Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Me Monday

My oldest child did not inform me that she pooped, there was no toilet paper, so she used the hand towel.  She did not then follow that statement up with, "But its okay because I hung it back up!"  Not me!

The same child does not insist on blocking all doorways in our house and making anyone that wants to go through say the password.  That password is not "Daddy's big tummy."  Bahaha.  Not me! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Confessions of an Insomniac.

There are days that I feel disconnected from the life that I used to live.  Which is somewhat understandable, after all, because so much has changed.  There are moments in life that once you live through them, they change who you are.  In some ways, that is a good thing.  Growing, changing, learning... those are all good things.  But as human beings, we don't like change.  We try to avoid it.  It scares us.  And so we learn to think of changes as bad things. 

Sometimes I wonder if I've changed for the good or the bad.  

There are things that I think are good.  I am stronger than I've ever been.  I have done so much more than I ever imagined possible.  I've seen God give me strength when I thought I'd never be able to go on.  I've met wonderful people who have taught me so much about life.  I have a new perspective.  I'm a fighter.

There are other changes that I consider not-so-good.  I am often an insomniac.  I've experienced panic attacks.  I've had to let go of several friendships.  I often feel cynical, because sometimes being in constant survival mode makes you want to strangle everyone who isn't.  I'm paranoid.  

Sometimes I wonder if I met myself five years from now... would I know me?  Or am I changing so fast that I wouldn't even recognize myself?  Are our circumstances supposed to change us that much?  

When I think about the things that used to be important to me, they seem so trivial now.  At the time, they were all very valid concerns.  But the things that weigh on my mind now are of an entirely different level.  I feel like a completely different person.  

I've always felt like a very expressive person.  I like to state how I feel, and people that don't kind of drive me crazy.  What you see is what you get.  If I seem to like you, that means I think we are friends.  And you don't have to guess or play games.  If I don't like you, I'm fairly straightforward about that too.  (If you'd like examples, just ask the doctors on the peds floor of the hospital...they know where they stand on my list.)  The girl that was wide open... that was me.

And then.  I started to change.  The first time I realized it was after we'd been through so many things... and I was trying to process them... and figure out how I felt... and I realized... I didn't feel anything.  Numb.  I think at a certain point, you get so far beyond pain that you just stop feeling.  Maybe its an automatic survival mechanism that kicks in... like your heart knows you can only take so much, so it has an emergency shut-off valve.  The next thing I noticed was a tendency to withdraw, which is completely weird for me.  I found myself thinking that just getting through the everyday stuff took so much energy that I didn't have the energy for extra things.  Or that just having a normal conversation took effort.  I mean, I don't know what is at the mall.  Or what happened on the news.  And my DVR is so backed up that I'm running out of space and deleting episodes of Olivia when my kids aren't looking so that I can make sure that Scandal records.  I can't tell you who is on American Idol.  And thinking about all of that stuff just makes me tired.  As does smiling, nodding, and saying we are fine... when we are just trying to make it a week without an ER visit... and there is no end in sight. 

And then I realized that life is moving on without me.  Events come and go, and I'm in a hospital room or at home waiting on a home health visit, or driving to one appointment or another.  And before you know it... life doesn't even look the same as it used to... and you're too far away to find your way back... and you aren't even sure you want to sometimes... but other times you feel like shouting, "Hey!  Don't forget me!  I'm still here!" 

I wonder if that is the way it is supposed to be or if I took a wrong turn somewhere.  I wonder if I have grown so concerned with saving my child that I lost myself.  Or maybe that self was okay to lose... and the whole idea was to become a more compassionate, knowledgeable, stronger self.  Shocker, I know, but I really don't have the answers.  Just lots of questions.  And the need for some melatonin. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life in the Medical Ward... Otherwise Known As Our Home

I'd be lying if I said I haven't wondered the past few weeks what in tarnation I've done to deserve this.  A baby at home on IV antibiotics while I'm getting phone calls about discussing neurosurgery... and now an invalid husband (which we all know is far worse than a sick child!)... what. in. the. world.


 Big D has a probable torn quad after landing under a 350-pound football player during a game in New York City.  I should've known that a trip to the Yankee capitol wouldn't end well for the southern boy.  I don't understand why it wasn't his arm.  God really has a sense of humor... since nobody can carry the poor injured big boy around.  He's been making use of painkillers and bags of frozen veggies on his HUGE knee, and awaiting MRI results to determine if surgery is necessary.  And we are more than a little bummed that this use of his PTO will most likely prevent him from accompanying us to the beach this summer.  Boo!  But I am thankful that he has had enough PTO to cover the three weeks he has been off work so far. 

