Saturday, February 28, 2009

So we got mom moved to our house fairly easily with the wheelchair method. She's been doing well since we've been talking a lot about her injury and that her knee joint is stable, she can bear weight on it and it will hold her up. Learning that seems to have made a lot of difference because she's less fearful and has been moving around pretty well the past few days. She's going back home today and I think she'll do fine! She's been such a trooper dealing with being parked on my couch and not in the comfort of her own home. She goes to the doctor on Thursday and we'll see what he says about her recovery.

Craig got his referral to the spine doctor. He can't get in until the end of March! I told him to call his pcp and see if they can fenagle him a sooner appointment because that's a long time to be in such pain all the time. It seems to be getting worse in a hurry, the poor guy is barely moving anymore.

Otherwise things are going well. I'm getting in the groove of school and I start Pharmacology and pathophysiology on Wednesday for this 8 week term. Blech!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

eyes, ears, knees, and backs oh MY!

My mom is home but not for long. We thought she'd be ok to go to her house to recover but it's become apparent that she needs more care than she is able to get there with George working and what not. Austin and Hailey have been taking turns staying there with her but they can't do everything she needs, nor should they be expected to. So the decision has been made to move her here to our house. Easier said than done. We tried last night and she couldn't get down the stairs to get outside, finally after a while of trying she was exhausted and hurting and we figure we'd have to take some time to think of a plan B.

So tomorrow my sister is coming up and we are renting a wheelchair and making a make-shift ramp to get her out of the house. Let's hope it goes well!

We were able to get Nathan to the ophthamologist tomorrow and got pretty good news. He needs glasses, which we knew we were looking at anyway but the doctor doesn't think the vision loss is caused by the cataract itself, but rather is another issue of an eye that just didn't develop correctly. So he doesn't feel that removing the cataract would help at all, would just invite more potential for issues. We got a great deal on his glasses at $99 for two pair. He ended up needing the tiniest frames they had and we ordered one in gold and one in blue. We also paid a little extra for a 1 year warranty on each since we are quite certain with a 2 year old we will have one pair in the shop at all times.

I can see the new daily/hourly phrase in our house in a couple weeks when he gets them, it will be "Everybody look for Nate's glasses". Oy, what an adventure. The doctor said he has given up trying to predict which kids will keep them on fine and which won't, some kids notice that they see better and keep them on just fine and some (I suspect Nathan will be in this group, since he won't even keep a hat on) hate having something on their face and rip them off the second they are put on. I guess time will tell.

Monday Christian will go and get his hearing aids, he's still pretty ok with the prospect, even kind of excited it seems for his new equipment. I hope he keeps that confidence.

Another issue we are still dealing with (not sure If i've mentioned it here before) is Craig's back. He has 2 slipped discs in his lower lumbar part of his spine. Over the past few months he's been getting cortisone injections at the pain clinic as well as physical therapy and chiropractic care and of course near round the clock pain medications. Unfortunately these things are no longer helping and he's in worse shape than ever, in constant pain with limited mobility. So as I type he's at the doctor getting stronger pain meds and a referral to a spine specialist and we may be looking at back surgery in the very near future.

Even with all of this I can't help but realize how fortunate we are. We are financially comfortable, have never missed a payment on our mortgage, have health insurance, and are together and aside from some quirks, healthy and happy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can this week be over yet?

Well, we didn't make it to Nathan's cataract appt yesterday. It has been rescheduled for monday afternoon.

It's never good when the phone rings at 6am. It's even worse to come up the stairs to see your husband on the phone and he tells you "your moms in the back of an ambulance, she fell and busted her knee" Crap.

I ask where they are taking her and he relays the question and I hear from across the room her yell at the poor paramedic "I'M NOT FLYING ANYWHERE!" Great. It's bad.

I finally get out of her that they are currently on their way to the hospital I work at, and things will be decided from there. So I call my brother and sister and get in the car and head off to the hospital.

After veryifying her information I go to her room and the doctor comes in with an xray showing her kneecap busted clean in half, with a 4 inch gap between the peices. "It's broke" he says while she huffs something that resembled a "no shit".

After a bit the ortho comes in and tells her they will do surgery asap. Surgery has a full schedule but he'll work her in sometime in the afternoon. They take her up to the floor and my sister and I (and later my brother) keep her company while we wait.

I always knew my mother was a tough cookie but she proved it taking no pain meds at all the entire day. My sister and I were quite sure we could use some ourselves.

