Thursday, August 31, 2006

Surgery 09-11-2006

Everything went well at the doctor's appointment. I was so nervous about it, but things couldn't have gone better. Sweet Ari was with me holding my hand the whole time and that makes anything bearable. : ) My Surgeon agreed that the best thing for me to do is to have the surgery as soon as possible and that he expects that I will be back to as normal as I can be within a year! He even used the words "playing sports"! : ) (that's a REALLY giant grin if you can't tell.) So, he said that he expects me to make a very good recovery and that I should be able to ride horses again! I can hardly believe that it's true...God is sooooooooo good. Thank you Jesus!

So, the actually surgery will be September 11th at 12 p.m. I check in at 10:30, the actual surgery should take around 5 hours and I will be in hospital for four or five days. Post surgically I will need a lot of after care, and a walker for awhile, (pppplllbbtt!) but I really think that I CAN live through this! The Doc said that this surgery won't be as horrendeous as the last one. They won't be harvesting bone from my hip, and they will only be making one incision in my back. Last surgery I had FIVE incisions! One where they took/harvested bone from my left hip, one in my stomach for a front entry to my spine, and one major one on my lower back for entry to my spine, plus two smaller ones on my low back where they put the screws in. This time, I should only have one! Woo Hoo! Maybe three, because he did mention that he will put in two more screws to hold the new fusion in place as it heals. But, some more good news is that he will be able to remove the old pins/screws that are part of why I get so sick with the menengitis. This means that today ALL of my prayers have been answered, thank you Jesus, thank you every one for your prayers. I know that they go a really long way. God's grace is still amazing to me. I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning, and that His faithfulness is great!

So, that is the news from here for now. I will be sort of busy getting myself prepared to be out of commission for six months and living with my parents for the first few weeks, but I will do my best to stay in touch with you all and keep you posted. Even if I have to bribe my family members to blog my up-dates for me, I will make a way! : )

I love you all and I really do deeply appreciate your prayers, you have blessed me with your care and your concern. I hope that each one of you will be in a position sometime in your life to receive the same kind of blessings. It is a very humbling and amazing thing to accept the gift of other's love and support and service when it's just for you, just because you are you, and you need it.

Thank you for your continued prayers,
Kristen Fairlight

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Ferdinand The Cat"

O.k., I am hoping that the majority of you have read the book about Ferdinand the Bull who loved flowers and all the other cows made fun of him because he spent his days lying under the shade of a tree smelling flowers. I don't remember the rest of it, I am sure that there is a moral to the story, but the reason I bring this all up is because my cat is a complete and total freak for flowers!

Everytime we have had flowers around the house, the cat gets all weird and he will do almost anything to get to the boquet...I don't know if its that he likes to drink the flower water or he likes to eat the foliage because he does both. The problem lies in that he gets so into the flowers that he knocks the flowers over and spills whatever water is in them all over! We have woken up to find a dozen roses scattered all over the house and a giant puddle of water on our nice WOODEN table and chairs! Yes, it left a water stain. Now everytime Ari gets me flowers we have to keep them in the bathroom or in our bedroom and keep the doors shut at all times!

Ari surprised me with a beautiful boquet of roses and sunflowers and stuff, so I have been keeping them in the bathroom where we can enjoy them a little more. (We don't hang out in our bedroom much, it's super cold, it's super dark -so we can sleep during the day- and it's pretty small, so we mostly use it for sleeping.) At any rate, we had company over for dinner, he used the bathroom and forgot to shut the door when he was done. We didn't notice that the door had been left open until we heard this giant crash followed quickly by a large splash and Jack sprinting out to the living room as if his life depended on it! Auuuuhhg. Flowers everywhere, water everywhere...oh joy! Well, on the bright side, the flowers got some fresh water and the bathroom floor got mopped, so it's not all bad. : ) But from now on, our Cat will forever be Jack/Ferdinand the Cat, the flower loving freak! : )

On a completely different subject, I meet with my Surgeon tomorrow at 2 p.m. our time, (which is 3 p.m. your time if you live in OR or WA.) So I should be finding out whether or not I am going to have a surgery and hopefully when it will be. I am feeling a lot of anxiety. Mostly I am nervous about two things; the first is that the doctor will tell me that there is no hope for me and that there is nothing he can do to improve my back. I highly doubt that will happen, but keep in mind that fears are generally irrational. : ) The second thing that I am scared of is that I am going to have the surgery and all of the pain that comes after it. The surgery I am going to have (if I am having one) is very similar to the last one I had when they fused my back. Most of you know that that was a dusey, I was in hospital for a week, and then my doc gave me a choice of going to a nursing care facility, or if I was very lucky, perhaps I had family who could provide around the clock care for the first two to three weeks. Blessed as I am, my family was able and willing, but it was the hardest thing I have ever had to live through and I always said that I didn't feel like I could ever live through it that's why I am was complete and total H-E-double hockey sticks, and it took a very long time, six month to a year to recover completely. Well, hopefully we still have my walker around somewhere because I know I will be needing that thing again. Blech. Sorry, I don't mean to dump on you, but I need to "deal" with these feelings. I have been really good at ignoring them and just staying busy in my head so I don't have to think about it or process it. I know that isn't the healthiest way to deal, so I am just comes out like this. : )