This girl has been keeping me company with her nonstop cheerful chatter.  We took a little trip up the road last week to see a urologist since she's had frequent peeing issues as long as we can remember.  She entertained everyone in the office with her descriptions of her issues.  "I pee like always.  Like I can't even finish Olivia and then I have to pee.  And sometimes I have accidents if my mom doesn't pause my movie in time because I hate to miss anything."  Or... my personal favorite... "I don't poop every day.  But sometimes it builds up and when I poop, its so big that it sticks up out of the toilet in the air."  Hmm, I must've missed that.  Her issue ironically did turn out to be a poop issue... she is extremely the point that it is compressing her bladder.  I felt really bad when I saw the x-ray... but she's never complained of constipation before so I'm not sure how I would've known that she was so full that poop overlapped her ribcage.  Go figure.  At any rate, that is a fairly easy fix... laxatives and some dietary changes.  

 There's been a lot of Dora watching in our house.  And snuggling.  And hanging out at home.  Which is better than in the hospital.

And with only one more week of  IV antibiotics to go... this girl is feeling great!!!  And her silly personality is out in full force.  I can't hardly keep up!  In that first picture... she may or may not have gotten busted for stealing a cookie.  I'm so happy that the girl who had a feeding tube a few months ago is now sneaking chocolate chip cookies!!! 

So that is what is happening in the medical ward that we call our home.  But, it could be far worse, and we have much to be thankful for.  At least we are all invalids who love each other.  :)  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All in a Week.

I am happy to report that in just under a week we have gone from this...

To this...

To this!

It is so nice to be at home getting IV antibiotics instead of in the hospital. However, I will admit that this PICC and I have a love-hate relationship. I love that it is making Brookie well and allowing her to stay at home... and sit on her deck in her Dora chair and enjoy the sunshine. I hate that it bleeds a lot and requires trips to the ER every couple of days to get the dressing changed...because it never seems to bleed the bandages off until our home health nurse is done working for the day. Sigh. But we will soldier on... 7 days down, 14 to go! And this girl is looking better and better... in my extremely biased and unmedical opinion. ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Day at a Time.

Miss B has taken up residence at the local hospital where we are takin' it one day at a time. She should hopefully get a PICC line placed this morning so she can get long-term IV antibiotic therapy for the infection in her body.

Yesterday she had more seizures than ever before, and those made her heart rate high, so we are hoping for a better day today.

This girl likes to keep the doctors on their toes!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We've Been Here Too Much.

You know you've spent too much time in the hospital when...
Your oldest child is pretending and says, "Hello ma'am, what is your child's name and birthdate? Does she have allergies? Do you need medication refilled?"

Or when your two year old doesn't cry when she gets an IV put in.

Or when you spend a major holiday in the hospital.

Or when the Easter Bunny comes to the hospital instead of to your house.

Yes, there are times that you know you've spent way too much time in the hospital.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Star of the Day.

Savannah was the star of the day at her preschool last week. It is a self-esteem building program where each child gets a day that is all about them and their families, hobbies, etc.

She made a poster with pictures and showed everyone her blankie.

And she chose to take "dirt cups" topped with a "peep" for her special snack to share with her class. Go figure our little prissy princess would want to take dirt!

She had a fun time and we are thankful for such a great preschool that she enjoys so much.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oh, we love Ohio!

We made another trip to what we consider the best hospital ever this week. There was lots of riding in the car...

A little shopping and phone chatting.

Chowing down at the Cheesecake Factory...

Dining on mexican cuisine by the river...

And after having labs drawn and x-rays done (without crying!), the girl deserved some ice cream. And we found the greatest ice cream on earth, Graeters! And they were so super nice that when they found out that Brooklyn was there to spend time at the hospital, they gave her a free cone. She sure enjoyed it, and we will definitely make Graeters a regular stop on our future trips!

Even if it did result in quite a mess.

After 3 specialist visits, labs, and x-rays, we headed back home. She sure is a trooper and we are so thankful for such a wonderful team of physicians that are committed to helping her get better. We are waiting on lots of results to determine the next course of action, but we are very confident that she is in good hands!