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Archive: April 2008

Celebrate Me Home

That’s right…KEVIN’S HOME!!!!!!! They sprung him a full day early. He came home today around 5:30, and boy, is he ever happy. He’s tucked into his own bed tonight, and he’s doing really really well. He’s tired, but maybe that’s because he spent a good part of the day wandering the cardiac ward and terrorizing charming the nurses. His enzymes look fantastic, he has the blood pressure of a 10 year-old, and his heart rate is slow and steady.

I fixed him a turkey sandwich on wheat for dinner, complete with fat-free chips (yes, they make delicious fat-free chips…look for the Lay’s Light, not Baked Lays). He checked a little email, surfed a little interwebs, and then headed to bed. Tomorrow we’re going to settle into our new routine of, um, doing absolutely nothing for the next few weeks. He’s got a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist in 3 weeks, and from there the doctor will determine whether or not to release him for work or keep him home one more week. Either way, it’s a hell of crappy way to get an extended vacation.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support, well-wishes, emails, thoughts, and prayers. We’ll definitely be making some phone calls over the next few days, and we’ll be responding to emails as soon as we get settled. You guys rock for keeping our spirits up over the past few days!

56 Hours Later

Kevin is doing REALLY REALLY well. We had a quiet anniversary today, at least until they moved him out of ICU. The best part of today (other than the fact that, you know, we got to have another anniversary) is that I got to crawl up into bed with him and cuddle for a little while. He was also up and walking quite a bit, and he says he feels a whole lot better (and he looks a lot better too). We’re both still emotional, and I suspect we will be for a while.

I left the hospital pretty early today (around 5:30), because I wanted him to have some time with his parents (and for them to have some time with him), but also because I wanted to have a little time to myself. I am in desperate need of some normal (and some sleep). Kevin called me tonight right before he turned in, and for the first time since all of this happened, I really feel like we’ll get back into some sort of routine that doesn’t involve hospitals or monitors.

Now I’m about off to bed. Maybe I’ll even get some sleep tonight.

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary. Kevin and I have been together for 14 years, but only married for 8 of those. *Only* 8 years. I can’t wait to spend many, MANY more years with my husband. I love him more than anything. People that really know us are used to the fact that we’re the sappiest couple you’ll ever meet. We’re those people that you roll your eyes at. And that’s just fine with us. It works for us. So now, I’m heading out the hospital to give my husband a big old sloppy kiss. And on my way, I’ll say a prayer of gratitude that I get to spend today with him.

Down on The Knees of My Heart

You KNEW I’d manage to get in a Buffett reference, right? So here’s your quick update before I head to bed. Kevin had a good day today. He moved from the bed to a chair for a little while, and then back to bed. He ate his three squares, and he even managed to nap for about an hour before the nurses came in to get vitals. He’s still in ICU, but will be moved tomorrow morning as long as things still look good. He blood pressure looks great, his oxygen levels are high and steady, and his heart rate is right where it should be. He even got up and walked around a little bit tonight, although he was pretty worn out after that.

We’re both beyond exhausted, and we’re both still pretty freaked out. I suspect it may take quite a while before we settle back into anything remotely resembling “normal”, but I DO know that we’re incredibly grateful and not a little humbled. And most of all, I’m beyond happy that I get to spend our anniversary together tomorrow, even if it is in the hospital. Because at least he’s still here.

Finally, thanks to each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers. Kevin is checking his Gmail (under my SUPER strict supervision) and he’s updating Twitter when I let him use his Blackberry (which is only for about 5 minutes a day). I’m keeping him cut off from the outside world for a bit, at least until he has time to settle in at home (which should be Thursday).

As always, I’ll keep everybody updated here, and I think I’ll high-jack Kevin’s blog, too, just so we have our bases covered.

