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Archive for August, 2008

Gustav, GO AWAY!

To my Grandma, my uncles and my aunt,

Thinking of you and praying for your continued health and safety. But moreso, praying that Gustav stays very very far away from your homes!!!

Lots of love,
Alice

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Prescriptions in Germany

So I’ve told you before that doctors are big into homeopathic remedies. They are. And they usually cost you a few Euro at the Apotheke (pronounced ah-poh-tek-uh) – the pharmacy.

I had to have 3 prescriptions filled for my pregnancy stuff – the first two were completely covered by our insurance (one was an anti-nausea drug, since the homeopathic one wasn’t worth crap and the other was low-dose aspirin, used as a preventative against that dreaded preeclampsia) and the last one was not – it was the sugary-sweet glucose drink that I had to purchase myself before my 3-hour diabetes test in 2 weeks – it was 5 Euro.

So um yeah – universal healthcare – way cheaper. (Not to mention that all of Henry’s drugs are covered until he’s 18. Yeah, you read that right – we figure in his first year alone, between his operation, ER visits, his oh so many doctor’s visits PLUS all the meds he was on we spent anywhere between $3-5k.)

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Well, all I can say is that we’re definately delivering at this hospital (which means we’re not going to look at the other one my OB recommended).

Immediately, I fell in *love* with this high-risk doc. She’s young but super sweet, intelligent and more than competant. Here’s the plan:

1) I will see the high-risk doc every 4 weeks, in between my regular OB appointments. That means I’ll be seeing someone every 2 weeks (yikes!)

2) I will have three (3) 24-hour collections – one in each trimester. Since I’m at the end of my first trimester, I am to do one for my next visit in 2 weeks.

3) I go again in 2 weeks for the first of my many intensive u/s screenings (I believe they’re doppler). At that time I’ll also take in my first 24-hour sample (see note below).

4) I will have two (2) 3-hour glucose testings done – again the first one in 2 weeks when I go (it’ll be a loooong morning). The next one will be around 20-something weeks. She feels that the 3-hour is more reliable (as she explained the 1-hour is just an indicator, but the 3-hour is definitive).

5) I am to measure my BP three times daily and fax to them once a week.

6) She is on a team of 3 doctors. One of the three of them will deliver me (or be there in conjunction with the midwife). Which makes me feel SO much better knowing that I will be developing a relationship with the doctor in who’s hands my life is.

NOTE: Interestingly, for the 24-hour collection … I do it at home and must keep it in the fridge. BUT – they don’t have any hats to collect the urine in! When I asked the midwife if they had anything that went on the toilet (like what I had in Ohio) she kind of chuckled at me! She said she wasn’t sure how I was to collect it but that every drop had to be there!

I am to collect it all and then, after the last collection, shake it up well and take a sample with the syringe she provided to take in for their testing. Yup, it’s self-service 24-hour urine collection, in my own home! (I’m thinking ew, gross … but hey, I’m so impressed with how thorough they are, I can definately handle this!)

So I think that’s about it.

Oh yeah – when the midwife took my BP at the end of the appointment – get this – it was 120/70. Yeah, 120/70. Wow. I haven’t seen numbers that low since I became a nutcase checking my BP all. the. time. 🙂 She also did it manually, which I do think accounts for something.

During the entire appointment, I could just feel my body relaxing and my nerves settling. I feel good. And that is a very nice feeling.

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I just read this on another blog:

” Why is it that when we are depressed it doesn’t matter what we do to get out of the depression. We stay there until our body and mind decide for themselves to come out of it.”

Last year, I ran away.

I knew it then.

But I understand it now.

I ran away from all the monsters. You know who I’m talking about: Grief, Regret, Anger, Dispair.

But they followed me.

Only I also ran away from my family. And being away from them allowed me to find the strength within to fight each of these monsters, when my body and mind were ready to.

I’m in the middle of a funk. It happens every year at this time. Well, this is only the 2nd year I’m really going through it – 3 years ago I never expected my life to be like this.

God I miss my dad.

3 years ago we (mom, dad, BJD, my sis and her fam) all went to North Ridgeville’s Corn Festival. Dad and I split some bbq ribs (which is HUGE because I have this meat fetish – I can’t eat anything if I know what it once looked like). They were gu-uuhd. Then I had some of Sweet’s sweet corn, festival lemonade and some sweet stuff.

That night, dad suffered a massive stroke.

That night, my world collapsed.

But I didn’t realize it.

I stood by his side, every day, for 6 weeks, praying for my soul to stay strong so that my dad could lean on me and get better.

I fought with my mom about him coming home – that was all he really wanted – to be home. Oh to be home and to be able to take a shit in the toilet. Maybe that’s all he really wanted – to not wear a diaper and have someone else wipe his ass.

I was willing to give up my career, my marriage, my everything, just to make my dad whole again.

And that bastard of a monster called Regret, still lives on in my head.

Oh I know that I did all I could.

I know that. (do you?)

But it’s just like being a preemie parent – you know there was nothing that you could have done to cause the premature birth of your child (and subsequent health issues) but you sure do seem to enjoy beating yourself up about it.

So this is my 3 year anniversary of not having a dad anymore.

This is my 3 year anniversary of when my mom changed everything she physically could to escape, of having a hellish pregnancy, of my family just disintigrating and me not having a clue why, of losing my faith, of finding it again and of making the decision to move to Germany.

This anniversary will end on September 25th, the day my dad died.

Though realistically, it will only end like that stupid Green Day song “When September Ends”.

God, I am SO thankful this next baby isn’t due in September.

I hate September.

Only to be followed by October – which BTW, my birthday is exactly 1 month from my dad’s death date – October 25th, to be followed 1 week later by dad’s bday – Halloween.

At least I’m here in Germany, where autumn is cold and rainy (just like winter) and not in beautiful (and I mean that honestly) NE Ohio, where autumn still remains my favorite season with the vibrant colors and the smell of frost and the preparations for winter and snow …

But now my depression from the last 3 years is gone. My mind is stronger. My body is too. And while I still mourn all that I lost, I can live. Because that’s the one thing my dad can’t do anymore … live.

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A German fridge

So I’ve shared before that we’re remodeling our kitchen. Well, we’re keeping all our appliances and just adding cupboards.

But what’s important to note, THIS IS A TYPICAL-SIZED refridgerator! Yessiree. This is the standard. Of course, the pic is taken just after we’ve come back from the grocery store, so it’s more organized than say, by the end of the week. Milk comes in a standard 1 liter size (see the 2 milk cartons in the door). Everything else is smaller too – the top shelf of the door has sour cream. The top shelf has some yogurt and well, did you see the freezer?

No?

Look again.

Still no?

That’s because it isn’t there. I still don’t get it. Standard freezers are either really teeny tiny ones on “top” of the fridge, mostly accessible when the fridge door is open. OR, like ours, is a free-standing unit with drawers. And ours is in our laundry room because well, I don’t know it just is.

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Bubba Joe’s New "do"

We’ve been talking about it for some time now.

Bubba Joe needs a haircut.

His curls are stunning (just like mine) but it was very thin at the ends and well, just needed cleaned up a bit.

Here he is, intently watching his DVD player, wearing his “no tattoos yet” t-shirt, with fresh raspberries on his face from our farm trip:
And here is his “after”. Basically the same hair-do, just shorter. I’ll try to get some better pics, hopefully without him trying to help me as he is here!

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The Answer

Seems like most of ya’ll had the right idea … where would you find toothpicks in a grocery store in Germany? It’s so logical (and hence, very “german) … by the toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss … you get it! Good job!

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