Monday, December 28, 2009

The Air I Breathe

For the last year, I have experienced recurring infections in my lungs. Each one progressively worse than the last. Finally in November, exactly one year after my first infection, I was able to see a specialist. I was referred to a wonderful pulmonologist, Dr. Dixie Harris, who is has been an incredible blessing. She diagnosed me with Asthma and it was totally and completely out of control. She also said that I had acid reflux (great!). I felt a great sense of relief when I learned what plagued my body. My next step was to get it under control.

I was not ready for what came next. To get my asthma under control, Dr. Harris, turned me into a walking pharmacy. I had two separate inhalers, an oral medication to help clear out my lungs and an antacid. She wanted to see me back in two weeks.

Two weeks passed and the only thing that changed was my weight. I had gained 12 pounds in two weeks!!!! My breathing had not changed, I was still having chest pains and the antacid she had put me on was too much for my stomach to handle. Because of the weight I had gained, none of my pants fit me. I even ripped my fat pants!!!!( At work no less!) I went to buy a new pair and the sweet sales clerk helped me find some pants and was honest with me when she said that I should go up a size because they would look better. I was grateful for the honesty but a part of me (and that part of every woman) wanted the sales clerk to lie and tell me go down a size.

When I went to see Dr. Harris for my two week follow up..... well, she was just as plagued as I was. Nothing had changed except my weight. Dr. Harris at that time withdrew her diagnosis of asthma. Our next step was a chest CT, a Bronchoscopy and also a Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). I do get frequent heart burn and stomach aches which can cause problems with breathing. Plus, I eat tums like candy (I ain't gettin osteoporosis, that's for sure!). All of this led Dr. Harris to the acid reflux diagnosis and the need for an EGD. With the bronchoscope she wanted rule out an infection in my lungs that did not respond to antibiotics.

On December 1st, I went in for both procedures. Both procedures went well and Dr. Harris also did a lung biopsy. Before I went in for the EGD, I began to reevaluate my stomach problems. In my brief meeting with Dr. Wynn Hemmert, the gastroenterologist, before my EGD he suggested that I see my regular physician about my gallbladder.

Both procedures came back NORMAL!
In the last year, I have had 1 MRI, 3 CT's, one EKG, 6 Chest X-rays, two ultrasounds and I cannot begin to count the number of times my blood has been drawn and tested. Just about $10,000 in medical bills later, all (except my chest X-Rays) have come back normal!

I started to blog about how I felt: For the second time in 6 weeks, I returned to the gym tonight. My body remembered the routine, my feet could move, my legs could jump and my arms could press. My hips could still move to music in Zumba as we did the Calypso. I could still laugh at myself. Each moment reburnt back into my body. But my lungs.... nothing remembered. I am twentymufflemuffle years old and I have been diagnosed with asthma.

I could handle the diagnosis of asthma. At least I knew but when I was facing an unknown diagnosis I did not know how to handle that. I broke down on the phone with Hotstuff one day. I am twentymufflemuffle years old and I felt like I was falling apart. I felt like I was fighting a battle that I could win and no matter how hard I fought, I was still losing. Then my wonderful husband quietly reminded me: "At least you are still fighting."

I had to wait almost three weeks for my follow up visit with my pulmonologist. So while I waited, I went to see my regular doc about my gallbladder. NORMAL test results! I was praying at this point for an abnormal test result. But then something changed.... I had an asthma attack.

Saturday, December 19th; I was coming home from Ogden, driving south on I-15 on a Red Air Day and I couldn't breath. I had my rescue inhaler but that did not work. I took myself into the urgent care for help. I thought maybe a breathing treatment would help. I had Miss May with me and 20 minutes into the treatment I almost passed out. My brave little girl went to get the doctor for help. I had to put on my fake mommy face and lie to her but she did a big thing for such a little girl.

The urgent care doctor sent me to the hospital for a CT angiogram. While I was waiting for the CT tech to come get me, I had a gallbladder attack. Dr. Shelton, one of the ER doc's that I am friends with, came by and I asked for help. The pain I was going through at that time is comparable to child birth; if not a close second. They did the CT angiogram, took some blood and gave me some pain killers. Everything came back (in Dr. Sheltons words) "disgustingly normal." He was confused as to what was wrong. I was sent home very drugged!

