCallum Family". Oh my, this is it...

I really didn't know how I would react when I saw Nathan for the first time after surgery, but I think this is almost the exact look that he had when he saw me walk in. He had a little smile at relief of seeing a familiar face while trying to hide the amount of discomfort he was feeling. The reason we had to stay even longer in the waiting room was because Nathan had a rash around his incision, and the nurses were waiting on his doctor to finish another surgery and look at it. They gave him Benadryl but it came and went the rest of the day.

It was hard for me to look directly at the stitches for very long because I just can't stomach that kind of stuff, but I wanted to count how many he had. I counted 14 stitches.

One thing that none of us expected was the drainage tube. The doctor said there was some oozing somewhere so he put it in just as a precaution to prevent a blood clot. Having the nurse explain to me how to empty the bag thing was slightly disturbing. It only had to be in there for one day, but still. We had to wait at least 30 minutes for the doctor to come in, act like the rash was no big deal, expect Nathan to pee on demand, quickly spout off a few more details, and then go about his merry way.

Oh, and the stitches were actually not multiple ones on the surface. The doctor said it was one long stitch that he looped around continually until the incision was closed. But there were also 3 additional layers of stitches inside of his neck to close up everything else that he cut through. Lovely.
Nathan tried hard to be in good spirits for me, but it was obvious that he was in serious pain. He never got annoyed at me taking pictures though.
At least I don't think so. He doesn't remember even if he did. He seemed perfectly coherent the entire time, but he later said he was in and out of it most of the day and the details are fuzzy.

He was definitely annoyed that the nurse put tape around his wedding ring because it made it super sticky. Notice the drainage bag hanging there. Cute, huh?
He wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery, but he still didn't want to eat afterwards because his throat hurt so bad from all the stitches and the tube being down his throat during surgery. Even though he fell asleep on the short ride home, he did manage to request a chocolate shake from Maggie Moo's.
We got home, were greeted by the kids and other family members that wanted to see the war wound, he went through a brief moment of emotional distress, and then made his way to the couch. He slept there for a couple of hours despite the noise of the kids playing and going in and out of the house. Poor guy was so worn out.
He woke up in a world of hurt and immediately asked me for a pain pill. He tried his best to eat something because we didn't need him feeling even more nauseated. The hospital put a patch behind his ear (just like you get for sea sickness) just in case. Can you imagine if he threw up with all those stitches in his neck?! Ouch!

After making sure his head was propped up as comfortably as possible, we finally settled into bed. The pain meds pretty much kept him knocked out, but I was on edge the entire night. I popped up at every little sound or move he made to make sure he was okay. I think I said, "You okay?" at least 15 times during the night. It was just like having a sick baby sleeping next to you, and you pop up at the tiniest hint of a vomiting noise or motion because you don't want it to land in your hair...Again.

Such a stressful day, but now it's done.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Nathan's parents and nephew came in town the weekend before his surgery. It was also the very same weekend of the torrential rains, so our Saturday plans were wiped out. They were pretty disappointed that they drove all the way from Texas and didn't get to see Cole's baseball game or watch Brooke ride horses, but they managed to find something else to do (and their little dog, too).
A little game of Monopoly with a 6 and 8 year old is always loads of fun....Not to mention a 14 year old that was practically forced to join in.
Nana also had a birthday during her visit, so I attempted to make it special for her by whipping up a cake. I didn't want to make a big cake that I would end up eating entirely too much of like I did on Cole's birthday, so I kept it small and sweet. However, I didn't take into account that taking the same amount of cake mix that you would use for a large pan and pouring it into a smaller pan might not turn out well.
After a little nip/tuck the cake turned out decent enough. French vanilla with cream cheese icing...Yum! Nana was actually very touched that I even made her a cake because she said she hadn't had a birthday cake in about 25 years. Say whaaaaaat?!
Even though I wish their reason for visiting us here for the first time would have been purely for pleasure, it was a good distraction from Nathan's surgery for the kids. And Christopher did a really good job of entertaining them even with his chronic texting addiction.