Friday, November 29, 2013

VNS Surgery

*Surgery pictures below*

Tuesday I had surgery at the University of Utah to repair my Vagus Nerve Stimulator.  We got up there around 12:30pm, but I wasn't wheeled into surgery until around 3:45pm. 

The first thing I was impressed with was how many people were there to help with the surgery.  It's a teaching hospital, so a resident put in my IV.  He was very nice, so it made up for the fact that he had to stick me twice.  I also met the actual anesthesiologist.  I met my surgeon, which I wasn't expecting.  He told me that it would be a little bit of an exploratory surgery, which I knew.  They wouldn't know if the lead on my Vagus Nerve (which talks to the battery and tells it to work)  was broken until they actually opened me up.  The surgeon said it was very rare for a lead to break, and that depending on how bad my vagus nerve is, a side effect could be my voice changing, and becoming hoarse.  This was news to me, and became a  concern since I am a school teacher.  Oh well, hoarse voice or seizures....I'll go with the hoarse voice.

My neurologist was there, the surgeon's assistant, and at one point, inside the little pre op room, there were about 10 people inside, all for me.  I felt special!

If the lead needed to be changed, the surgery would take about 3 hours because they would have to use microscopes and small instruments to get all the scar tissue out from around the lead.  I've had this lead since 2002.  30 minutes into surgery my family received a call that that lead was broken, and they would begin the delicate process of removing all the scar tissue so that they could replace the lead. 

Below is a picture I found on the internet of what the surgery looks like, along with a description.  It would've been awesome to actually see my surgery, but I think it's cool anyway!

The images show the microsurgical pattern of electrode removal and reimplant around vagal nerve. (a) Old electrodes (a conductor through which electricity enters or leaves something such as a battery or a piece of electrical equipment) enveloped in fibrotic tissue, (b) piecemeal removal of electrodes and silicon spiral tether, (c) vagus nerve anatomical preservation, (d) new electrode (lead)implantation.

When I woke up, I was VERY aware of the fear of my voice sounding different, so I began talking and didn't stop!  The first thing I said was that I had was dreaming about grading a Shurley Grammar test!  They all thought it was funny that I was dreaming about work.  I noticed right away that my voice sounded nromal, so I was very grateful for that.

The doctor said that surgery went very well.  My vagus nerve is very strong.  My magnet hasn't been turned on yet, because my vagus nerve needs time to heal.  It will be turned on in about two weeks.  I've also been told that I'll be able to be taken off of some of my medications and have them switched out with safer medications.  That's always a happy thing to hear.  I can't say enough wonderful things about the team I had at the U of U.  They were so kind, accomodating, and the survery I receive in the mail is one that I can't wait to fill out!

Sleeping the first night at home was rough.  Wednesday, the 1st day after surgery, was also rough.  My body didn't like the pain medications, so I wasn't able to keep anything down.  Luckily Wednesday night I slept on my favorite chair in our living room, so I was able to get up by myself, and actually sleep!  And Thursday I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, and look forward to leftovers the whole weekend!!

Nick has been awesome during this whole thing.  While busting his butt getting Thanksgiving dinner ready on Wednesday and Thursday, he was also taking care of me.  And so many people from church have been sweet, bringing meals and offering to help with Brandon.

My scars as of Wednesday morning.  They're now covered with gauze because let's face it, it looks scary!

Now I'm focusing on moving my arm more, and standing up straight.  I've been walking around like The Hunchback of Notre Dame!  I'm left handed, and this was done on the left side of my body, so that's been fun.  Last night when I started typing this post, my left side began to hurt.  But I need to practice lifting my arm up because I really want to be able to go back to work on Monday!

I'm grateful the surgery went well, and that it's over.  The past 3 months have been rough.  Pregnant in September, miscarriage in October, surgery in November.  I'm done now!  The scars will take a long time to completely heal, but the seizures will stop, so I'm thrilled for that! 