Google Saved My Husband’s Life Today

There are some days that you just can’t process, no matter how hard you try. I have a feeling that I’m going to look back on today (and probably the next few days) and not really *ever* be able to process it. You see, my husband had a heart attack today. He’s 34. He doesn’t smoke. He rarely drinks. He eats a fairly healthy diet.
Today started out fairly normally. We headed out to do our usual Sunday errands. That’s when we started having a problem. Kevin had his cholesterol medicine changed this week, and Kevin thought he was experiencing some of the side effects of the new medication. His symptoms seemed to be in line with those side effects, and he started feeling “off” about 24 hours after he started the new stuff, so we just chalked it up to that. Today was a little bit different. Of course, being Kevin, he downplayed it a little bit, but I knew something was really wrong when he asked me to take him to the ER.
Fast forward to the ER docs giving him nitro pills and talking about having to MedEvac him to the cardiac care unit downtown. They loaded him on the chopper, and I followed. By the time I made it to the other hospital, Kevin was being wheeled into recovery. He got cathaterized and had a stent put in. I talked to the cardiologist. He had a 95% blockage. He was lucky to be alive.

Right before we left the house, he Googled “heart attack symptoms”. He took an aspirin. He lived. The doctor said that 50% of the patients his age (34) that walk into the hospital don’t ever come out again. But he Googled. And we prayed harder than we ever have. God was definitely on our side today. God whispered in his ear, and Kevin listened.
Kevin is doing fine right now (as fine as can be expected). He’s resting tonight in ICU, and if all continues to go well, he’ll be moved to a regular room tomorrow. But the thing is, my husband is 34. And I had to watch him get loaded onto a chopper and be flown away. I’ll say it again. He’s 34. If you’ve never had an EKG (he hadn’t), go get one. Even if you think you don’t need one. And if you even THINK you MIGHT be having some heart trouble, take an aspirin.

I’m so incredibly grateful that my husband is going to be okay. He is my LIFE. I love him more than anything in the world, and for a fleeting second today, I thought that my world had ended. Get better baby. And sorry, no computer for you for a few days.

Life In Florida

Doesn’t suck. We spent today at NASA, and then we headed over to Cocoa Beach for a little shell searching. Just another gorgeous day down here in sunny Florida.

The Big Chill

Well, we’ve finally managed to get our refrigerator fixed (although, technically, it’s not our refrigerator, since we rent our house). It’s been on the blink for quite a while, but last week it finally died. Thankfully, we have our REAL fridge….the sweet-ass stainless steel bad boy we brought with us from the Mound. This begs the question: What would you do if you didn’t have a refrigerator?
Sure, it’s been a pain to have to run to the garage every time I need a Coke, but at least we had the back-up. The repair guy took one look at the empty fridge in the kitchen and asked what we’ve been doing for food. I can’t even begin to imagine how to live without something we all pretty much take for granted. I guess the short-term answer would be to invest in a cooler, but that could only work for so long.
So again: What would you do without your fridge?

Is It Dishwasher Safe?

So I was talking to Camille this morning, and she told me about an ad that she had seen in the current issue of Vegetarian Times. We went to the website, and giggled for 30 straight minutes. About what, you ask? About this. The Diva Cup. There are so many things wrong with this contraption that I can’t even begin to list them here. If you need a laugh, I highly recommend reading the FAQs. What happens if you need to empty it while at work? Well, just wipe it out with some tissue. Um, no. Gross. This prompted me to ask the following: Is it dishwasher safe? Also gross, but at least then it’s sanitary. Can you imagine if you had a friend over and she was helping you out by emptying the dishwasher? The conversation might go a little something like this:

Friend: What’s this? Where does it go?

You: Oh, that’s just my Diva Cup. It goes in my vadge.

There are some things you should just. Not. Collect. No matter how hippie liberal I might be, I’ll be sticking with my tried and true Tampax.

