Letters from Mom: March 2014

March 3, 2014

Good morning, my dear  I hope the last seven days have been somewhat better for you.  It sounds like you've had to do some soul searching the last little bit, and not always the most pleasant kind.  Soul searching is never a bad thing - uncomfortable and even painful, of course, but never bad.  So, I'm proud of you for being willing to look within yourself to see what you're made of (personally, I think you're made of all kinds of great things!).  There are many people who turn tail and run when it's time to look inward, who choose to place blame on others - people, circumstances, even on the Lord - because it can be that scary, that difficult to look inside yourself and acknowledge the weakness that might be in there.  Now, I'm not saying or even suggesting that you've been weak or a lazy loaf or a bad missionary.  On the contrary, it's the best missionaries that are willing to look inside themselves, who are willing to put themselves through that purifying fire of correction.  Just remember to be gentle with yourself, remember the counsel found in the Allegory of the Olive Trees, "And if it so be that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow.  And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth the bitter fruit according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong fort the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the tress of my vineyard."  (Jacob 5:64-65... I refer to these verses frequently in my own periods of self-reflection)  So, be kind to yourself, my dear son, as you go forward in your new calling and responsibilities.  Yesterday, in Relief Society, Becky Adams (they bought the Sealander park/farm - both are doctors, she's a GP and he's an oncologist) talked about how many of the things we whisper to ourselves are things we would never dream of saying to another person aloud - and yeah, that is counsel for me as much as for you or anyone.  She mentioned how she had to work to replace that negative self talk with acknowledgement of things done well.  Sister Adams is also my visiting teaching companion, and I have admired he self-asssured demeanor.  I thought it came from working through med school and being an accomplished doctor, but I think now that it must have come from her work to ferret out the negative self-talk.  So, I'm going to work to do better in that area myself.  I hope any of this is helpful.  I just want you to know how much confidence we have in you and I hope you can feel some confidence in yourself, as well.  :-*

OK - so the news on the street...

Sam is taking classes through ICON, the same online school he "attended" when he was in the state hospital last year, to prepare himself to take the GED.  As a tender mercy from the Lord, he will finish up schooling and the GED tests about the same time he finishes the play.  Then, he will find a job and work while he continues to prepare himself physically to enter the National Guard (he's hoping to lose some weight and increase his strength).  He wants to be a cavalry scout, a person who goes ahead of the cavalry (tanks and other vehicles with acronyms) and makes strategic, tactical plans.  He has wanted to skip high school and take the GED for a while now, and I have NOT been overly supportive of that decision for many obvious reasons, and Sam joining the military was never something that I imagined when I pictured his future in my mind.  BUT, he is truly motivated right now, which is something he hasn't been for many, many months.  We don't have to remind or nag him to do his school work; we don't have to encourage him to get some physical exercise; this is his decison and something he actually wants to do, and so he is self-motivated to get 'er done.  It took me a little time to get squarely behind it - I've had to say goodbye to the mental pictures of Sam in a cap and gown, etc. - but we are supporting him in this decision and we are really pleased with his progress so far.  He's been quite down for the past 6 weeks, dangerously so - like I thought he'd have to go back to the hospital - but this has helped him alot, and I'm so grateful for that. 

Meg is, like you, having to look deep within herself.  She is one of the Hot Box girls in this play, dancing around in little skirts and blowing kisses and prancing about.... TOTALLY OUT OF HER ELEMENT!  She's really talented - has a great voice, can sing parts, has good rhythm and can dance.  But ask her to act all girly and shake her hips a bit and I might as well have asked her to climb the outside of the Empire State Building without a rope!  She is really struggling to find her inner girly girl!  I thought she could "act" the girly-girl, but I have really put her out of her element.  She's such a jock!  Walk, talk, movement - and the sad thing is that it's really funny to watch her.  Kolby just laughs right out loud at her, which makes her so self-conscious.... ah, the struggles.   Oh, and after tomorrow, she will officially have her drivers permit and then, in six months, she'll get her license just in time to turn 16 and drive at night! 