Thanks to EVERYONE who has helped in any way; food, child care, prayers, emails, everything!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Miscarriage Taboo

*Caution:  Not for the faint of heart.  And for all of my friends who are currently pregnant, or have recently had a child, I mean no offense to you, this is just raw emotion and my way of dealing with this*

For those who missed my last post,  I just miscarried at 7 weeks.  Read the article here for all those details.

I was talking to my sister the other day, and she brought up a really good point.  Why is it that miscarriage is considered such a taboo?  Women wait until the "safety" zone of three months to tell people their exciting news, but if you don't make it that far, we are expected to keep it a secret and deal with it in silence.  We have to continue on with our daily lives, like nothing has happened, as if we can really concentrate on the task at hand, when all we really want to do is get into our pajamas, crawl into bed, and cry.  Sometimes, like in my case, people did know that I was pregnant, but it's an awkward conversation for people to have with you, and many times you don't have the emotional strength to talk about it out loud.  So I'm choosing to talk about it here where I can cry while I type, and no one has to have an uncomfortable conversation with me!

Before Brandon was born, I had a miscarriage at about 6 weeks.  I didn't even realize that I had had a miscarriage and had a D&C at the hospital.  I don't remember much about that because I wasn't very healthy at the time.  My seizure disorder effected my memory for years, so that experience is pretty much forgotten.  This time however, the situation is VERY different.  I am in complete control of my faculties, my memory is completely intact, and we waited a long time to try this again.  This time I feel the pain of loss, and the frustration of having this happen a second time.

I knew exactly when I was pregnant.  I had planned on surprising Nick, but as soon as I saw the test I went screaming into the bedroom because I couldn't hold it in!  I sent email subscriptions to all the baby magazines to send me weekly updates about my pregnancy.  I had written on the calendar on my phone when every 4 weeks had passed during my pregnancy...all the way to my due date.  Nick and I were reading from a "pregnancy week by week" book that we used when I was pregnant with Brandon, and I was planning on buying the updated version of that book this weekend.  I knew exactly how I was going to announce on Facebook that I was pregnant and couldn't wait!  I had even already started looking at baby furniture, since we have none, and baby bedding!  Instead, I had to unsubscribe to those emails, which was not easy.  For some stupid reason they make it MUCH easier to subscribe than to unsubscribe.  I trashed all the internet links to anything baby related that I'd saved, and I erased all the dates I'd put on my phone calendar, and put the baby book away.

Have you ever noticed that when you want something that you can't have, it seems like everyone else has it?  Facebook has been nothing but a reminder of our loss, as everyone is announcing either their pregnancy or delivered babies.  All the stupid ads on the side of my Facebook page have to do with babies, since that's been what I'd been looking at lately on the internet.  And it seems like everyone at work is announcing they're pregnant!  It's like pouring salt on the wound.

I was given 3 choices to "complete" this miscarriage.  Another D&C, I could let it pass on its own, which could take up to 2 weeks, or I could take a medication that would complete this in 48 hours.  I choose the medication.  I want this done so that I can move on.  I did some research on this medication and became sad.  Not only is this medication used to "complete" a miscarriage (also known as a spontaneous abortion, a term I can't stand), but it's also given to women who want to have an abortion.  You have no idea how horrible I feel taking this medication.  I know that I'm not taking it to induce an abortion, but the very fact that it's used for that reason makes me sick.

So last night I curled into my favorite chair, and prepared for what was about to happen.  The medication is supposed to contract my uterus to expel what is left of the baby, so I was also given some pretty heavy pain pills.  I didn't actually go into labor with Brandon, so I had no idea what to expect.  An hour after taking the medication, I wanted to scream.  I didn't, because Brandon was upstairs playing.  All he knew was that mommy wasn't feeling good.  I've now discovered that contractions, even the smallest ones,  suck!!  I took some of the pain medication and continued doing anything I could to keep my mind off of what was happening.  I painted my nails, watched CSI:  Miami (love that show!), and took deep breaths.  I was afraid to go to the bathroom because the medication is also supposed to make me bleed, which is something I wasn't interested in seeing.  I'd already watched myself bleed 17 days ago when this mess began, I really didn't want to see it again.  Luckily that part hasn't been too bad, and I was able to sleep through the night.

