Bionic Woman

All hooked up for a sleep study

This week has been a little strange.  E came down with a stomach bug and was knocked out of it for a few days.  Thankfully, he was with it enough to make it to the toilet/the throw-up bowl (we’re classy!) EVERY time.  Parenthood: when emptying a bowl of vomit into the toilet feels like a victory!

On Wednesday I woke up early (5:20am!) and hiked up to Timp cave again with some friends so I’m 2-for-2 on my quasi-goal to hike it once a week.  Who’s up for going next week? 😉

Later that night I checked in to the local hospital for a sleep study.  For years I’ve been sleeping poorly (grinding my teeth, gasping for air, snoring, etc…) and my doctor recommended a study.  Since we’ve already hit our deductible for the year I figured it was finally time to suck it up and get it done.

It was quite an experience.  It took over an hour for the tech to stick a bunch of sensors on me (15 just on my head!) and then I hopped into a hospital bed and went to sleep.  I was so tired from getting up early and hiking that I fell asleep quickly, but I did wake up a few times during the night to toss around because of the wires.  I’ll get the results in a few weeks; I’m crossing my fingers they’ll be helpful.

Moving Forward

I didn’t mean to let my absence here stretch to half a year, things just sort of got away from me.  We’ve had our ups and downs this last while: N’s recovery from getting hit by a truck, E’s 6th birthday, a quick trip to CA for a cousin’s wedding, the holidays, Mimi’s 3rd birthday, and a very wanted pregnancy in January followed by a jarring miscarriage at 11 weeks in March.

I’m not going to lie, the miscarriage was difficult.  It’s taken these last two months to get over the physical aftereffects and to get to the point where I can (usually) discuss it without tearing up. 
Before I got pregnant with Mimi I had had a very early miscarriage, one where I found out I was pregnant and then a week later found out that I had miscarried.  This loss was different and much harder.

I had spent the last few months feeling very pregnant–being fatigued, feeling a bit lightheaded, swelling up and starting to outgrow my clothes.  I had been a little paranoid about losing the baby (what woman isn’t?) but had started to relax the closer we got to the magical 12-week mark and we had started to share the excitement with family and friends.

And then three days before my 12-week appointment I woke up bleeding and I instantly knew what it meant.

It was a Sunday morning and since my ob’s office was closed N and I headed to the ER.  An ultrasound confirmed that the pregnancy was undeveloped and unviable.

In some ways it’s comforting to know that it was physically impossible for the pregnancy to result in a baby–that it wasn’t a normally developing fetus that just died suddenly without explanation.  If that had been the case I would struggled with second-guessing myself and wondering if there was anything I could have done to prevent it.  So it’s a blessing to know that it was just one of those things.

I’m relieved to finally be feeling back to normal, physically and emotionally.  After the miscarriage my hormones were all over the place and for two months I struggled daily with feeling betrayed by my own body.  It was miserable because despite its flaws the two of us are usually on pretty good terms.

But, I’m feeling better now and relieved to be doing so.  When I look back over things there is still an ache of disappointment but its jagged edges have been rounded and smoothed by the love I felt from family, friends, and the Lord.

I’m starting to see the humor in a few moments that at the time struck me to the core: when the maternity swimsuit I had ordered for an upcoming trip arrived the day after I miscarried and when my ob at my follow-up appointment remarked after he had a brief sneezing fit, “Wow, I must be allergic to miscarriages!”  (Well, with that last one it’s still 80% astonishment 20% amusement.)

I’m glad to be back posting here.  I might post about some of the things I missed (photos of the kids’ birthdays, details of a surreal trip we got to take to Mexico with N’s work, etc…) but for the most part things will be back to normal around here.

And that feels so good.

Hit by a Truck (Literally!)

So…three weeks ago N was out jogging in the evening and as he was crossing the street at a crosswalk a teenager driving a pickup truck ran through a stop sign and hit him.  The driver had slowed down so N thought it was okay to cross but at the last moment the kid saw a car approaching on the cross street and he wanted to cut out in front of the approaching car so he gunned it and hit N, tossing him out into the street.

