Tothe5sarges’s Weblog

Dear Aunt Kathleen
January 1, 2009, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yes were are doing well and appreciate your concern for us.  We have discovered the joys of Facebook and now rarely (as you have noted) update this.  We love you and look forward to seeing you.


From Maria’s Perspective…
August 28, 2008, 10:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello all!

I saw my internal medicine doc yesterday for the first time. He is Henry Allen, and his specialty is blood.  This wasn’t listed on my insurance web site, nor did my OB/GYN advise me of that when recommending him when I asked for one.  He isn’t accepting new patients, but apparently my OB/GYN called in a favor.  Which I think is so incredibly awesome because I’ve only ever seen my OB/GYN’s PA.  :O)  Back to Doc Allen.  He is SUCH a good doctor, and had gotten very familiar with all of my charts, tests, scans, resume and coverletter (just kidding on the last two!).  Doc Allen (he’s very southern, Dr just doesn’t quite work) is 99% certain I have one of the antiphospholipid antibody syndromes.  OU had ran a ton of tests on my 28 tubes of blood, but according to my doctor they didn’t run the ones they should have.  So I got to get to know Mary at the lab really well.  :O)  So the bullet points of his directions near the end of the appointment are as follows:  no more pregnancies, and lots more warfarin (“FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE”).

Time Table:
July 1 – celebrated 13 years of marriage!
July 21 – normal day, woke up, got the kids up kissed and left them with the sitter at the crack of dawn,
  went and worked 12 hours (the first nearly 6 without a break) and then came home tired to a house full of cranky, dirty, not ready for bed people, put them to bed, cleaned what I could and then tried to get some sleep before rinsing and repeating.
July 22 – had my boss tell me while I was on the phone with a customer that I single-handedly blew our adherence stat the day before (no reference to singlehandedly meeting the entire teams sales quota for wireless and dish)… around lunch time (okay, a half hour before) I panicked that I was going to be late for lunch and blow adherence again.  Signed out of the computer, went to grab a taco and then realized that I was still supposed to be on the phone for another half hour and sped back.  Ate crow, grovveled with the boss, then ate taco.  Then took a couple calls – got “fuzzy” durring one, stopped being able to talk and move the right side of my body.  Got the attention of the gal next to/behind me who said “Oh my God!  Your face is drooping!  Are you having a stroke?!” and then ran and called 911.  

Had to listen to my boss explain to the paramedics that she was sure I was reacting to something I ate.  Had to listen to her tell my husband the same thing on the phone.  Then played 45 questions on the ambulance ride over without the ability to really answer.  Was grateful I hadn’t added my victoria secret chicken cutlets to my braw that day when they hooked up the heart monitor.  When we got to the ER at OU we had a few wrenches before getting the care I needed, but it all worked out.  I momentarily thought I was having another stroke when we first arrived because an orderly (aka Boomhower from King of the Hill) said something to me and the paramedics as he walked by… and OH NO!  NOW I CAN’T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE!  AND I CAN’T TELL THEM!  But then a look from the paramedic at my feet — you know — the “what the ???!!!!” kind of look, settled me down.  Had a moment of confusion (not sure if it was stroke-related or female genious-airhead moment- my sister and mother know EXACTLY what I mean by that) when I got wheeled back into my ER room from the first CT scan I wondered how my bed had disappeared when I had just been gone for 5-10 minutes… yes, they were wheeling me back into the room IN my bed.  Then I realized and shared this HILARIOUS thought with the nurse.  He disappeared.  He returned, and said, “I’m gonna need a urine sample.”  I thought it was even funnier at that moment!

The consulting neurologist asked a lot of questions (by now I was talking, still slurring and stuttering a bit, and had most movement but some numbness, definite loss of sensation, slight face droop and notable loss of strength on the right side).  He mentioned antithospholipid antibody syndrome and admitted me to the hospital — the stroke ward — and then ordered several items off of several menues of labs, scans, spinal taps, etc., then another doctor discharged me immediately following the spinal tap… back to work and regular dutites…
July 25, I had a REALLY bad head-ache… and I felt like I was having back labor… only worse, there was no hope of it ending because there was no baby to birth.  I called in “sick.”
July 26, I had to go to work despite the REALLY bad head-ache… and continuing psuedo-back labor, we went to the ER, left due to hours of sitting, had the car break down, returned just in time to be triaged at the same ER, then waited for 3 hours, then got drugged up and sent home with instructions not to work or do anything but lay down for 3 days.  I was also instructed to drink caffeine to control the headaches while at work.

Aug 4, Saw a neurologiest, Dr. Drapkin, very nice guy, unfamiliar with my chart because OU didn’t fax it over until during my apt.  INI levels 3.  

Aug 11, Got told that despite waiving my HIPA (sp?) rights and letting AT&T review ALL of my medical paperwork that the doctors note that stated my breaks should be evenly distributed during my shift wasn’t going to be honored and had to “hold it” for 5 hours.  Left with severe kidney pain and UTI syptoms.