Janie is doing great.  She's had some struggles with friends the last little while.  It's hard being a girl in the 8th grade!  She is such a sweetheart, though - so helpful.  It's a nice stage of life for her (and for us).  

Dad is almost done with his allergy shots.  I think they've helped - he get his "hot spots" much less frequently than he used to, but we'll see what happens with springtime begins and all of those grasses and molds come into play in full!  Of course, he has been the most amazing help with the play.  He never ceases to amaze me.  I am so excited to be with him for all eternity because I don't think I will ever learn all there is to learn about that wonderful man.

Me? I am going to have a little surgery three weeks from today (I'll actually have to miss closing night of the musical!).  I am going to have bariatric surgery, a vertical gastric sleeve, which is a weight loss surgery.  They will remove a portion of my stomach and leave me with a small "sleeve" of a stomach, which will only allow a small amount of food and encourage weight loss.  I know, I know it sounds drastic and cosmetic and vain.  But I can assure you that it is not, it is for my health.  I am knocking - pounding, actually - on the door of Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other ailments that are a direct result of obesity.  I am not healthy right now, and this surgery is a tool to help me get where I need to be in order to extend the quality and duration of my life. I have been looking into this for a full year.  I've done research and visited doctors and dietitians.  This is not a magic bullet that will allow me to eat whatever I want and be thinner.  It is a life change, but with a turbo boost.  Could I do it "the old fashioned way" with diet and exercise?  Of course.  But in order to lose the amount of weight I need to lose to get healthy again, it would require an investment of time and energy that I simply don't have, and don't foresee having for at LEAST five more years, and in 5 years I could be taking insulin shots every day, be on handfuls of medications, or be well into the throws of heart disease.  Besides, we've been very prayerful and feel it is the right thing to do and the right time to do it.  Actually, because of the medical adventures you and Sam encountered last year, I won't pay a penny for this surgery.  It's like a gift! hahahaha So, yeah... that is happening on March 24th.

Well, this is quite a long letter - a good time to call it good.  

Until next week, my dearest.  

Love from Mom

March 3, 2014 ("Countdown to Destiny")

Hahahaha  funny subject line... funny to me anyway. I felt like being dramatic - what can I say?  And drama is what it is all about these days at the farm!  Here are just a few pictures from rehearsals last week.  The one with Jacob Clinger standing on the benches is the one we submitted to the Pioneer.  It's from the song, "Rockin' the Boat."  So we're in that countdown phase - COUNTDOWN TO DESTINY!  Only 5 days until we open.  And, as you well know, these next 5 days are crazy busy and then, on Friday, what's done is done and what is not is not; we open the show regardless.  hahahaha.  I am really looking forward to Friday at 7:15pm - the show will have started and it is what it is - no more fretting or running about trying to do one last thing.  (happy sigh)

OH!  Lincoln got his mission call to Stokholm, Sweden.  He leaves June 11th.  He also won a full ride scholarship to Utah State, one of 20 winners from over 600 applicants.  It's been quite a week for him.  Randy and Braden are following along... wisdom teeth removed, TB shots, yadda yadda yadda.  It will be fun to report their destinations when those happy days arrive. 

