Archive for the ‘Rocketman’ Category

Thankful Thursday!

January 31, 2013

I am so thankful for Rocketman and his love of photography.  I’m a “Point and Shoot” kinda gal.  Rocketman on the other hand loves a camera where you have to think before you shoot.  Things like lighting, f stops (no idea what that is) and then the software that goes with it all just puts a little boy grin on his face.  He loves that there is always something new to learn and always will be.

              These pictures were taken looking out our window into our crab apple tree.

And to think that his sight came very close to being completely taken away due to a detached retina in each eye.

                                                          His eyesight is far from perfect.

      But he never ceases to amaze me how with his imperfect eyesight, he takes such perfect photos.

Mayo Clinic

December 29, 2010


Last week we headed down to Mayo Clinic to have their retina specialists look at Rocketman’s eyes. We were thrilled to get a call saying that they wanted to see him. We drove down from the Twin Cities which only took about an hour and a half from our house.

I booked the hotel using Priceline and the only complaint was that they air conditioner would cycle on along with the heat. The unit was also very noisy. We had lunch with a friend of mine who is also a designer and her engineer husband (see the similarities?).

We arrived for Rocketman’s appointment and first had to register. It reminded us of bank tellers lined up. There were about 20 windows and you waited for someone to holler for you as you waited in line. It went very quickly.


As we made our way to the opthamology building, we saw this gorgeous art hanging from the ceiling.


I’m pretty sure it is made of glass. I was surprised at all the fine art I saw at Mayo. We made our way to the right area and checked in. We were told to take red seats. Names were called and patients made their way back.
Finally, Rocketman’s name was called. We went back to a room where the gal asked lots of questions. She put dilating drops into Rocketman’s eyes and said to wait again in the wait area and someone would call him for photography. I was to wait since there would be no room for me.
He was called back pretty quickly and while he was gone I took out some maedeup to do. It’s always fun to see people watching me work and I had a few that asked what I was doing. There were a lot of patients who had macular degeneration and who came every few months for a shot in their eye. It is a revolutionary procedure that slows the macular degeneration and preserves the sight.
When Rocketman came out, he had that dazed look and I knew something unpleasant had happened. He said they put an IV in him with a dye (which he has had before) but the girl taking the pictures was new and being trained and she took forever to take and retake pictures. He was getting nauseous from the lights.
It wasn’t much longer when they called us back to meet with the doctor. She came in and said that she was going to take a few minutes to look at his pictures and read his history. She couldn’t seem to get it straight that multiple things had happened to both eyes. So kept thinking it all occurred on one eye. She said that we were there to consult on his swelling in one of his eyes which we knew would incur from the latest surgery.
We told her no, we were there for a second opinion on his eyesight. He has a lot of distortion in both eyes and we were hoping for some good news. She didn’t pull any punches and said that he was lucky to have the sight he had considering what had happened. He would forever have to accept this distortion. The eye with the latest surgery may still get better since it takes a year for the eye to heal.
As she did her examination, apparently the chin rest was jiggling a little. She got REALLY upset and told Rocketman to hold onto the grips on either side of the chin rest, like a periscope. Rocketman has been in this position hundreds of times and it wasn’t his fault it was jiggly but it made him feel bad.
She then wanted to start him on a new antibiotic drop but asked if he wanted to take it. Um, what would you recommend since you are the doctor. She said it was up to him so he decided to take it.

We left feeling a little confused and disappointed. I guess we had our hopes up that Mayo would be the savior of his sight and now we know that isn’t the case. I also thought that she could have had better bedside manner but it seems to be the norm these days with specialty doctors. It isn’t right but it is what it is.
We drove down to Rockford to spend Christmas with the folks and had a grand time.

The Sixth Times The Charm

November 17, 2010


Yesterday Rocketman had his sixth eye surgery, the third in his left eye if anyone is keeping track. The surgery was scheduled for 4 in the afternoon and he was not allowed to eat after midnight even though his surgery was late in the day. That was the hardest part for him.

This is the beeper they give you and when it goes off you know he is done. Since it was so late in the day, the place was pretty much deserted. I brought maedeup to work on and some of the staff had questions about what I was doing.


This is the back of the beeper. I had never read it before. I wish I could put a sign on Rocketman that said that.


The surgery lasted only 24 minutes and he was in recovery for about 15 minutes. Everything looked really good so we left. Unfortunately we were in Minneapolis and it was rush hour but we got through it pretty quickly.

Today is his post op and we don’t anticipate much from it. It will take time for his eye to heal. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes. It means the world to us!

When It Snows

November 14, 2010

This is one of my favorite holiday songs and it’s by Minnesota group “The Blenders.” The snow is now down to some flurries. It took Rocketman two passes to completely snow blow our driveway.

