Friday, December 4, 2009

Postherpetic Neuralgia

So just because I can't break my arm or get stitches like any other normal person... this week I got diagnosed with shingles on my arm. Yes, shingles. Now before you all start wondering if I've touched you, talked to you, coughed within 30 feet of you within the last week... calm yourselves. Although shingles is the varicella (chicken pox) virus in your body acting up when your immune system is low or you're under stress... it is only contagious with direct affected skin to skin contact and only when the vesicles burst (yummy, huh?). I've had it covered, hence no one has ever touched it and being a compulsive hand washer... all is well.

Luckily, it's been more of an annoyance than painful. Looking shingles up online is enough to scare you silly. (Mike and I have concluded they only post the most severe and disgusting of cases). I also learned as an audiology student in my medical aspects course that shingles (which I learned as Herpes Zoster) is the cause of Ramsay-Hunt syndrome-- which can cause hearing loss, dizziness and Bell's palsy. Talk about a career killer... (ha ha). Of course, mine isn't anywhere near that and not affecting the nerves near my head/face. Interesting nonetheless tho, huh?

Anyway, I know there are some serious cases where people have it all over their body, get really sick and are dealing with a lot of pain. Don't let your imagination go wild. I'm really not a diseased, pustulated woman whose been writhing in pain... no need to shun me. I've actually been very blessed. No spreading, no real pain, no being sick. Yay!

The only problem now is that as the shingles have cleared, I've started having weird pain in my arm. Looking into this more, I've found out this may be called "postherpetic neuralgia". Since shingles attacks the spinal nerves, specifically the dermatomes (C8 in my case), even after the shingles are gone the nerve is affected. It can't send the signals correctly after being attacked and sometimes it sends mixed messages that register as pain. This can last for months in some cases years after the shingles leave.

Well, anyway, I found it all to be quite fascinating. Of course, that might be because I've been reading a medical dictionary lately for fun and watching Dr. Quinn episodes. Anyway, that's the new medical case study happening with me. Never a dull moment in the Mansfield home. I knew you'd all enjoy that anatomy lesson. Class dismissed! =)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Friends That Go Beyond Friendship

I have been thinking about this for over a month. In October, Mike and I went to a missionary homecoming for a family we are friends with. I was excited to see all the family together again and looked forward to hear the missionary's talk. The talk was great, the food divine, the conversations wonderful. However, after we left we were not 10 minutes from their home when Mike commented, "Isn't it amazing that after leaving them you somehow feel better about yourself?" It struck me. I always knew this family was unique and they've never not put a smile on my face. But Mike hit it on the nose... this family had the ability to do something extraordinary. Every single one of them, has a special way of making you want to stay with them. They make you feel special and in turn, you want to be better.

Mike and I drove home with smiles on our faces, warmth in our hearts and really... wishing we could go back. The love, the charity, the kindness, the fun, the laughter... it's tangible in their home and in each interaction. It doesn't matter how long it's been or how horrible a friend I've been in return. I truly don't know if I have ever met a family that has touched my heart the same way. I hope you know how special you are to me. You may not ever read this but someone out there should know how amazing you are. You have affected Mike and I in a way no one ever has and we appreciate your friendship and support more than you'll ever know. Time or distance... we pray for you. No one deserves happiness more than all of you.

You truly are the friends that go beyond friendship.
We love you Satterthwaites!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


No this is not a mistake. I took the bright, fall pictures two days before it snowed. And boy, did it snow! Quite the juxtaposition. Luckily, it melted!
Carving pumpkins at the Obergs! Our end result pumpkins.
We also carved pumpkins with our friends Don and Heather. As far as I'm concerned, you can't carve too many pumpkins! This is my Frankenstein and Mike's scared pumpkins adorning our pumpkin-filled doorstep.
Annual Halloween Party
The kids on Halloween night.

Monday, October 5, 2009


For some reason, I am appreciating Fall more than ever this year. On Saturday we decorated our porch/door for Halloween (I'll post a pic soon). I was so happy!! I can't get enough of Halloween, Fall, soup, hot chocolate... mmm. I love it! I know it'll be gone soon since Logan's Fall lasts approximately 2.3 weeks before the snow comes... but I'll take what I can get.

As part of my "loving Fall" mood, I really wanted to use pumpkin in a dessert to go with the soup I was making for a woman in my ward. Since I'm not a fan of pumpkin cookies (much to Mike's dismay), I went to my endless recipe book... the internet. I found a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake on Kraft foods (gotta love it!). Although I probably shouldn't experiment with food I'm taking to other people.... it was fantastic! I know some of you have had my 4-layer pumpkin cake, and although the cheesecake's presentation does not stand nearly as impressive as that, I'm giving it the boot this Thanksgiving for this yummy (and much easier) cheesecake! Yum!! I highly recommend it.