Monday, December 21st; I was still not feeling well, still having chest pain and I couldn't get the air in. The only reasons I was at work were: 1. I had not PTO left and 2. I did not have a fever. I walked over to my pulmonologist office which is just across the hall from my office to talk with the nurse, Rachel. I needed help, I was in pain and couldn't breath. Rachel walked me over to the ER. I saw a great (looking! might I just add) doctor, Dr. Leblanc. My diagnosis was abdominal pain. Dr. Leblanc felt my problems were caused by my gallbladder. He scheduled me for a HIDA scan the next day. This was the Monday I was to follow up with my pulmonologist. I missed the appointment but Dr. Harris knew of me being in the ER and told me that I could just be squeezed in the next day.

Tuesday, December 22nd; at 6:30 am, I went in for my HIDA scan. I saw Dr. Harris at 1 o'clock. She had the results of my HIDA scan... it was my gallbladder! The ejection fraction was 28%; meaning my gallbladder wasn't functioning correctly and I had gallbladder disease. The pain and problems my gallbladder were causing in my body were also causing some of the problems with my lungs. I couldn't get the air in fully because of the pain and discomfort from my gallbladder caused my lungs when I tried to do so. My pain did not manifest itself in my abdomen but in my chest, confusing many of us as to the nature of my chest pain/problems. Dr. Harris called the on-call surgeon during my appointment and he told me to go over to his office at three. Dr. Harris gave me a final diagnosis of Asthma, told me she didn't want to see me back for another six months and kindly kicked me out of her office!
I saw Dr. Peugh at three o'clock. I talked with him for a few minutes and before he had even met me he had me scheduled for surgery the next day.

Wednesday, December 23rd; I became the proud parent of a bouncing baby gallbladder!

Christmas Day, I took my first full deep breath filling my lungs completely with out any pain for the first time in 13 months. I found myself lying in the HIDA scan machine that Tuesday morning saying a new prayer. I no longer prayed for an abnormal test or the answer of what was wrong with me.... I prayed to be healed. I told my loving Father in Heaven I have the faith that he could he heal me and I ask to be healed.

The joy I felt that Christmas Day as I took in that wonderful breath is a testimony of the power of prayer. It is a testimony of my Heavenly Father, who knows what is best. He knows of what I need in my life to make me better and stronger. It is a testimony of his love. It is a testimony that when we have faith, we can be healed. That is the Air I breathe.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I didn't realize how busy my life really was until I saw when I made my last post. I just don't make time to sit and blog once a week. So here are just a few pictures of what been happening....

This is what Hotstuff has been working on lately. This was taken about a month ago. This piece is still a work in progress and he has made a ton of progress!

Miss May and Bubba Jones started gymnastics in September. I know the qualities of these pictures are not the greatest ( the lighting is funny from where I was sitting)but I will get better ones up later. Miss May is on the uneven bars and Bubba Jones is on the balance beam.

She's finally gone! My baby sister went into the MTC on Oct. 7th. She has been there almost 6 weeks and is doing great! Here is a small excerpt from her last letter:
"I told my companion that I don't know what to write that was funny from this week and she reminded of plenty of things and said that it is probably because all the funny things are becoming a normal thing for us. But right after we were talking about it, the best thing happened. I had my offical first "woops" with Spanish. I decided to speak only spanish one day. An elder came into the room I told him in Spanish, "You have a nice tie," but when his face turned red and everyone in the class started to laugh I realized I probably said something wrong. And indeed I had!! What I actually said was, "You have a nice body." I was horrified when I realized what I said but when the elder realized that is not what I meant we were all able to laugh it off--ackwardly. Now it is a pretty big joke in the district."