Sam and Dad went to High Adventure this weekend.  They stayed at Stan Searle's cabin and then went ice fishing on Saturday.  Sam was the only one who caught a fish!  We're eating him tonight (the fish, not Sam).  It seemed like they had a really fun time, and I'm so glad.  Of course, when the boys are away that means GIRL PARTY for the rest of us.  Meg, Janie, and I went up to Rexburg to exchange a few costumes at BYUI, then we went to DI for a bit (to buy stuff for the play) and to the Dollar Store to buy some candy and random stuff for fun (and for the play - this show is like a cancer that infects all areas of life, even girl parties). THEN we went to Sammy's for delicious burgers and pie shakes.  OH, and of course we had to stop at Cocoa Bean for magical cupcakes.  We went all out because it was my last day before my pre-surgery, liver-shrinking diet (they are shrinking my organs so nothing gets in the way or damaged when they perform the gastric sleeve).  Then we came home to watch any movie we wanted because we could.  We had taken the Honda because Dad and Sam had the burb for the weight and four-wheel drive - there is still TONS of snow up in Island Park.  The reason it's important for you to know which car we drove is because Meg recently got her driver's permit and is keen to drive all the time.  BUT she wasn't keen to try the Honda on the interstate, so we traded at the bottom of the hill near Melaleuca so she could drive the last two miles home.  She did great, a little rough on the gear transitions, but pretty darn good.  By the time we got to the intersection by Fosters, a big old truck had pulled up behind us, and he/she was quite close.  It freaked Meg out because it's hard to get the Honda started in first gear - it requires some nuance to get the right amount of gas without killing it - and the truck was REALLY close behind her.  So she was nervous and let off on the clutch too soon and we jerked back and forth several times before she actually got it going around the corner. The funny thing is that Janie had been holding the remainder of her pie shake in the back seat and it splashed all over her as the car jerked back and forth again and again.  It was so funny, I don't think I took a breath for half a mile I was laughing so hard!   Anyway, it was a good time.  We came home, got in our jammies, and watched Lilo and Stitch (haven't seen THAT in forever and a day!).  

We in our last quarter of school - the quarter officially ends on Thursday, the 13th, and then we have the long slog to the end of the school year.  Crazy how it has flown by and also crawled like an ancient turtle.  Meg and Janie are doing really well in school.  Janie was nominated for one of the "superlative" awards at Hobbs - Best Sense of Humor.  She's had a good year, but I doubt she'll ever do Student Council again - too many in a clique that she doesn't belong to in that group, apparently.  But I'm glad she had the experience.  Sam is cruising right along with his GED prep classes.  His master plan, to join the National Guard as soon as he gets his GED, hit a large snag this week: he can't be on any medications when he goes into basic training, and actually has to be medication free for 4-6 months.  It makes a lot of sense, I mean it's a super stressful environment and to be transitioning off meds at the same time would be too much for anyone.  So, we're re-examining his future plans.  He's hoping to go on a service trip - where they build orphanages in Ecuador or Tanzania - for a few weeks/months.  We'll see what happens. 

In other, random news - Janie moved downstairs this week.  She cleaned out the spare room (cleaned out meaning it's all in the living room downstairs now), washed the curtains, washed the walls, vacummed up the mouse poo poos, and MOVED IN!  So she is Sam's neighbor now, which is a shocker for Sam who is used to walking around downstairs with literally nothing on because he could (as you may well remember).  So, now, Sam has to wear underwear at the very least AND he gets to enjoy the aroma of scented candles and perfume everyday.  hahahaha When I was a little girl, and when an older sibling moved out, the opportunistic side frequently leaped to the forefront and we younger ones would take their bedrooms and/or anything they had left behind that was not specifically off limits.  I remember when Brent moved out and I was finally able to have my own bedroom.  It seems the tradition lives on because we gave Janie your bed.  Don't worry - you won't have to sleep on the daybed/trundle when you get home, but you will have a different bed down there.  Also, Sam pilfered your coat and swimsuit and some jeans, as he has grown out of many of his clothes this year (he's gained 50 pounds and grown 2-3 inches).  But as far as your room itself goes, it remains yours because Meg has no desire to live downstairs... at this point anyway.  We'll see if she gets lonely anytime soon.  I hope you're not terribly disappointed, I mean, it's not like you're planning to move back home and live here forever after you return from Chile.  It seems that you'll have a matter of weeks before you move down to Provo, yeah?  Anyway... just thought we'd let you know.  You have 18 months to get used to the idea.  hahaha  But I am sorry if you DO feel frustrated or abandoned or ejected... really, I am, and we'll even give your bed back before you get home if you'd like.  :D  :-*

Well, I wrote a mile and a half long letter last week, so we'll keep this one at 3/4 mile and call it good.  hahahaha  We're excited to hear from you, and are glad that things are looking a little brighter.  I love you so much, Henry.  I was watching a video of the nurse shaving your leg before your second surgery almost a year ago.  It was wonderful to hear your voice and your laugh, to hear us both laughing together.  I loved those times with you - not necessarily the surgery times, but the laughing times.   You are well loved and well missed... but you also make us well pleased with your good work out there (do you love the parallelism I used there?).  

