Saturday, August 30, 2008

Papparzzi Pat Proceeds to Perpetuate Passion for Pigskin

So finally all of my waiting for football season is over. Hooray! A good friend bought me a "Quest" shirt from BYU. Thanks again Peggy. My beloved Cougars played today and won the game nicely. I wasn't able to attend in person, but I did enjoy watching from my own family room. Here are a few candid shots of me at the game.
Touchdown! (thanks Dave for taking the picture)Here's me in the stands.

Here I am being interviewed about my reaction to the game.

Here are me and Harvey, you know best buds.

And don't forget my best friend Bronco. We go way back.

And finally my crazed fan pose when we won the game.

But if not

I had a very nice talk with my brother this morning. Thanks Drew. He really gave me the pep talk I needed. I so admire the way things in life roll off his shoulders and he just rolls with what ever comes his way. He reminded me that there is nothing we can do about the fact that this has happened, it is what we do now that we have control over. We can choose to have a positive attitude and make the very best of it. Jared can say, I am going to prove these doctors wrong, and work hard and make more progress than they thought possible. There are many examples of people who took bad things and turned them into positives.

I wondered how you teach a kid to have such a good attitude. And I suppose the answer is by example. I must practice what I have preached about enduring trials well. I must say we were prepared to make a full recovery, but if not, I will still be strong and faithful and make the best of things. I can do that. Right now we are just going through the stages of grieving for the normal life that he has lost. It is completely normal and realistic to feel shock, anger, and pain at this news.

So for now the doctor has prescribed a traction thing for Jared to wear at night that will help pull that right leg away from the body. We go back to see the orthopedic surgeon in a month. Next Friday we have blood work done again and see what that tells us. We will continue with physical therapy, although I think they might change a little bit what they are having him do and certainly their expectations.

We have not yet decided what to do about school, but it is looking less likely to me, that he can handle it. I suppose home schooling him will not be the worst thing in the world. And I think he will still choose to go to seminary, because he really enjoyed it the one day he went last week.

So I am still dealing with feelings of loss and grief, but I feel more encouraged than I did last night. In an eternal perspective this really will not matter at all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sometimes no news is good news, but not this time.

Here is Jared's x-ray from today. If you look at the left hip you can see that it is round like an ice cream cone. Then compare it with the right hip and you can see that the right one is very much not smooth. This shows that there has been permanent cartilage damage to Jared's right hip. It can not be repaired. I am really quite in shock, because I have been preparing myself all week to hear the news that the infection is back and that his bone needed to be drilled and drained. But this news means that it is very likely that Jared will be disabled for the rest of his life. To what extent we don't know, but that hip will bother him and not ever be the same. Perhaps eventually it will mean a hip replacement but they will not do that for quite some time, especially given that the infection is still healing. This may not be exactly what this means, but for sure the doctor said the words "this is very bad news". Not anything you ever want to hear a doctor say. The good news is that it is not life threatening, not cancer. It will just mean some readjusting of life expectations that is all. He may not be able to do school this semester. He may never play sports again. Maybe he will eventually get a cool cane to walk with. This will take time to process and adjust to. Maybe it won't be bad, just different. But it does explain why he is still in so much pain. And sadly there really isn't much to do for this pain.

Right now I am going to help him pack to go on a scout outing, where he thinks it is a good idea to sit on an inner tube behind a speeding boat. The hyper vigilant in me says no way, no how, but at the same time the kid has got to live. The doctor gave approval. So everyone pray that he doesn't come home worse off and that this helps to cheer a kid up, who was just told his life will never be the same.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Amie!

A very happy birthday to my sister Amie, sorry this is late getting posted. I have had another crazy day of doctor appointments. Hope your day was special, Amie!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things you don't say to your wife....

This video made me smile. Thanks for sharing Elizabeth.

Tim Hawkins on Parents

Something else to smile about. Personally, I find the fanstasy of burning down Chuck E Cheese quite irristable.

Unidentified flying objects

On Monday I looked out my window and saw this strange stuff in the air. Anyone know what it is? It seems to bring back a vague feeling of something I have seen before, I am just not quite sure.
Maybe 10 years in the desert has warped my brain.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's up Doc?