I appreciate, covet and request your prayers. I know that God uses them to help me find the grace that I need to get through this. Thank you for your prayers, I will keep you posted.

Love Kristen

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hi All

Life is pretty consistant and predictable around here, so there is not much new to report. Jessica, my big sister, came up and visited us this week for three days and two nights. It was really nice to have her around for a few days, but it never feels like it was long enough...I want to live with her again! Jessie and I get along so well and we are best friends. We are so blessed and lucky to not only love eachother as sisters, but we really like eachother too! Sometimes it is a little bit eerie how alike we actually are. When ever we are together, we always end up making the same comments or exclamations at the same time and with the same intonation and inflexion. It's weird, seriously. Another strange thing is that we are asked if we are twins nearly everytime we are out in public together. What's up with that?! She's a blonde, I am a redhead. She is six years older than I am and sure, we have similar features and mannerisms, but twins????? Sisters explains it a lot easier than twins in my opinion!

Anyway, she came up and I got to show off my home to some one who always notices and appreciates the new additions and the small changes I have made in decorating. I don't know why that matters to me, but I love it when people notice the little things I do in our house to make improvements, etc... I guess that I am proud of our humble home. I really do love our little apartment and all of our hand-me-down furniture and how we've put it all together. : ) Seriously, our couch was given to us by one of Ari's co-workers, our other futon/love seat was giving to us by our neighbor and fellow officer who also gave us a beautiful pine dining table and bench set. Our end tables, lamps, steamer trunk/coffee table, curtains and throw pillows are all from thrift stores! : ) It was a REALLY big deal when we were able to purchase a brand new recliner this spring! Also, I found a gorgeous area rug on clearance at WalMart that we added this summer. Blah, blah, blah...There I go again! Basically, I am proud of our home and I love it. : )

Jessica has been working super hard this summer with Ameri-Corps working with the local kids running a day-camp five days a week for eight weeks! It was really great to have her up to our place in the mountains, out of the desert where she lives in 113 degree heat. It rained every day that she was here, and we had several major lightning and thunder storms, she loved it! The weather up here is really spectacular and it changes quite frequently. We have such an incredible view of the mountains directly across from us...we get to watch the storms and lightning play over them. About twice a week, we get the most beautiful evening light hit the valley and the mountains and there will be a double rainbow at the end of the canyon that takes your breath away. I will have to capture one on our camera so I can share it with you on our blog. So, what I have been trying to say, (and I've been side-tracking all over the place,) is that Jess had a very restful and relaxing time up here on her visit and we enjoyed eachother's company very much.

Speaking of Thunder and Lightning storms, one just hit, so I should get off the computer in case the power goes out or our building gets hit by lightning!

Peace out!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Medical Up-date

On August 8th I had an appointment to see a surgeon who had come highly recommended. He lived up to his reputation, and he said that he didn't think that the metal in my back was causing any problems but that he didn't know enough about the menengitis to make a call on whether it should come out, so he's consulting with the Doc I saw that gave me the diagnosis in the first place. And, he said the the best and easiest place to start (to improve my back and nerve pain) was to do an epidural of lidocaine and cortizone directly into the area right below where I have the fusion, and if that took any of the pain away, then we know that's what needs surgery...another fusion. The spot I have fused already is the second to last movable vertibrae in the back and because it can't move at all, it puts a lot of strain and extra motion on the joint below it. (I am trying to explain why another fusion is actually a good idea, sorry if it doesn't make sense.) : )

Long story short; the injection took away nearly ALL the pain!!!! Thank you Jesus for making it this easy! I will meet back up with the surgeon in Grand Junction on August 31st to go over the results of the injection and schedule a surgery, I imagine. (His name is Dr. Gebhart) And the reason my follow-up appointment is a few weeks away is because the cortizone needs time to work...the lidocaine is fairly instant, just like the novacaine they use on your mouth at the dentisit...So, we will have an even better idea of where exactly to fuse, and those sorts of things. If we do go ahead with the surgery, I am going to have the metal removed while they are in there. It doesn't matter to me what some one's opinion is on it, I know what it feels like and I know that it causes inflamtion and other problems, so there. : ) Also, my regular Doc told me that I should have it removed for sure. No matter what it looks like on an MRI or x-ray, it is foreign matter and my body will continue to treat it as such, trying to get rid of it, dissolve it or encapsulate it in calcium, those sorts of things. Yum.