Be safe - have faith and be faithful.  God loves you and is aware of you and your needs.  He will give you ALL needful things at the perfect time and in the perfect way, and if you/we are faithful you/we will be able to recognize that when it happens.  OK, so I said I was going to keep this letter, but I have to share one experience that I had this week that testifies of Heavenly Father's love.  I went to the temple Tuesday morning early, like 6am, to do some inititory work.  My heart was feeling quite heavy and I hadn't been to the temple for several months.  So, I felt impressed to go and it was, of course, wonderful to be in the Lord's House and to remember that all of this... stuff - the costumes and papers to grade and laundry and decisions about this that and the other - is just stuff, that there is a greater and more grand plan of happiness at work in our lives.  That isn't to say that the "stuff" is unimportant - it is also part of the plan to shape and direct our lives through experience - but it really is just minutia when compared to God's eternal plan for us.

So it was wonderful to be in the temple and to be reminded of the blessings available to us in the Inititory ordinance.  One thing that had been on my mind was whether or not to get the surgery.  I wouldn't be "out" anything if I didn't do it and it really is a pretty dramatic life change.  It's not something you can just change your mind about in a month or two and go back to the same-old, same-old.  I just didn't know if it was really the right thing to do anymore, ya know?  So, as I was leaving the dressing room I felt this voice inside of me say with impressive power, "Get the surgery."  It was such a deep, profound feeling; I knew it was an answer to an unspoken prayer.  I hadn't even been thinking about the surgery at that moment - it came unannounced.  But I feel so grateful for that answer.  Later that day, I went down to the hospital in Blackfoot to meet with the doctor and get some last minute blood-work done before the surgery.  When I walked back into the exam room, I felt such a thrill of excitement because I knew for sure, without a doubt, that this is the right thing for me to do right now.  That answer is doubly appreciated because this liver-shrinking diet is not very fun! hahahaha

OK.  I'm really done now.  YOU I LOVE!  

Love from Mom

Thanks for the pics :) nah, not important at all that Janie took my bed, yeah it looks like i will have about a month. My things are things... i will just have to buy new ones when i get back haha :) 
Sounds like the regular life! Holy cow sam grew a ton!
Im glad you are feeling good about the surgery :) im glad you are happy about it. i hope all goes well with that as well... what day are you getting it?
Longer emails are better! How is the play going? it looks really fun! i misss that :) i hope all goes well for you all. you are amazing, remember, it always turns out well in the end. its always a rush, but it always turns out :)
Love you mommy :)
Your son

March 16, 2014

Yup. Today was Tate's farewell because next week is ward conference and the next week is fast Sunday. There were lots of Shelley high students at church today...including Sam! :). He was suuuuuper nervous and pretty funny. Hahahaha he made a really cool analogy between serving a mission and bridge jumping - how you have to commit or you'll have pain; how you'll be scared every time (everyday), but it's worth it; how you have to challenge yourself to do more or go higher... It was really sweet. He also made analogies to football (95% sweat & work, 5% reward... But that reward makes all the work worth it), and to physical therapy - people who have been broken are made whole again, but it is not without a lot of pain and discomfort and struggle to get there. It was really great. 

And then, because we were late (Sam's decision to come with us was late in coming) we were sitting in the back behind Lincoln and Randy and Braden and Dalton, Taylor Lund, Corbin, etc.... They are like a pile of puppies, talking and putting bits of paper in each other's hair, playing on their phones.... Oh my. Hahahahahahaha. But you were never like that, were you (winky face).

I'll continue with part 2 later. Yoooou I love!


