Tag Archives: sick

Hypochondriac I am not.

I always have headaches.  Big ones, small ones, it doesn’t matter; I literally have a headache every day.  I can’t remember what life was like before I started having headaches all damn day every damn day.  I truly envy the people who pop out of bed in the morning & say “Oop, I have a headache this morning! Let me take 2 Tylenol so it’ll go away”…and then a short while later it does. I have to take various combinations of OTC pain relievers depending on the headache. Most days start of with 1 BC powder followed by a couple tension headache pills a couple hours later. Then usually another BC (or 2) in the afternoon, followed by more pills. And yet my headaches are never completely gone…just dulled a little if I’m lucky.

That’s kind of why the past few days have started to concern me. I know the type of headaches I get. But for the past 4 days I have had the worst headache of my life. (Except for maybe that time I crashed into a tree in my Tracker when I was 17 because I was trying to prove how cool I was by going “mudding” when I didn’t know jack shit about it.). Nothing–and I mean NOTHING–has helped my head. I noticed this morning that it’s spreading (?) into my neck now; my neck is stiff & it’s painful to move my head around. If the neck pain had accompanied the migraine from the beginning I’d be more apt to think it was from sleeping on it wrong or whatever but it didn’t and it’s been 4 days. So of course the logical thing to do is get on Google & see what kinds of terrible things I can pull up to scare the shit out of myself. The first thing I clicked on was about meningitis, which I had thought was eradicated in the early 1900’s, because a symptom of meningitis is a migraine with neck pain (also: fever [no], rash [no], sensitivity to light & sound [YES; isn’t that included under ‘migraine’ though??], confusion in your thinking [well hell that’s all the time!]) and some other junk that I can’t remember right now. Anyway, meningitis is basically an infection in your brain stem, hence the neck pain. If left untreated it pretty much turns your brain to mush & murders you.

So I guess the question now is “Well dummy: if you think it may be something serious why aren’t you taking your ass to an ER somewhere??”. To which the answer(s) is this: I don’t want to go & tell them what’s wrong only to have it turn out to be a really bad migraine & then they’re either looking at me like I’m stupid or like I’m a pillhead looking for a handout. Which is probably a little paranoid of me but then again probably not because last summer I got heat exhaustion & dehydrated and passed out cold in my drive way which in turn broke my damn face. For real fractured my left cheekbone. Skip some of the story, I get to the hospital in so much pain I can not even think & of course since I’m conscious they’re asking me all these questions. Uh hello–my fucking face is broken & swollen & it’s unbelievably painful to talk! Where’s the fucking morphine at??! Which is not what I said of course because I needed them to help me, but I ended up laying there for 2 hours before they gave me anything at all for pain. When I was quite clearly in pain. I mean if a broken bloody face doesn’t convince ya then I don’t know what will. So that’s why I feel like they’d look at me like that; it seems like all the ER’s & Dr.’s are tightening their belts around the medicine cabinets because of the rise in addicts & I totally get that but at the same time it’s having more than one negative impact on regular ole people like me.

I don’t know…wait it out a couple more days I guess…see what happens. But if I do end up having meningitis I get to say “I told ya so!” 😛

A little boy & a big fundraiser.

Some of you who know me may already know our story. This post is for those of you that may not, and to explain what I’m trying to do.

*Disclaimer* I can be long winded. That’s your only warning. 😉

In the summer of 2010 my husband & I noticed a lump on the right side of our two year olds belly. We did some Googling & figured it was a bellybutton hernia, which are apparently quite common in children. Nevertheless we made an appointment with the Pediatrician just to be sure. My first clue that we were wrong was when the Doctor didn’t know right away what it was. Whenever a Doctor doesn’t automatically hand you a diagnosis (especially with your children) you become worried. Instead he sent us to the hospital to have xrays & CT scans done. When the results came back in less than a few days, we were summoned to his office.

“It’s cancer.” I felt like someone dropped a boulder in my stomach. My butt wasn’t even completely in the seat and that’s what I heard. It’s not like in the movies, when you hear something like that in real life. At least not for us. There were no outbursts of tears or anger. Just open mouthed, silent disbelief. A billion thoughts crowded my head & swirled around at once. One of the main ones was “Surely to God he accidentally picked up the wrong file…I know he doesn’t mean OUR son.” I even mentally willed him to re-check the name & say “I’m so sorry folks, there’s been a mix up!”. But he didn’t. And when he didn’t is when I grabbed my husbands hand like a lifeline, already depending on him to help me survive this. The results were that our baby boy (who’s smile completely lit up a room) had a rare form of pediatric kidney cancer, stage II. The lump was actually a cancer-filled tumor inside his right kidney. How could something so ugly & horrid be inside our gorgeous, playful, funny, unique little boy?? His Doctor gave us the contact information for the “best team of doctors in the area” & made an appointment.