A busy week coming up. On Tuesday, Rocketman goes under the knife for a final eye surgery to laser and clean up scar tissue. After that it will be a long waiting game to see if his vision improves. It’s been a long journey. His surgery is scheduled for 4:00pm and the poor man can not eat the entire day until after the surgery.

I also have my final knitting class that night but I told them I may not be there or I may be late. I’m not worried about it. We will make sure they do not give Rocketman any cranberry juice after his surgery and I will also be bring a barf bag for the car just in case.

Promotion!

September 23, 2010

Rocketman was given a promotion last month. It was something that he had worked very hard for but with the tough times in the economy, it didn’t look like it would ever be. He’s now officially a T5. I’m not really sure what that means but his title is different and he’s suppose to get his own office. The only problem is that there are no offices available right now so he is on a wait list. He was a little bummed about the office situation but I told him that just being recognized for all your hard work is pretty wonderful in itself. And besides, he’s in Asia a lot anyway.

Tradition calls for you to bring in donuts or bagels for promotions. Rocketman has been working at this company for 30 years and it’s always been that way. But you know I don’t always like to go with tradition so I got it into my head that I would make an assortment of our favorite treats. Now you know that I’m not known for being the best cook but I have made these recipes zillions of times so I was very confident and excited to do this.

That is until he told me that it would have feed over 100 people. That set me back a little trying to decide how many different kinds of treats to make and figuring how much people would eat. Did I ever tell you that I’m bad at math too. But I figured if it’s chocolate and sugar, it would all go.

So I settled on the following and I doubled the recipes:


Fantasy fudge and not the one on the jar of the Marshmallow Fluff. They changed the recipe but I found the old one online.

These are my favorite cookies and also my daughter’s. They are called Oatmeal Rounds and you can find the recipe in your Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. Although mine never are round but they still are delicious.


Next was a new recipe from the Internet. I had made these peanut butter cup cookies once before and everyone had loved them especially Rocketman. He told me to never make them again meaning that “I can’t stop eating them.”
I forgot to take a picture of the Special K Bars, another longtime family favorite. The hardest part about these bar is cutting them. It wears me out and I have to take a rest. Here is that recipe:
Special K Bars
6 cups Special K cereal
1 cup Karo white syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 package of butterscotch chips
1/2 package of chocolate chips or 1 small bag
Place Special K in large bowl. Set aside. Bring syrup and sugar to a full boil; remove from heat and add peanut butter. Mix well and pour over Special K. Mix together and pat out into a small
jelly roll pan (9″ x 13″ x 1/2″). Cover the mixture with a sheet of wax paper to help even out. Use a rolling pin to make even.
Melt butterscotch chips and chocolate chips in a double boiler. When melted, spread over mixture. Put into refrigerator to harden. To cut, remove from refrigerator and let it get to room temperature.
I also made my Salted Nut Rolls. These are time intensive but taste just like the real thing and is one of Rocketman’s favorites.

Salted Nut Rolls

1 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme
17 ounces caramels ( I use Kraft)
1 pound salted peanuts, chopped
2 ΒΌ cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons water

Knead marshmallow creme and powdered sugar together until smooth and pliable. Shape into small fingers. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze. Melt caramels with the water until smooth. Dip frozen marshmallow fingers into caramel and roll into chopped peanuts using a fork. Wrap in saran wrap individually and refrigerate.

As you can see I was very busy for a few days and forgot to take pictures of everything. I had everything done and wrapped up when Rocketman said, “Didn’t I tell you that I need to put treats in THREE different areas.” WHAT!!! So I ran out to the Dollar Store to get serving trays and divided everything evenly into three’s. He felt pretty bad for not telling me about that. But it all turned out great in the end.

He brought everything to work the next day and set it up in the three different areas. He said everyone was so surprised to have treats instead of donuts. It went over really well and he even heard that one of the big wigs said that he should promote Curt more often. But one of the biggest compliments to me was when several co-workers asked for recipes. I loved that but even more than that I loved the appreciation in Rocketman’s eyes.

Rocketman Down!

July 17, 2010


Thursday was the day of Rocketman’s cataract surgery. This was his 5th eye surgery in the last year so we were relaxed and ready to get it over with. His surgery was for 8:00am and we were to arrive at 7:00am.

They took him back and I got out my maedeup to do while he was in surgery. He said that they didn’t wheel him into surgery until 8:30. He noticed his heart rate was 48 which is on the low side. He was a little irritated and anxious for it to be over.

This time they gave him a new drop just before surgery that really stung. The surgery took about 10 minutes and he was back in recovery sitting up and eating a cookie with some cranberry juice.

When I came back to see him, he looked great and was finishing his food. They gave us the post-surgical instructions and we walked out the clinic to our car. Rocketman was acting totally normal and everything was fine.

