Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don't scare me like that!

I got a call from my sister while I was at work that dad was in the ER with a pulmonary embolism. Talk about freaking me out! Freaking all of us out! Especially in a family full of nurses (me, my mom and my sister and brother working on it) we all know how fatal pulmonary embolisms are. For you non-medical people :) it's a blood clot in the arteries of the lung. It usually forms in the legs and gets caught behind the knee, and if it breaks loose, it goes straight to the lungs where it can cut off oxygen supply and kill you. Even just a small clot can be fatal. Surgeries and sitting for long periods of time (like on an airplane) are two main causes of blood clots. My dad's leg had started to swell below the knee and that's what brought him to his doctor who immediately knew what he had and sent him straight to the ER. Here's a picture of his lovely leg.He suspected that clots in his leg were causing the swelling, he could feel the lump behind his knee, but he had no idea that they were in his lungs as well. They did an ultrasound on his leg and from his ankle to his groin was one HUGE clot!!! There was hardly any blood being able to circulate. I always imagined blood clots just being small and round, not long and filling the whole artery from your ankle to groin! They then did a scan and found massive, massive clots that filled his whole main pulmonary artery (main artery to the lungs), clots filling all the branches into the right lung, a smaller clot in the left lung and clots in the base of his left lung. He should have been dead. Or at least intubated (tube down to his lungs to breath for him) and in the ICU. And yet all he had was a little shortness or breath and otherwise felt "marvelous" according to him. The doctor told him his health and fitness is what saved his life. He can still beat the 20 year olds on the basketball court, he hikes through mountains any chance he gets to hunt, hits the gym regularly, takes the stairs etc, etc. He's super fit. The fact that his lung capacity was so good to not even need oxygen with 3/4 of his lungs compromised with clots is huge! He was only using a quarter of his lung.

He was at Ogden Regional in the IMC. My mom has worked there for over 30 years on Labor and Delivery and so the nurses she works with know my dad pretty well. One of them had come down to see him and brought this hilarious, lovely lei made of roses and peri pads. Those of you that have had children probably recognize them.
He was in high spirits the whole time, saying he had "elephantitis". He was just bugged that he felt fine but apparently had massive clots in his lungs which meant little to no activity for the next couple weeks. Also that they have no idea why in the world he developed these clots at all. He was cracking us up the whole time. My dad has a really dry sense of humor and always keeps a straight face while joking. My mom said in the ER when the triage nurse asked him what he was there for he looked at her with a straight face and said "To get these clots out of me." and the ER doctor, in between my dad's jokes, kept saying slowly "This is serious. People die from this. Do you understand what I'm telling you?"
He was started on Lovenox injections (anti-coagulant) that he does twice a day and was in the hospital for 2 days. He now has to be basically on bed rest for the next week and do the injections and then he can switch to Coumadin. They say it will take at least 6 months of anti-coagulant therapy to dissolve all the clots. We are so lucky that he is alive and going to be ok. At least we hope he does ok. There's still a very small chance that things could go the other way, but he's definitely over the risky stage. It has definitely put some things in perspective for me. Things don't matter. People, and what we do here is what matters. I get so caught up in things that don't matter. Making money, vain things, greedy things, being selfish, not treating people kindly. I needed a little slap on the cheek to bring me back. I'm so grateful for all the blessings I have.
We love you dad! Don't scare us like that again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creative Cortney

Cortney, my sister-in-law took these pictures and here are some of my favorites. Not all of them have been touched up yet, but I posted them anyway. If anyone is looking for a photographer, she does awesome!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unexplained Feelings

Every year I like Wintertime until about January, and then I am done! I usually dread the snow, wanting it only for Christmas then I'm ready for Spring and Summer. This year though, I do not know what is wrong with me. I can't wait for this.....This.......
......and this!!!!
I'm already listening to Christmas music and usually I am completely stubborn about not turning on the two Christmas music playing stations strictly until after Thanksgiving. I have absolutely no reason why I am so excited for Christmastime, but I am! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

October Fun!

I love Fall time!!! October was a fun month! We went shooting up in the valley with our good friends the Stuarts......

....dirt-biking......(my nephew Keaton, he's so cute!)

...and best of all, on Halloween, went to the HARRY POTTER house! It is so awesome! Dr. Hartman who works with my mom puts on a Harry Potter house in his yard. These pictures don't give justice to how awesome and how much work was put into it. There were tons of full-blown actors, old and young that even come out of state to be part of the house. They had a zip line for the kids that was "Quidditch", the Nite Bus in a real bus that Madam whats-her-name that teaches Divination was reading palms and stirring tea leaves in tea cups, Snape giving people detention and sulking in the corner, Hagrid with his motor bike, Luna, the Weasley twins, Dumbledore, Butterbeer that was delicious! Handing out Bertie Botts beans, floating candles, the fat lady portrait with an actor inside, the death mark showing in the trees and then shouting Expecto patronus and a deer would light up and chase it away....seriously, it was intense and awesome!
Platform 9 3/4

floating candles
the nite bus
Hagrids motor bike
The hippogriff!! You can't see the rest of his body, but he was scary! If you didn't bow first he'd attack you, which he did and freaked me and melody out!

