Monday, October 31, 2011

Trunk or Treat Number Two

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Later in the afternoon we went to the local mom group's event. It had turned from a cold, but warm day, to a cold and windy day. Everyone was very cold, expect for M, and didn't have much stamina.

This time M was a seasoned expert. He threw on that costume, grabbed his bucket and went to work. He tried once again to hit up cars more than once but this time could contain his excitement enough to actually hand out candy to other children. K and M had much more stamina than S, who made a beeline for the car once he had all his loot.

Trunk or Treat Number One

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Our first Halloween Event this year was with the twin group. The kids had a great time dressing up, playing games and going trunk to trunk getting candy and other goodies. Initially S was going to be some transformer, but decided to go as his favorite thing - a dinosaur. K went as a superhero girl and M was a super cute shark.

It was so cute to see M in his first 'real' Halloween. At first he didn't want to get the costume on. He fought and fussed and wanted nothing to do with the whole event. He was quite the grumpy gus. When we went out to trunk or treat he didn't want to hold his bucket or follow his brother or sister. But the most amazing thing happened after the second or third car dumped candy into his bucket...he turned into a trick or treat machine! He LOVED it. He ran from car to car saying "chickacheet". When he was done, he went back for more. It was hilarious to see the concept 'click' in his head and the resulting fun. This is what makes parenting an amazing experience. Seeing your child discover the simplicity of life and how wonderful walking from car to car getting sugared goodies can be.

I included this picture because it makes me giggle every time I see it. This is M's 'smile' for the camera. I have to catch him in natural poses, otherwise this is the face I get in every picture.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Black Cloud

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While at work today I got a call from the school saying K had been playing at recess and ended up falling at hitting her head on the sidewalk (she was playing some sort of zombie game and ended up under a pile of boys) She was bleeding all over and the school needed her picked up and thought she needed stitches.

Thankfully her nanny was able to pick her up and bring her to me at work, which is nicely right across the street from her ped, so that I could assess the situation myself and see what needed to be done. The poor thing had blood stained clothes, but thankfully the wound had closed itself off, and it was apparent that no stitches would be necessary.

However, when I was talking to her, she seems foggy. Told me she didn't remember how she hurt herself. Just seemed glazed over and sleepy. Her head took quite the hit with about an inch round, purple knot to the side of her head. Stitches were no longer my concern, but now I was worried about a head injury.

Took her across the street - a crazy experience as I had to right away get my patients covered by the other nurses on the floor - and had her seen. They did a full neuro exam and were slightly more concerned because the around the clock ibuprofen she had been taking put her at increased risk for bleeding. Her final diagnosis was a concussion. I get to wake her every four hours tonight and we have to have a quiet weekend at home. Tylenol will have to do for pain relief for the next 24 hours as well.

I really need the medical drama with her to quit!

Oh, and about an hour before this happened, I got a call from the children's hospital saying that after the doc reviewed her scans, he has moved her surgery two weeks up to November 16th. Of course the nurse in me wonder's why he suddenly wants to do it two weeks earlier, but I am trying to just see it as the good thing it is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Steps

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I am slowly working at getting my financial life into order. It will be at least another year before I think I will be able to say that I am where I want to be, but I am taking the steps now that will get me there.

This week I turned in all my stuff to finalize my refinancing. I should be able to reduce my payments by almost $400! In addition to that, I am shopping around for new home owners insurance which should result in slightly more savings. My car should be paid off by the end of the year. That's an additional $300 a month. So I am super excited that next year I will have an additional $700 a month to pay down my other debt.

Who knows. If I can get my weight loss going, by this time next year maybe I will be ready to TTC again!

Success

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For the last several month M has been receiving speech therapy. After jumping through lots of red tape, we started the process in June. Our first therapist was not the right fit. M nor I clicked with her and we had several issues from the get-go. At the end of August, she dropped us - nice huh? - and we were assigned someone else. This therapist has been wonderful.

M loves her. She has such a great personality and has really connected with M. He looks forward to her visit and I see such improvement in his communication. We are finally at the point where he mimics most of what I say, he attempts to verbalize, even if it's just gibberish, and he is making progress virtually every day.

His consistent words are:
Mama
Eat
Norma
Pop-pop
Car
Keys
Hello
Up
Pull
In
Eye
Hug
Yes
Un-uh

He is close to saying the twin's names'. He also signs a few words and nods 'yes'. I know the above list isn't something wonderful for an almost two-year old, but considering 5 months ago he was barely saying a thing, I am very happy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Recurrence

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Doctor's can be so freaking frustrating. This whole thing with K has driven me nuts. The Doctor who operated on her leg last year didn't want to take my calls because he doesn't do follow ups while K's regular pediatrician didn't want to take my calls because she needed to be seen by her specialist. After 3 days of back and forth, her regular ped finally saw us and then referred his assessment to the specialist who ordered a CT scan. Such a friggin mess for something that should have been very simple.