Thankfully, he stopped and called 911.  The police called me and I rushed over (it was just a few blocks from our house) and got there as they were loading N into an ambulance. N was conscious but as the police put it, “in an altered state” which meant that he kept repeating himself over and over.  He kept reassuring me, “I’m okay, I’m okay!” but the blood on him and the way his foot was sticking out at an odd angle FREAKED ME OUT. 

I drove home and arranged for a neighbor to stay with the kids and my in-laws came and drove me to the hospital. We sat with N in the emergency room as they stitched up his face and he kept repeating himself some more (due to a concussion) but this time he kept on making the same bad jokes over and over every two minutes or so.

N would dramatically stare off into the distance and exclaimed, “I don’t think I can go on anymore…Grandpa?  Is that you?…What?  You want me to come into the light?…Grandpa?”  It was both horribly both more and less funny because he was all bloody and in a neck brace and wired up to an IV and his parents and I had been so worried.  The nurses were pretty amused.

The orthopedic surgeon on call came in and discussed the surgery N needed with us.  His tibia and fibula had both been broken with the tibia sticking out of the skin (gah).  N had surgery and they inserted a rod that basically runs the length of his shin and two screws to hold it all together.

We stayed in the hospital for two days while N recovered from surgery. The nurses were wonderful and I was impressed with the yummy cafeteria food (seriously!).  After N showed them that he could get around safely on crutches he was discharged him.

Our family and friends were amazing during all of this.  N’s mom came and stayed with our kids and our neighbors also had them over to play. Another one of our neighbors anonymously mowed our lawn. While we were in the hospital N’s boss and coworkers came to visit and sent a yummy fruit basket and a ginormous cookie basket. Out-of-state friends sent some delicious chocolate-covered strawberries.  Local friends brought over dinner and came by to visit.  And N’s out-of-state siblings sent a fun book, pizza, and groceries. 

We felt so loved!

It was wonderful that we had so much support because the first few weeks were pretty rough.  N had to get twice-daily shots on his abdomen to ward off deep-vein thrombosis (and I had to give them to him) so it was unpleasant for both of us.  N’s non-broken leg had been scraped along the road and got infected and required two rounds of antibiotics to treat.  At its worst it was pretty gross (here’s a pic if you don’t mind that sort of thing) and really worried us. I would freak out every time I changed his bandages and then I would go stress-eat and stuff my face with cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries.

But things are finally settling down.  N went back to work full time last week and while he tires very quickly his body is healing nicely.  The foot that was infected foot is doing much better and tomorrow we have a follow-up with his surgeon to see how his broken leg is doing and how long he’s going to be on crutches.

Throughout this whole thing N and I have both been conscious of how blessed we were/are.  It could have been much, much worse.  N’s hospital room overlooked the helipad and we could see the helicopters landing at all hours bringing in people who were in much worse shape. Compared to most of the other patients in the trauma ward N was in awesome condition.

I am so grateful that N wasn’t hurt more seriously, that the driver of the car stopped and called 911 (and that he has insurance!), and that that we have so many people in our life who care for and support us. I can see the hand of the Lord in our lives and for that I am grateful. 

In the Hospital with Mimi

It is amazing how quickly plans can change. This week I was supposed to get back to my work-from-home job, do a bunch of laundry and other chores and maybe go to the book party I posted about yesterday. Nothing exciting, just normal work/family stuff. But now Mimi is in the hospital with RSV and everything else got chucked out the window.

Last weekend Mimi caught E’s perpetual cold (thank-you, preschool!) and on Sunday she started coughing a bit. On Monday I could sometimes hear a tiny little wheeze in her breathing so I took her to the doctor. He said that her lungs sounded fine and that the congestion was just in her head and to watch her closely to see if her breathing because more labored. By Tuesday night it seemed worse and so yesterday after I dropped of E at preschool I took Mimi to the doctor.