We met with her just before she went into the MTC and had lunch at Jason's Deli (yummm!).
So that's not all! But it's a start...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conversations with a three year old

I took the dripping wet little boy out of the bath. I began to towel dry him off with an old peach colored towel. His little teeth chattering away. It is small battle of drying him off; he goes one way, while the towel moves the other. As I rub his little head dry, I can see the waves growing back through. He looks at me with his big green eyes and smiles.
"Thanks, Mom," he tells me.
"For what, honey?" I ask.
"For me."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bubba Jones

The night before Bubba Jones was born, there was the most incredible thunder storm I had ever heard or witnessed. The thunder was so loud and so low that it awoke not only us but it set off all of the car alarms in the neighborhood. It kept an anxiuous mother to be (again), awake most of the night. I listened to the beautiful sounds of Gods blessings. The weather was miserable the enitre day that he was born. It even snow that September 22nd. The day of his birth was not only the first day of fall but it was also the start of Rosh Hashanah and the anniversary of Joseph Smith recieving the Gold Plate from Moroni. I can't help but think that the storm was Heaven was of ushering in the birth of my son.
We just celebrated his 3rd birthday. He is a testimony of miracles. He is a joy to our lives and we would not be complete without him.
Born at the Right time
By Paul Simon
Down among the reeds and rushes
A baby boy was found
His eyes as clear as centuries
His silky hair was brown
Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time
Too many people on the bus from the airport
Too many holes in the crust of the earth
The planet groans
Every time it registers another birth
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Best Friends

They know us inside and out. Our deepest fears and wildest dreams; our best moments, our worst and all of our secrets. They know our likes and dislikes. We talk only to them about certain things. We divulge the out entire truths and we never lie. They read us and know what to do. They give space or hold us close when we need it. They love us despite our faults and we love them for making us better people. These are our Best Friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Milestones & Miracles

What an incredible day for my children!
Miss May

Today was Miss May's first day of Kindergarten. Due to another appointment, I was unable to take her to school. But I dropped her off at a friends home, (one of her classmates). First day of school! Cute curly hair and an adorable outfit. What more could a girl ask for???? How about losing her first tooth!
YA!!!!! Miss May lost her first tooth tonight.

That's right!Miss May lost her first tooth tonight! My baby girl is growing up way to fast. When I was kid the going rate for a tooth was a quarter. Hotstuff and I figure with inflation, her one tooth is gonna cost us $5!

* She had her princess crown on the brave.

Bubba Jones
Today was his annual visit with his neurologist. Bubba Jones has cortical dysplasia; the left side of his brain did not develop properly. So, the two of us made our way up to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, to see Dr. Colin Van Orman. Yesterday, when I was telling him that we were going to the doctors he told me that he did not want to go and that he was mad. I asked why he was mad and he told me: " because I want to stay with my girlfriend!"
When we arrived at the hospital, Bubba Jones began to cry. He was scared about going in. The last time we went to PCMC, he went for an MRI and had to be sedated, intravenously. Without a doubt he doesn't have the fondest memories of PCMC. Before we got out of the van, the two of us said a prayer to help him have peace. Afterwards, he had no problems!
Dr. Van Orman was running on schedule and we were called back to his office. The prognosis: Dr. Van Orman said he is doing better than he ever imagined that he would! Once he turns 5 he will no longer be high risk for seizures! What a huge relief!!!!! Our next appointment will not be until he is 5 or 6.
This little boy is an incredible testimony of the power of Miracles.

*Bubba Jones throwing a penny into the water at PCMC

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When in Portland...

Portland,Oregon the city of Roses, Rip City, Bridgetown; the greenest city in the United States and the 2nd greenest in the world. Home to Mount St. Helens. Incorporated in 1851, Portland got its name in a coin toss. Seriously!! Asa Lovejoy and Francis W. Pettygrove, the founding fathers wanted to name their town after their beloved hometown. Lovejoy was from Boston, Massachusetts and Pettygrove was from Portland, Maine. Pettygrove won and I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Portland for a couple of hours. I flew into Portland for a vacation and after I got done at the airport I was to meet my brother for lunch in downtown Portland at Sushi Land. *yummmmy sushi!
I received directions to where I needed to go and found myself in the wrong end of town.
I have been to Portland maybe twice in my entire life.... a couple of school trips that constituted the bus driver driving into Portland, I got off the bus and got right back on. But in getting lost I learned a few things that everyone should know:
*Roses from the Portland Oregon LDS Temple

1. Get a map! Even though your directions may be simple, you will still need to see it visually to understand. I-405 wraps itself around the city and you might think as I did that you are on the wrong road but due to the lack of signage saying: Honey, 3 more miles until you reach the Morrison Bridge! I did not even drive far enough to get to my exit. Get a map and use it!