This morning I'm taking the last 2 doses of the medication.  I'm cramping again, and I simply hope this is over soon.  I'm looking forward to letting this go and moving on.  I can't make decisions now about whether I want to do this again...I'm too emotional, too scared of it happening again, and more time needs to pass.  I do know that now that I'm the magical age of 35 I have another whammy against me, as pregnancy over 35 can tend to lead to higher risk, which I already am due to my seizure disorder!

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know this:  I am very grateful for my friends and family who have supported me through this.  Your kind words and encouragement have meant a lot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Trial Of Your Faith

Last December I was sitting in church watching a baby playing.  I was instantly hit like a ton of bricks.....there's another baby waiting for us.  I thought this was crazy.  At that time I had no job; I was a substitute teacher.  I had no insurance, and was 40 pounds overweight.  So I put the thought out of my mind.

I never wanted to have another baby.  I miscarried before Brandon, and after Brandon was born healthy I figured that was it.  My health declined and I spent the next 4 years trying to get control of my seizures.  Babies were nowhere on my radar.  If you're unfamiliar with that story, you can read it here.

Last January I was hired at Excelsior Academy.  We moved to Tooele a month later and I began loosing weight.  Job-check.  Weight loss-beginning.  There was still the hurdle of insurance.  There was a 9 month pre-existing clause in my insurance, which meant I couldn't see a neurologist until October of this year.

Just this September, my brother-in-law felt inspired to tell Nick and I that were we going to experience a trial of our faith.  He is truly an inspired man.  I discovered I was pregnant the end of September.

In early October I was able to finally see a neurologist because the 9 month pre-existing condition clause on my insurance had expired.  He was a nice enough guy, and everything was fine.

A week later, after going almost 6 years without having any seizures, I began having them again, completely out of the blue.  Nervous, I went back to my neurologist, and a few interesting things happened.  First, when he went to check my Vagus Nerve Stimulator, it was giving him an "ERROR" sign.  He wasn't sure if this meant something was wrong with my actual device, or if something was wrong with his hand held device.  What's a Vagus Nerve Stimulator?  Read here for all the details.

He said he would call the local "Rep" and see if they could come and take a look at it.  I asked him what would happen if it was the device that was broken, and he told me I'd have to have surgery to replace it.  I reminded him that I was currently 6 weeks pregnant, so surgery wasn't an option until I was at least 14 weeks along.  We decided that if the device was broken, we'd need to tweak my medication until I was at 14 weeks.  I asked the doctor how long it would take for me to hear back from the "rep", and he said they should know by Tuesday or Wednesday (this conversation occurred on a Thursday).  He told me that there was a case worker now who would be calling him back.  He also wanted to schedule a Sleep-deprived EEG.  I wasn't thrilled about the Sleep-deprived EEG because basically you have to go 24 hours without sleep, and then take this test.  It would stress my body into a seizure, which I DO NOT want to have happen.

After speaking with the neurologist, I wasn't happy.  I needed to know right now what was happening.  Here we waited so long to decide to have another baby.  We chose now because I was healthier than ever before.  Now I was 6 weeks pregnant, suddenly having seizures again, and I'm being told that the device that prevents them may or may not be working anymore.  If it wasn't working I needed to increase my medications NOW to stop the seizures.

Being the proactive person that I am, especially when it comes to my health, I called the company Cyberonics, who manufactures the VNS device.  I wasn't going to wait 5 days to find out what was wrong.  I wanted to talk to this case worker, so I cut out the middle man (my neurologist)!

I was put in touch with the lady who handles all cases in the state of Utah.  The lady I spoke to was INCREDIBLE.  I told her my story, how I had a sleep deprived EEG scheduled, and that I was 6 weeks pregnant.  She agreed that waiting to find out what was wrong was ridiculous.  She was so moved by my story, and my knowledge about my situation, that she gave me her direct phone number.  She also said she would make a call and find out what was going on.