Finally at 4:30 they come get her and we grab something to eat and settle into the surgery waiting loung to wait. At 7:30 the surgeon comes in and tells us that the xray, showing a nice break in 2 peices was very deceiving. To use his terminology "It was like a grenade went off" and "these are never easy injuries". He was able to use pins to secure the large peices and tied them all together with wire. There are still peices all over in there that he said would be ok to just settle where they will.

She was able to go home today. She isn't even allowed to bend the knee for 6-8 weeks while they wait for the bone to begin to mesh together. Then she'll start physical "bending" therapy to try to get it in useful shape again. He wanted her to be off work for 3 months but she convinced him to let her go back in a couple weeks as long as she could sit down. She's very worried about her job security as the company she works for is laying off. Fortunately she fell in the parking lot of her workplace that hadn't been cleared so she has a bit of a safety net there I suppose.

Since my brother and sister both live over an hour away it will be up to me to donate a lot of my time in helping my mother take care of herself. We'll make it work.

When it rains it pours!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1 out of 3, please?

We aren't doing so well with the doctor appts but at least Chris is done. He saw the Audiologist yesterday and the GI today.

I honestly thought the audiology appt would end up being a waste of time. I didn't see it coming. All through the test as they are having Chris who was in a sound proof room repeat words and raise his hand to beeps in his headphones I kept thinking "ok, they are going to say he's fine, I know it... this is silly".

Then as we finish up and she puts the convertible computer next to me I STILL though everything was ok, as I looked at the graph all of his dots and x's were in the white area except a couple that were at the bottom of the gray. Well that's ok right? A couple numbers borderline but most are ok, right?

Oh, but I soon learned I wasn't right. Turns out the GRAY area was "normal" hearing, not the white. His high tones were the couple that were borderline, the rest indicated hearing impairment.

So many questions that don't have answers. Has this been there since birth or is it new? is it progressive? Will he someday be deaf? We just don't know.

What we do know is that in 2 weeks he will get his hearing aids. He chose cobalt blue for the part behind the ear and a swirl of blue, green, and white for the earmold peice. He seems ok with it. Likely more than I am.

Then every 2 weeks we will venture back to Eau Claire to test his hearing and see if A: His regular hearing is progessing in the wrong direction and B: If the hearing aids are helping him or not (apparently they don't help everyone). I shudder to think of what happens if they don't. Then what?

I swear if anyone picks on that child mama bear will tear them limb for limb.... I'm just sayin.

Then today we see the GI. If you remember we've been seeing this GI for about 2 years now since Christian first began his tummy troubles. He's been through a battery of tests and was dx'd with lactose intolerance and GERD. However, for some unkown reason Christian doesn't gain weight. He hasn't gained weight in 3 years.

Well, a lot of his issues have been well controlled with medications and I thought he was doing better. I was so sure of it I thought we'd be discharged from the GI, or at least spaced to yearly visits.

Until I got hit by a truck again. He's lost four pounds. In the winter, sitting on his butt. Four pounds.

He doesn't eat much, I don't know how to make him eat more. We are seeing a dietician next week to help us figure out how to pack more calories into what little he does eat. We will give it four months and in June see the GI again and go from there.

Tomorrow we travel to Marshfield to see Nathan's Ophthamologist and chat about the cataract. Will it be glasses or surgery? Let's hope our luck changes overnight.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Baby addiction

I read this article on MSNBC yesterday and I didn't know whether to laugh or scream.

Now the world thinks we are just simply insane. Nice. You know, I don't even particularly LIKE newborns, let alone am addicted to them. Certainly, there is something about a fresh fuzzy head and the smell of Johnson's that is so purely wonderful but I, for one, am a BIG fan of sleeping all night and going to work without vomit on my clothes.

But alas, since I have 6 kids I must be addicted to newborns because of something in my childhood and my poor children are neglected because of it.

I'm sure some women ARE addicted to newborns. Probably those women who keep popping kids out and then they end up in foster care around age two. But really, how many children from large families are in foster care? You may think having many children would be quite easy, as careless as it seems. But in fact it takes quite a bit of effort and planning. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find time for MAKING a baby with 5 or 6 others running around? I always say, the most effective birth control is a child. My youngest has an uncanny way of waking up and needing attention at the most inopportune time, effectively securing his status as the baby of the family.

This octuplet mom... well, I'm pretty much convinced SHE is batshit crazy. But now the rest of us are too by some distant association.

If I am required to have an addiction due to some screwed up childhood, at least I could at least take up drinking or drugs or something. They'd likely be cheaper and do less horrible things to my body than pregnancy!

But if having kids is my addiction, I'll take it. Because I love them and I work my butt off to support them and I don't ask a dime from anyone else to do it. So, at least it's an addiction I'm good at.