March 23, 2014

How are you, my dearest?  You've been on my mind a lot lately - all good things.  Soon it will be 8 months that you've been working full time serving our Father in Heaven.  What a rare, peculiar, and wonderful thing!  We are certainly proud of you... or, "well pleased" as Gina Andrews likes to say in order to avoid the "P" word (proud).  :)  Thanks for sticking it out down there.  I know there must be days that are like a hot, sweaty, stinky armpit of a pubescent 8th grade boy who is overweight and just leaving gym class after a killer game of dodge ball.  Thanks for enduring; thanks for having hope and faith that there is more and that things will change for the better when you have those sweaty armpit days.  Thanks for calling upon your Father in Heaven when times are tough.  You are a great example to us all. We take turns, you know, being good examples to each other, and today you are a good example to me.   So, thanks for that.
Everything changes tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning, I go in for my little surgery.  I've been a little nervous, but I know that it is right.  The only thing that makes me feel nervous is the permanence of the thing, ya know?  I mean, there's no going back - no more binges when I eat an entire can of Pringles in one sitting.  Sometimes, it's satisfying to stuff your face with fat and salt and sugar, I'm not gonna lie!  But I would rather be able to "run and not be weary and walk and not faint," literally instead of just figuratively.  I've got a lot of livin' to do, and I'm going to do it on my terms.  So, I will give away some of my free agency and not be able to eat however much I want of whatever I want whenever I want.  It's a small price to pay to be able to play football with my grandkids on Thanksgiving Day... someday in the future.  So there you go. So, I'm a little nervous just for the permanence - it's similar to the jitters I felt a few days before I married Dad : "Wait a second - this is, like... FOREVER!"  But then I looked into his eyes and could't wait to get to the temple and start spending all of eternity with him!  So it is with this little procedure - it's a life changer, and it hasn't been entered into willy nilly; but when I imagine what the future can be like, I can't wait to go to the hospital and get 'er done!  I'll go into the hospital in Blackfoot tomorrow at 6:30am, the procedure will begin at 7:30 and last about 2 hours, then 30-60 minutes in recovery and I'll go up to my room for an overnight stay to make sure there aren't any... well, leaks.  :D
Tomorrow night is closing night of the show.  I created detailed strike plans for Dad and Lynne and they will do a marvelous job running the show tomorrow night.  After that we will all (well, except Dad) get to come home after school... at 3:30!  It will be the first time in 8 months that I get to come home after school - no soccer practice, no play practice, no basketball practice.  Just home.  Ahhhhhhhh.  That will be a crazy new change, too!  After tomorrow night, Sam will take the GED and begin actively looking for a job.  That will be quite a change in his schedule - a much needed change if you ask me.  So, there are alot of changes on the horizon and lots of good, bad, and ugly to go with them, but we're not afraid.  :D  hahaha maybe we should be! 
Speaking of good, bad, and ugly, here is some of the latest news.  Uncle Brent comes home in a month.  That will be an exciting time!  Camary gets married days later - that will be a fun time. Deidre Wilson was called to the Ventura, CA mission.  Madysen Longhurst was called to Berlin, Germany (I didn't know she was considering a mission... hmmmm).  Dalton Nelson is expecting his call in the next little while.  Quaid Foster got married.  Hmmmmmm.... oh, and there is some sad news.  Sam may in fact have schizophrenia.  He has started experiencing paranoia - a hallmark of schizophrenia - like thinking people are out to get him, very suspicious of other people, and thinking other people can read his thoughts.  He took the ASVAB test at Shelley this week and had to fight back thoughts that his thoughts were being broadcast, that everyone could hear what he was thinking.  Not long ago we left the car running outside, and he was quite panicked that someone was going to come and steal it.  Little things like that mixed with the fact that all of the different medications and dosages that we've tried to battle his depression in the past 9 months have helped somewhat, but not made much of a dent.  His doctor isn't resigned to a true schizophrenia diagnosis yet, but it's looking more and more that way as new symptoms, like this paranoia, surface.  Also, in ugly news, Jessica Harrison took her life today.  She was in my drama class and helped with the plays a bit - she was the girl who brought her dog during the melodramas last year.  My heart is so heavy about it!  There really were no indications - she was at state debate last weekend and district FFA the weekend before.  So, that has put a pallor on things.  My heart hurts for her family and friends. 