I know I can be kind of paranoid when it comes to the kids and so I half-expected the doctor to tell me that she was fine and just remind me to use a humidifier in her room, etc… Instead he got kind of serious rather quickly and told me right off the bat that she was right on the border of having to go to the hospital. They gave her a breathing treatment which helped raise her oxygen levels a little but not enough and so they called the hospital to let them know she would be coming.

I ran home and grabbed a few things and took Mimi right to the hospital; N picked up E from preschool and then they met us there. E watched cartoons on the tv while the nurses explained the plan to N and me: they need to suction the gunk out of her nose and sinus cavity by running a thin tube up her nose every 2 or 3 hours, give her nebulizer treatments as needed (so far she’s only had one) and watch her oxygen levels closely. Last night her oxygen levels kept dropping so they put her on a oxygen tube.

Overall, Mimi’s doing as well as can be expected. She understandably HATES having her nose suctioned and screams bloody murder when they do it but other than that she is still being her easygoing self.

Right now I’m pretty zonked from being up with her for most of the night but in general I’m doing okay too. I am (of course) very concerned about Mimi’s health and I hate seeing her hooked up to all these tubes and wires but so far I’ve been able to keep the panic at bay. The nurses and doctors have been great and seem to know what they’re doing and it’s reassuring to be able to look at the monitors and see that her oxygen and heart rate are doing fine.

The doctor said that we’ll most likely be here until they only need to suction Mimi once a day. We’re still at needing it every few hours but hopefully she’ll improve soon.


So…yesterday after his nap I noticed that E’s eyes were getting kind of goopy. Greenish-yellow gunk was collecting in the corners. I talked to my doctor’s nurse and she said he had an eye infection and prescribed some eye drops. It must be going around because when I went to the store to pick up E’s medicine the pharmacist told me they had had a run on the drops and they were totally out of stock.

Eventually I found a pharmacy that had the drops in stock and last night N and I held down a protesting E to get the drops in his eyes. This morning I had to get E the drops by myself and uh, it didn’t go as smoothly. I explained to E that I needed to put the drops in his eyes for his own good but somehow that didn’t seem to make a difference–go figure.

But E seems to be feeling better already. The nurse said that after 24 hours of being on the drops he wouldn’t be contagious anymore. So today I had to keep E home from preschool and also apologize to Miranda for unknowingly exposing her kids to the bug yesterday morning when we took all the kids to IKEA. Oops. (Sorry again, Miranda!)

So today is going to be a low key day of doing laundry and cleaning up the house which after a busy week sounds fine to me.

Color Therapy

It’s going to be a long, long day. This morning E was up at 2 am and then back up for good at 5 am. Ugh.

I took him to the doctor yesterday since his fever still hadn’t let up. The doctor said that E was a little dehydrated and has lost some weight but that he should bounce back later this week. Hopefully it’s sooner than later.

E was still feeling puny yesterday afternoon after his all-too-short nap but he perked up a bit when we broke out the crayons.

Looking at these photos now is cheering up my grouchy, sleep-deprived self.
Man, I love this guy.

Test Results

E’s appointment with his allergist took most of the day on Friday. I got stuck in the backup from a traffic accident on both the way up and back from Salt Lake. On the way up it wasn’t so back, only about 25 minutes. But on the way home I was in stop-and-go traffic for over an hour with a cranky, tired, hungry E. The only thing between us and insanity was a bag of Skittles I had put in the car for such an emergency. By the time we got home he was covered in a layer of sticky brownish grime from the colors melting together all over his face and hands. As soon as we pasted the wrecked my irritation evaporated, though. It was pretty bad. Among the crunched cars there was a flipped minivan that was torn up really badly. I wondered if there had been kids in there. And I realized that dealing with a cranky toddler for an hour was infinitely better than whatever than whatever the people in that van were dealing with right then and maybe for the rest or their lives. (Just checked, sadly someone did die.)