Please pray that I can get this surgery done and over with sometime in Sept. I just want to get it over with so that I can start healing. Like the last surgery I had, it's about a year of recovery, and the first two to three months are complete and total hell. Last time I moved back in with my partents and I had to use a walker for three months! Talk about humiliation. This time I will probably stay at my parent's for the first few weeks and make it home just as soon as I can. I know that I will need around the clock care for the first month-ish, that's about how it was last time. Just writing about this I am starting to feel anxious...Most of the time, I just sort of talk about it like it's happening to some one else, so it doesn't get to me, but I guess I should start dealing with it now. I am going to need a LOT of prayer during and after the surgery! I am most certain that that is the only reason I survived the last surgery with shreds of sanity. I could honestly feel people's prayers and God's grace was right there for me.

Blessings, Kristen & Ari

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hey There

So, I had a heck of a time trying to get these restaurant pictures posted, for some reason I kept getting everything all set up and ready to go, press the publish button and wait......and wait, get the picture, (or actually you don't because they weren't showing up on my stinking blog!) Well, eighth time must be a charm, because it worked at last.

I wanted to tell you guys about the day I took the pics of the restaurant. It was the day after we had gone to Disneyland and we were just hanging out at the restaurant all day with Alice. (Our hotel room was actually adjacent to the restaurant, so it was super convenient, especially when I NEEDED coffee in the morning!) So, there we were, just enjoying eachother's company, visiting, whatever, and then they got a rush of customers and they were short servers that day, so I stepped in! It was fun to play waitress. I even got to train a few of the employees on the esspresso machine and I played barista all day for everyone who wanted a latte' or whatever. I didn't get any tips or anything, but I know that I helped Alice out a lot and I am pretty sure I helped get her tips up! Not that she needs any help, she's everyone's favorite, no matter what arena she is involved in. I swear she could sell B.B.Q. to a lady in white gloves and the lady would be excited that she bought it despite the stains on her gloves! : )

All in all, Ari and I had a really wonderful time on our impromtu trip. We are grateful that we went and for the time that we got to spend with family. My only wish was that I would have liked to have had more time with Mia/Michlien. I just love that girl! Ari and I only got to see her for maybe an hour or so, but I enjoyed every minute of it, she is a total kick in the pants! We were able to spend good quality time with most every one. Now that Ari's Aunt Veta, Uncle Yeorgous/George and four of his five cousins, and they live next door, it makes it a little bit harder to get time with everyone. Two of the cousins older, Saki and Alexi...I think they are 17 and 19ish? And of course, Ari's brother Amar! We got to go out to dinner in Manhattan Beach at a place called the Kettle all together with Alice and share some laughs and really good food.

The drive wasn't too bad, I guess it was just around 13 hours. On our trip home we WERE planning on seeing the Grand Canyon, but as it turns out, it's way farther off the highway than we had thought, so we kiboshed that idea, for getting our tired behinds HOME again! I am kinda dissappointed we didn't see it, but I did really want to get home by then, and we are planning a trip back down there in early Sept. ish. So we will swing it the next time. Sheesh! If that's my only complaint, I will take it! Yeey-ya! Seriously, Ari and I are so amazed so much of the time at how incredibly blessed we are, in everything! The Lord is so good.

love and peace ya'all!

More Restaurant Pics

I love these two people! Just look how happy they are together! : )
Here is the "all important A" bestowed upon the resaurant by the Health department. All of the restaurants down there have some "grade" posted in their be ware! If it doesn't have an A, don't stay! : )
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Alice's Restaurant, a.k.a. Aliki's Greek Taverna!

Here are some interior and exterior photos...I will post just a few now, my blogspot is acting up for some reason, so more later!
Today's Specials: Vegetarian Mousaka, Greek salad and Baklava! Yum
The main seating area, plus out the back door there is a little garden/courtyard seating which is very pleasant.
Ari and his Mamma visiting over breakfast. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

A few more pics from the Magic Kingdom!

I really love these pics of us in front of the flowers...perhaps we'll get one of 'em framed.