2. Traffic: I found myself doing 55 miles an hour on the interstate!!!! I called Hotstuff screaming because I had to drive so slowly. Here in Utah, 55 is not an acceptable speed limit. 75 is the acceptable speed limit!!!!!! Whatever you do: do not go through a yellow light. To Oregonians, yellow means stop. To Utahns, it means haul your ass before you get stopped at the red light! Oh, and sometimes you can't make a right on red! Oops!

3. Know your Simpson's and your Alphabet:
Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpson's, is from Portland. (
Many of the characters from the Simpson's, are named after streets in Portland. I had the pleasure of driving on Burnside (Mr. Burns) and crossing Flanders Street(Ned Flanders- hey diddleyho neighborino!). Numbers run east to west and names run alphabetically north to south.

4. Parks and Bridges: Portland is famous for it's parks. There is a park that runs almost the entire length of the city and in fact the worlds smallest park resides in the middle of a street. There are also 12 bridges in Portland crossing over the Willamette River.

5. You must pay for parking!!!!: I found a good parking spot just outside the restaurant where we ate. I saw the signs for time allowed for parking. Mine was 90 minutes. I saw a small kiosk a few feet away from my car but had no idea what it was for. After I had already been in the restaurant for about an hour, my brother and I left. While my brother smoked his cigarette, I stood by my car and talked to him.
"Did you pay for parking?" he asks.
"Did I need to pay for parking?" I asked in return, naive to the need to pay for parking. My brother laughs at me.
"Come with me," he tells me. We walk down to the kiosk and he pays $.80 for a half hour with his debit card so that I can park for a few more minutes. Come to find out that if you do not pay for parking or if your ticket runs out it is a $40 ticket!

So there you have it! Honey's guide to Portland! OH! and FYI- the ghetto is on the northeast side of town.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Requiem for a Gym... Part 3

The heat has reached triple digits here in the good ol' state of Utah! I am so ready to move to Alaska. But tonight, I came home and changed out of my work clothes and into my gym clothes. I didn't bother to put my shirt on (due to the heat) but I did have my sport bra on. I made dinner and settled my family before I headed off to the gym to lose the now 20 pounds I want to lose. While at dinner Bubba Jones turns to me and says:
"You go gym?"
"Yes, I am going to the gym."
"You take your belly?" he asks.
"Yes, I take my belly," I replied trying not to laugh or be offended. Then my dear sweet Hotstuff pipes up and says:
"Your supposed to leave it there."
"I am trying to leave it there! It just won't stay there!" I yelled.

Called to Serve

My dear sweet baby sister has been called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the California Arcadia (spanish speaking) mission. Which is located in East Los Angeles. (AHHHHHH!!!!!) She will be gone for 18 months (sniff sniff)!!!! She recieved her letter on Wednesday July 16th and did not open it until July 19th! Due to the large number of people she would have to tell; she called everyone over to Aunt Cindy and Uncle Paul's house to open her letter with all her friends and family. She had 35 people there!!!!!!!!!

Brittney opening her letter- me in front with two cell phones on speaker, one for my brother and the other family in Washington.

Brittney and her letter!


Bubba Jones, Miss May and Brittney

For more information go to:

Friday, July 17, 2009

One and ONLY


When Hotstuff and I bought our G6, it only came with 1 key. The cost of a new key was $50! This is a special kind of key that has a computer chip in it that has to be programmed to the car. We had just bought a new car and did not have the extra cash for a new key. So we said we would come back later and get a new key made. It's not like we could go to Wal-mart and get a key made for $5, this is an extra special key and the cost was a bit much. It's seemed we never thought about getting an extra made because of the cost.

Sunday was the last time we saw our key. Hotstuff went to the car and rolled up the windows and got stuff from the trunk. That was the last they were ever seen. We have torn the house apart and cleaned it in search of the keys. We are going on day 4 with no key to drive the car. We still have the keys to our van and have been driving Moby (it's a big white van- hence the name.) But alas, Naked Harry (our car) sits in the suns and bakes begging to be driven.

The only solution, other than finding the key, is to have the car towed in to a dealership and have the key made and programmed to the car at the dealership.

