Thursday, October 2, 2014

Analyze This

In short, all is well.

Texas- Texas is frustrating, annoying, too hot, too many bugs, too far from home, full of insane-crazy drivers, NOT a cheaper state to live in, and Perfect! (for now)

Texas Weather, boring but important- North Texas had an all time shortage of rainfall for September...not a big deal for me since the summer marked the coolest in a hundred years. But when it does rain here I LOVE IT! I run outside, raise my arms to the heavens and squeal (pretty much imagine that moment in The Sound of Music when Lisal gets kissed for the first time). I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but in Oregon thunder and lightening are rare, like only a couple times a year PLUS the rain here is so warm so standing/dancing/prancing in it for as long as the storm lasts doesn't result in chills. I don't understand why all my neighbors aren't outside twirling with me instead of shaking their heads from behind their kitchen windows. =)

Work- Work is work. My job is like any job; there are days that I feel awesome and proud of my ingenuity and ingeniousness ;) and other days I feel like that one mumbly-stapler-guy in Office Space when he's all like, "I'm gonna burn this place down." Really, the annoyances are all from the highly anal apparel managers who are so stuck on following corporate they would rather have our section look like crap than have me...I don't know a MERCHANDISER-merchandise so stuff looks great and sells! I understand it's truly not personal.

I know I've mentioned this before but dang it the best part of my job is putting on my iPod and listening to whatever. I listen to books, podcasts and lots of old conferences. Listening to conferences has been wonderful, yes wonderful! When I was young I remember my mom always saying how much she loved conference and I did NOT get it, ahhh it was tough! But now I honestly look forward to it and feel so enriched, as in my heart fills full of gratitude. like a glass of water for everything our Heavenly Father provides to all my trials designed specifically for me.

Trials- Trial #1. Since arriving in Texas I have had three prescription changes, none have been smooth. Not too mention several times of missed dosages causing bad days of icky. At present I'm on a new regiment and it seems to be a good combination (fingers crossed).

Trial #2- I believe I mentioned in May I had started a completely new therapy for my back and neck called spinal decompression. The process was 20 sessions of being stretched in my cervical spinal neck and 20 sessions on my lumber, that's it. About 80% of the way through my treatments I was feeling pretty good. I would say my back was 50% better and my neck treatments were really making a difference in range of motion and the constant achy pain was lightened. However, a very weird and new-to-me thing happened.

After an extra hard week of work I woke up in the middle of the night to my right-side sciatica throbbing and by morning my foot was numb and my calf my swollen. I went into the office for my 4-times-a-week treatment and my back went out during the lumber treatment. IT WAS BAD. The worse part was the doctor wasn't in the office that week, it was just the nurse and office manager doing the best they could. I was out of commission for the rest of the day and by morning I was better or I thought, still completely numb and swollen but my back was better BUT when I went in for another treatment. I couldn't get off the table. I was in absolutely so much pain. Getting off that table was one of my top most personal painful experiences. The nurse tried the TENS unit to help but it didn't. I don't understand HOW I got to my car nor why the nurse let me try walking to my car at all!? I could barely move a few inches at a time. THANKFULLY Tom was home from work that day and met me at my car when I pulled up home. (I think he used a shovel to get me out ;)

Fast forward 10 weeks, ~$4000 poorer, ultrasound and an MRI later I still have numbness though very little now. I am seeing a new doctor. (Oh and for the record, I think my spinal depression doctor was one of the most wonderful, Christ-like people I've met. I think the therapy is successful for many reasons and not good in a few.) Anyway, the latest is this: The new chiropractor does a specific kind of injections similar to getting an epidural. I met with him Monday to go over the MRI's. My neck has severe degeneration in a couple disks along with a tear and only really bad degeneration in my L3 and L4lumber along with a bulging/oozing disk in L-5 pushing on my nerves causing that numbness/swelling. Treatment? Arrive at doctors' office with prescription valium and pain killer, get epidural-like injections every 2 weeks and not cervical and lumber on the same day. The new chiropractor said he thinks this will be the fix for now and we won't have to look at surgery yet. ??? I have no idea what that even means. What surgery? What kind? Who? He told me I should not lift anything heavy EVER again, no matter what. ummm okayyyyy.....