Aug 12, took half a day of vacation to go to urgent care where they confirmed I had a “rip-roaring” infection but no blood in the kidneys thankfully.  Was put on macro-dentin (sp?) and told AVOID CAFFEINE.
Aug 13, had REALLY Bad head-ache AND really bad kidney pain…

Aug 15, got home from work after another two days of suffering through and told Jason I was going to go to the hospital… then had Bella cry as if I had just agreed to Jason’s offer to take me out to pasture with a “yes.”  I told her I would’t go until the next day (to the hospita that is).

Aug 16, went mattress shopping.  Picked out the PERFECT one, then got up and had Jason take me to the hospital.  My INI levels were through the roof, my right kidney was bleeding and angry and my antibiotic got changed.  After talking the doctor out of admitting me for my “safety” I was given vitamin K to counter act the warfarin blood thinner and told to go off of it until I saw my Internal Medicine doctor.  Cat scan indicated no kidney stones but I also had a pumped up blood-filled cyst on my right overy that was probably half of the pain.

Aug 18, felt a POP internally, some pain alleviated so I figured I was either getting better or dying but so long as the pain came down from 12 to 6 I was okay with that (yes handling 12 hours of calls gratiously).

Aug 21, Met Doc Allen, my INI was 1.5… just a tad low (2 and 3 are good)
Now I will see the doctor next week for follow-ups on “the right tests.”

Things that I have learned — It’s really important to laugh whenever you can, especially at oneself.
Don’t pinch at zits when you are on bloodthinners.  Why am I 30 and STILL have zits and NOW have to be on bloodthinners?  I don’t know, but Jessica Simpson has ALMOST talked me into proactiv.
Don’t try to sell your kids long distance plans OR cell-phones when they come to visit you in the hospital, they’ll wig out. (Yes, that was another moment of confusion the day after my ambulance ride.)
It’s really fun to look at your husband accusingly when someone asks you where you got all your bruises from.
It’s really fun for Jason to be able to say, “What’s your problem? Did you have a stroke or something?”
To trust in God, listen to your gut, read good books – anyone read A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson? — and listen to lots of fun music with your kids.

Prayer is AWESOME.  Thank you for all the generous blessings you ALL have given us by mentioning our little family in your prayers.  You have helped sustain us!  
So is temple attendance — I had just participated in Stake Temple Days and when a sealing session was cancelled I did initiatory work for 28 ladies.  A few of which really touched my heart.  I have since thought of them and of the blessings I received in proxy for the body, and especially the mind.  I know there is a connection between my super recovery and the blessings of such service.
Money has been tight for us (I know, you are all so surprised) but we have paid our tythes.
A month before this happened I had been a tad more stressed and concerned that the sale of the building might  fall through (again) and wondered, prayed and pondered how it was to be managed.  In answer to prayer I felt inspired to pick up the scriptures and read whatever was before me when I let them open up.  Isaiah told me to pay my tything.  I remember thinking, “Thank you Lord for reminding me how simple answers to BIG questions can be.”  We don’t always know what the blessings of tything are.  I am blessed enough to know ONE of my blessings. 

Some timetables I am looking forward to reporting:

Sept 2 – I give notice at AT&T after working 8 of my 12 scheduled hours.
Sept 15 – I start work at GameTime Inflatables as the office manager.  Unless AT&T doesn’t actually let me work the two weeks I will be giving them, then this would be Sept 3!

Oh yeah!  Sept 12 — hopeful closing date on the BUILDING!  December 15 — the alternate closing for MORE money if buyer 1 is silly enough to let the steal of a deal they have slip away from them.  :O)  In case Jason didn’t share, we have a contractual back-up offer with buyer 2 in the event buyer 1 leaves the scene.  And we have a non-refundable escrow check from buyer 1 to make building payments between the dates.

Next one won’t be as long and drawn out… I just know there’s been info in bits and pieces and now there shouldn’t be gaps.  :O) Love to all!

Going once, twice…SOLD!
August 12, 2008, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yep, contingencies have been waived and we are no in the home stretch of closing.  They are commited to getting it done as soon as they can but no later than September 12th.  And if something goes wrong we now have a back up offer at full price.  HURRAY!!!

Planning and Zoning…APPROVED!!!
August 12, 2008, 11:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Now we just wait for them to sign off on contingencies and then set a closing date.

It’s Planning and Zoning Day!
August 11, 2008, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tonight is the big night.  If they approve the investment group’s conditional use, we should be setting a closing date tomorrow and getting some earnest money passed through.  Hopefully less than 30 days more.

Maria’s Stroke
July 28, 2008, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


   Because we didn’t have enough excitement already, Maria felt she need to add to it.  In usual Maria fashion there is much more to the story, I will highlight opportunities to ask her about with ‘^’.  Last Tuesday around 4:45 pm at work she started having problems thinking clearly and wasn’t able to talk or move her right side, not much later she also blacked out.  Her work ^ called 911 and the firefighters responded first and then the EMTs.  They took her by ambulance to OU Medical and upon arriving there ^  was stuck in the waiting room.  After being triaged surrounded by posters touting the warning signs and statistics of stroke, around 10:00 they finally got her back to a room ^.  