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened **Healthy Tip: next time
I'm going to try this with 1 pkg of Neufchatel and 1 pkg of regular cream
cheese to cut down on the fat**
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground clove **I didn't have clove so I used a dash
of pumpkin spice instead because I had it in my cupboard**
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (6 oz.)

PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter; stir in pumpkin and spices.

POUR remaining plain batter into crust. Top with pumpkin batter.

BAKE 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. **We baked this about 10 min. longer than it suggested so it would set as described. Also, we refrigerated it for about 5 hours. It had wonderful texture but I'll be interested to see if it's different depending on the length of refrigeration.**

Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthdays by the Bundle

The birthdays began with Sadie's! Hers was the only one with a Disney character in attendance. Of course, she was a vital part of the Little Mermaid party. We had amazing food (the best taco salad I've ever had), an Ariel pinata and Little Mermaid cake. Mel did a wonderful job and it was fun to see all the excitement from the little girls by seeing a "real" princess. I love the last picture of Sadie wearing the Ariel dress that Mike and I bought her. So adorable!

On my birthday my parents got my whole family tickets to The Scarlet Pimpernel at Hale Center Theater. It was awesome! My mom bought them a year ago so we had the best seats in the house! I love musicals and we hardly ever get to go to them anymore. Thanks Mom and Dad!! Before the play we went to Pei Wei (cause Chinese is Mike's fav) and after we had cake, (look below to see my mom's cute cake! I loved it!) ice cream and presents. I also loved the picture that Christian drew me in their card so I had to post it. =)

The next weekend we celebrated Mike's b-day. On Friday, we went to Macaroni Grill with some of Mike's sisters who were in town for the Scrapbook Expo. The next day, Mike wanted corned beef and hash at the Blue Plate Diner in SLC for his b-day so Jonny, Kaylee and I went that morning to breakfast and enjoyed the wonderful outdoor eating at the little dive. Mike then went and played tennis with my dad while I went to my BF's baby shower. Later that night, we stayed in, ordered pizza and played games. It was fun, relaxing and one of Mike and my favorite things to do (Game Recommendation: Smallworld by Days of Wonder). Below is Mike opening his presents and holding the cake I made, which is always fun. Ha! I insist on doing it every year despite the fact that I always mess something up. Mike would probably prefer a plain cake over my stress but in a strange and sadistic way, I like to do it for him. This is actually the second version because I had some serious frosting problems the first time around. With help, it worked out. Mike was surprised and liked it, which was most important. It was also appropriate for the news we got the day before... Deloitte was ranked the #1 business to launch your career by Business Week magazine. Woohoo!

This weekend we got to go home to Vernal and celebrate Mike's dad and Derek's (his nephew) birthdays. As a nice surprise, we also got both our birthdays in there as well. Thank you all for the amazing and fun gifts (we already went to Chili's for FHE)! Notice the pictures of the cake. Mike's sister is this amazingly ridiculous cake-maker. She made a cake for both Dad and Derek. The fancy side is for Dad. Set a front-loader to the other side and you find Legos inside (made of fondant of course). It was so cute. Derek loves Legos (he got a bunch for his b-day) and he loved his cake! Mel, you're incredible!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Comedy of Errors

WARNING: Extremely lengthy but somewhat funny post to follow.

