Saturday, December 29, 2012

EVLT with a Side of Plebectomy

Endovenous Laser Treatment. The name alone doesn't sound very menacing. I think the word "treatment" is what makes it deceiving. Treatment is sort of vague. What it means is shoving a catheter up your leg and burning the vein. There aren't even any real lasers. It's just heat. So lame. Pheblectomy is French for pulling your veins like a puppet master and ripping those suckers out.

I've had varicose veins for over a decade. They started when I was pregnant with my daughter and became progressively worse over time. I finally worked up the nerve to ask my primary doc about them. He told me surgery was a waste of time and money. Wear tight leggings or pantyhose, lose weight, exercise, drink more water, and you'll see improvements. Down 50 pounds and in the best shape of my life and wouldn't ya know? The veins are worse. Bummer. I figured I'd be stuck wearing pants for the rest of my life only wearing shorts when I exercise.

Last May, I visited a dermatologist for a skin check. The appointment went very well and nothing needed to be biopsied. Woot! As she was finishing, she asked if my varicose veins gave me trouble. "A ton." She referred me to colleague whom she said is the best, and she would visit if she had varicose veins. What could it hurt? It's worth a copay to see what the doc says.

At the initial visit, the doc comes in to go over a few things. He thinks that, there is a chance insurance will cover the procedure, but I will have to wear a compression stocking for 12 weeks and get an ultrasound to have any chance at approval. At the ultrasound, I found out my vein was 8-9 times the size of a normal vein! Yikes!

A couple of weeks later I get a statement from the insurance company. They were declining coverage stating it wasn't necessary. I was heartbroken to say the least. A week later, I get a call from the doc's office asking if I still wanted to schedule the surgery. I politely said no. I had received the letter, and we couldn't afford the surgery out of pocket at this time. "But they are going to cover it." Say whaaaaaa? Apparently, the office submitted the rest of the paperwork, and I had been approved but I hadn't received that notice. I. Was. Floored. I actually got the notice in the mail that very same day. I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, and I had just gotten my golden ticket.

Would you like to see a couple photos?? Huh? Would ya?!? They aren't too gruesome. Mostly bruising. The cuts, 22 of them, are all very small. The largest only required three sutures.

morning of surgery

day after surgery

three days after

I'll post photos further down the road. I'm really, REALLY looking forward to no more leg pain. Yeah, they were ugly veins, but they made my leg hurt all the time. I hope this surgery was worth it. If someone was dong ths surgery purely for cosmetic reasons, I'd tell them it's not worth the pain. It's been a rough couple of days. It's my fault. I should have not gone to work the day after. Or hosted family Christmas the next evening. But I'm stubborn and everything has turned out ok. So far.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This is my current status. Yes. Those are frozen peas. They make wonderful, cheap, safe ice packs, in case you were wondering. I'm recovering from EVLT or ELVT or LMNOP. Basically, I had one big vein cooked and several smaller ones yanked from my body. Seriously. The doc pulled and pulled and PULLED. It had to be one of the oddest experiences ever. Well, that and him commenting on my underpants. Batman, for the two of you wondering. I'm a nerd and love comic book movies. I needed some britches that covered my stuff and that weren't trashy. Zebra, cheetah and lace were just not going to cut it. Apparently, the doc's a nerd like me. Nerds of a feather, flock together? Or something. Any who, back to the weird feeling. Imagine a puppet pulling on strings inside your body. Just. Like. That. It wasn't too painful at first thanks to local anesthetic. I'm starting to feel it now, a couple hours post surgery.

I titled this post Priorities for a reason. I started this blog as a diary to keep track of events in the life of my family. Somewhere along the way, I forgot why I was doing this. It became about views and what readers (if I had any) thought. This blog isn't about any of that. It's about memories, mostly. Yes. I have photos. Lots of photos. Girl sure does take some photos. But the photos don't capture it all. They leave out the silly things the kids say or how I felt when I accomplished something I thought I couldn't. That's what this blog is for. To relive the past. To remember. Because we all know, I'm not getting any younger and my memory isn't getting any better.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Laughing Plastic

Would you or wouldn't you? Today's topic: plastic surgery.

I would get plastic surgery. I'm going under the assumption that tummy tuck and breast lift are considered plastic surgery although not what one typically thinks of when they hear the term.

Before you go all ape crazy on me, let me explain myself. I've had three kids. My weight has yo yo'd between 150-240. Over the past year, I have manage to lose 30 pounds and keep it off. My body has changed incredibly in that time. I love the way my legs and arms have toned up and trimmed down. I have noticed two problem areas that aren't seeing much improvement. I'm actually very self conscious about these issues.

First up, my fat flap. I have a lot of extra skin around my lower stomach. This isn't a little pooch I'm referring to. This is excess skin that hangs. It disgusts me. I know Mr. 'man Clan and I are the only ones who see this but it makes me so uncomfortable. I've upped my ab work outs in hopes of firming the area up but I'm not seeing much improvement. I'm going to continue the core work because it's great for running. It would be nice to seem some positive results. I wouldn't be opposed to a tummy tuck. I'm not looking for rock hard abs. I'm just looking for my clothes to fit nicely and not look all squishy in the midsection.