30 minutes later I received a phone call back from her.  The neurologists equipment wasn't messed up. The lead in my VNS device was broken, which meant the device was no longer sending the charge up to my brain to prevent the seizures from occurring.  It was going to take surgery to fix it, at which time the doctor would most likely change out the entire device.

Knowing that the VNS device was broken confirmed to me that this was the reason my seizures had begun again.  In my opinion there was now no reason to have the EEG test done.  First of all, I didn't want to miss work.  Second, I didn't want to be stressed into a seizure, and third; it's an expensive test that there doesn't seem to be a need for anymore.

I called my neurologists office the next day (Friday) and asked for the neurologist to let me know if I still needed the EEG test done.  His office called me back and told me that he still wanted me to have it done.  I asked the lady why he still wanted it done and she said she didn't know.  (Really, do people not ask questions like that?)  I politely asked her to ask the neurologist why he still wanted it done, and to call me back.

Friday evening my phone rang.  It was the sweet lady from Cyberonics who helped me discover the problem with my VNS device the day before.  She told me that I had been on her mind all day, and she needed to talk to me.  In regards to the sleep deprived EEG, she told me that she didn't think it was a good idea because I'm 6 weeks pregnant and it may not be the healthiest thing for the baby to stress me into a seizure.  (She is a nurse)  I hadn't even thought about the baby!  I had other reasons why this test didn't feel right to me, but when she said that, it cemented my belief that the test was wrong.  She suggested that I talk to my OB about the EEG, and see if she thought it was a good idea or not.

This lady is very familiar with the neurologists in Utah that deal with VNS patients, and she sent an email to one, and told me that she would help me find a neurologist with more experience.  Let's face it:  the current neurologist was fine when nothing was wrong with me, but he sucks in my opinion now.  The fact that he knew I was 6 weeks pregnant and wanted to stress my body into a seizure tells me that maybe he's not thinking about my best interests.  If we didn't know why I was having the seizures, then I would've gone along with it a little more willingly, but my VNS device is broken, so that explains the sudden rise in seizures.  She spent over an hour on the phone with me.  I'd never felt so blessed before.  Someone I'd never met was watching out for me, and the baby.

I left a message for my OB to call me back regarding her opinion of the sleep deprived EEG, but I knew I was going to cancel the appointment on Monday.

The next Monday I was contacted by the University of Utah, telling me that they had a doctor that wanted to see me.  She's kind of like the "queen of VNS" devices, in Utah.  I asked her office if I should still have the sleep deprived EEG, and they said NO WAY!

I went to see Dr. Combe 5 days later and spent over an hour with her.  In a word, she's FANTASTIC!  The first thing she's says to me is that there is no reason for an EEG, or MRI, and she was impressed and thrilled that I sought out another doctor.  The first, stupid neurologist wanted to turn off my VNS device BEFORE putting me onto another medication to help stabilize my breakthrough seizures.  She also agreed that was a dumb move.  I was given another medication and told that if it controlled my seizures, the next time I saw her we'd discuss turning off the VNS device.  She also told me that no surgeon would TOUCH me while I was pregnant, because I was such a high risk already.  Surgery to fix the VNS device while I was pregnant would be a last option.

So, with the first "trial of our faith" coming more under control, I was looking forward to life getting back to normal.  Unfortunately, the next trial was literally right around the corner.

The very next Monday at work, I noticed blood when I used the restroom.  I immediately became nervous because I've had a miscarriage before, and blood is never a good sign early in pregnancy.  The rest of day everything looked okay, with only a few drops of blood throughout the remainder of the day, and no cramping.  I woke up during the night to use the restroom and my heart sank.  I was pretty sure that I was watching a miscarriage unfold in front of me.  I cried for the next two hours, and didn't sleep the rest of the night.  I called my OBGYN first thing that morning to make an appointment.  Luckily she was able to see me.

My OBGYN is another fantastic doctor, who tells it like it is.  After taking a look, she truly believed that everything could possibly be okay.  The ultrasound showed the blood, but she wondered if it was possibly late implantation bleeding.  All my organs looked good, and she was very certain that she saw what looked like a baby...and i believe I saw it too.  A blood sample was taken, and I was told to come back in 48 hours for another blood sample.  If my hormone level was dropping, we'd know for sure that I was in fact miscarrying.  I went back on Thursday afternoon for the next blood draw, but wasn't able to hear back from her before the weekend.  I had to wait all weekend to find out the fate of my pregnancy.