Prayers have been said, house torn apart and cleaned, the most unlikely of places looked and still nothing. Time is running out and we are in need of a key.

REWARD: $1 Million dollars and an ice cream

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tax dollars hard at work

(Note: This post is regarding Michael Jackson and his funeral service)

Michael Jackson was laid to rest yesterday. While walking through the ICU and many other parts of the hospital where I work, ALL televisions were turned to CNN to watch coverage of the funeral. By the end of the day, I was glad to be home. I wanted to sit and veg for a minute in front of the good ol' boob tube but when I turned it on I was bombarded with nothing but Micheal Jackson.
I was disgusted at all the media attention towards him and his funeral. I was repulsed at the way they were treating and viewing his children. But none of this bothered more than the fact that Jackson's funeral cost the tax payers of California $4 MILLION!!!!!!!
Yes! you read that right $4 Million that could have gone to fund education, programs to help those in need and other programs that needed the extra funding. Instead, their tax dollars paid for something else. This, is tax dollars hard at work.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Precious Memories

Hey Hotstuff,
Do you remember that time when we were dirt poor, living in an apartment that was falling apart? You know which one I am talking about. The one where the carpet was thirty years old, the mold that was growing under the linoleum and on the ceiling in the bathroom. Do you rememeber the time when the air conditioner broke and you got in trouble by the managment for fixing it? I had an infection in my lungs and it took the managment over a week to come fix it. Or that one time where our neighbors swamp cooler was leaking water. He had to turn the water off and we no air conditioning. AT ALL!!! When our swamp cooler finally worked it made this knocking sound or that really loud squeaky sound because of the missing bearing on one side. In the evening times it would get unbearable hot because the sun would shine directly into our house with nothing to block the sun. Or how every winter our furnace broke down and our kids ran through the house freezing and all I did was bake to try and bring in some heat. When we got it to work, we had to make the house as hot as possible because the heater would die in the early afternoon. We would have to wait a few hours before it would finally work again. By then, the heat was all gone.
OH! and don't forget the bath tub! No matter how much bleach was used or how hard we scrubbed it was always gray. Nasty hard water stains... and who could forget the closet doors! They could never stay on. Do you remember the spaghetti sauce that was waxed into the floor that took three years to come out? Or the crazy phone lines in the living room?
For some reason, we always had the worst solicitors coming around.... even with a NO SOLICITING sign. Remember that one guy who called you nasty names?
Yeah, today was a good day!
love ya, Honey

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Here a few pictures from our 4th of July Weekend....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Tribute to the King of Pop

I was in the bank today when I heard that Micheal Jackson passed away. My thoughts are with his many fans in their time of grief. Cause I'm talking 'bout the man in mirror! Billie Jean was not his lover, but if you wanted to be his baby- it didn't matter if you were black or white. He just wanted to heal the world and make it a better place... for you, me and the entire human race. Making a better place for you and me.... do remember the time??? He was bad! Bad! you know it! and the whole world has to answer right now! Who's bad? The smooth criminal! He wants to rock with you! (all night)! you knocked him off his feet! and always remember: You got to be starting something and Don't stop till you get enough!

Rest in Peace Michael Jackson!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New bling....

So I was in the mood to do something scandolous and so not like me.... I was having a mid-life crisis. So for my 27th birthday, I pierced my nose.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Well Shut my Mouth!

Around 10 am this morning, I needed my caffeine!! So as apart of my morning ritual, I head down to the Pink Shop for a very large, bubbly, caffeine and sugar loaded soda. When I arrived there, I saw a very adorable little boy and a dad sitting at the counter. I knew the gentlemen was a dad because of the pink "dad" bracelet he wore. This is a security protocal in most hospitals to insure the safety of the newborn (and to make sure you don't go home with the wrong baby or someone else takes your baby.) The dad did not look much older than me and the little boy that was sitting with him was no more than 4 years old.

I got my soda and went to the cashier to pay for my drink. I know how exciting a brand new baby can be so I turned to the boy and asked:

"Do you have a new little brother or new little sister?"

The dad pops up and said: "Neither. This is my brother in law!"

"Well shut my mouth!" was all I could say.
(The picture above is Bubba Jones on the day he was born.)