   Blood work, CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, spinal tap and anything else they could do her were administered.  The doctors labeled it as a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) basically a mini-stroke, but it lasted more into the full stroke time allotment.  They also found a congenital heart defect, she has a little hole, that may not be helping.  She spent a little over 2 days in the Stroke Unit and was released with a ‘return to normal activities’ note.

  She took Friday off of work and fear of being fired ^ had her back there Saturday.  She made it until lunch before needing to be taken back to the ER with spinal tap complications.  Knowing the speed of the OU ER we hesitantly went there because they would have all her records.  After waiting nearly an hour and not even being triaged yet, we left for a different hospital.

   Four stoplights later and preparing to get on the freeway, her car wouldn’t accelerate and sputtered to a stop.  Called insurance, they dispatched a tow truck and said it would be an hour, it’s 102 degrees we have a woman in severe pain and two small kids in the car.  Sweet lady came by, ran to the gas station and brought us back water and Gatorade, Shyrel came and picked us up and the tow truck arrived faster than we were told.

   Well, back to OU Medical, maybe they are ready to take her now, no not so fast, 6 hours later she was finally seen.  Nathen stayed with her and was a great helper.  After an IV and some good drugs, they kicked her out again.  She laid around yesterday and that is the plan today and tomorrow (again hoping she won’t be fired for missing another day ^).  You can reach her at if you like.

It had to end…
July 11, 2008, 7:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We have our first doper, manuel beltran of Liquigas. Short story, former Lance teammate tests positive for EPO, designed to increase red blood count and carry more oxygen. Instead of retyping/rehashing my thoughts, here are my comments from

EPO is naturally occurring and relative to hematocrit levels, which rise as the particular exercise lengthens or becomes more difficult because of the body’s dehydration and inability to rehydrate into the bloodstream. This is not a defense of Beltran, but is why a range is required in a ‘normal’ test. Dopers suck, but there has to be positive peer pressure and continuous testing to curb what has become the norm. Not everyone does it, but there is pressure to keep up.

Just because a teammate of Lance’s pees a positive (or bleeds a positive) does not mean Lance is involved. Having read his books, I don’t see it happening, but I’m sure someone will plead different…maybe even his cancer and surgeries were rouses to hide his past doping and install special tubes for testing that held banked ‘clean’ blood and urine. Floyd? Yeah, he’s a doper, when your defense has more to do with the incompetence of the lab and not your innocence…you’re a doper.

People and even Americans do care about cycling and it needs to turn the corner to remain relevant.
Sorry, I should have plugged this in initially…Lance had the benefit when it came to treating his cancer to have already been well known as a world class athlete and attract the attention of the best doctors in the world to treat him. He admits he would never have been the rider he was if he hadn’t had cancer and received the care he did. It wiped his muscular slate clean, stripped his body of anything not essential to live and built a burning desire to dominate, cancer, life, cycling. Lance had extraordinary gifts given to him physiologically, increased lung capacity, ability to store and use oxygen, lactate tolerance and clearance and general pain tolerance. It is possible to win clean and calling guilt by association is dangerous.

The only athlete that people would like to see strung up as much as Lance? Tiger.
Pardon me for the flashback –

When I used to travel for school sports, you knew you were going to have to play in the other schools gym/field/whatever and be bound by the imagination of the other communities officiating. You jump to head a soccer ball and an opponent grabs your legs? You are yellow carded for a dangerous play. I hope (and don’t feel) this is not a France vs. The Rest issue, but understand whether competing or traveling, you get to play by that country’s rules.
Highlighting Tiger was not to imply doping guilt, just to say that there are people that would love to believe what he is accomplishing is ‘aided’. I do not feel Tiger creates an illegal advantage.

Sports are about being the best, no one wants to play on the last place team, not make it to the Olympics, be the last kid chosen, lose, fail to finish, ride the pine, retire. There will always be motivation to cheat. This is also true outside of sports, Enron, drug smugglers, etc. You spend time in the gym to gain an advantage, you eat better food, you study more, you undergo medical tests, you hire a coach, you buy (or a gifted) the best equipment, all in the name of finding an advantage…these are legal. The margin of victory in the TdF is usually under a minute over 90 hours of racing, last year it was 23 seconds, 7/1000 of a percent faster!

New testing protocols some teams have self-imposed (Garmin, Columbia, others) are costing them $1.5 million each year, the riders are tired of being poked with needles, but they do so there is no question. They have solidly established baselines, blood passports, there is no way to escape being caught. To continue to dope under these conditions would require extreme secrecy, exact dosing, your body reacting the same way each time and most importantly psychic ability to know when you were going to be tested because the half life is so short, these guys are tested in season and out, without notice. This needs to be a requirement.