Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hitting the Road (Again, Again, Again)

First of all, I have to thank each of you that left a comment about your small children. It's great to able to reassure each other when a lot of people question our kids' tiny size! Second, check out the giveaways link above because I'm giving away a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag!

So I happened to glance at the calendar yesterday and a sudden sense of panic washed over me when I realized that I am leaving on another road trip in just 6 short weeks. Where has the time gone? It feels like it was just yesterday that we were anxiously awaiting Jason's return from Iraq and suddenly here we are, almost 6 months later. And once again, I'm headed out by myself with 6 kids in tow as we cross the country in our camper. The last time we made this trip was just 6 months ago when I drove from Georgia to Washington to be there for Jason's homecoming. This time, I don't have anything quite so wonderful to anticipate, although I am excited to see friends and family on the east coast again. But this time, I'm headed from Washington to Georgia to have surgery. Not so fun.

If you've read my blog for long, you have probably read my posts about the stones in my salivary gland and my (unrelated) dizziness. After having multiple, large stones removed from my salivary gland, the doctors have recommended that I have it removed. And seeing as how it's currently blocked by several more large stones at this very moment, I have to agree. The problem is that the surgeon here in Washington has never performed this surgery and wasn't even sure he'd get to practice on a cadaver before he did it on me. He told me that there aren't any surgeons in the state that do this type of surgery (using intraoral approach instead of 2-3 inch incision on outside of neck.) So I'm headed to the hospital in Georgia where the surgeon there is one of the best in this field. And while I'm there, his colleague is going to do surgery on my ear at the same time-getting 2 problems solved at once! (The surgeons here were going to make me have 2 separate surgeries.)

The ear surgery is sort of an unknown at this point. We don't know whether it will help with my dizziness. We don't know what they'll need to do until they cut my ear open and see how bad it is on the inside. They are planning to remove a cholesteatoma and correct the damage to my ear drum, with a second surgery in a few months to replace the tiny bones inside my ear with prosthetics. All in all, I'm probably going to be a bit of a mes for a few days!

After the surgeries, I'm driving from Georgia up to Virginia to visit family. Jason is flying to Virginia to meet us there. He hasn't seen his family in over a year, so this will be a fun trip for him. We'll have a week in Virginia before turning around and driving back to Washington.

One of the tough parts about being a military family is often living far from our extended family. With 6 young children, flying home is just not an option. Driving takes weeks, but it's the best way for us to get home. And knowing that this is our only trip home for the next 2 years makes it worth the trouble.

And so we are hitting the road again and surely chaos will ensue. This time I'm going to have a working laptop and I'm going to be blogging all along the way. Hopefully there won't be any dead cats, flat tires, broken towing equipment, or babies locking us out of the camper. But you never know...

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