No More Thin Mints

I guess I have to give up my Thin Mints, especially after these two Girl Scouts are boycotting their own product. It appears that Thin Mints use palm oil since it doesn’t contain trans fats, and palm oil production endangers the habitat of orangutans. So no more Thin Mints. But really? Why did it have to be the delicious goodness of Thin Mints? Why couldn’t it have been Samoas?

Global Citizenship

It’s an election year. And if you haven’t been living under a rock, you are probably aware of this fact, since we’ve been hammered with political ads and debates for the past 12 months. The run-up to this year’s election has been massive in scope, and there are quite a few voters who have yet to make up their minds.

Pretty much everybody who knows us is aware that Kevin and I CLOSELY follow the issues here at home. We watch the debates. We vote early. But what a lot of people may not know is that we also follow global politics. We have issues that are near and dear to our hearts. Of course we’re concerned about what’s going on here in our own country: Katrina recovery, health-care, and the economy are three things that are definitely on my radar. Abroad, I pay close attention to the Darfur crisis (and the impact that China has on the genocide there), international adoption rights (and the impact of the Hague treaty), and the AIDS epidemic.

The ONE thing that continues to spark debate and conversation in our house, however, is the Great Guana Cay conflict. I think it’s easy to throw money at UNICEF or….after all, I haven’t actually been to Darfur, so maybe I am too far removed from that particular situation to really, truly connect with it. But we HAVE been to Guana. Several times. We’ve seen the Baker’s Bay development (aside: Kevin swears that the most recent pictures don’t look all that different than they did a year ago…we’ll see about that next month).

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering whether or not this is my fight. Then I got to thinking: I’ve made Darfur my fight. I’ve made international adoption rights my fight. And I’m WAY more removed from those two issues than I am Great Guana Cay. When we visit the island, we keep to ourselves. We’re quiet. We only go into the Settlement to go to Nipper’s (and even then, only once per trip) and to the grocery store. We’ve never really taken a whole lot of time to “meet” people. BUT. We feel like we know them. We listen to Cruiser’s Net every day. We certainly know every inch of that island. I remember snorkeling two years ago and marveling at the abundance of sea turtles. We didn’t see a single one last year. The systematic destruction of delicate ecosystems is tragic. The abuse of political power is worse.

We go to Guana because neither one of us can really stand big resorts. We’ve been on our fair share of tropical vacations, and you can keep Cabo (might as well go to LA). Playa Del Carmen may have been pretty once, but there is nothing left to see when you snorkel the reefs. St. John might be an exception, but then again, it’s a national park, and much of it is closely protected. Guana is unspoiled. It has everything you look for in the perfect vacation: solitude, beauty, stunning scenery, and friendly people (with no crowds). If you look beyond Guana as a destination, you’ll begin to see the power struggle between big government and tenacious locals. You’ll begin to see the importance of recognizing politics and policies that are different from those here at home. You’ll begin to understand global governments and the occasional corruption that drives different economies. And maybe you’ll have a greater appreciation of things that happen beyond our borders. You can start learning about all of this at Notes From The Road.

Isn’t it important to be a global citizen? Shouldn’t we be standing up for (and with) the people who are fighting for the right thing? So why shouldn’t it be my fight? Why shouldn’t it be yours?

And We’re Done

We’ve been paying both rent AND a mortgage for the last 8 months. We’ve been paying lawn maintenance and insurance on a house we don’t live in. I’m glad we sold it, especially in such a crappy market. It’s a HUGE relief to be out from under that financial responsibility. BUT.

I loved that house. I loved that neighborhood. I loved my neighbors. I planted the fringe flower out front. And the petunias. And the daisies and lantana in the back. I LOVED the floors that we put in. I loved that I painted the entire inside of the house, and I LOVED the colors I chose. Sure, there will be other houses, but that one was special. It wasn’t the first house we ever owned, but it was my favorite. I hope the new owners appreciate how great that house is, and I hope that it makes them feel as special and welcome as it did for us.