Today I took Jared to three doctorish appointments. Yes, I am an over achiever that way. I can't help it, I got skills.

First it was the infectious disease doctor. That was joyful due to the fact that there were absolutely no parking places open. Two weeks ago when we came to our first appointment, we wasted ten minutes driving around the block looking for the building. After two calls to the office, I discovered that the hospital had written down the wrong address. I am sure that the exact address of an unknown location is highly overrated. Well after the receptionist directed me in like one of the guys in an orange vest with glow sticks on the runway with a plane, we actually made it inside the right building.

Today I figured that fiasco would be avoided. But that fun time was replaced by the no less diverting activity of circling the parking lot looking for a parking space. Evidently a lot of old decrepit handicap people visit this building. It does seem wrong to out race some one with a cane to a parking space. Anyway somehow we finally found a place out on the street. I think I was suppose to put some money in an electronic monitor, but I could not figure it out and we were late, so oh well to that.

Once inside, I realized that I was not sure which room number we were looking for. This could be due to the fact that my brain has taken on the likeness of a sieve if not in form then in function. We entered from a different door this time, and everything looked different. Now granted it has only been two weeks, it shouldn't be that hard. Finally after a bit of wondering we found the right place.

This is a place that believes in giving patients a chance to develop patience. Curses. I have no time for patience. We were both anxious to get the blood results from last week. Jared entertained himself by examining some of those ear things that go on the lights. I offered to let him look in my ear, but he did not take me up on this offer. During this time my chair faced the exam table, and I was able to annoy him by looking at him. Geez.

Finally the doctor came in and told us that Jared's SED number was only down to 25, it was at 27 two weeks ago, but at 100 when we left the hospital. I had hoped it would be down to 0, but it might not go down that far. The other number is the CRP, that was 1.7, and two weeks ago it was at 1.1. At the hospital it was as high as 36. I think that this number has to do with inflammation, so maybe all the walking he has been doing is making that number go up.

When the doctor left the room, Jared told me not to freak out. I have tried to be calm all day, but I have to admit that the monster of fear is creeping into my head. The doctor did say that there was a slim chance that a new pocket of infection is forming. Yikes. We go to see the orthopedic surgeon next week and he will X-ray and we will see what he says. In the mean time the infectious disease doctor is stopping the oral antibiotics and we will retest his blood in two weeks. Then based on that result, we may not even have to go back in to see him.

Next we moved on to the orthodontist. Originally this appointment was suppose to be tomorrow, but I figured since we were already out and Jared was missing school, we could just get it all over with. We missed our July appointment due to being in a comma. Then we have rescheduled twice due to Jared not feeling up to going. I told the orthodontist the whole crazy story, in probably much too much detail. Since we have been going to see him for five years, he was quite shocked and upset for us, and I suppose one of Jared's longest friends.

I wanted to know WHEN would those @#$%^& braces being coming out of Jared's mouth. And will he even have any teeth left since he has not been the best brusher, and I have not brushed for him as much as I could have. Also is there some sort of award or pin for making it five years with braces. Do we get a gold retainer or something like that? You know a little bling, bling for all our years of trouble.

Well good news, we go back in three weeks for an adjustment, and then three weeks after that, the top braces will come off. I don't know if I even believe him. Surely this is just some sort of tortuous place where they just want to string people's hopes along for years and years. Whatever. I' m not bitter, can you tell? And I shouldn't complain, I haven't had to make a payment in over three years. So all it has meant is my time and gas driving him there and back every few weeks for the past five years. And how else would I keep up to date with who Jennifer Aniston is dating or what Brittany Spears has done lately. Surely such information, priceless.

After the orthodontist, a trip to McDonalds, because another piece of stressful information from the doctors office, he has lost 1/2 pound in the past two weeks. Good Gravy!! Actually too bad he is not eating gravy on everything, that might help with weight gain. I am beginning to think that he is doing it on purpose. I ca rumba. So I let him order what he wanted, oreo mcflurry, double quarter pounder, and fries. Then when I made chicken enchiladas for dinner, he wouldn't even touch it, and then I made him a instant breakfast milk shake, no not that either. Finally I let him have a giant bowl of cookies and cream ice cream. But wouldn't you know sieve for brain bought low fat ice cream. Gross. And totally counter productive to boot. Jared did eat it with out comment. His taste buds must be screwed up, but dang I wish it was total fat not low fat stuff.

