Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Surgery for Brad, Again

So, if you remember back to May/June, I had surgery to remove a large kidney stone. After the stone extraction, it's time to find out what is causing the stones. They tested my blood, and found that my blood-calcium level was really high. My urologist said it was the highest he'd seen - off the charts. It was so high, that when they removed the stents from my previous surgery, they were calcified. It was kinda gross.
Well, he diagnosed me with hyperparathyroidism - look it up if you want to know all of the details. Basically, the parathyroid gland releases a hormone that regulates the levels of calcium in your blood and bones. They did a CT scan and found that my lower right parathyroid was indeed overactive, with some tumorous tissue, and removing it usually resolves the calcium problem. I went in on January 16th.

The surgery consists of a cut across the bottom of the neck (that's me above). The parathyroids are typically buried in the neck, so my doctor had to do some "digging" to get to it. The red mark underneath is a drainage hole. I had a tube sticking out of my neck for a day after the surgery.
Anyway, the surgery left me with a nice scar, a lot of swelling and a weak voice. The voice returned, and the swelling is still gradually going away. The doctor said it will take a full year for the wound to heal.
My body is still adjusting to the new calcium level, and it is normal now. But since I'm used to a higher level, my muscles thought I was calcium deficient. My limbs fell asleep very easily. I had numbness, twitching, cramping. That stuff is gradually going away, and I should feel normal in a few weeks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times...

So, after what was one of the greatest days of my life, December 28th, when the Eagles beat the Cowboys to make the playoffs, I decided that my current game-viewing options just were not up to par.
I had to watch the first Eagles playoff win against the Vikings at work, and I decided for the rematch versus the Giants, I needed something better, since I was going to be home and have people over. So, I used some Christmas money and bought a new TV.
I got it at Costco the day before the game. I wanted a Vizio, with the 120Hz refreshing speed, but they were sold out. Not willing to wait until they got more in, and not willing to watch the Eagles/Giants game on my old TV, I got the next best thing.

It's a Sharp Aquos 46" LCD. It has a lot of great features, and is extra thin.

I still have the plastic on it in case I find a better deal. Costco has a wonderful no-questions-asked 90-day return policy. But, I think I'm gonna keep it.

These two pictures, by the way, are from that same Eagles/Giants game, just after the Eagles put them away with a 4th quarter touchdown.

Marc and I enjoyed the game. It felt like this was our year...finally.

Me and my son, Addison. He, I mean, she loves the Eagles.

Seriously, is this what our son will look like?

Marc, Kristen, Amanda, and me after the game.

I said it was the worst of times too... because next week brought the NFC Championship Game.
Deja Vu all over again.
I don't have any pics from the game. I was too depressed to take any.
Amanda managed to take a few.

This is Kory Swavely, Zac and Kaylan's new baby. They brought her over to meet everyone.

As you can see, she has more hair than Addison already.

January 18th was also Kristen's birthday, which we found enough positive energy after the game to celebrate.

Addy didn't care about the game, just give her some cake!

New Year's 2009

So, let me preface this whole post by saying that while we spent 10 days in Chicago, I enjoyed not having to shave. I could join my beloved Eagles in growing a playoff beard, not shaving until they lost.

Well, upon returning home, I knew I could not return to work looking like I did. But, I remembered way back when my boss told me that a mustache was appropriate for work, but nothing else. So, I shaved it all except for what became my playoff mustache.

I know what you're all thinking..."Sexy".

On to the New Year's photos...

Speaking of sexy...

Really speaking of sexy...
Mitch and Aaron enjoying the festivities of what turned out to be a 'quaint' party.

Sexy has taken on a whole new meaning here.

This shirt was a gag gift that Amanda and Ashley gave to Justin, who attended but managed to remain un-photographed. Since, I had the sexy mustache, I figured I'd go for the - shall we say - 'I put the GRRR in Swinger, Baby' look.
Man, that's a hideous picture.

We got Addy up for the stroke of midnight. She even had a sip of the Martinelli's. She was much more into it than last year.


Back to this year.
Addy pauses for a pic before she goes back to bed.
You can still see the sleep in her eyes.

The off us toasting the New Year.
Ugh, remind me to never grow a mustache again.

So, New Year's Eve came and went. The next day we went to my parents to exchange Christmas gifts. Addy got spoiled.

She progressively got good at opening gifts. At her birthday, she was clueless. By New Year's, she was a pro.

Her new Little People's Amusement Park, a toy she and her daddy can enjoy!

As if she's saying, "Come on, Mom, this is really getting old!"

"What is it?!" It's a Super Star stage and mirror.
You should see her sing into the microphone!

Lastly, this is Mom opening her two new books, full of photos from our last two family beach trips. She loved them. So did Aaron.