Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Graduate


Grad Card

Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

She did it. And I’m so proud. Micki now has her Master’s Degree. She finished this weekend and walked toward glory on the stage. We are so excited. She has been working so hard for so long on her coursework, and it finally paid off. Her research thesis and presentation is still being finalized, but the celebration has begun.

As per Mick’s request, we didn’t do much. Grace, John, Lissa, and Uncle Duane joined me in the press box of the SAU Fieldhouse (thanks Duane Skene), and watched the ceremony from the “luxury box”. After a brief photo shoot, we headed out to Lansing to Smokey Bones, the bookstore, and some light shopping. We’re going to have a party during Christmas break when the thesis is all done and we have more time and capacity. It’s been a long road and fall, but it’s worth it.

To see Micki in a classroom is to define what calling is. She’s a natural. She was created for this. The Ph.D. is off the grid for awhile. Now is the time to celebrate!

Graduation Photoset

Grace Finishes

I just got around to producing a short piece of Grace at her second cross country meet.  It was a perfect example to demonstrate how to use iMovie for my students Monday.  They got a kick out of the video as well as the tool.  I think this was in Sand Creek, but I can’t be for sure.  I do know it was her favorite course.  Notice the first leg her speed at mile .5, and her speed at mile 1.75, the finish line.  She had plenty in the tank!  We’re so proud of her for not just starting, but finishing.  I’ll post some more vids later this month on two other races.

View From My Bed


View from my bed

Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

Yes, the rumors are true. If I look a bit different, it’s because i no longer have an appendix. It was three weeks today that Grace wasn’t feeling too well and stayed home from school.

  • 10am: I was working at the dining room table and felt a bit funky. By noon I was feeling sick. I thought it was the bug Grace had. Turns out, Grace didn’t have a bug. She was just fatigued.
  • 1pm: I was in bed. Through the day I was trying to throw up and relieve the nausea. Couldn’t. Later in the afternoon the pain started focus more in my belly. I called my friend Janette who is an M.D. and asked her symptoms for appendicitis.
  • 4pm: I started getting suspicious.
  • 6pm: I was hurting. I spoke to Joel, also a doctor. He recommended that we go at least have things checked out.
  • 8pm: Joel drives me to the E.R. Having a friend who is a doctor has its advantages. We got right into the E.R. and had great nurses: Dave and Roxy. They did the blood draws and forms. Got me situated and gave me something to drink.
  • 9pm: I had to drink a 40oz bucket of nasty liquid with some sort of enzyme or catalyst for the CT scan. Keep in mind I was already feeling like I was going to throw up. It took me about an hour to drink and an hour for the stuff to activate.
  • 11pm: CT scan. As they brought me back, they told me it would be 90 minutes to get results. Within 15 minutes, they were wheeling me into the operating room.

Pre-Op

Since Joel was with me, he went home. Janette stayed at the house with Grace. Joel went back to his house. Mick called Sam and met up at the hospital. I was the only person being operated on that night. They hooked me up to a bunch of stuff, got me prepped and moved me into the operating room. That’s when things started to get a bit scary.

Operation

  • 12am:  When they brought me in, I started to get a little freaked out. It was a bed that looked to me like a bed they do lethal injections on TV for people on death row. It had arms on it. That they strapped me down to. Yeah. Arms and legs. At this point, I think the moment, my not feeling good, adrenaline started kicking in. That’s when my new best friend, Mr. Anestesia, came over with “the mask”. He put it above my face and said, “why don’t you take a couple of deep breaths.” Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t the last thing I remembered. As he put it over me, I remember thinking, “he’s not asking me to count down from 100. I can’t even smell anything. I wonder if he even has the gas turned……..” And that, friends, was the last thing I remembered.

Post-Op

  • 3:30am: Wakey Wakey
  • I woke up like I had just taken a nap. My throat was hoarse. I felt okay. Groggy. Micki and Sam were there. I don’t really know what specifically happened here. Mick could fill you in. I was drugged up. The bottom line was that I was awake and everything went well. They then took me to my room and got me situated. I booted Mick and Sam so they could get rest.
  • 4:30am Walking
  • Of course, in the hospital, the nurses are in every hour to check on you so there’s no real rest. I was a good patient. As they checked me, the nurse said that it would be important for me to start walking as soon as I was able. I brought my “A-Game” and got up and walked a bit in the hallway. Through the course of the night, they checked on me and started weaning me off morphine and on to vicodin.

Morning/Afternoon

I had breakfast and lunch in the hospital. I think Micki came in at lunch time. Johnny Strod stopped by with a frosty I think and a Mac Life magazine. Just what the doc ordered. During the afternoon I had decided if possible I would go home. Mick was not feeling well from not sleeping. G was still not healed up from being over-tired. The nurses and doc gave me the green light if I wanted to go home.

Homeward Bound

  • 4pm:  So less than 24 hours from coming in, I was headed home with no appendix.

Recovery

Being that I’ve never been unconscious or had major surgery, I didn’t know what to expect. They did a laproscopic procedure, so I have three small scars. One in my belly button, one below my belly button, and one on the opposite side of the appendix by my left hip. Apparently they put a camera and laser in the hole in the belly button, blow my stomach up with air, cut the appendix, then use the other two holes to guide it to the hole near the hip and pull it out. Crazy town. The hole near the hip was the one with the most problems. Partially because it cut through muscle I later learned. I basically stayed in bed for a week and did some light walking around like the docs had recommended. I went back to work the week after tenderly. This past week is my first week at 100%. No real pain. Checked up at the doc and all systems are go. Scars are healing.

I’ve got to say that the staff from top to bottom at Foote (aka Allegiance) were amazing. Pro-end. I’m thankful for good friends, good insurance, good doctors, and healing. Thanks for all of you who stood in the gap and prayed for us. October is a month the Archers are ready to forget. The best is ahead of us.