And here we have my interpretation of Rasta-Mickey
Of course, the castle, it all it's glory! By the way...does anyone know officially whose castle it is? Cinderella? Snow White? Sleeping Beauty? If I had to guess, it would be either Cinderella or Snow White...I'll go with S.W. 'cause she's got that whole little water feature with the dwarves right out side. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Bug's Life Parade

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More Disney fun

Of course we couldn't pass up the rasta hat for Ari and all his fun hippie friends back home! : )

Yep, that's me with the Cheshire cat on my head, not that you can really tell. Perhaps I should have thought better than to post this one!
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Disneyland 2006

Ari is having a blast waiting in line! My Mom was so opposed to the pic of me in Eeyore ears, that I decided to remove it! (Truth is, I hated it and I have absolutely no idea as to why I posted it in the first place.) So, to all of you who "missed out" on seeing, be glad, it was REALLY ugly! : )
Here, we finally got our bride and groom Mouse ears! We were too poor on our honeymoon to shell out the money. Now we are living high on the hog! : )
Raging River, something-something...I don't know the actual name of the water rapid ride in CA Adventures! We got super wet this time, but it so didn't matter because it was quite hot! We had a blast today! Posted by Picasa

Andrew in all his glory!

Ari's nephew Andrew in all his bathing glory! He and I had a lot of fun making tons of bubbles in his bath last night! He is such a goofy, fun and smart little guy. It was fun to hang out with him and get to play with him and his other cousins for a while.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Star Sightings Galore!

So, I don't know if most of you know who these people are, or if you even care, but...I say Carey Hart today. He's the guy who has a show on A&E called Inked about his tatoo shop in Las Vegas and he just so happens to be married to Pink, and he is a super star Motocross guy too. : ) Also I say Randy Jackson, the American Idol judge, riding his bike on the pier in Mahattan Beach. Ari doesn't believe me that I REALLY saw them, but I swear, I did! I was walking in to Starbuck's and Carey Hart held the door for me, we stood in line together, and then I walked past him later, so I am absolutely POSITIVE that it was him, darn it! : )

Like I said, most of you probably don't care, but oh,'s kinda cool to me!

Talk to you soon! XOXOXO

Manhattan Beach

So here we are in Manhattan Beach, L.A., CA! Ari's mom was running a farmer's market here, so we drove over for a visit and a stroll on the boardwalk. The weather is so amazing! Palm trees, sunshine, nice makes me (sorta) want to move here. : ) I forgot what temperate climates were like. : )

Here's a shark, so of course we had to get a picture of it with Ari!
Here is the view from out on the is so lovely. Posted by Picasa

The Grand Canyon! : )

Hey, this is my very first time seeing the Grand Canyon so I thought I'd take a's 3 a.m. . .so, (well, I thought it was funny!) We are going to drive back through during the daytime so I will get some better photos to post. : ) Posted by Picasa

Our Crazy Adventure!

Wazzaup My Crackas?
Ari and I decided to do something really crazy, for us anyway, and we took off tonight at 10 p.m. to drive to L.A. for a visit just because we had a few days off and just because! : ) I must say that I am really proud of us for being this spontaneous. We are hoping to spend some time with Ari’s family, see the new Greek restaurant, eat at the new Greek restaurant, go to either Disneyland or Universal Studios and also spend a day at the beach in the CA sun! (For those of you who aren’t aware, Ari’s Mom Alice has started up her very own, Greek, of course, restaurant in L.A. near the LAX. We have just five days off including tonight, Sunday, so we are cramming in a lot, but who cares? It’s all just for fun anyway!
We were able to pawn off our pet’s care on to a few of our neighbors…Dan, an officer who lives adjacent to us, loves Lou lou and since we take care of his cat and dog when he’s out of town, he happily agreed to take on Lou for a few days. As for Jack, our friend and Ari’s partner (with work) : ) Anthony, took Jack over to his apartment while we are gone. Anthony’s cat loves to come over and play with Jack, and we take care of her when he’s out of town, so it was no problem for him to take Jack for a few days. What’s nice about this pet set up is that Jack won’t be home alone, pining for us and getting into all sorts of mischief, and Lou lou has the house to her self and, best of all, she doesn’t have to have the lid on her cage the whole time! Jack is pretty good about leaving her alone, but once in a while he gets a wild hair and starts stalking her. I think it’s mostly to get attention, he does that sort of thing a lot! : ) Yep. We need babies! We talk WAAAAAY too much about our pets! : )
We are just now driving by the Grand Canyon in Arizona…it’s amazing! I have never seen it before and I have one picture in particular that I want to share with you, so I will post it along with this entry. It’s my very first look at the Grand Canyon, at 3 a.m.
So that’s that for now…since Ari brought his lap top, I will try to blog again while we are away. Perhaps we can even post some more pics. Hope all is well in blogger-land, and in your’s too! : )