Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Day!!!

So first, happy birthday to my sister Margaret. Unfortunately she does not get to celebrate tonight because she has class. But we will celebrate this weekend.

And happy anniversary to Dan & Ellen. Hope you celebrate your long, happy marriage.

And finally, for the final reason today is a happy day.... Ben went to a chiropractor today who is an atlas orthogonal specialist & the doctor believes within the next month that he will be able to significantly improve Ben's headache. Oh, and he is 1 of 300 specialists in the world who practice this.

How did we find this random specialist? It all came from a book I read from the library over the weekend, Life Beyond Headaches. The way he described the headaches caused by the C1 vertebrae being off was almost an exact description of the last 2 years of our life. And the passage at the end of the book is one of my favorite Irish blessings:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand

I know it sounds corny, but to me it was a sign that we needed to pursue this further. And now we are very close to not only knowing the cause of the problem, but knowing what we need to do to treat it. And no more medicines to treat the symptoms and the lovely side effects they come with. But some solid answers & improvement in the problem!!!

Definitely a good day :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to know when you have a good party

So how do you know if you throw a successful party where other people have as much fun as you did? This is how. (Thanks Connie, that made Ben & Margaret feel very good.)

Ben & Margaret did a great job pulling together a semi-surprise party for me to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was only a semi-surprise because I knew there was going to be a party, but that was all I knew. Not where it was, who was coming or anything else.

The theme was 70's Disco- Star Wars. Complete with a colored disco ball, lava lamp & Darth Vader pinata. I even got a beautiful brown & orange 70's dress to wear. The dress was called "Alice's date with Sam". That gives you some idea of what it looked like...

They even took the perfect baby picture of me & had it put on the cake:

Complete with the Bronco bib & Schlitz beer. (And no, I am not drinking the beer. I was only chewing on the cold, unopened can because I was teething. I didn't tolerate the taste of beer for another 17 years. And didn't like it for a few years after that.)

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures to post from the party. The only person who had a camera was my mother-in-law so I have to wait until she gets the pics developed.

It was a great day even though I felt yucky for most of it & did not get to eat any cake or drink any beer. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday :) Thank you to my loving husband & amazing sister for all the planning. And thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us.

P.S.- if you are the person (or persons) who rearranged my kitchen drawers & shelves during the party, you made us smile. We still haven't put things back yet; we just keep opening the wrong drawers on a daily basis :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A new post finally....

OK so I know that I have not posted in awhile. At first is was because I was exhausted & sick from my trip. Then I was completely slammed at work & didn't have time to.

My return flight from Vietnam turned into a little bit of a mess. I had an 8 hour layover in the Seoul airport. Luckily I was upgraded to business so I could sit in the Red Carpet room & have a super comfy seat from Seoul to San Fran. Business class will spoil you. I had fillet Mignon for dinner with chocolate mouse for dessert. And my seat almost reclined completely flat. About 1 1/2 hours before we were supposed to land the pilot tells us that we are being diverted to Seattle because 2 f the 3 generators were out & we needed to land as soon as possible. From this point on we do not get any water or food. After we land, they keep us on the plane for 2 hours while they fix the problem. Surprise, surprise, they can't fix it. So we all have to get off the plane, go through customs & then get on other flights. I called my travel agent who was able to book me on a flight in the afternoon, which was good. Finally after going through customs & standing in line forever to get the ticket for my flight from Seattle to Denver, I get to eat. At this point is has been like 13 hours since I had food & water. I am exhausted & so hungry that I am starting to get dizzy.

I did count my blessings. At least this time I did not have to run through the world's largest airport to catch my connecting flight & get to the gate after the doors are closed. OR get stuck in the Bangladesh airport over night.

As I mentioned, I have been sick since I have been back. I go to the dr Thursday so they can figure out what is wrong & tell me whether I can travel back to Vietnam in 3 weeks or not...

More tomorrow... must get back to work so that I don't have to be here too late.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am SOOO bored!!!!

I can't even tell you how bored I am right now. We got everything we had to review today by about 2:00. So now I have nothing to do but we are here for another like 2 hours!!! Part of it is that one person I work with was not able to get her information to the factory today. So we can't review it with them. I don't have any emails to answer since I have had so much extra time this trip. And I can not get into our systems so I can't even do any of the work I have to do. All the websites I normally look at haven't been updated recently since it's 2am in Denver right now. So I have been sitting here completely bored with nothing to do...

Save me!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Now in Vietnam

I haven't posted in a couple of days because by the time I get in at night I am so tired that all I want to do is sleep & I've had to get up early in the mornings.

Friday was about as exciting as Thursday. I got up & went to a meeting then went back to the hotel & worked until dinner. We went to a Thai resturant off of the bay. Several of the people from our Bangkok office went to dinner with us & did all of the ordering. I thought the food was delicious; they thought it was only probably about 60%.

Saturday I had to get up VERY early (4:30 am early) so that I could get everything packed up & ready to leave for the airport at 6:00 am. We flew to Hanoi, where we were picked up by a driver from the factory & went straight to the factory & started working. We spent the afternoon looking at mockups of the product I am in charge of. After the end of the day, I started to feel better, that my product is actually going to work. We spent 3 hours talking at the factory bar with the owner because he can't stop talking. (And yes, the factory has a bar area in it.)

While at the bar, I met a Vietnemese Australian. It is very interesting to see someone who looks Vietnemese but talks with a heavy Australian accent. And we heard stories about some of the factory workers who were working during the Vietnam war, where they had to work underground by candlelight. And listen to the factory owner talk about how diverse he is while talking down about women, Americans, Vietnemese & pretty much everyone.

