Archive for July, 2015

The morning started early with Chrisand Ben heading off to TCH for a follow-up visit to his cardiologist. Since last weeks visit to the cardiologist was spent talking about rashes,this visit was to talk about his heart.
According to the cardiologist everything looks good. The leaking in his mitral and aortic valve is still the same as the last echo. There is a leak in his coronary that has been there since the surgery. She doesn’t seem concerned about it and thinks it will resolve on its own. But she would still like to see him in a month to check on it. He took additional labs as well and we will find out those results on Wednesday. Dad says he was a stud when it came to the blood draw. He walked in. Sat down. Told the tech to count to three. And then BAM he got it done on the first try. He was a rock star. 

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . Papa and grandma Grace came to Conroe to take me for testing at the hospital this morning. This not being able to drive sucks! And Chris has absolutely no sympathy for me. I think that he is giving me payback for how hard I was on him when he broke his arm.😉 he must be loving this.  

Of course my mom and I make a sorry lot. Mom just had surgery on her foot so she’s here at the house helping us out this morning with a bummed foot and a walker. It seems wrong for me to sit in a chair with my arm raised while my mom hobbles around in a walker loading my dishwasher. But I wasn’t about to argue with my mother when she tells me to sit down. Instead I grabbed the 13-year-old and a 10-year-old and sent them to help grandma so that she could sit down too. 

I do have a buddy who’s been sitting with me keeping my feet warm. I think she’s trying to make up for the cat toy I tripped on. 

 The day ended with a lovely dinner provided by the Finkes. It was Ben’s favorite. Meatloaf. 

Thank you for the wonderful dinner. Madie has started to organize the house. She started doing laundry. Laundry has been so low on the to do list that everyone was desperate. She put together a grocery list. Went online to try to find some meals that she thought that she could cook. She is a very impressive 13-year-old. I don’t know where she gets this Type A Personality!  

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After spending three weeks theater camp, Madie was part of the cast for Snow White Goes West. It was a cute musical and a lot of fun to watch. You can tell Madie had so much fun putting it on. She met a lot of new friends and they all seem like sweet girls.  In fact she inspired Ainsley to want to go to the theater camp next year. That should be interesting! Both girls at the same camp? Poor grandma. 

I think Madie has definitely found her niche. We are so proud of her!   

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Last Sunday Ben and I were sitting in the hospital hoping that we are going to get sent home on Monday. Now today I look back on the past week and I can’t believe the chain of events that have taken place. We came home Monday in a flurry of drama and tears. On Tuesday we spent the day celebrating Ainsley’s 10th birthday. On Wednesday Ben broke out in a mysterious rash which caused us to spend the entire day seeking medical help. On Thursday Ben and I went down to Texas Children’s Hospital and spent half the day testing, and meeting with doctors to deal with the mysterious rash. On Thursday night we confused and scared our neighbors when we had an ambulance pull up to our front door to take me to the hospital (they thought it was for Ben. ). On Friday morning we find out that my broken arm is going to take more than a pretty cast to fix and now it’s my turn to be helped by the medical system. Because next Wednesday I will have surgery to put my arm back together.

I have gone from being my son’s nurse to my son being my nurse this morning.  And he is doing an excellent job. Of course, he has been trained by the best. And unfortunately he is had to be a medic and a nurse for his parents before (he was also there when daddy broke his arm at Christmas), so he has learned to be calm under fire.  

If you know me at all, you know that I have a hard time accepting help from others. I like to take care of things myself and not be a burden on others. And although our family motto “suck it up, buttercup” can be seen to support not asking others for help and learning to do it yourself. It can also teach us that it is OK to accept help when that offer of help is genuinely given out of love.

Chris keeps reminding me that I need to take care of myself so that I will heal faster and we can get back to normalcy as soon as possible. I feel most sorry for Chris right now. He has to try to take care of both Ben’s medical needs and doctor visits as well as mine. Plus try to take care of her other children, the house, the meals, and oh yeah  . . . working a full-time job. Nothing to it. 

Despite of all of this drama there are blessings. At least this is happening in the summer when school is out. We have a great support system of family and friends. Our children are older and can help themselves and each other. I am learning to be more patient and more accepting of imperfection. There are families in a lot worse situations than ours. At least it’s my arm and not my leg. 

So we have many things to be grateful for. And I know that a year from now we’ll look back on this summer and laugh. And we will also thank God that he brought us through it all with our sense of humor and our love for each other intact.

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Before we left for the doctor’s office this morning I decided on a pink cast.Ainsley  said that would be a good color.
After visiting with the doctor, there would not be a cast for me today. He said that I had a really bad break.  He said I broke the end of my radius into several pieces. He called it the radial head. He said that it required surgery to put the bone together.  Once he opens up the arm he will look to see if you can screw the pieces back together. If he can’t screw the pieces back together and he will give me a new metal radial head. After the repair is over my recovery will look a lot like Chris’. Moving the arm as soon as possible and lots of physical therapy.  The hard part of it all is no driving. At least it happened in the summer and not during the school year. 

