All posts tagged grandchildren

The Joys of Getting Old

Published November 19, 2012 by jeaniel47

Several years ago I went to the doctor because I had stomach pain. They did a CT and found nothing. I had the lovely yearly woman check, though I had had a hysterectomy years before. They sent me to have my shriveled up little ovaries looked at and yup they were still there. They finally told that it must be adhesions from my surgeries.

About four years ago I left work and told my co-worker it was cold, she told me no it isn’t. On the way home the real stomach pain started. If you have ever been in labor, it felt like I was trying to deliver a ten pound baby. When I got home, I gave in and told my husband that I needed to go to the ER. The triage nurse told me that I had a fever, no wonder I thought it was cold. Another CT and this time the diagnosis was diverticulitis and I would need to stay in the hospital over night. Well, four days later I begged to go home. All I was doing was getting an IV antibiotic every four hours. Yes, my stomach still hurt, but the boredom was worse than the pain. I am glad to say that I recovered and went back to just the “normal” stomach pain. It is not anything that I can’t deal with, it is just there.

Over the past year I have been blessed to have 3 more bouts of diverticulitis. The last time I stayed in the hospital for several hours getting antibiotics and then went home on more. Several weeks later I went to my family doctor and told him that the pain still was not gone. It wasn’t the”normal” pain, though still I could deal with it, just thought it should be checked. He sent me to a specialist. I told him my story and he told me “I don’t think it is your colon.”

He finally decided that I should have another CT. The day after the CT there was a message on the machine to call his office. Well, I work in the medical field and this is not normally good news. I called and they said I was to come in the next day to discuss the results. I can tell you that they don’t call you in to give you good news. She then asked it I usually brought family with me, I said I could and she told me that would be a good idea, this is another warning sign. The 24 hours until that appointment seemed like a lifetime. The next day my husband and I sat in the doctor’s office and I could read the computer screen over his shoulder. I will never forget what I could read. “Highly likely carcinoma of the colon with bladder involvement, metastasized to the pelvic wall”. Honestly, I blinked back the tears. The doctor who said he didn’t think it was my colon was now quite concerned. The colon was too inflamed to do any tests, I had to wait ten days. Those were some VERY long days. I spent a lot of time thinking about my life and what I still wanted to do. I tried to talk to my husband about life insurance and such, but he would have none of it.The day of the test came and thankfully all was fine. It was just a really bad case of diverticulitis. The doctor said “NO cancer. No Cancer!” I think he may have been happier than even I was.

I still had to go to the bladder doctor and he too put a camera where cameras don’t belong, and again all was fine. OK, life back to normal. Six weeks later I had to have a recheck with the colon doctor. I go in not really sure why I am there, all of the tests were fine, so I expect a ten minute appointment. I was wrong again. Now he is concerned that my diverticulitis is “extreme”  and HE wants a second opinion. He is sending me to the university to see if that specialist agrees that I need a colon resection. Oh boy, that sounds like fun. I have been through major surgery before. When I had my hysterectomy they cut the right ureter by mistake and I had to have bladder surgery on top of the hysterectomy. I had a bladder bag then for six weeks, that I could deal with. The thought of maybe having a colon bag does NOT thrill me at all.

I tell you all of this, not to complain. I will deal with whatever needs to be done. I share so that maybe if you have something that doesn’t seem quite right, continue to ask. The doctor’s work for you. You are paying them. Also, please get the recommended tests at the recommended ages. Yes, I did a colonoscopy at fifty and have had to have two since then. The prep for the test is not fun, but it just might save your life. Get your annual physical. Get your mammogram. No one looks forward to having these things done, but they set the recommendations for a reason – to save your life.

I have a wonderful husband, two amazing children and three adorable grandchildren. I am not ready to leave them yet, so I do what I need to do, and pray that you will too.


Write a Letter

Published March 8, 2011 by jeaniel47

I wrote a little about this just the other day and have decided that I need to expand on it.

My dad wrote to me every day when I was a summer camp as a child. They were letters about nothing really, what he had done that day, how the garden was doing, how my dog was. All around the edges he would write little notes and draw little pictures. I still have those letters. He passed away when I was only 25 and those letters keep his memory fresh in my mind and always bring a smile to my face. They are a little faded, a little worn, but they are one of my most cherished possessions.  Amazing that something so simple can mean so much to me.

Have you ever written an actual letter to you child or grandchild. Not sent a birthday card with a message that someone else wrote for you, but a message from you, from your heart telling them how much you love them? Not an email, not a type written letter, but a hand written one… do you even remember how to write, we seem to do that so little anymore.

About twenty years ago I wrote a note to each of my children, yes it is hand written and no I don’t remember what I wrote, but I put them each in an envelope and put them in our safe for our kids to open someday when I am gone. They are a little piece of me that they will have after I am gone. Thinking about it, I should do it for them again and now for the grandchildren.

Again, I challenge each of you to write a letter to someone you love. On a child’s birthday write them a letter, tell them what you used to do as a child on your birthday, share part of your life with them.