Secondly, my breasts are saggy and flat. I've lost 3 cup sizes and this is heartbreaking to me. I know this sounds crazy because most women are happy to lose their breasts. I am not one of those women. I don't really know what I would need to bring the ladies back where they need to be. Definitely a lift would be in order and possibly a small implant.

With all that being said, these aren't issues that I obsess over. I'm not depressed. I just deal with it. No big deal. I'd never do anything to my face. That's me. I don't want to look in a mirror and not recognize the person staring back at me. I am incredibly frugal so I really don't see myself spending thousands of dollars on something for myself. Now, if I won the lottery or inherited gobs of money, then I'd definitely get the plastic surgery. :o)

So, tell me. Would you ever have plastic surgery??

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Arps and Craps

I know what you're thinking. She's lost her mind. Arps and Craps?? Many, many, many years ago Grace called it arps and craps instead of arts and crafts. Kids are so silly.

Are you familiar with Pinterest? If you aren't, you should be. It's AMAZING!!!! In the simplest since, it's a place where you bookmark stuff and other's can see it. Anything you can think of is on Pinterest: crafts, clothing, hair cuts, recipes. You name it. It's probably there.

I saw a few pins floating around utilizing picture frames as dry erase boards. Genius!! I decided to make a couple of chore/note boards for the kids and a menu board for the kitchen. These were absolutely free. I found digital scrapbook paper that I downloaded and printed out. For the menu board, I uploaded the paper to Photoshop and added the days of the week. Super easy and super cute.

I'm not thrilled about the gloss paint but it's all I had at the time. I may go back at a later date with a satin or flat. The gloss just isn't doing it for me. The kids really loved their boards. Tater already erased the "act like clowns." Silly kiddo.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Baileys' Range

Recently, some lady friends and I grabbed lunch at Baileys' Range. The original plan was to grab brunch at Rooster. Rooster is extremely popular and had an hour wait. Boooooo. I was so looking forward to this! Oh, well. Just means I'll have to try again. I really would like to go with Mr. 'man Clan. I don't think I'll have a hard time convincing him to go. We love breakfast foods.

Baileys' Range had a great atmosphere. We were seated on the upper level which was very cool. You have a view of the city from the huge windows. Baileys' Range is a burger and shake joint. Not a terrible thing because burgers and shakes go VERY well together.

I decided to splurge a tiny bit and get a small shake. They have a nice little selection to choose from and I had a hard time choosing. I ended up going with the salted caramel.
Looks sweet, right?? I'm up in the air as far as the shake goes. The taste was fabulous. The shake was a little on the thin side and I prefer mine a little thicker. It was a nice size for a small. Left me satisfied but not sick to my stomach.

For the burger, I ordered the Ozark on the pretzel roll. The roll was a $1 up charge but well worth it. I love pretzel rolls. I did scoop out a bit of the insides of the roll to cut calories and have a better change at fitting the burger in my mouth.

(Sorry about the orientation of the photo. Blogger keeps turning it and it's driving me crazy!!)
The Ozark is a beef patty with crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions and black peppered goat cheese. I ordered mine medium well and I'm glad I did. It was perfect. The flavor was amazing. It definitely did not disappoint. Since I splurged with the shake, I chose to not opt for any sides, but the fries sure looked tasty.

I will be a repeat customer. I love burgers and would rather eat one out then make one at home. Baileys' Range hit the spot. I think Mr. 'man Clan will really like this little burger joint as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Image from Ecumenical Church Communities

I grew up in a Catholic household. Attended Catholic school. The whole shebang. As an adult, I have distanced myself from the Catholic church but not from God. I'm not sure if Lent is celebrated in other denominations as I haven't attended any. I've been dealing with a lot of issues lately. Some will be blog posts and others are better kept private. It took these circumstances to bring me back to God. I've been praying more in search of peace. I decided with the Lenten season upon us, it would be a perfect time for me to make some changes.

Letting Go
I have decided to give up chocolate for Lent. Say WHA?!?!?! I know. Shocker. I was going to say donuts, but then I realized I haven't eaten a donut in nearly 2 weeks, so giving them up was going to be too easy. Chocolate will not be so easy.

I will also be giving up social media daily from the hours of 5pm-8pm and the entire day on Sunday. These are prime family time opportunities that I am missing out on. I'll put the phone down and focus on what is really important.

During Lent, we will also cut back on eating at restaurants. We need to save money and lose weight and this is a great way to start. Mr. 'man Clan has definitely committed to no eating out in March. I think we can extend that to include all of Lent. We may allow exceptions such as date night or guy night or girl night. We have to discuss the exact details.