Since the early morning bleeding, there had been no more blood.  I left feeling a lot more hopeful.  Over the weekend I even had my first episode of nausea...which I was okay with because it was another sign of pregnancy.

Monday I heard from my OBGYN.  She wanted me to come and have another blood test done because my hormone level hadn't increased between the 1st and 2nd test.  I went in that morning and heard back a few hours later that my levels had increased a little, but not a much as she had hoped they would.  I already had an appointment scheduled with her for Wednesday (which was supposed to be my 1st appointment), so I had another 2 days to wait to find out if I was still pregnant or not.

Wednesday (today) came and I was very scared.  Walking into the room with Nick the nurse showed me the "new mom" bag that was waiting for me on the chair.  I told her not to get too excited, as I didn't know if I would be leaving with it.  At that moment I was wishing the nurse had read my file and hadn't put the bag on the chair.  One quick look and she would've known I was there mainly to discover if I'd had a miscarriage or not.

Within the first 30 seconds of the exam I knew the answer to the question that had now been plaguing me for 10 days straight.  When I didn't hear the doctor say, "There it is!", or something like that, I knew that I had miscarried.  There was no heartbeat, and no growth from my ultrasound the week before until today.  I've had 10 days to think about this.  No matter how you prepare for it, hearing that you've miscarried is devastating.  We waited so long to try this again.  I even doubted I could get pregnant again because let's face it, I'm no spring chicken.  It happened fairly quickly, with the timing being perfect because the baby would've been due in early June, which meant I would've made it through the school year.

I went back to the front desk to get the prescriptions I will have to take this weekend to ensure the miscarriage continues and completes itself (which won't be fun), and the sweet receptionist asked me if I received my "new mom bag".  I had to tell her I'd had a miscarriage.  I didn't expect the receptionist to have the facts of my case, so I just smiled the best I could and got the heck out of there.

What I'm trying to remember is that our time isn't always the Lord's time.  Miscarriages happen for a reason.  Something was wrong with the baby, and I know there's nothing I could've done to stop it.

The one plus to all of this is that now I can get my Vagus Nerve Stimulator fixed, and hopefully during Thanksgiving break so that I miss the least amount of work as possible.  My seizures will be back under control, which takes that enormous stress off of me, and allows me to fully concentrate on all the other important things in my life!  An hour after leaving the OBGYN's office today I was on the phone with Dr. Combe letting her know the situation and how I now wanted to schedule the surgery.  Schedulers will be calling to make my consultation appointment where I can now have x-rays done (since I couldn't have them while I was pregnant) so that everyone can be completely positive about what needs to be done, and we can get this fixed.

I don't know what will happen in the future, but I'll deal with it one day at a time.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best Burn Notice Video EVER!!

While I was looking on YouTube for clips for a future post, I ran across this Burn Notice fan video.  It has scenes from all my favorite episodes.  The gang of car thieves, and their AWESOME uniforms; Michael jumping from the helicopter into the ocean, Michael jumping from the balcony of his exploding loft, the Charger exploding (which still makes me gasp when I see it!), it's got it all!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Am NOT a Bigot!!

WARNING:  I am so FIRED UP RIGHT NOW, it's a little ridiculous.

I was reading a post on Facebook this morning from the Protection of Marriage Coalition group (AKA prop 8).  Stupid me, I chose to read the comments.  I was STUNNED by how mean, cruel, and down-right vicious people were in what they were saying.  People from BOTH sides of the issue were showing their complete intolerance for each other.  It made me very upset.

A lot of the comments from those who've been against Prop 8, and for the legalization of all marriages, were calling those who stand with Prop 8 bigots.  I've heard this horrible adjective A LOT this week as the media, and people on Facebook have described those who stand with Prop 8.