The good news is I’m pretty sure were going to meet all of our out-of-pocket expenses with our insurance by August. Too bad that we will be so sick of the medical system that we won’t want to have anything else done. 

Ben has an all day cardiology appointment on Monday to check his heart. Instead of me going dad will take him by himself.  This is the first cardiology appointment since  he was two that I’ve ever missed.  I will be going to testing at the hospital on Monday and it just can’t be helped or I   won’t be able to have surgery on Wednesday.  

Ben is doing well. The doctor said on Thursday that it’ll take 5 to 7 days for his platelets to start working again.  So he may have this rash for a while.  If that is the worst of it, we will take it.  

We are going this weekend to go see Madie and her play. She’s been working on this for three weeks while staying with Papa and grandma Lake.  And then we will have her home with us again on Monday. We miss her and can’t wait to see your again. Of course she is 13 and has been an only child for three weeks.  She may not be ready to come home and be with her siblings again. But we certainly can’t wait to see her. 

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Well it happen. Every mother’s nightmare. Or at least my nightmare. I tripped over a cat scratching post and landed on my elbow and broke my arm. The worst part was that I was home alone with my youngest two kids. Ben And Ainsley were fabulous.  Chris was on his way to Angleton to do his volunteer shift as an EMT. They managed to call dad who then told us to call 911. He said he wished he had done that when he broke his arm Christmas. Then Ben made me a sling out of the same jacket that he used to make a sling for dad. In the middle of talking to 911 Larry  and Shirley Finke came through the front door. I canceled the 911 thinking that we could just drive to the hospital. But as soon as I stood up I realize that I was going to need help to get there.  Before we called 911 the first time I planned on driving myself with the kids. So glad dad talked me out of that one.  

Chris met me at the hospital and I was glad to see him. After x-rays they said that I broke the radial head on my right arm.  There are several fractures but she didn’t think it went all the way through the bone. They put me in a splint, gave me medicine, and sent me home. 

Here are a few things that I learned:

  1. Always make sure that your phones are charged. My cell phone was dead, And all of the cordless phones were dead. Luckily we had a 1970 AT&T corded phone in the kitchen, but my kids do not know how to make a phone call on that style of phone.
  2. My children are great in a crisis. While I sat on the floor they brought me ice, a bucket to throw up in, made me a sling, put shoes on my feet, plugged my cell phone into charge, and packed my purse.
  3. We have great church friends. They were willing to come and sit with the kids at our house until I got back. And even better they helped make sure I didn’t pass out before the ambulance got there. 
  4. Right now, we have a great family motto. Our family motto is “suck it up buttercup.” With everything that’s going on in our family lately it’s a great motto to live by. As stressed as we are with all of our drama, we can handle this.

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So Ben and I said thank you and got the heck out of there before anyone changed their mind. 

Dr. Altman checked Ben over from head to toe. She did labs on him and said that his white blood cell count was a little low but everything else looked great. His kidneys are working well and his inflammatory markers have improved. He is no longer anemic and his platelet count is fine.  

She doesn’t think that this is a viral rash. She thinks that this is a medication issue. She thinks that because he is taking both aspirin and Motrin that it is interfering with how his platelets work causing petechiae all over his body.  She took him off aspirin temporarily and is going to see him again Monday to make sure that everything is improving.  

The good news is that she also said his heart sounded awesome compared to prior to surgery! We love hearing that. 

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Well, if something weird was going to happen, it would happen to Ben this month.  He has broken out in a head-to-toe rash.  There was no way that I was going to call the hospital doctor. So I called our pediatrician. They wanted to send us the ER, and I begged, pleaded and cried for them to not send us back to the hospital. They will just start testing all over and we will be in the hospital for another week.  The doctor agreed to see Ben in the parking lot. He didn’t want Ben to catch anything in the office and didn’t want Ben to share anything if it was contagious. So we met the doctor in the parking lot, he climbed into the car and examed Ben in the backseat. He said that Ben had a petechiae rash, and that we needed to call our cardiologist. 

I reluctantly agreed to call the hospital doctors who had treated Ben.  When the first doctor called back, he apologized for the fact that we had to call back. We explained the situation and he said he would speak to his attending and call back. Two and half hours later with no call, we called them back. We spoke to Dr. Khan and she said that it could be either a virus or low platelets. She said we could either come into the ER tonight to have labs drawn or see a new cardiologist in the Woodlands in the morning. She said she believed is that it was petechiae but she would like to have a doctor she trusted to look at it first before she moved on.  

Well, there was no way we were going to the ER and I really didn’t want to see another new doctor. I told her that I this would be like our tenth new doctor this month.  So we sent her pictures of the rash and she said she thought it could wait until the morning, and she was willing to call Dr. Altman to see if she could fit Ben into her schedule tomorrow. Luckily she was able to fit Ben in early in the morning. So we will see what Dr. Altman (his regular cardiologist) has to say. Even if she hasn’t been treating Ben every day in the hospital at least she has known Ben since he was two. And a familiar face is very much appreciated right now. 

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