When we got back out to the car is when it really became real. Shaking, crying, wondering, nausea, confusion…the entire range of negative emotions a human being can have. Somehow we made it back home. Telling our families was surreal, almost like we were playing a sick joke. It seemed like everyone tiptoed around us because no one knew what to say. I remember we all sat on the porch for hours & repeated the same things in utter disbelief, while our son played in the yard with his two sisters. Yes, appearances can be mighty deceiving.

It became pretty fast paced after that. Once he went to his first appointment at the children’s hospital he didn’t leave for two weeks. It was explained to us that if the tumor inside his kidney happened to burst, cancer cells would spread throughout his body. He would need a right nephrectomy, removal of his entire right kidney. And the surgery would be precarious because of the risk of the tumor bursting mid-removal. He was admitted partially because his blood pressure was dangerously high & they had to get a handle on it before his surgery. The other reason was they wanted the tumor out as soon as possible, so the surgeon made room in his schedule for our son. I’ll spare every little detail & emotion & happenstance, although I would like to voice it one day. But this post is geared toward fundraising. In the end it was hard. At times almost excruciating. I am so thankful that both of our families rallied around & gave us support in so many ways. It would’ve been a thousand times worse if they hadn’t been there for us. The day of the surgery was the scariest day of my life since my Mom had passed away. Everyone worries when a loved one goes into surgery but it seemed our stakes were so high. God bless his extremely talented surgeon, Dr. Smith. When he came to us afterward & broke into a huge grin all I could do was cry & thank him repeatedly, we all did. It was a team of special people who overall saved our son, but I will always feel like Dr. Smith held a part of our future in his hands that day. The recovery & accompanying details are also for another blog post, maybe one day soon. Our strong baby boy recovered beautifully & today he plays, runs, jumps, eats, breathes, & LIVES like any other normal 3 year old. We are so thankful everyday. He goes every 3 months now to have imaging done (xrays & CT scans) just to keep a handle on things. So far so good, everything looks awesome.

He’ll turn 4 this month & I thought it would be a perfect tribute to his battle to host a fundraiser through Scentsy. Scentsy (in case you haven’t heard) are awesome wax warmers that use lightbulbs instead of a flame, and the wax doesn’t get above body temperature so it’s very very safe for children, pets, anyone! Scentsy is not only a perfect more-for-your-money alternative to candles but they also offer many other products as well: Buddies (stuffed animals!), room spray, scent circles (ie: hang in your car), travel tins (great for lockers!), body spray/wash/lotion, laundry care items…etc etc. A lot of people truly don’t realize how amazing AHHHMAZING these products are; how delicious & true to life they smell, the value they offer because of how long they last, the safety benefits, their appearance…I could go on and on. The bottom line is once you give in & buy one, you’re addicted. That’s part of the reason I love my job as a Scentsy consultant! I don’t have to lie to people to sell a junk product. I stand behind Scentsy products 100% and it’s so simple too!

My fundraiser will be going on during all of March. All you have to do if you’d like to order is go to my website (www.heathersgotscents.scentsy.us) and on the left hand side will be a list of parties. Just click the party referencing “St. Jude’s” & take a look around!! That easy. Then, 95% of my proceeds from the St. Jude’s Scentsy party will be donated to St. Jude’s!! I’ll even post a proof receipt on this blog.

I’m asking everyone to please, PLEASE help me get word out about my fundraiser. St. Jude’s depends on donations, etc to keep their doors open. They don’t turn any child away for ANY reason, EVER. They perform lifesaving procedures, check ups, research, nice hospitals for these awesomely brave kids, waiting room toys & activities, in-patient rooms…so so much more. Even if you’re not interested in Scentsy, it would mean so much if you could pass this blog link on, or my Scentsy site. All of my contact info will be listed at the bottom. It just takes a couple clicks to share online, and super easy to tell people in person–all they’d have to do is search my name on Scentsy’s main site.

Think about all the good that we can accomplish if we just band together and do it. This will help save lives, and be appreciated so greatly.

Thank you very much for your time!! =]

Heather Howell
Independent Scentsy Consultant

Heather’s Scentsy Site


Twitter: @heathrsgtscents

Email: handesaus@gmail.com

Playing in the snow! Feb '12