According to Wikipedia:

Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of a person's ethnicityreligionnational origingendersexual orientationdisabilitysocioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

I may believe differently than you on this issue.  I may believe that marriage should be between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN, but that DOES NOT MEAN that I am a bigot!  I don't treat those who  choose to live their life different than mine with hatred or contempt.  It's called agency...and it's something that everyone on this planet has.  I have friends and relatives who are gay.  Do I agree with their life choices?  No.  Do I treat them any differently than my friends and relatives who are straight?  NO!!

I'm not intolerant.  Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and to express them.  We don't have to agree with each other either.  It's when the name calling begins that I have a problem.  Those who choose to name call show that they are the intolerant people.  There's no reason for people to have to lower their standards and be cruel.  It NEVER helps a situation, and often makes things even worse.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I've been taught, and believe in ways of life that may not agree with how you choose to live your life.  THAT'S FINE!  They released a statement about this court decision.  It was simple, humble, and well said.  You can read it here.

Many of the comments were telling those for Prop 8 to "give it up", and "let it go".  Let me ask those people something:  back in 2008 when the MAJORITY OF CALIFORNIANS voted for Prop 8, did you "give it up", and "let it go"?  NO, YOU KEPT FIGHTING FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVED IN!  That's all we who believe in Prop 8 continue to do.  We fight for what we believe the same way that you fight for what you believe.

Here's where another sad issue arises.  How come when we fight, or we don't agree with you, we are considered bigots, but when you fight, or don't agree with us you aren't given the same label?  It's a horrible sign of hypocrisy in this country.  But I digress.

My only hope and prayer is that somehow we can find a way to disagree peacefully.  Whichever way this finally ends, someone will be upset.  Oh well, that's life.  But rubbing noses into it by name calling, no matter WHO IS DOING THE NAME CALLING, won't help.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

This post was originally written in 2011.  I've made a few updates and decided to repost it.


Happy Anniversary!

Today is our 8th anniversary.  That is, if you count the entire time we've been sealed, not exactly married.  Basically, we got married the first time 8 years ago today!  Have I confused you enough yet?

If I have confused you, read the following posts; Our First Marriage and Finding Our Way Back Home.  They will explain our crazy life a little better.

I wanted to do something special for Nick, so I went back again to my video software.  I've spent a lot of time scanning our wedding pictures, and I LOVE how this turned out.

Using the song Where You Are, by Rascal Flatts, here is YouTube Friday!  Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Burn Notice "New Deal" Review

So last night was the night I've been waiting for six months to happen.  My beloved, adored, "I'm so addicted to it I don't know what will happen when it's over" show, Burn Notice premiered.

First, a little recap.

With the stage set, I was more than a little excited.  We don't currently have cable, so I attempted to find it last night online, but I couldn't.  Then I checked the USA network website this morning around 6am, and it hadn't posted.  I was beginning to get VERY worried.  Being able to watch it online is "mission critical".  This is one of those things that would warrant getting cable again!  I was able to find a website that would play the episode, and then it FINALLY posted to the USA website....Nick will be thrilled that we won't have to get cable again!!

This is the last season of Burn Notice, and it started much darker than any other.  It picks up 9 months after Michael made the deal to save his friends and mom.  In my review of season 6, which you can read here, I made it very clear that I wasn't happy with the way the season ended.  I also talked about how the "huge betrayal" Michael made wasn't really a betrayal.  Of course Michael took a deal.  What was he going to do:  LET THEM ALL ROT IN JAIL?

Anyway, Fiona has a new boyfriend and they are bounty hunters together.  Jesse is working security again, and Sam is planning a surprise birthday for his girlfriend.  In a very odd turn, Madeline has stopped smoking because she is trying to become the legal guardian of her grandson.  Apparently his mother is an alcoholic and went to rehab.

Michael is in Columbia, and has been undercover the entire time he's been gone.  His new CIA handler has recruited him to help take down a bad guy who is involved in terrorism.  Only this time he's fighting like he was in Fight Club, is drunk all the time, and has a very unattractive beard.  He hasn't spoken to his family or friends since he left either.

