Friday, February 5, 2016

24 Years Ago.

Dr. Donna Johnson and T.
Previously I had written a blogpost about spending more time focusing on reaching out to the people who made a difference in my life and let them know, rather than focus on what I considered the pity portion pig swill of my brain. I was recently going through photographs of T when he was first born and I was thinking about my OB/Gyn, Dr. Donna Johnson and what a true life saver, in every sense of the word, she was to me and to T.

It was in the middle of February 1992, 25 weeks pregnant, husband (T-ex) was in the Persian Gulf, I was a young Navy wife alone in San Diego and one afternoon I started having contractions. I thought these were the Braxton Hicks contractions that everyone spoke of so I called my Doctor, he suggested I go to the hospital. I called a friend to take me to Alvarado hospital, but it wasn't any urgency. I took a shower and about a half hour later we left. By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were a little more intense and the nurses just slightly worried.  I was dilating and was quickly hooked up to an awful IV cocktail which would become a semi-permanent attachment to whatever vein would co-operate for many weeks to follow. T-ex was in the Navy and my pregnancy care was through Balboa hospital, but because I was now in preterm labor and at risk I was transferred to the care of Dr. Donna Johnson.

When I met Dr. Johnson I was a mess. I wasn't clear on what was going on, my family lived on another continent and T-ex was in the Persian Gulf. I was a little overwhelmed and I was hooked up to this IV cocktail medication that made me feel awful. Dr. Johnson sat on my bed, held my hand and in her beautiful southern accent let me know what was going on and what the game plan was. She answered all my questions, never once looking at her watch or rushing through the conversation. I asked her to please try and get a hold of the Red Cross to get a message to the ship to let T-ex know. The saga of the Red Cross debacle will be kept for my book, but I have to share that they did ask Dr. Johnson that instead of flying T-ex home would me just speaking to him get the contractions to stop. The Navy flew T-ex back to the States and the men on the ship took up a collection to purchase an airline ticket to get him to San Diego.

My stay in the hospital was so long that the nurses would move me to different rooms for a different view. Dr. Johnson was in contact with me all the time. Late at night Dr. Johnson would come into my room with the ultra sound machine declaring "Let's see how your boy is doing today." I don't know if this was of the norm, but Dr. Johnson did this often and it gave me hope. Every time I heard T's heart beat and saw him moving I knew that however much I despised that IV, having blood drawn so often that my arms were the topic of a few interesting conversations, how much I despised being in that hospital bed, that this little person was worth all of it. There were evenings that Dr. Johnson would just stop in and visit, no matter what day of the week. Those visits kept me sane.

4 lbs, 9 ozs - 18 inches
At 36 weeks, 22 April 1992 I was allowed to go home. No more IV's, horrible meds and blood draws. I was elated and I remember Dr. Johnson saying "We will probably end up inducing you at 40 weeks." We left the hospital at 11:00am. It was wonderful to be home, walking was a little challenging, but it was so great to be up and about.  At 4:00pm I went into labor and it was back to the hospital. After 12 hours of labor at 4:19am, 23 April 1992, T was born - and the Landers earthquake aka Joshua Tree foreshocks began.



I believe that my guardian angels decided that February day in 1992 that if I was going to go through this hell, I was going to need my very own earthly angel to make sure I got through it. Sometimes saying thank you feels so inadequate or just not enough because when I look at T I know that he wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the care, tenacity, compassion, kindness and southern attitude of Dr. Johnson. After all these years I am once again in contact with Dr. Johnson and I am hoping that someday soon T and I will make it to South Carolina so that T can finally meet the Doctor that he has always heard so much about, the Doctor that saved his life.


So tiny.
T's NICU nurse
My miracle boy

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Note.



Currently I am in finals week of college and as we all know it can be challenging and incredibly stressful. I was sitting in the commons area of the college last week, putting together study notes when for some reason I looked in the pockets of my wallet.

Knowing me it was probably one of those "look its a squirrel" moments. As I was rummaging in my wallet I was questioning why I was even going back to college, for hells sake I am 49, who does this at 49. I will be 53 when I have my degree in early childhood development. But I digress. (see total squirrel moment)

In one of the back pockets I found a note that one of my old employees had written to me. I unfolded this tiny note and you know what they say about the universe and all of that stuff... well this is what was written.