We got about halfway home when he started to complain he was getting really nauseous. I had the air conditioning on (it was in the 90’s) and I asked him if we should open the windows and maybe the blowing air would help.

He never responded and when I looked at him, he was unconscious and twitching. I didn’t see him breathing but I had only looked at him about 3-5 seconds. Totally panicked, I pulled over in the left hand turn lane of the major highway(Highway 61) we were on. Traffic was horrible since it was down to one lane due to road construction.

My purse was in the backseat. I jumped out of the car, tears spilling all over the place, and dug into my purse trying to find my cell phone. I found it and dialed 9-1-1. The dispatcher got on and I told her my husband wasn’t breathing. She asked where I was and I could on get out that I was on Highway 61. She wanted to know what type of car I was driving. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t seem to process anything she was asking.

She told me to calm down and I told her I couldn’t. I finally was able to tell her the cross street ( Country Road E). I was sitting in the driver’s seat seeing Rocketman in what I thought at the time was a seizure. The police arrived and Rocketman woke up wondering what was going on. He had no idea what had happened. He threw up on himself and out the door where a police officer stood.

I told him with tears streaming down my face what had happened. He was surprised but felt fine and wanted to go home. The ambulance came and the paramedic told him that he should go to the hospital. He was able to walk to the ambulance and the paramedic told me to drive to the hospital and wait for them.

I got to the hospital and called my mom and my sisters telling them what had happened. It was about 10 minutes before the ambulance got there and I went around to meet it at the ambulance entrance. I knew if I walked into the emergency room entrance, I would have to fill out paperwork and who knew when I could get into the ER.

The ambulance driver wasn’t too thrilled to see me there but I didn’t care. The paramedic told me that they had had to stop for a bit because Rocketman had become so sick. They wheeled him into the same emergency room where he had had his kidney stones years before and put him into a room.

Tears still streaming down my face, someone came and asked me to come with them to fill out some forms. I was brought to the emergency room entrance and given a form to fill out. I don’t know what happened to my mind. I couldn’t fill out anything. They asked his name, I couldn’t spell our last name. What was wrong? I couldn’t spell seizure. I ended up giving them our insurance card and they were able to get the information they needed. I was escorted back into the emergency room to Rocketman.


He was hooked up to monitors and had an IV of saline solution going. They took him to CT to get his head scanned. The ER doctor came in and I told him what had happened. He called the clinic to see what they had given Rocketman for anesthesia. The ER doctor ordered blood workup and said that he would probably be admitted overnight for observation.

He was put into a room pretty quickly and by now it was lunchtime. He was hungry and they brought him a lunch. He was more worried about me than himself during this whole fiasco. They ordered more tests: EEG and an echo cardiogram.

We were visited by a neurologist who asked a ton of questions and thought that Rocketman had had a vasovagal episode but he would wait for the test results to confirm. He said the tensing and twitching I saw was his body reacting to the drop in heart rate and blood pressure. I had seen people faint before but I had never seen the clenching that Rocketman had done.


My best friend, Lynn, who is also a nurse, got off of work early and came to check on us. We were suppose to go out that night but then this had happened. Rocketman convinced her to get me out of there and so I followed Lynn to her house. I spend a few hours trying to understand what had happened and why I had become so hysterical. I had never reacted that way in all the trips to the ER with our kids over the years. I think it was because I thought his heart had stopped. It also didn’t help that I was on a major highway in a construction zone.


We learned a new word while at the hospital: Hospitalist. They told us that doctors don’t like to do hospital rounds these days so the hospitalist is in place of your primary doctor who used to do hospital rounds. He then contacts your primary doctor.
We had a wonderful nurse, not! He didn’t make a lot of sense and English wasn’t his first language. Rocketman spent the night being woken every 2 hours for vitals and was ready to leave in the morning. I got there about 8 am and it was funny that we were left alone pretty much the whole morning.
Lunch came and Rocketman ate. Then about 1:30 pm, Larry would had also been Rocketman’s second shift nurse came in and said that Rocketman’s orders to be released had come in at 8:00am and that he hadn’t looked in Rocketman’s binder. So sorry. He brought this up several times and thought it was funny.
We finally got out of there at 2:00 pm and we were glad the ordeal was over. The consensus is that the stinging eye drop they gave Rocketman was the beginning, the low heart rate contributed along with the surgery. It was also determined that the clinic let him go way too soon after surgery. Then the car ride home where the nausea set it was the final straw and out he went.

I’m glad Rocketman is going to be ok and we even got this souvenir from the ambulance ride. It’s a cool barf bag. I hope this is the end of the adventures for a while. Rocketman has been through enough!
We were able to make his 1 day post op appointment where he had the surgery. The doctor was pretty angry that they had let us go so soon too.