Despite the title... the 24th of July weekend was really fun. Mike's family has their annual camp out so on Thursday we headed to Flaming Gorge. I love the camp outs! It's fun to all be together, go boating, eat great food, make fires, cook in a dutch oven, play games... the whole bit. It's something my family really never did growing up (the closest we got to camping was the motor home at Lake Powell) so I figure that's why I love it now. The initial downer was that my throat started to hurt a little Thursday morning when I woke up. Nonetheless, we made it. We were at a new camp site this year and it was a lot bigger and more shady. That night was kind of funny because all 13 of us ended up eating in the gas station because in the small town of Manilla, everything closes at 9:00 p.m. And by everything, we mean the 2 restaurants. All the same, it was a pretty good hoagie for a gas station. I was a little sick to my stomach that night so I just wanted to go to sleep. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, my allergies got bad as soon as we got out of the car. Being outdoors is probably enough but camping in all that wilderness and under all those trees... I was doomed to have a chapped nose by the end of the weekend (which was very attractive on Sunday!). So whatever, I'm used to having allergies. They're a pain but you live with them. Mike's parents were so sweet to lend us their tent and Mike's sister and husband lent us these AMAZING cots. Woohoo for not sleeping on the ground! We went to bed and all was well... Until I woke up around midnight as things started pelting my face. Raindrops. We hadn't put the rain fly up because we wanted to see the stars and yes, it rained. So I woke Mike up and he ran out to put that up in the middle of the night before we were soaked. Trying to be romantic and ending up being rained on at 12:00 a.m. = Comedic Error #1. That was fine and we fell back to sleep. Around 2:00 I woke up to some noise. Okay, so I'm not tough-- big surprise. I'm not much for hanging out with animals. Last year some animal was scratching at our tent and growling. When I woke Mike up he said it wasn't a big deal. What he didn't tell me was that he stayed up because he knew that wasn't just some skunk. The next day Kevin said he found bear tracks behind our tent going into the bushes. Who knows? Either way, I wake up to noises. So I wake up Mike and ask him what that noise is. He flashes his light out there and JOY--- some animal is in the food tent. Also unfortunate for us... our food was the only food in there. Whatever it was it went through three bags shredding and eating our Texas Toast bread for our orange french toast. Grrr.... so annoying. So at 2:00 Mike and I are making noises to scare the animal away and Mike goes out to clean up all the shredded bread, separating ruined food from salvaged food. Stupid animal eating $10 worth of bread and having to buy it again at Manilla's only market for $15 = Comedic Error #2.
Despite the night, the next day was great! We headed to the lake and even tho it was crowded we had some good sun and played on the beach a bit. I still didn't feel very well but really wanted to go boating. We went out and Mike wake skated for the first time. I tried. Although I got up, I probably only stayed up for 4.5 seconds. I decided to switch to what I could do better and wake-boarded. I'm no pro but I can get up and stay up (no tricks, mind you). The weather started to turn so the water got really choppy by the time I got to wake-boarding. I wasn't staying up as long so I told Mike's brother "one more time". Famous last words, right? I got up and was bumping around on the choppy water. I decided to go out of the wake so I maneuver right and get a little too much speed going out of the wake. Not being smart... I gave forward and flew face first into the water. The wake board comes off my feet, flips up and the side edge hits me square in the chin. Ouch. I never understood the expression "cleaned my clock" quite as well. So I get out and the board gave me a 2 inch cut on my chin. Wonderful. It was more of scratch so it didn't bleed long but looked lovely on my face. More than that... my jaw killed. I could barely open my mouth to chew the delicious cobb salad Mel brought for lunch. Bummer. Feeling like I'd been punched in the face by a 300 lb man = Comedic Error #3. On top of that, while trying to recover me from the water and with windy weather, the rope got caught in the prop. Mike and Wyatt spent 15 minutes trying to get that untangled and ended up with a cut rope. Stranded on a boat in the cold watching boys take turns over and over-- one goes under, next comes up... resulting in a cut rope = Comedic Error #3 and 1/2. The rest of the day was good. We had delicious food (spaghetti and cobbler-- yum!) and hung around the fire pit talking-- which I love. Mike's family is fantastic and always make me laugh. There are a lot of kids, which I also love and they're all adorable. They always keep it interesting!
However, that night I was still feeling it. My chin and jaw I could live with but my nose had continued to run none stop and I was quickly going through my 3 bags of tissues and 1 box. The problem with that was that the combination of being a little sick and the compounding allergies resulted in my asthma increasingly becoming aggravated. For those of you who don't know, I've had asthma since I was a kid but it typically isn't a problem except when I get sick. I brought my inhaler so I was using that every 5 hours or so.
The next day it was rainy. Bummer. But the high point was that we got to play lots of games-- which Mike and I LOVE! While we were there we played some of our favs: Acquire, Tripoly and Scrabble. That night was the worst for me. Cold + allergies + sickness = bad coughing and no breathing. The interval for me taking my inhaler kept getting smaller. That night I found it hard to eat because I couldn't stop breathing long enough to chew my food. Probably should have realized that was a problem. When I woke up I was taking my inhaler every 1-2 hours. I know I shouldn't do that because it's bad for my heart but it was that or breathe. =) I made a command decision.
The next morning we packed up and headed home. I was very excited to shower and take a breathing treatment. Right before the treatment, I knew it was bad. I could barely walk up the stairs and gathering my materials I was really forcing the air in and out. But I know my treatments always fix it. I finished it and felt good... for about 10 minutes. After that I was back to heaving and wheezing. I've never not had relief from a treatment so that was weird for me. After I couldn't fall asleep, I called my dad to ask how often I could take a breathing treatment and long story short (or at least shorter)... Mike and I were at Logan's InstaCare. InstaCare on a Sunday night = Comedic Error #4.
A nurse at my dad's health care advise line said they would likely give me an oral steroid. I was ready for that. They brought me in and while getting information they said I had a fever. The nurse gave me a mask to wear that covered my nose and mouth. (side note: Isn't it funny that my problem is that I can't breathe and as I'm forcing air in and out, not being able to finish a sentence without having to stop and take breaths in between... she gives me something to wear that covers both my mouth and nose. As far as I know, those are pretty much the only two ports for air. Basically, comprising the necessities of breathing, right? Hmmm... think about that). After the doctor comes in and hears the problem it's a whirlwind of "fun". After listening to my lungs, he tells me he's going to give me another treatment again and that I need to take a steroid immediately. Okay, nothing surprising there. But unfortunately, I had progressed too far for an oral steroid. Which left me with a shot. Joy. In my butt. Bigger Joy. A shot in my butt... that was a first. The doctor told me it would be painful (nice) and started me on a treatment. As soon as I started that a nurse comes in and says she needs to give me my shot. During my treatment. So I'm standing at the edge of the table with a tube in my mouth, pants down, holding Mike's hand, both of us trying not to laugh but me partially wanting to cry as this nurse gives me a shot smack in the buttock. She said she didn't know what the doctor was talking about and that it wouldn't hurt more than any other shot. One, two, three... all was good. It didn't hurt and so after giving me a Taz band-aid (probably TMI) on the rump and as I'm priding myself that I must have one tough butt since that didn't hurt hardly at all after the doctor said it would.... ouch. That thing started to throb! Apparently, injected steroids like that make your butt ache for a couple days. Butt shot = Comedic Error #5. So now I'm sitting there, having received my violating shot, squirming on the table trying to find relief, still doing the treatment and a nurse comes in and says since I have a fever she's going to swab my nose for influenza. Also never had that happen before. So still breathing through a tube, the nurse takes a cotton swab and "goes where the boogies go" (her words, not mine). Uhh... there are no boogies that far up. Insert coughing and extreme eye watering. Boogie swab = Comedic Error #6. After the treatment, the doctor ordered a chest X-ray. (Those are going to be fun medical bills!) We finished at 8:30 p.m. when the doctor said I didn't have swine flu and the fever was probably cause my body was working so hard to breathe. Good. There was no fluid in my lungs. Also good. But there was inflammation. Not so good. So now I'm popping 3 prednisone (steroids) a day for the next 2 weeks, taking an inhaled steroid twice a day and breathing treatments every 4 hours. (I HATE taking medications!) The side effects being irritability, mood swings and increased weight gain. My reaction: "Weight gain??" Mike's reaction: "Mood swings?!" =) Megan the roid popper = Comedic Error #7. Whew... it was quite the Sunday evening. All in all, I hate going to the doctor and really debated going in. In retrospect, I guess I'm grateful I did. The doctor said I was going downhill fast and would have been in the E.R. soon because I had progressed so far. Thank goodness for Mike who encouraged me to go in, held my hand through the unexpected and took care of me all night.