The Marauders Map. They also had the Dudleys and they were hilarious. Everyone stayed in character and did such a good job! I recommend going next year!
Justin was a lovely prom date for Halloween

I was a bag lady.
And Nicole was the cutest bumblebee I have ever seen!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

St. George Marathon

Justin ran his first marathon in St. George!!! He did so good! He amazes me with how effortless he's able to do things like this. He had never ran more than 13 miles and then he went and ran a marathon in 4 hours and 8 minutes. We spent the weekend in a condo with my brother Cory and his family which was a blast and visited Justin's Grandpa while we were down.

Good job honey!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Fake-out, this is not the post about kauai. This is the post to tell you to scroll down to see the post about Hawaii. Since I started the post but didn't publish it before the PIG FLU post, it doesn't show up that I updated my blog. Lame!!! And after a very very long time of trying to post the millions of pictures of Hawaii with our slow internet, you can imagine how mad I was when I saw that it didn't even show up as the latest blog. So now you know.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So I'm not dead.....which is good. Me and Justin just have been so sick lately. I'm in the process of posting pics from Hawaii (which was a month and a half ago!) and all the other joys that have been happening in our life since then but we have been sick. We're now better, but of course I haven't gotten around to posting yet. Just wanted to say we're alive and well! And hating that it's snowing today.....I love fall and there's just never enough of it in Utah.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So it's a little late, but here's all the pics from Kauai Hawaii!!!! We went for 6 days in September after getting an awesome deal that we just couldn't pass up.
What a stud! Isn't it beautiful?! This island was indeed lush, green and beautiful! It was a pretty small island so we were able to do pretty much everything in the 6 days we were there. I learned that the center of this island is the wettest place on the entire planet!
This was the beach right in front of our hotel. Amazing! (above and below)

One of out favorite things to do on vacation....EAT!!!! We ate at this restaurant a couple times and went to the most amazing breakfast places every morning and I would get their awesome sticky rice with an egg and chocolate chip pancakes with coconut syrup. Oh my gosh it was so good!
My sister Tera and her husband Steve came with us and we had a blast with them!!! They are so much fun!

There was a kayak place where we rented kayaks for a good portion of the day and kayaked to all these places off of this huge river. It was beautiful.

We saw this rope swing while kayaking and the boys had to stop and play for awhile.Kayaked to the "Fern Grotto" and took a little hike.

Does this fruit look familiar to anyone?
Justin looks a little off in this pic....
He was unsuccessful.

Waimea Canyon. The Grand Canyon of Hawaii. This was an awesome drive up the whole canyon.

This is supposed to be the best shaved ice on the island. Don't be fooled by the appearance. It is not your typical 'snow cone'. They shave the ice really fine and then add amazing fruit juices and put stuff on the bottom like coconut and custard and chocolate and these awesome beans. I know, sounds weird but it was so good!

We went out to this lighthouse.

Pretty much everywhere that was supposed to be the prime for snorkeling had these sort of waves crashing in. I guess the surf was high while we were there. So as of yet, Kona, the Big Island is still our favorite place to snorkel in Hawaii. We'll have to come back to Kauai to compare when the surf is low.

I love getting fresh fruit wherever we go! Here is coconut, starfruit and a Hawaiian apple.
We had to hike through this jungle for awhile before we reached the most awesome destination of our trip!
This waterfall! We came out and were on top of it, then if you walk along the top you come to this huge huge tree where they've put a rope swing. If you look closely, at the top of the pic in the middle you can see the bottom of a metal ladder that was like 20 feet tall to be able to get out of the little lake after you went off the rope swing.

We hiked across the top of the waterfall...figured out how to get the rope that was hanging far from our reach....
And swung out! This does not give justice to how far out you swung and how far up you were. It took me awhile before I got up the guts to swing.

This was Queen's Bath. We had to hike down through the jungle, and at the bottom was this sign. Also, in the book we had that told us about this place and how to get there had severe warnings on it about not standing on the rocks that the waves were even near because, as the sign states, unexpected waves can come crashing up and suck you out! Little did we know, we were about to witness a near drowning....