Dear Nubian:

For starters I wanted to thank you for the job you have done with the hotel. It's definitely a place that I enjoy coming into on the day I work, as well as on a few of my days off. We only have had one real sit down conversation and it was a moment I will always remember.

In the time we talked you were able to read what my pro's and con's were and telling me that my strengths should be better utilized with other opportunities to not only gain experience, but to get a chance to explore my true potential. 

I have no idea how you are able to do what you do, the ability to reach out and unlock someone's true potential, to be able to read someone and give them hope and confidence, is a trait overlooked. For what it is worth Nubian I want you to know that I am sad that you are leaving, but excited for you to go an unlock someone else's true potential at your new job. 

I hope your time here was nothing but great, filled with memories that can carry you, just as the one I experienced with you that I will carry.

Thank you,
A.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that no matter how simple a conversation is to you, it could mean the world to someone else.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

We Are One.


I was recently watching a show on Netflix and heard this song. It epitomizes how I have been feeling of late.

I hope you enjoy it.

Peace, abundant blessings, love and kindness to you all.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Reflections.

South Beach, Oregon

What a week this has been.  Another shooting. Families left grieving and hurting. People arguing over what we should or shouldn't do, how much did our President say, how little did our President say. The list is never ending.

What I do know is that the lives of the victims families will forever be changed. Whenever such a tragedy occurs people will post how we need to be kind to each other and then everyone goes back to how they were. Jobs become more important, money becomes our god, stuff becomes the must have and we forget.

This morning I went for a long walk on the beach and reflected on all the people in my life and how each one has helped me grow and become the person I am today. My foundation is my family and how blessed I am to have been born into this crazy, loving family. My mother is my stability, and my siblings will fight my battles whether I want them to or not. My Aunts and Uncles and kajillion cousins will always be there to circle the wagons when I need protection.

With this strong, loving foundation how could I not have chosen the amazing friends I have in my life today. This week I received an email from a friend in Spain who thanked me for coming into his life, a friend who should have been a therapist and I feel absolutely guilty for not paying him for his advice. Besos. Another friend, after a long phone call, declared "You know what you need, a visit from me." and promptly made his reservations to visit. NNM the 16th, the wine is waiting.  A football game with my most level headed friend, appearing on the jumbotron 3 times and laughing, lots and lots of laughing.

Last year I wrote a letter to friends letting them know how much they mean to me and what a difference they made in my life. I still have a few more to mail. This should be my project when I feel the walls start to close in.  Instead of wallowing, get to writing.

I reflected on my previous marriage and how I never thought that the ex and I would ever have come to a place of peace.  My life now has so many uncertainties, but is filled with trust, love and hope. To be able to give the gift of solitude and peace and to know that instead of letting go to just let it be.

My greatest gift and the person who has taught me so many lessons about life, love and trust is T. That kid that is wiser than his 23 years, who sometimes has to give me the pep talks to keep me going, and who hasn't ever disappointed.

So while many are arguing about what is currently going on in the world, I chose to take two hours today to reflect on those that fill my soul, the people that keep me going and to whom I hope I do show love and kindness to every, single, day.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Supermoon



South Beach, Oregon
Today was the total eclipse of the supermoon, 1982 was the last time it occurred and I don't remember it (those teenage years where the world revolved around me) and the next time this is to happen is in 2033.

It is at times like this that I lovingly refer to as "creating memories moments" to which much eye rolling and bitching from Trevor ensues. None the less he drove around with me as we searched for the moon.

Our first stop was our favorite spot to take a picture of the sunset and as always it never fails to make me stop, breathe and let the peace and calm sweep over me.

We then waited for the darkness to blanket the skies and then drove around to find the best place to view the moon. While I love the trees in front of our home, they blocked our view of this great event.

We finally found the perfect spot and seeing the blood red moon was truly breathtaking. I attempted to take a picture and realized that I could never capture anything so I put my phone away and just took it all in.

As I was looking at the moon I realized that there were so many people in my life that I love and care for that were looking up at the same moon and at that time I have never felt more of a connection, loved and completely at peace.