I'm just sayin.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Because I love clinics

Took Nate and Chris to their check up today. Chris failed his hearing test. At first we thought it was because his ears were all gunked up but she cleaned them out and he failed it again. So Monday he sees an audiologist. Then she was looking at Nate and just said "that eye...." Yeah, it's crossed more often than not now. She asked when his ophthamologist appt is and I told her it was mid march. She thinks he shouldn't wait that long so wed we travel 3 hours to Marshfield for that. On Tuesday Chris sees his gastroenterologist for follow up. I'm hoping we get discharged from his care as Chris seems to be doing so well now.


Octuplets part 2 plus some

Ok so admittedly I'm probably behind on this story. There's been so much going on I haven't really had time for current events, however it's not hard to overhear conversation about this story, as so many people have very strong opinions about it.

Andrea Yates, John and Kate plus 8, even the Duggars... large families can't catch a break it seems. There will always be those that paint the picture of large families, accurate or not, in the public. The truth of the matter is, having a large family is not as sensational or attention getting as it seems. Most of us are just like everyone else. We work, we shop at Walmart, life really isn't very chaotic or exciting. Most of us don't have television shows or write books, most of us don't drown our children in the bathtub. We just live our lives, typical American style.

Sure, our routines have to be a bit more regimented. We have 4 hours of homework instead of 1. We have to buy 6+ backpacks instead of 2. There definitely are things different in a large family but for the most part we are surprisingly normal.

Then you get families like this. There are so many questions. A woman who due to back injury could not work, yet was able to carry and give birth to 8 children. Why would you even decide to get pregnant with a debillitating back injury? If you rely on food stamps to feed your 6 children, how is it that you can afford assisted fertility? I currently know a great friend who is taking on IVF, to the tune of about $9,000 for ONE CYCLE.

You know the story, I won't rehash every point.

Then the other side of this story. These 14 children. The 6 older ones who have to go to school everyday now that their lives have been thrown into the media and their mother is viewed as a beast. What about them? What about these 8 babies laying in a hospital room who will have to grow up with the anger and frustration just their very existence has created in this country? What about the state, who is going to have to eat millions of dollars for their immediate medical care, never mind lifelong care for issues coming from the fact that they were just born too soon.

It's very sad is what it is.

Moving on:

So, I'm not never sure if I mentioned this here before but I'm back in college. So far so good. I'm taking the medical assistant program which in this area will get me further than nursing anyway, since Marshfield clinic is taking over the world and hires MA's in their clinics. I graduate next summer.

Still working of course. More than usual lately since a coworker has been out sick for a few weeks.

Just finished the living room makeover, no pictures yet. We put in laminate flooring and painted the walls a color called "spiced rum" with white trim. It looks quite beautiful.

Gotta get some school work done on my only day off here before I take Nate and Chris to their yearly check up so that's all folks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Octuplets part 2

What I said before? Forget it. Why the heck would a woman getting food stamps have IVF?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new baby!

Got your attention didn't I?

Not the human variety, but adorable nontheless. Got him yesterday, he's a 3 month old Morkie (also called Maltie or Yorktese). Mom is a 5 lb Maltese dad is a 4 lb Yorkie. He is very playful and loves to cuddle, slept on Shaylin's pillow last night. Taylor likes him but gets annoyed with his puppy antics quickly.

Friday, February 6, 2009


So I'm sure you've all heard at least something on this story. A single mom has 6 kids and just gave birth to Octuplets. Now the poor woman is being attacked from every angle it seems on her choice to have so many children. Her own mother threw her under the bus in an interview recently claiming she has an "obsession" with having a large family.

What is this country becoming when other people think they have the right to decide how many children someone should have? I tell you what, IVF isn't cheap. If this woman could afford to conceive all... counting on my fingers... 14 children using IVF then she obviousely isn't some destitute single mother begging for cash on a street corner. So why is it our business?

And don't give me all the diarreah of the mouth about overpopulation and resources. There are plenty of resources and plenty of space in this world. The population is actually on the DECLINE at the moment, what with all the baby boomers knocking off of old age.

Let the woman be. Let her marvel in the beauty of her new babies. And say a big fat AMEN that this woman made the choice to let those babies LIVE rather than "reducing" them.

It all comes back to the people who can't possibly understand how absolutely amazingly rewarding it is to have a big family. Who can't take time out of their busy day to laugh when a houseful of boys have dozens of nerf darts flying over your head as you try to make dinner. Who get stressed beyond limits with one or two children. Just because you don't undersand it, or don't have the confidence or desire to DO it, that doesn't mean you should think you have the right to limit someone else's happiness.

Get over it.