So, there is news - for whatever it is worth.  To leave a less bitter taste in this letter, as I draw to a close, Dad and I may be going with Gramma & Grampa Gold & Uncle Reece & Aunt Nan to Maui next year in January.  Grampa Gold wants to get his kids together, so he's footing the bill for airfare and a condo.  What the what?!?!  That should be a good time, although Janie and Meg look daggers at us when we mention it aloud.  hahahaha
We're off to church, so I'd better fly.  I'll share with you the scripture that has been running through my head this week, "Doubt not; fear not."  The Lord will be with you and with all of us as close as we want Him to be.  He never moves - it is us who move ourselves closer or farther from Him by our thoughts, words, and deeds.  So, doubt not that He is with you in every step, and fear not whatever may lie ahead because He WILL be there.  
You I love, dearest.
P.S. I just had to tell you that I passed you in Candy Crush today.  I realize that this is not news of an eternal nature, but it WAS an accomplishment that took me 7 months! hahahaha
March 31, 2014
So many changes!  I wrote last week that "tomorrow everything changes" and I wasn't just a-kiddin'!  It's kind of funny to think of all that has gone on over spring break.  :)
Monday - I had surgery.  It went well, according to the doctor.   They ususally plan on 2+ hours for the surgery, but I was in and out in 90 minutes, so that was good!  That night, Dad went to the theater and closed the show.  They had a sell out audience, and a great crowd.  He said it was really, really terrific.  
Tuesday - I came home from the hospital.  I was pretty sore, but doing pretty well overall.  Grandma had arranged for people to bring in meals even though Dad had shopped and prepared meals for the week, so we had an overabundance of food that I couldn't eat.  Ah well.  Meg was enlisted to help Heidi do a room makeover at Grandma's house.
Wednesday - Sam applied for a few jobs: Wendy's and McDonalds.  He'd looked at a few others, but they required 18 years under your belt.  So, he went the fast food way.  I watched movies ALL DAY LONG and Meg and Janie played Minecraft - they're addicts.  I had welcome visits from LeAnn (the three of them are gone to Cancun for 10 days, and she employed Sam to feed their animals) and from Cathy & Jason.  I noticed that I got this weird side ache when I stood up for longer than 5-10 minutes... weird.  I called the nurse about other little things, like all the noises my stomach was making on a clear liquid diet... neglected to mention the pain in my side. 
Thursday - Sam was invited to interview at Wendy's that day.  He was really suprised and freaked out and excited.  So, he went to interview that afternoon and felt really good about it.  They said they had more interviews on Friday and would post the "winners" of the jobs on Monday.  It was really fun and funny to see him so animated and excited and nervous.  He just hasn't been like that a really long time, like since he was asked to Sweetheart Ball by Taylor Young!  I continued to lay around in bed, continued to feel that weird stitch in my side when I was up longer than 10 minutes, which was stinky because I needed to be up and walking every couple of hours to aid my recovery, and started to wean myself off the pain meds.  Jenny and Jack came over to hang with Janie and Meg helped Heidi redo one of the the bedrooms upstairs in Grandma's house. 
Friday - Sam got a job at Wendy's (the one out by the movie theater and Hillcrest High School).  Apparently, they didn't need to interview anybody else.  They sent him a slew of paperwork online and, being Sam, he read it all cover to cover and had it completed by day's end... including the drug testing.  He will be a great employee!  Sam began wondering what he was going to do with all of the money he'd make.  hahahahaha  He wondered when he needed to move out of the house - we assured him that we weren't in any hurry and that he needed to just see how the job went for a while first.... maybe think about buying a car, something like that.  Meg earned some cash babysitting and Janie went to a party at her friend's house (shocker).   Dad and Sam and I watched some old movies at home.  Still have that stinking stitch in my side... doubles me over when I stand for too long.  I wished I had called the nurse yesterday because she doesn't work on Fridays and this pain is really cheesing me off.  I'm feeling better everywhere but there, and am off of pain meds except when I stand too long (10 minutes) and I get grumpy with pain.