Let’s start a campaign! Let’s make it happen! Write a letter!

Old Fashioned Letter

Published March 5, 2011 by jeaniel47

Do you remember as a child how exciting it was to get a letter in the mail. I remember having several pen pals, including one from Germany. Holding that letter in your hands, looking at the handwriting, excited to know what was inside. Somehow an email just doesn’t seem to hold quite the same excitement for me. Yes, it is faster, and less expensive…. but what is 44 cents for a stamp? Isn’t it worth it to give that kind of old-fashioned excitement? More personal, because you actually took the time to hand write them a note. I know it would mean a lot to a parent, a grandparent, a small child. OK, everyone who reads this (including me) send at least one handwritten note to someone you know!!

I Love…

Published March 3, 2011 by jeaniel47

I Love my husband, he is my best friend, my confidant, my support.

I Love my children more than life itself.

I Love my grandchildren. They are proof to the world that I existed.

I Love chocolate – ok, maybe love it too strong.

I Love the smell of freshly mowed grass.

I Love my job… most days.

I Love my dog, who is always happy to see me, no matter what.

I Love writing, it makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

I Love when a thunderstorm in over!

I Love meeting people on the street and just saying hello.

I Love the country we live in, we are so blessed.

I Love being able to call a friend after months and still are able to talk as if it had only been minutes.

I Love sitting and doing nothing…. well at least for a few minutes anyway.

Isn’t it funny how many things we Love and how different that meaning is for each…

What Did They Say?

Published February 26, 2011 by jeaniel47

Don’t you just love what kids can come up with?

Our neighbors raise bull dogs and mostly they are brown and white. Lots of times they have them out in the front yard. Our front picture window looks right into their yard. Our small grandson was about 2 1/2 when he came to visit. He loves looking out the picture window to see what he can see. I will never forget when he turned and looked at us, so serious and said “I see a pig!” We laughed until there were tears rolling down our cheeks.

When we lived in Minnesota we had quite a steep driveway that we had to back down. My car was quite low to the ground and sometimes it drug on the driveway. We were backing out one day and the bottom of my car scraped on the driveway. I said “That darn draggin.” Our son’s eyes got huge and he cried out in horror, “There is a dragon under our car?!”

I know there are many more and we as parents should write them down to remember and smile in our golden years, those wonderful innocent moments of childhood.

Grandbabies Day 3

Published February 16, 2011 by jeaniel47

Well this is our last day to watch the grandbabies. It was a long night as the little one has a cold and spent most of the night coughing. I remember that well from when our children were little, but still it is different when it is a grandchild. You are left in charge of your baby’s baby and that is a whole different responsibility. You are even more cautious than you were with your children. And let’s face it, you are a little out of practice. You are used to going to sleep and not waking up until that unrelenting alarm goes off in the morning. Now you have to try and remember how it is that the slightest cough can wake you out of a sound sleep, something that used to come so naturally. It is quite obvious to me why we have children when we are young, old grandma is tired today. When our kids were little, you could be up all night and still rise at 5 and get ready for work, work eight hours and start it all over again. I have to admit that I am glad their mom will be here tonight, so grandma can sleep before going back to work tomorrow.

Grandma and the three year old worked on painting a bird house today that grandpa had built. It is fun to watch him pick the colors and then grandma has to transform what ever color paint he picks into a design. I find he prefers blues and purples, as does his grandma and his mom. Hopefully when he comes back this summer he will be proud of the work he and grandma did together.

I had hoped that the three of us could go for a walk, since the Iowa weather has finally turned a bit warmer. In the mid 30’s right now. But since we have one that is not feeling well, guess we will have to table that idea until the next visit. It is so much fun to go walking with them, they see the world through totally different eyes than adults do. It amazes me, the little things they notice and we adults tend to miss in the hurry of our lives. I look forward to that walk later this year.

Well, grandma had better get busy, since nap time seems to pass quickly and there is much to do.


Published February 14, 2011 by jeaniel47

Grandma and Grandpa are watching the two grandsons for 3 days. One is 3 and one is 1 1/2. This is the first time they have stayed with us for this long. It all started with “Mom do you have any PTO?”. Our daughter had to go to school for three days for a job with hospice. I am quite proud of her, as that will have to be one hard job. I admire the people that can do it, but still don’t know how they do it. I worked in a nursing home for one day when I was 18, it just broke my heart. Anyway, it is quite different to have two young ones in your house again. The questions are non stop. There are toys everywhere and the dog chases them non stop wanting to be where ever they are. Right now it is nap time and it reminds me of when my own kids were little and you have a few minutes to do what you want to or need to. I just threw in a load of laundry, there are the lunch dishes to do and boy, I think I could use a nap too!  Instead I am here, wanting to tell you all what a blessing grandchildren are. The smiles and hugs they give. The laughter of little voices in the house is like music. Tonight we will have a bubble bath and I am sure the bathroom will be drenched before we are done. What a wonderful way to spend a few vacation days! :O)