Although I've put this "Comedy of Errors" spin on the weekend, it was actually very nice to get away. I love the Mansfield's and I have so much fun with them. As for the not being able to breathe part... I've learned my lesson and I'm left with a story that makes me laugh. The summer has been laid back and I haven't been sick for 3 months. That's pretty good for me! I guess I was due. When it rains... it pours, right? =)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Packin' in the Fun

This weekend we got to go home to South Jordan! I haven't seen my family since Mike's graduation party so it was nice to go down to celebrate my dad's birthday and Father's day. In addition, we really packed in the fun. On Friday we drove straight to Orem to meet Marisa, Dustin, Jeff and Lexi. We picked up some yummy sandwiches at a place called Ernie's, took them to their house and packed up our bikes. We rode "caravan style" to one of the most beautiful parks I've ever been to. We ate on the grass and then rode our bikes around the park. We found "The Swing" as its called and had fun pushing each other. It was a giant swing that you got pushed on as well as turned as carousel. The ride back (all uphill) was interesting considering we all had full tummys. Bleh!!
On Saturday Mike got up early to go play in a grass ball tournament with his friend Josh. So of course, it rained. It rains every time he plays. I stayed in bed and came and watched him play his last 3 games. It was cold and rainy but it was fun getting some good pics of him playing.

On Saturday Jay invited us to a group date/BBQ he was having at our house. It was good food and fun to meet some new people. They went to play volleyball after the date and since we'd (as in Mike) had done that all day, we stayed at the house. Instead we played games with mom and dad (one of our favorite things to do). We played our new board game "Pandemic"... which is pretty cool and had a great time. Game time turned to talk time... till 1:00 a.m.

On Sunday we had an AMAZING day in church at my dad's Legacy House branch. I cried, again. As I do every time I attend that branch. The family came over after and we had a delicious meal for Father's Day and to celebrate my dad's b-day!! It was such a nice weekend. Happy Father's Day to all you fabulous Dad's out there!