The Beginning
I'm also challenging myself to do things this Lent and not just fast. I am vowing to give my husband a compliment every day. I'm not sure if I'll tweet it or post it on FB. I'll discuss that with him as well.

This Lent I am going to pray a minimum of three times a day. This shouldn't be too hard. I find several moments of down time and prayer is a great way to fill that.

The final Lenten challenge is to attend church once a week. We don't have a church currently that we call home. We have one that we have attended a couple times and it's a good fit but it's a little bit of a drive for us. There is a local church we are going to try out this weekend. I'm excited about visiting. I pray it's a good fit.

There you have it. My little Lenten challenge to prepare myself for Easter. Did you make any Lenten promises?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tink, Tink, Tink, Tink

Isn't that an odd thing? It appears I haven't blogged since November. NOVEMBER??!?!?! Where has the time gone? Let me fill you in the happenings of the 'man Clan for the last few months:

-- Holiday/birthday season has come and gone. From November-January, celebrate 9 birthdays in our family including the grandparents. We are some busy people this time of year. And broke as a joke. We typically don't do big birthday parties because A.) The kids' birthdays are 11/16, 12/17 and 1/11. Trying to get family and friends together around this time is mind numbing. B.) It costs a lot of dough to throw a party. Even at home parties grow out of control.

-- Mr. 'man Clan has been quite the travelling man. He's been flying all over for work. He's doing things ranging from training to running other centers in other states. Quite the fancy pants on our hands!! All kidding aside, I am very proud of all he has accomplished in just a year with this company.

-- WE MOVED!!!! We were able to move over the period of a month which made things so much easier for me mentally. We moved the last of the stuff the week before Christmas. Yes. I know. We are crazy. Mr. 'man Clan was gone for half the month and it was the only time we had. I think I did a pretty darn good job of getting most of the small stuff moved by myself. I disassembled a bunk bed SOLO!!! I managed to not lose any pieces! The Mister was very surprised with all of the work I accomplished while he was gone. Why was this easier? I was able to unload boxes as soon as I dropped them off at the new house. It made for much less chaos on the final moving days.

-- We had a Christmas get together with Mr. 'man Clan's family. Yes. We are that crazy. We had a family even at our house the week after moving. If you think about it, it's king of brilliant. My house will never be as clean as it was that day and it didn't have to do any excessive cleaning because we weren't there long enough to make it icky!!

--Grace and Tater moved schools. I was very upset about having them switch mid year but they were ecstatic. Grace attended this school some years ago so she still has friends who also attend. They are doing great.

-- Crash is crash. He is doing very well in preschool. We have stopped speech. I spoke to his therapist about our moving out of district and possibly enrolling him in speech in the new district. She really felt that he had progressed so well in the short time he was there that he didn't need any more sessions. He still has another full year of preschool ahead of him. If we see a decline, then we can take action at that point. Saying good bye to his speech therapist was so hard. She gave us something amazing. She gave us the ability to communicate with our son. I can never express how appreciative I am for this.

-- Tater made a select baseball team. This was a crazy deal. Tater had played two seasons for a coach that.........was a nice guy but not the greatest coach. Tater had fallen out of love with the sport which broke my heart. Tater's dad heard about a coach that would have two teams: a select team and a house team. One of the coaches invited Tater to come to a practice to see what he thought. If he liked it, we could sign him up for the house team. We went to the practice and the kid played his heart out. I couldn't believe how well he did. Later that evening, his dad received a text from one of the coaches asking him to play on the select team! I am so proud of him!

-- Grace is in choir at her new school. She didn't want to continue band and that's ok with me. I don't want to push my children to do something if their heart isn't in it. When she left in the second grade, she was part of a gifted program. We were very surprised to hear that should we get to go back into the program upon returning! Her teacher is also trying to place her in the advanced math classes. She wasn't sure on the capacity of the class and it being late in the year. Grace is also doing Girls on the Run this semester. I was so shocked when she expressed an interest in doing it. I am going to help out as well. It will be nice to spend time with my not so little girl. Oh! She has a science project that was selected to be entered into the local science fair! I'm so proud of her and her hard work!

--I haven't been doing much of anything, well, aside from taking care of the house and family that is. I haven't been running much which is very hard for me to even talk about. I thought I had injured my quad. I took some time off, but the problem returned. After doing some research, I figure out that it was not my quad but my IT band that was the issue. I have been rehabbing and resting like a son of a gun. I just went on my first run Saturday and things felt pretty good. I'm going to ease back in. I'll start with just 2 days a week for now a couple of weeks and work my way back up to 4 days. I debated on what the best approach would be, and I think this will work nicely. I'm not happy with it, but I think it's what will be best in the long run. Speaking of long run: I SIGNED UP TO RUN MY FIRST MARATHON THIS OCTOBER!!!! Now, you can understand my caution with easing back in. I am going to make sure to finish that 26.2.

Whew! That was a lengthy recap. Sorry to bog you down with all that, but glad it's out of the way. I'm really, REALLY going to try hard to posting on a regular basis.

Until next time!!