To make a long story short, a man shows up in Miami, approaches Jesse and Sam on separate occasions using a different accent, and begins asking about Michael.  We discover early on that he is a bad guy, since while he's talking to Sam, Sam catches on that this isn't right and manages to escape being stabbed in the leg.  Fiona, Sam, and Jesse come together to talk about this guy, and Fiona warns Madeline about this mystery man.

The next day Madeline goes to Child Welfare Services for another meeting about gaining custody of Charlie, her grandson.  Suddenly there's a new worker she's suppose to talk to, and he begins asking a lot of questions about Michael.  Normally Madeline is VERY GOOD at sensing trouble, and coming up with lies to protect Michael and his friends, and has learned a lot from them over the years.  But she just suddenly answers all his questions, and he finds out that Michael is working for the CIA.  I'll come back to this later.

Michael discovers he's been made, and his contact informs him that they are going back to Miami to find the mystery man and get rid of him before the terrorist finds out who Michael really is.  They need to salvage the situation in any way possible.  So this is how our gang will finally come back together.

This episode was also different because instead of wrapping up the problem in one episode, it opens up a storyline that will most likely continue for the last 12 episodes.  I also have a few problems with this episode.  First of all:  what happened to Charlie's other family?  Sure his father, Michael's brother Nate, is dead...but where is Ruth's family to take Charlie?  I have a REALLY HARD TIME BELIEVING that CPS would allow a child into Madeline's home!  Looking over her history the past 6 seasons, she doesn't have the most stable people in her life.  Part of her home was blown up, people have broken into her home, tried to kill her, she's gone to prison a few times....I just don't see it happening.  And I don't think that her simply deciding to quit smoking suddenly makes her a prime candidate!!  Maybe this storyline is an attempt to continue her storyline.  When Nate and Ruth got married, it felt like a real "throw away" storyline, and that's what it has become.  It would be great for her character, I just don't believe it would ever actually happen!

Another problem I have with this episode:  After EVERYTHING Michael did to take down the bad guys in the CIA (Tom Card), we come to find out that the agency (and any other agency with initials) hates all of them, and that EVERYTHING he did was for NOTHING!  This is also very hard for me to believe.

Questions I have after seeing this first episode:

-Is Fiona's boyfriend a good guy or bad guy?

-What will happen when the gang finally run into Michael?

- Where are Michael's signature sunglasses?

According to previews, the 100th episode airing next week will show us how Michael and Fiona met.  I hope it's not just a five second thing.  Fans have been waiting A LONG TIME to see this meeting.  I'm very anxious to see everyone run into Michael again, and I look forward to seeing how the series comes to a conclusion.  If I had my way, Michael would somehow get out from under the CIA, he and Fiona would be together, and they would all continue helping people in Miami like they've done the past 6 seasons.

If you watched it, what did you think?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Guilty Pleasure

For those who have known me since I was a teenager, this will come as no surprise to for the rest of you, this should give you a GREAT laugh!

I am a huge fan, to this day, of New Kids On The Block.  They were "my" boy band growing up.  I know the words to almost every song, I had their posters all over the walls in my bedroom, the pins that would go onto my clothing, every album, t-shirt, and concert I could find was mine.  I watched the Saturday morning cartoon.  It sucked, but I am a "blockhead" through and through, so I watched it.

I was soooo excited when I heard they had come back together in 2008 and released another album.  The album was pretty good, nothing to write home about, but I enjoyed a few of the songs quite a bit.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  They've released another album, and it's a very different sound for them.  I watched the first video from the album, and completely fell in love with the song.  I bought the album last weekend, and I have to say I really enjoy it.

The funny thing is that Brandon really likes the song too,  So much, in fact, that last weekend when my mom was babysitting, he turned on youtube, found the video, and showed it to my mom!  And what's even better.....MY MOM WATCHED IT WITH HIM!!  What a grandma!

Laugh all you want, they are my boy band, and I will love them until I'm dead!  This song speaks to the chubby girl in me!

Enjoy my guilty pleasure:  New Kids On The Block.  I'm so bummed that they aren't touring near where I live, I would be there in a heartbeat!