But about the appointment itself: there were mixed results. Last year we found out that E is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and a bunch of other nuts. The doctor (who is really great–let me know if you ever need a recommendation) wanted us to also avoid all seafood because it is also highly allergenic. So this year we retested his blood to see if his allergies had changed.

The bad news: E is somehow more allergic to milk than he was last year and his egg allergy stayed the same.

The good news: E’s peanut and nut allergies went down dramatically. He’s still very allergic to them, but at least they went down which gives me hope that he can continue to outgrow some of his allergies. And E is not allergic to seafood so we can start giving it to him. I think one of the first seafood recipes I’m going to try is this one from my sister-in-law Mindy who is a great cook.

The doctor and I were kind of disappointed about the milk and eggs. She said that normally if kids outgrow something it’s usually milk or eggs so it’s usual that E’s peanuts/nut allergies came down instead.

The plan for the next year is to continue avoiding all milk, eggs, and peanuts/nuts and then do his bloodwork again when he turns three. She said that by the time E is four or five and can articulate if he’s having a reaction then they’ll probably had the protocol for oral desensitization worked out and he can start on that. While we got mixed results I’m trying to look at them positively.

Feeling Better

E seemed to be feeling better this morning AND he just went down for a nap without a lot of fuss (woot, woot!)

I did end up taking him to the doctor yesterday and she said his ears did have some fluid in them. I felt guilty that I didn’t take him in sooner, but E hadn’t had any cold symptoms so I thought his crankiness was just due to teething.

It seems to have worked itself out, though. The doctor said there was a good chance that it was viral and that antibiotics wouldn’t have helped any way. She did write me a scrip for some but also okayed waiting a few days to see if the infection got better on its own. I prefer not putting E on antibiotics unless it’s certain they’re necessary. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

…but there’s good news

I took E to the allergist yesterday. Yesterday morning I had a funny feeling that something was wrong with our appointment and so I called the office to confirm the time. But I was on hold for so long that I gave up and just took E to the office at our scheduled time. Well, my intuiton was right. It turns our that one of the secretaries had cancelled our appointment! I have no idea why and apparently neither did she. But she talked to the doctor and they squeezed us in; we did have to wait for an hour though. It was a good thing I didn’t talk to the office before we got there. If we had they would have made us reschedule for who knows how many months later.

So the allergist confirmed that E is “genetically a very allergic little guy.” The blood test he had done showed high levels of allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts and nuts. (His cashew level was at 100!) The nut-thing came as a little bit of a surprise to me since at his last appointment we only knew that he was allergic to milk. They just wanted me to avoid eggs and nuts with him as a precaution. But now that he has confirmed allergies to eggs AND peanuts AND tree nuts AND milk…well, it’s kind of daunting. I felt like crying when the doctor told me. The doctor said that it would be dangerous for E if someone who had been eating nuts kissed him on the face or changed his diaper without washing their hands (!) Also, he’s almost definitely going to have hay fever and there’s at least a 50% chance that he’ll have asthma. It’s a good thing that N and I are nerds because it doesn’t look like E is going to be the brawny captain of the football team. (Or is it because N and I are nerds that E won the genetic lottery that he did…discuss!)

But the good news is that E isn’t allergic to soy. (Yay!) Now he is free to enjoy the wondrous world of soy-based products. I’m actually quite excited. They now make soy-based cheese and yogurt and things; it will be nice to have some more options to give him. And if you haven’t tasted real cheese, then you wouldn’t know how lame soy cheese is, right? The allergist gave the okay to start him on soy formula which will maybe help him put on some weight and which hopefully he’ll like better than the Nutramigen formula. I’m still breastfeeding him but my supply is dwindling and E isn’t that interested in it any more and so once he’s established on the soy formula I’m going to wean him.

And then I’m going to enjoy me some dairy goodness.