We hiked along these rocks for awhile. It was pretty much a rocky cliff off the side. We couldn't figure out where exactly the spot was because it was supposed to be a cool clear pool that was encircled with rocks where the waves would crash over and dump water in, but when the surf was low, the waves stayed out but the water stayed in and it was a cool place with fish and crystal clear water. I guess kinda like a really large tide pool that you could swim in. But it said if the surf was high, you might not be able to see it cause it would be covered. Anyway, we found it and swam, then started our way back.
This is what we thought it was at first, but it was not. This thing had so much power. It makes me appreciate the power of the ocean. The water would come crashing in, then get sucked back out with so much force.
This is when the water is being sucked out, then below is like 2 seconds later with the water crashing in. The water level would rise like 20 feet in 2 seconds.
So there were two local boys about 14 yrs old on our way back by the edge of this and they were wet! So Steve asked if they were actually jumping into this thing! They said yes, and Steve began to talk with them about 1: how crazy they were, but 2: that obviously they must be pretty good swimmers and how only locals should do something like that. While talking, the other boy who wasn't engaged in the talking, goes and jumps into this thing! You could see that to get out, when the water came gushing in and rose the water level you could grab or turn and sit on the rocks, then the water would suck out and you would be sitting on the rock and could then hurry and climb up the rocks. Well, this kid jumped in, we watched as the water rose, he grabbed the rock and turned to sit, but was a little bit too much in the water, so when the water started getting sucked back out, it sucked him off the rock back in the water. Try as he might, he could not get another grip. In the meantime, he kept getting sucked away from the walls, and when he was near the walls the water would slam him into the rocks. It was the most awful thing I think I have ever witnessed. We watched for a good minute or so. His friend was off a ways and at this point tourists were congregating to watch. We kept expecting this kid to make his way out cause he was a local and did this all the time but he did not. So Steve ran to the friend and asked if this was normal and the kid just shook his head and was all shocked and said, "No, he's screwed. I've never seen it like this."So Steve ran back, the kid fighting with everything he's got to swim to the walls but is staying in one spot cause the current underneath was so strong. We knew if anything, he was going to exhaust himself. The waves would crash in and we wouldn't see him for a few seconds and we'd think he drowned, but then his little head would pop up from the foam. My sister ran off to get a buoy that was at the end of the trail because we didn't know what else to do even though once we had it, there was no way we could throw it out to him, it was way too far. People were crying and I ran to the crowd and was yelling for a cell phone to call 911. No one's cell phone had bars, so I told Justin to get his. His barely had enough and he got through with enough service to tell them where we were at and that there was a swimmer being swept out and then no service. This whole thing lasted about 25 minutes. We figured this kid could not swim back to us and he went under like 20 times in the thrashing waves, so we were screaming for him to swim parallel to the rocks and out to this little rock island. As soon as he stopped swimming towards us and the rocks he was able to make some distance and got to the rock island. We were all so relieved that he was out of the water, and I kept expecting to see a helicopter come to save him, but instead a jet ski came and then 2 rescuers on foot had come down the trail to us. But it took another 5-7 minutes with the jet ski out trying to figure out how to get to him without them being taken out.
Here's the boy safely on the rocks, so we thought. The waves were crashing on the outside of the rocks for 5 minutes or so, then all of a sudden, a huge wave comes and devours the rock. We see parts of the boy being scraped against the rock, head over feet and when the water is clear he had been scraped all the way to the bottom right of the picture hanging on the rock. It was amazing. I have no idea how he clung on. We could see blood streaking down his back and he climbed back up and then laid on his stomach holding on while more waves came crashing over him, almost sweeping him back out.
The rescuers finally had their swimmer get off, and swim over to the rock, told him to jump in and when he did, the water was up, then he jumped and the water sucked out exposing all this rock he couldn't see when he jumped and he landed on all the rocks and crumbled into the water. They grabbed him and took him to the jet ski. I can't even begin to tell you how awful it was to witness this. I'm only writing about it cause he was saved. I probably wouldn't be able to if he had drowned, which we were all 95% sure was going to happen, but by some miracle didn't! That kid is lucky!
Back to a happier note, here's a cool beach!

This shows the beginning of the center of the island, the wettest place on earth! This was part of the drive to a tubing excursion that went through all these tunnels and such. The guides were absolutely hilarious and it was well worth the money!We got to wear these sexy hats with lights and rubber gloves so we wouldn't bang our heads or scratch our hands on the rock tunnel walls.

I just think this picture is so funny. Steve was taking pictures before we were ready and I have no idea what Justin is doing or trying to do, but it ended up with him looking like he's concentrating real hard to do something cool and I'm looking with great intent.

Shipwreck beach. We were on our way up to that cliff.On the cliff. This was a lot higher than it looks!

We ended our trip with this gorgeous view and sunset with a few locals. Those are two Hawaiian islands in the distance, the ones that tourists aren't allowed on. This was such an awesome trip. I definitely recommend going to Kauai!!!