Deep Thoughts- I've known forever I am a home-body. I've known forever I do NOT like change nor trying "new things". I am contented with my circle of friends and even though there is great distance in ever direction with all of them I still feel close and talk regularly. What I didn't know was the extent to my introversion. When I was younger and in the singles' ward, etc I was definitely more life-of-the-party and really I was "my other Jessica". Heck, even when I get cabin-fever bad and need to get out by the time I've arrived at the mall or grocery store I'm usually ready to get home again. I've been trying to figure out what I even like doing because for the most part I don't care for lots of things;
Crafts- I'm not crafty. I don't care to make things unless I'm making them for other people. I think I like home decor when I buy it (snobbish? Probably).
Sewing- nope, still can't even think about going there.
Reading- I have to be in the right mood. And that mood is usually every few years.
Operas/Musicals- The problem with them is the singing.
Writing- I enjoy writing but finding or making the time AND being in the right mood is a rough combination.
Shopping- I DO like going shopping. I'm happiest when I don't feel rushed in the least so going by myself or with Tom especially when he's extra patient AND I have money AND not feeling guilty spending the money on me.
Baking- I enjoy cooking and baking but it's not always fun when I can't eat what I'm making without all-night repercussions!
Outdoors- eww. Why?
Movies- I love movies and movie watching it just doesn't happen very often now but sitting back and getting super emotionally entranced in an action or drama is fun.
Yard Work- I DO like yard work dang it. With "no more lifting EVER again", that's kinda hard to do but I feel successful is making things pretty and colorful.
Day-Dream- I day dream a lot! I so look forward to the day when Tom and I can be huge givers. We definitely do what we can now but I desire to do so much.

It's crazy before these last 7 months in Texas, time was something I had too much of and I felt stir-crazy and anxious just about every minute of every day. Now time is scarce and so any time not spent on work and basic health & hygiene I'm usually mentally walking in circles trying to figure out WHAT the heck to do to feel creative until I come to the question of, Do I even WANT to be creative?? I feel like I am creative already and doing some "thing" isn't the void I'm feel needs to be filled. So what void isn't being filled? hmm well one thing that keeps popping in my head is painting and I've been putting it off for 9 months, 9 months!!! It's only acrylic painting. If I don't like it I can keep painting over and over it until I do like it. I think I'm afraid to even make something that I don't even like and criticize...I might need help with figuring that out and getting past the scared of being disappointed again wanting to make something I like and it DOESN'T turn out.

Tom- Tom is a rock. He plays substitute Apple store manager often and they love him because well he's Tom and Mr. Lithium, Mr. Calm, Mr. Professional, Mr. Great with people, etc.. He's taking Calculus 3 which is weird b/c he took Cal 4 a year ago. His homework looks like alien crop-circles. I think he'll get residency in June '15 and the plan is full time though I have no idea how. We talk college, more babies, our killing of debt, etc often, heck I feel like I bring up all three at least once a day. Verdict? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming and hoping Heavenly Father helps us know the answers.

Benny-Boop -Ben is three and has been 3 since he was 18 months old! I haven't started potty training because he's not ready though I think starting some attempts would be good. It's funny when other parents seem to throw potty training in your face like "oh my kid was potty trained by 13 months!" It's like okay is that the reason you asked me how he was doing just so you could boast that? Okay, thanks. Every kid is different and believe me if I could stop buying diapers and wipes I'd look it! I WILL admit to being a little scared of all the, "I gotta go potty now!" moments when it's so inconvenient; THAT'S when I'll miss diapers the most! Ben, like many 3 year olds is pretty head-strong. He learned the phrase, "Go Away!" a couple months ago and I really mislike it. When he gets mad, even if what he's mad has nothing to do with me he'll still say, "GO AWAY MOM". I try to not take it personal. On a nicer side, Ben LOVES babies. It's so flipping sweet to see him be gentle with infants and toddlers. It makes my heart swell and I know he's going to be a great big brother some day! I love my Benjamin, it really is SO true how much you continuously expand your love, concern, attention for, and care for your kid(s)!

Keegan, Ben, Jackson

Cassi & Benny

Finding a soft spot to play on the iPod

Nature is slimy

Grandpa Clark came to visit

Fourth of July

Museum with Daddy

Lots and lots of water parks

Cassi does a GREAT job taking photos!

Keegan, Jackson, Ben

Keegan & Ben- best friends, worse enemies (depends on the minute)

At Six Flags

Cassi enjoying the ride!

Riding a horse at the Dallas Zoo

Cooling off in the fridge while Cassi was cleaning it out (Ben's feet got super scraped up while pushing a tricycle without shoes and then skidding on the tops of his feet at least a couple feet. He still has scars)

Ben turns 3!!!


This kid LOVES McDonald's french a LOT