Saturday -  I am going stir crazy; sick of being in bed doing nothing - wishing I could get up and go.  Dad moves your stuff into Janie's old room and moves the spare room stuff into your old've been officially relegated into "spare room" status.  It's nice that all of the stuff that was in the spare room is now in a room of it's own now instead of being in the living room where it was for the last month since Janie moved down there!  Meg needs to buy new jeans because SHE HAS GROWN out of her other jeans.  Seriously, she's grown 4 inches this year and is now as tall as I am, which is so, so tall.  I BEG Russ to take me with them to the mall because I know it will take Meg less than an hour to pick out jeans and be done with it all - she is a no-nonsense shopper: get 'er done.   He unwillingly consents because I promise him I'll sit down lots and stand and walk hardly at all.  In fact, I set up an appointment to get my hair cut while he and Meg go buy jeans.  I really like my new haircut and Meg really likes her new jeans.  I play Candy Crush in the car while they do a quick shop at Walmart and then we come home.  Sam goes to a movie party at Kody Metcalf's house.  Russ and the girls and I watch a movie wherein the girls jump around and play fight and make us laugh until we're sore.  They are a coupla nuts.
Sunday - I feel really discouraged that this pain is still present and quite debilitating when I am supposed to go back to school and teach classes the next day.  We decide that I'll go to the ER at Bingham Memorial because my surgeon is the doctor on call, and maybe he can see me and help me out.  After 5 hours, some pain medication, blood work, and a CT scan, they tell me I don't have kidney stones, no infection, and everything is fine.  I'm a tiny bit dehydrated, and my doctor tells them that must be the cause of the pain.  He doesn't even come in to see me.  I am deeply unimpressed and frustrated but too stoned to say so.  Dad brings me home and I sleep all day long - they gave me lots of drugs.  I'm less than pleasant when I finally get up.
Monday - Sam wakes up at 3am because he's excited/nervous about starting orientation at Wendy's at 8am.  He does all of his chores for Prices and asks Dad for a Father's Blessing at my suggestion.  And he's off - first day on the job.  I get up with a really nice, "Screw it!" attitude and attempt to get ready to go to school on half a hydro (the pain killers they sent me home with on Sunday)  That lasts about 15 minutes before I'm in tears and calling in for a substitute.  The poopiest thing is that I have 0 time left to take off... this is all "time off without pay."  yippee!  Good news is that I got hold of my surgeons nurse this morning and she was a wealth of understanding and information - far more than the ER docs/nurses.  So, it may be a muscular thing, but it may be pancreatitis which can happen as a result of surgery because the pancreas sits right behind the stomach.  Time will tell.... I can look forward to more drugs.  Grrrr..... I am currently working to change my attitude and stop"kicking against the pricks." It doesn't matter why it happened or why it happened so differently from my expectations.  The only thing that matters is HOW to get through it and to move forward,right?  Right.  So, I'm working on my attitude, but I am not much of a "sunbeam" right now.  On the good news scale, I've lost more than 20 pounds in the last 23 days, so it's working.  It will be fun to be a frequent DI shopper as I look for clothes to keep me modest during this transition period.  
Can't wait to hear about you - I'm hoping your letter is at least half as long as this one is.  hahahaha  
WOW! lots! keep me updated on your health! 
Sounds like things are going crazy there! im so glad the play was a sucess! i knew that was going to be something i was gonna miss a lot!
You are right! meg is already super duper tall! as tall as you!!! hehehe. keep the faith mommy :) all is well.
You are fantastic! you do so much and there are so many people that appreciate you. dont worry about the little things :) keep up the good work :)
I love you tons and bunches mom, THANKYOU for your long letters, i love them.
Elder Gold

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