Today K finally got her CT scan and it confirmed what I was afraid of. The tumor has recurred. It's in the exact same spot. I don't know if it's bigger/smaller/similar to before, but it's there. Some more calling back and forth and finally got word that Dr Child's is pretty confident that we will do another RFA and attempt to remove the tumor again. Hopefully this time we will have success. While I really didn't want K to go through the more involved surgery, I also fear the RFA will fail again. In this case I decided that I would go with what the doctor suggested since I was torn on what was best. (see below for a quick description of each procedure)

Here is that bastard tumor! Seen in the lower bone segment

Radio Frequency Ablation. They basically drill a small hole into her bone and insert wire. The wire heats up to a very high temperature and 'burns' out the tumor. It's done under general anesthesia, but is generally outpatient. Last year she had the surgery in the morning and we went home that evening. It doesn't mess with the integrity of the bone, there is no incision (more of a puncture) and about 24 hours after surgery K was fine with no pain and no other recovery.

The other is more invasive. They will put her under general anesthesia and create an incision - not sure of the size but probably only an inch or two. They will actually cut into the bone and take the segment out which contains the tumor. Most of the time, it's like taking a cube of bone. Depending on the size, they may need to reinforce the area with screws or plates. They would then close her up and cast her. This would be a few day stay in the hospital. Since the bone strength has been compromised, she wouldn't be able to bear weight on it for a few weeks - so most likely a wheelchair for several weeks. Then once they remove the cast, she would then most likely need physical therapy for a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Worried About K

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It's been just over a year. Just over a year since I went through the difficult time of having K enduring test after test; finding a tumor in her bone; experiencing surgery. I was so pleased with her rapid improvement and our virtually 'immediate' cure.

Well I think it's back. For a few weeks K has been complaining of pain in that leg. I have ignored it for the most part because it was come and go and growing pains can be common during this time. I listened to her, but did not react. Well in the last week she has started to wake during the night crying in pain. For those who don't remember, this is the classic symptom for her bone tumor. I also think that today I noticed a slight limp.

I called her pediatrician on Monday but he wanted me to follow up with the surgeons at the children's hospital. I called them, but they felt like they usually only get the cases once a problem is found and that they don't do 'follow up'. A nurse coordinator was supposed to call me back today, but since it's now 10:45pm I don't think I'll get a call. I guess I need to call again tomorrow and see whats up.

I really don't want to start this again. I don't want to see K go through the pain and uncertainty of all this again, but more I am concerned for the next step. Last time we did conservative treatment which is usually very successful. The next step up was to take the chunk of bone from her leg which would result in non-weight bearing for a few weeks, casting and physical therapy...much more severe than our last experience.

I am worried. I don't want her to go through this again.

Feeling Disengaged

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For the last 2 weeks or so, I have felt disengaged. I don't feel a connection to anything or anyone. I feel like everything that I have held important, has failed or let me down. I have lost faith or hope in things that once gave me some degree of satisfaction.

It's a weird feeling and one I don't like. I have to fight to get things done. I don't enjoy doing anything and I just feel 'blah'. Maybe it's a component to my depression and I need to struggle through it until it passes. I don't know. It makes life difficult, unhappy and it impacts my interaction with the kids.

The feeling started last week at work when a co-worker was promoted. It's difficult to understand why this would impact me without going into a HUGE back story. A very simplified version is that this employee is unreliable, immature and has other major issues. A group that I chair was asked to interview him for the position, which we did, and recommended that he did not get the position, and it was given to him anyway. Many years ago, this group also interviewed me for a position (not the one he got) and they also declined to give me the position. Only difference is it wasn't offered to me. This was a huge betrayal but it occurred when I was 1 weeks pregnant with the twins, so what was I going to do. So, with the other factors, and then my history with this group, it re-opens the wounds and makes me wonder why the position was held from me, but offered to him.

The local moms group that I am part of has been having some drama lately with a few members. Some of these members are long time trouble makers and nothing is ever done with them. Infact, in many ways it seems like the rules don't apply to them. After years of dealing with them, I am tired. I have two positions with this group. I announced this week that I am stepping down from one of them. I will probably hold on to the other, but that one doesn't involve direct contact with any members so it will hopefully be okay.

And I think the thing that knocked me down the most was the Twin Mom Fall Bazaar. I was in charge of organizing this. I have been working on it since July. Collecting registrations, communicating with vendors, planning the additional raffle and bake sale, designing the brochure and banner and then having them made and organizing the volunteer schedule to help with the Bazaar and Bake Sale. This group has over 60 members. If you count the members who weren't selling at the Bazaar, I maybe had 5-8 people bring baked items and/or help at the Bazaar.

I pushed through though. I did most of everything to prepare for this. I baked like a maniac on Friday to ensure enough supply. Friday night I went to the hall and set up all the tables and stored the drinks I had bought for the sale. Early Saturday morning I was there to help the other vendors and get the show going. I was there all day.

And the worst possible thing that could have happened, happened. Virtually no one came. All that planning, energy and effort wasted. Not only that but I had to stand there all day embarrassed and frustrated that I had a hall full of vendors and no customers. I advertised in many venues and really did all I could have. I don't understand why it failed. But it did. And this, I feel is my fault - even though logically I know I had no control over this.

But again, I felt left down by those around me. The numerous friends of mine who were supposed to come. The 60 members of the twins group who should have come to show support. The members of the group who are supposed to be my friends who when asked to help me replied they were busy - like I apparently sit on my ass all day.

So anyway...I'm just tired. I'm frustrated. I'm done. I have no one to count on, rules don't apply to everyone and double standards are everywhere. So ya, disengaged is my word for my mood. I hope it passes soon.

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