Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Told You I Was Sick!

I've felt very ill for the past full week. Like no other kind of illness I've ever had. Unfortunately, Mommyhood and taking care of other sick children have taken priority, so it wasn't until this past Monday I was able to get myself to the doctor.

I told the doc that I suspected it might be strep throat, so he took some cultures. He told me that based on my symptoms, he didn't think it was strep, just some virus that my body had to deal with on its own. But he put a rush on the cultures just to be sure. As he suspected, the first culture came back negative for strep, so he just advised me to "take some Motrin" (ahem, let's not go there...) and drink lots of fluids.

As of yesterday, I was not feeling any better. I felt like a walking zombie, just barely keeping up with the bare necessities. Honey has refused to kiss me for over a week, but I don't blame him. I'd feel even worse if I shared these cooties with him with how busy he already is anyway.

Yesterday afternoon, my doctor called. "I stand corrected," he said. "Your second set of cultures just came back, and you do indeed have strep throat."

He put in a prescription for me, which I started last night. Hopefully I'll start to feel more chipper soon, as I don't know how much longer my family can stand to live with me being sick like this. Seriously y'all, this is the first time I've ever had strep. No fun. On the upside of thing, my family has been reminded how much I actually do around here. So when Honey comes home and sees the house cluttered with toys and dirty dishes, he knows not to ask, "What did you do all day?" Not that he ever said that anyway, but a sick Mommy reminds everyone in the family just how much she does every day--no paycheck.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Annual Kidney Update

My son's urologist scheduled a different kind of bladder scan this year, which meant we couldn't get all his tests done up at Children's Hospital in one day. The bladder scan this year was done by nuclear medicine, but I don't know why the doctor ordered that test instead of the regular dye test done last year.

So last Thursday, we trekked our way through awful traffic 100 miles to Children's Hospital. The test was done pretty quickly, and we were back home by 2:00. My son didn't like it at all! (Well, can you blame him? That Foley catheter can't be a pleasant thing for toddler boys!) He always has a hard time peeing after it's removed, too. Poor baby whines and squirms the first few times he has to pee after a catheter is removed.

Yesterday was the longer renal exam. We trekked our way back up to Children's Hospital, through awful traffic, in the rain. While we were in the waiting room, a girl who seemed to be about 10 years old came in with her dad and grandmother. The girl was a cancer patient, and her grandma was trying to keep track of at least four different prescription bottles for her. Suddenly I felt an enormous sense of gratitude that my kids are mostly healthy, and our trek up to Children's Hospital is pretty much a once-a-year event. I can't even imagine what that girl's family is going through.

The nurses who did my son's IV were GREAT. They got it on the first try this time! The test lasted about an hour, and my son, as usual, cried himself to sleep on the imaging table. But that means he was still and the pictures turned out clear, so I guess that's the upside to it all.

After the tests, the tech gave me a CD of his images to take over to his urologist's follow-up appointment, which was scheduled for the same afternoon. We had to rush over to the office, which is on the other side of the city. We passed two major accidents in the rain, and we were very thankful that we arrived safely.

The urologist said that my son is good until next year! He still has urine refluxing back up into the bad pole of his kidney, but it's okay to just watch him for a while longer. Next year, if he's still refluxing, the urologist will consider surgery, but I'll deal with that when the time comes. I told the urologist that I stopped giving my son the sulfatrim when the weather turned warmer this past Spring. That particular antibiotic makes people more prone to heat injuries, and my son would turn a scary kind of pink, overheated tint whenever we'd play outside. The urologist just said to really keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get any kind of UTI's, since he's particularly susceptible to those. But so far, so good!

We left at 5:50 am yesterday morning, and we got back to Bill and Martha's house (to pick up our older boy) at 4:30 pm. They watched him last Thursday, too. What a blessing they are to take two whole days out of their schedule to tend to my kid! We call them the kids' "local grandparents" because they truly treat us like family. They gave our daughter some beautiful pearls for her high school graduation, and they always, always spend too much money on extravagant birthday gifts for us. (And Martha can make some mean chocolate chip cookies, too!)

I had intended to take pictures at the hospital, but they instituted a very strict no photo/video/cell phone policy. But I love this hospital, they are so good with kids. Seriously y'all, it's like my kid won the lottery whenever we go there--he gets mylar balloons and stuffed animals every time we go there. They let him suck on lollipops to keep him occupied while they're giving him IVs. When we go there, they treat us like royalty.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new phase?

My older boy has expanded his costume repertoire, as you can see here:

He still wears his Superman cap, which I suspect will eventually become so threadbare that the garbage can will be its final resting place. He also still wears the "superboots" because they're just that versatile! (Yes, they're on the wrong feet. He takes them on and off so much that I don't even bother to correct him anymore.)