This morning we had to get up early because the factory was taking us out for something fun. They had said the place where they were taking us, but we had no idea what it was. We had a 3 hour car ride to get to the day's activity. Riding in a car is always an experience here. It is kind of like an organic dance of sorts. The roads are marked with lanes, but no one pays attention to them. People are walking, riding bicycles, riding scooters and riding in cars all on the same road. Everyone is swerving around each other & weaving together while somehow managing to never hit anything. All this to the music of honking horns & flashing lights.

And you see the most interesting things while driving. Today I saw a dead cow tied to the back of one motor bike. And 2 live pigs in baskets with a dead pig over the top of the baskets on the back of another motor bike. I couldn't manage to get good pictures, but several other people took pictures so hopefully I will be able to post some tomorrow so you can see what it actually looks like.

After a 3 hour car ride, we arrived at Halong Bay. It was amazingly beautiful. There were these huge little islands sticking out of the water.

We had a private boat which took us on a tour around the islands. The boat was very old looking. I didn't get any pictures of our boat, but it looked similiar to the boats below.

Before lunch we went to the fresh fish market. You would think that this would be a market on land, right? But it's not. There are these homes on the water that the boat pulls up to & you climb out & pick your fish from the tank areas they have. They picked a dragon squid for us.

Lunch was amazing; we had fresh shrimp, clams, crabs, grouper, the dragon squid and some other seafood as well. There was WAY too much food. The picture shows only a portion of the dishes. And this was food for only 4 people!

After lunch we pulled up to an island where we went on a tour of Hang Dau Go cave. It is a huge cave of stalagtites & stalagmites. But not like the ones I've seen in Carlsbad caverns. These were actual rock. Unfortunately, the camera I have from work does not take good pictures without the flash or in dark areas. So I do not have any pictures :(

Then we got back on the boat & went back to the harbor. And sat in the car again for 3 hours. After taking a shower to scrub off the layers of sunscreen, bug spray, sweat & dirt, I feel human again. It was a fun day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hong Kong Day 1

Yesterday was a VERY exciting day here in Hong Kong. I met up with 2 people from our BKK office & took a taxi to my meeting which only took a couple of hours. Then we got lunch at this American resturant. I came back to the hotel, worked for a little while, then started to not feel good so I laid down & finished my book. Very exciting day, huh?

The book I finished was "The Time Traveler's Wife". It turned out to be a very good book. It's a love story about this guy who travels through time & the woman he falls in love with.

Hopefully today will be a little more eventful.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Made it to Hong Kong

I made it to Hong Kong safe & sound. The flights were pretty non-eventful except for the old guy near me who kept farting. It was lovely :)

I've been up for 26 hours so I am a little sleepy. Off to sleep for awhile.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Surgery went well

Ben's surgery went well. Turns out it was a vein gone wild, not an artery. I haven't talked to him myself since I had to work today. But his mom said he is fine & as soon as he wakes up enough they will take him home.

I'm off to Asia very early tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to the 19 or so hours of travel ;)

Friday, May 4, 2007

ER & Surgery

Ben goes in Monday for surgery to remove the wrist bump. Yesterday's artreiogram showed that the whole bump is on the arm & should be pretty simple to just "pop" out. We're not sure whether they will graft in a new piece of artery or will just tie off the open ends. And it's a day surgery so he won't have to stay overnight.

So that's all very good news. Of course, we got the joy of spending the night in the ER due to the arteriogram. Ben woke up at like 1:45 VERY sore & went to the bathroom. On his way back to bed he got VERY dizzy & I had to come help him. By the time I got to him he was not only dizzy but disoriented, short of breath, clammy & sweaty. Due to the risk of blood clot from the procedure, we called an ambulance.

After several hours & several tests of his heart later, they determined that he had a vasal reaction to the extreme pain & his blood pressure dropped WAY too low (like 90/60 or something crazy like that) causing all of the above symptoms. Basically he had an extreme fainting spell. No blood clot or any other seriously bad things. All is good now. He feels much better, but continues to be sore.

And we found out something interesting on the headache front yesterday. The nurse who helped with the arteriogram, suggested that he get his heart looked at. Apparently there can be a tiny hole in the heart which can lead to migraines or severe headaches by allowing blood to bypass the filter process of the lungs . It's a simple, minimally invasive surgery to fix.

So now we get to find a cardiologist & have them order the test. Yay, more doctors :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It has been confirmed...

My husband is weird. Another doctor has told him that :)

We met with the vascular surgeon today. Before he can do surgery, Ben has to get another test. He needs an arteriogram because they could not tell exactly how the blood flows through the artery from the doppler ultrasound. So he goes in tomorrow for the arteriogram, after which the doctor will tell us what the treatment options are.

The good news, he also does not think that it is a malignant tumor, so the chances are pretty slim on that one.

The bad news, the doctor only deals with vascular surgery on the extremities so he was of no help looking at the brain MRI to see if he noticed any malformations that could be causing the headache.

That is all for now!

And the best husband award goes to....

.... Ben Grisinger!!!!

So I have the best husband in the world. Last night he took me on a surprise date to go see Dirty Dancing in the theaters. I had seen a preview for it last week during Grey's Anatomy. I called Ellen & told her she needed to move back here so we could go see it together. She's the only other person I know who loves the movie as much as I do :)

Since that didn't work out, Ben bought tickets & surprised me with them. Instead of previews they had this rather dumb Dirty Dancing Past & Present bit. But other than that it was fun. Ben even liked the movie (though he probably wouldn't admit that now). There were a total of 4 guys in the theater; all with wives or girlfriends.

Yes, I know that I am a dork :)