Home Back in Florida Again

We’re back from Texas, and I have to say, while we may have a house here in Florida, it sure isn’t home. We had a great time with the Coopers (and thank y’all so much again for letting us invade your house for a while—we had a blast!), and I wasn’t ready to leave.

There are so many things I love about Texas. While I was waiting for my connecting flight in DFW, I overheard a cell phone conversation that went a little something like this:

“Well, I put that there gate in between them two pastures, but if the cows got out, then that’s ok. They can’t hurt nothing, and they’ve got plenty of water and plenty of food. Just let ‘em be. Somebody musta knocked that durn gate down, dangit.”

There is also no where else in this country where complete strangers will strike up a conversation with you for no other reason than just to chat. Every single person you come into contact with seems to have all the time in the world just to shoot the breeze, and everybody you pass on any given neighborhood street will be sure to wave, whether or not they know who you are.

The wildflowers were in full bloom, and the bluebonnets sure were putting on a show. I particularly love the little stretch of I-30 between Dallas and Fort Worth….you’re always sure to see someone pulled over to the side of the road snapping the annual picture of their little ones sitting in the bluebonnets. That is one true Texas tradition that will never fade.

I like Florida. There’s certainly a lot to do, and the weather is undoubtedly gorgeous. We live in a nice, quiet neighborhood. Every once in a great while, somebody will give you a wave as you pass by, or take a little time to chat about the weather and whatnot. But at the end of the day, I really do miss the laid-back friendliness that seems to be inherent in every Texan. We’re a nice bunch of folks, and we genuinely want you to have a good day. And we always have time for a little friendly conversation.


Yep, I teared up a little when we landed in Dallas. There’s just something about coming home to Texas that feels like everything is right with the world. Camille, Gman, and I had a wonderful day running some errands and playing, and we’re all looking forward to Kevin joining us tomorrow. If I didn’t have to, I’m not sure I’d ever leave (although I suspect Camille would get pretty tired of having me around).

Headed Home

I’ll be boarding a plane on a couple of hours to head back to Texas for a few days. I can’t wait!

You Want Golf? Go To Nassau

Annual Toe Shot

Originally uploaded by merrindonahue

There are *very* few unspoiled places in this world. It’s no secret that our favorite place on Earth is Great Guana Cay in the Abacos. Our history is completely tied up in that little island. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that our very best memories were made there—-both with friends, families, and even just the two of us (hell, I even got pregnant there against all doctors’ advice to the contrary).

So here’s the thing: Because there are so few perfect places in the world, we should protect them, right? When people comment on our photos or hear us talk about the island, we’re quick to tell them how much it sucks simply because we’re greedy—-we don’t want to share our little piece of paradise. There are under 100 inhabitants, and we’d like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch.

But I digress. For the last few years, a large American development company has mercilessly began decimating 2/5ths of this tiny island all in the name of tourism. There are quite a few things wrong with this, but the most troubling is the impending destruction of one of the largest reefs in the world. The environmental impact alone is staggering. As with any big controversy, there are politics involved. I’ve been following this story since it began three years ago, and it’s easy to get mired down in the politics of the situation. But. For just a little while, it would be great to put all of that aside and focus on the bigger picture of just exactly what impact the Baker’s Bay development is having on both the environment AND the people who call Guana Cay home (or, in our case, home away from home).

There is a wonderful blog that chronicles–in great detail–all that is happening on this little piece of paradise. Notes From The Road offers a TON of insight on the David vs. Goliath fight that is going on between the island’s inhabitants and big government, and there is a new story that chronicles the fight from the very beginning. The fight in and of itself is a moving example of passionate activism. The Save Guana Cay Reef Association is taking on something that is so much bigger than them. They are a textbook example of fighting for the right thing.

Is there any real way to stop a political and financial monster machine? Sadly, probably not. The Baker’s Bay people are bullies, plain and simple. But I’m cheering for the little guy. Because they’re right. And because we don’t need any golf courses or McMansions to spoil one of God’s finest creations.




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