But if you look around his tummy, you'll see he's got a "tool belt" now. It's actually the strap to a headlamp that no longer works. He puts it around his waist, inserts his toy hammer and an old used up chem-light, and calls them his "tools."

He hasn't discovered how to get his chainsaw into that tool belt, thankfully. But he looks eager to fix anything that might need to be repaired!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good Service, Bad Service

My youngest has a nasty virus. Last night he spiked a fever of 103, and he pointed to his ear complaining, "Mommy, ear...Mommy, ear." I figured he had an ear infection. So this morning, pronto, I'm talkin' 7 am kinda pronto, I called the clinic and asked for a same day appointment.

The clerk I spoke to started out nice enough. After all, she'd only been on her daily job for a whole whoppin' minute or so, how could she have had time to get a bad day?

But then...I suppose I asked her to do something outside of her "job description," which is a big fat faux pas among government workers, apparently. I asked her to double-check my son's urologist referral, because I needed to have two procedures authorized for next week, but a previous clerk only sent one.

"You'll have to call so-and-so," she answered.

Long pause... I thought we got disconnected.

"Can you give me that number, please?" I asked.

"I'm TRYING to find it for you!" she answered, obviously frustrated.

At about 10 am, I tried to call the "so-and-so" office about getting that second procedure authorized. Both the numbers I was given went unanswered, and they were forwarded to a voicemail system that sounded exactly like my cell phone carrier's voicemail system. My suspicion  is that so-and-so was away from her office and didn't want anyone to know about it, so she had the calls forwarded to her personal cell phone. I don't know for sure, but unfortunately, it wouldn't surprise me.

I tried calling again at 11:30, with the same voicemail option.


The doctor that my son saw this afternoon was WONDERFUL! But my son just has some virus that will need to run its course, no strep throat or ear infections. What I liked about this particular doctor is that he specifically told me to NOT give my son any ibuprofen due to his kidney issues. I knew this based on my own research, but this doctor was the only one who actually ever said anything. Normally the docs we see recommend ibuprofen for everything from a hangnail to a mangled husband had a torn Achilles tendon at one time, and the docs just told him to "take some Motrin."


I tried calling the so-and-so office again after the doc appointment. This time I was actually able to talk to a real person, and it turns out she was actually pretty friendly! I explained to her that my son was going to have two different procedures done on two different days, so I was worried that they would bill our insurance separately, and I'd get a surprise bill afterwards. She actually took all my info and said she'd call the insurance company. Within an hour, she called back with the info I needed. That was refreshing!

Okay, that rant is over now...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Funny From My Honey

Honey works part-time for a  U-Haul store. This past weekend, he rented a truck to a lady who was moving locally. He noticed that she looked especially tired and frazzled when she returned the truck before closing time.

Honey: "So, how did your move go?"
Lady: "Oh, the move was fine. But you have NO IDEA how hard it is to deal with a three-year-old and a two-year-old!"
Honey: "Uhm...yeah, I do."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family Fun!

My sister and most of her family flew out for a visit. We had loads of fun, and my kids were completely spoiled having big kid cousins to entertain them!

Here are some pix:

At the butterfly house:

With a cousin:

At the horticultural house and a banana tree:

Going for a walk:

At the horticultural house:

Sister and Brother-in-law looking at koi:

Playing with big cousin's cool phone apps:

Relaxing on a bench:

Waiting for a bird show to start:

We had a lot of fun together. We went to the planetarium, the riverwalk, the park (family frisbee tournament!), the botanical gardens, and the environmental learning center. My kids LOVE their cousins!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Miss Smarty Pants

My daughter just completed her first semester of college with straight As! She took Statistics, Speech, and Political Science.

I am so proud of my girl!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'll take that as a compliment

I got to spend most of today with my daughter, which is a rare treat these days. We did a not-so-exciting major grocery trip, but it was good to give her some semi-undivided attention. Too often my time with her is interrupted by little brothers, although she is very patient about it.

As we were snaking our way throughout every aisle of the grocery store, she mentioned, "I told someone at work that when I move out on my own, I'm going to gain sooooo much weight since I won't have my mom to cook healthy food for me."

Personally, I think she's a great cook, even if her repertoire is still limited. She knows how to make a healthy, balanced meal, and she enjoys eating what's good for her.

I'm hoping to give her a collection of family recipes that use minimal or inexpensive ingredients. They'll also need to be non-labor-intensive. She mentioned that she'd like to make empanadas, until she remembered how LOOOONNNGGGG it akes to get those buggers done. (We've only made them once, and I'm not planning on doing them again anytime soon!)

What were some of your favorite, easy, cheap, but still healthy meals when you first started cooking for yourself?