Celebrating the New Year in ICU

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mark's Aneurysm Surgery

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Preparing for Surgery:


Recovery Room:


Christmas Day Festivities

Friday, December 25, 2009

Opening Presents

Santa Visits...

Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In the Spirit...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Louisiana Style

Monday, December 21, 2009

Please see Santana's page for more info on how Christmas is done the Louisiana way...

Christmas Louisiana Style

Princess & Santana, cousins but could definitely be sisters...

Check out Santana's blog: My Everyday Life @ http://santanasmith.blogspot.com/ to see all the pictures and read her story about doin Christmas Louisiana style...it is funny, at least to me, knowing my family and all, and it appears that Santana knows them pretty well also. I was laughing quietly sitting here in my office because I didn't want to wake anyone up, but I did have tears in my eyes. I wish that I was able to share in those moments, they are precious and makes me miss them all even more... Merry Christmas Family!

Bathtime @ MiMi's

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 Christmas Photo Shoot

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Girls' Night Out

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nellie and I went to Arizona's Premier Shopping Extravaganza today. It is the hottest shopping party in Arizona where ladies can ultra-pamper themselves with the utmost in super-fab finds in 
Beauty and Fashion! Ladies can splurge on the newest and greatest in beauty products and the hottest fashion apparel and accessories! With specialty exhibitors all under one roof to make this event pure shopping heaven!Nellie & I did do a little splurging...

Sabriya's Christmas Musical

Please visit Sabriya's page for a few pictures and a video of her school Christmas musical...

A Blackberry Family...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We are a BBM Family! We all have some version of a Blackberry phone, and there are plenty to choose from. Each Blackberry has a separate PIN number and with this pin we are able to send messages via the Blackberry Messenger system making communication possible between two or more Blackberry devices in a single session.

For a family like ours who’s always on-the-go, instant messaging is the only way. IM gives us the ability to have almost instant conversations without having to use the phone or email. It is a very handy form of communication for asking a quick question, making plans for a family event, even sharing stories and pictures—all in real-time and we can even express ourselves and stay in touch in our own special way and boy do we do that…

We have these chats at random times, even when we are all sitting together at the dinner table. It is chaotic, fun. Sometimes it feels as if you are in a room full of people and everyone’s talking but nobody’s listening.

It is hard to keep up with the conversation at times, because there are so many participants and the conversation is flowing so quickly. If you are brave enough to try to type something in you better be a fast because you will lose track of the conversation very quickly.

You can see everybody’s personality in the conversations: there is enthusiasm, seriousness, sarcasm… our family is one of a kind. But all said, we do have a lot of fun IM ing one another.

2 Aneurysms

Monday, December 7, 2009

For several months now, Mark has been having problems with his knee(s) but typical of him, wouldn't make an appointment to go see the doctor so I did it for him. During the appointment he described his issues to the doctor and one of the things he mentioned was that his back was hurting from time to time and that he thought it was due to his knee hurting. The doctor decided to send him for an MRI to check out his knee but also his back to see what was going on there. The results of the MRI showed that he has a chip in the knee area and that it has to be surgically repaired. They also saw a spot in his stomach area which they felt was something that needed to be look into more deeply. He was sent to a specialist and sent for a CT scan. Today he went to the specialist to hear the results of the scan and found out that he has not one but two aneurysms in his stomach area that need to be removed IMMEDIATELY. Both aneurysms are twice the normal size. Surgery is scheduled for December 29th...

An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in an artery. Aneurysms can form in arteries of all sizes. An aneurysm occurs when the pressure of blood passing through part of a weakened artery forces the vessel to bulge outward, forming what you might think of as a blister. Not all aneurysms are life-threatening. But if the bulging stretches the artery too far, this vessel may burst, causing a person to bleed to death.

Where do aneurysms occur in the body?

In parts of the aorta. The aorta is the large vessel that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Aortic aneurysms can occur in the area below the stomach (abdominal aneurysm) or in the chest (thoracic aneurysm). An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is usually located below the kidneys. Aortic dissection can occur in the aorta and its main branches.

How do aneurysms happen, and who is at risk?

Any condition that causes the walls of the arteries to weaken can lead to an aneurysm. The following increase the risk of an aneurysm or an aortic dissection:

Atherosclerosis (a build-up of fatty plaque in the arteries).
High blood pressure.
Deep wounds, injuries, or infections of the blood vessels

What Christmas is REALLY ABOUT!

by New Song

It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood. Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously, Pacing 'round like little boys do And in his hands he held a pair of shoes, His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe And when it came his time to pay I couldn't believe what I heard him say...

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time You see she's been sick for quite a while And I know these shoes would make her smile And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.

He counted pennies for what seemed like years Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here" He searched his pockets frantically Then he turned and he looked at me, He said Mama made Christmas good at our house Though most years she just did without. Tell me Sir, what am I going to do, Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes.

So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out. I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great!

I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love As he thanked me and ran out, I knew that God had sent that little boy To remind me just what Christmas is all about!

The Results r N!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well the results of my MRI are finally in and the diagnosis... Fraying of the Labrum.

The labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints. A labrum is found in both the shoulder and the hip joint. The labrum forms a ring around the edge of the bony socket of the joint. It helps to provide stability to the joint by deepening the socket, yet unlike bone, it also allows flexibility and motion.

Injuries to the labrum have long been recognized as a possible source of pain and discomfort. Labral injuries in the shoulder are much more common, and the treatment of shoulder labral injuries has been more carefully investigated. With the recent development of arthroscopic techniques to surgically manage the hip joint, there has been increased recognition and awareness of hip labral tears.

How Does a Tear Occur in the Hip Labrum?

There are two general types of hip labral tears: degenerative tears and traumatic injuries.

A degenerative tear is a chronic injury that occurs as a result of repetitive use and activity. Degenerative labral tears can be seen in the early stages of hip arthritis.

A traumatic hip labral tear is usually an acute injury as a result of a sports injury, fall, or accident. Hip labral tears can be seen in association with episodes of hip dislocation or subluxation. They are commonly associated with sudden, twisting maneuvers that cause immediate pain in the hip.

Treatment of Hip Labral Tears
The treatment of hip labral tears is evolving quite quickly. Only a few years ago this injury was rarely recognized. Now it is becoming increasingly common to hear of athletes having their "hip scoped" to have their labral tear treated.
In general, the treatment of a hip labral tear usually starts off with some simple steps. Typical early treatments of a hip labral tear include:

The torn labrum in the hip can cause inflammation around the joint. Allowing the inflammation to settle down may alleviate the symptoms of the labral tear and allow return to activities.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in diminishing some of the inflammation in the joint. If the inflammation subsides, the symptoms may resolve.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapists can use various techniques to improve hip function by strengthening and balancing the muscles around the hip joint.

Cortisone Injection
A cortisone injection is useful not only as a treatment of the labral tear, but it can also be performed at the same time as a diagnostic injection the help determine the cause of the hip pain.
If these treatments fail to alleviate the pain associated with a hip labral tear, a hip arthroscopy procedure may be considered. During a hip arthroscopy, your surgeon places a small camera into the hip joint to see the labral tear. Your surgeon can also evaluate the cartilage of the joint, important ligaments, and other structures.

Treatment of the labral tear usually consists of shaving out the torn portion of the labrum. In some larger tears, located in an accessible area of the joint, a repair of the labrum may be attempted. Recovery from a hip arthroscopy depends on the extent of work that needs to be completed, but usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks.
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