We both rested up for the afternoon visit to physical therapy, because what could be more fun than two appointments in one day, well that is easy, three of course. I suppose that went well. It is best when I sit in the waiting room, because then of course I can not look him. We wouldn't want that, now would we. No sirree. The physical therapist basically told me I am a rotten mother, (you have not moved his bed upstairs yet), and you deserve to burn in hell (you have not made him do any of his exercises). You know cheerful words of encouragement like that. For the record, it was the assistant, and those were probably not his exact words, and he has a one year old daughter. Yeah, I would like to talk to him is 13 years when his daughter pierced every part of her body several times. So I can now add "make Jared exercise" to my list of impossible dreams.

We got home in time for me to inhale some very scrumptious enchiladas and watch Jared and Diana both turn their noses up at it. Then it was off to the church for young men and young women's. We saw a fun slide show about camp. It made us all laugh. Which I needed very much quite frankly.

If anyone has any ideas how you go on normally with life as if the huge elephant in the room called your son may have to have another surgery is not sticking his tongue out at you, please let me know. For now I am going to try to postpone the panic attack, I see way off on the horizon. Why worry now, when it may be for nothing, right? But then I would hate to miss an opportunity to worry, I seem to be so good at it.

Now I will go to my room and repeat over and over "I will not be hypervigilent, I will not be hpyervigilent, I will not be hypervigilant." Wish me luck with that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fantastic Fourth Grader

Diana started fourth grade today. Wow my baby is in fourth grade! She is in an all girl class this year. I think it will be a good thing, but we will see. I suppose only time will tell.Here she is looking all studious and purplishious.
Here she is styling her over the shoulder bag.
Here she is pondering what snack she will have after school with her new pointer purchased at the thieving book fair. Boy that is a racket, if ever I saw one.

I got nothing, no clever title today

This is why I am looking forward to saying good bye to August. Basically all of these illegible scribblings in my calendar means a doctor appointment, or orthodontist appointments, or physical therapy appointments, you get the picture. This month has been filled to overflowing with doctor appointments. All of which come with co payments. I think that Jared's recovery may turn out to be more expensive than his 25 day hospital stay. In a nutshell, I am sick of being sick, enough already.

Speaking of that, each day I go to the mail box filled with anticipation to see how much more my insurance company has had to pay for me. So far it is only about $8,000. But I have a feeling it is only the tip of the ice burg.

Jared did manage to go to school today, and made it the whole day. His first day of High School. I am impressed. He did not go to early morning seminary, I think we will add that on tomorrow. He seems reasonably happy with his schedule. On A day, all of his classes are on the first floor. On B day he will have both of his upstairs classes. He got his elevator pass today. I watched my phone for much of the day waiting for the nurse to call. I know, I know hypervigilence. What ever, I couldn't help it. He would not even let me come in with him this morning to make sure everything was OK. Are you kidding me, a ninth grader does not want to be dropped off by his mom, who would have thunk it? And see it all worked out so I was concerned for nothing. I have to admit to not sleeping very well last night, as I was worried for him.

After all the kids were safely at school, several friends and I went out to breakfast at IHOP. Diana got wind of this plan at choir yesterday, and she told me that perhaps she needed me to stay at school with her all day. Nice try, sister, no way, no how. My friends and I had a wonderful time for about 2 and a half hours. I had the most delicious garden crepes, with spinach and mushrooms. Yum, Yum. But what the heck, most of the time was spent discussing issues concerning our children. What is up with that I wonder? Do none of have any life other than our kids? I guess not.

So now I have to go and do my home work. No home work for the kids today, just the moms. Criminey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

High School Blues

I have been MIA for the past couple of days. I wish I could say that I was involved is some wonderful, exciting, relaxing events, but none of that for me. Instead I have been dealing with a fiasco that is called Jared was registered for the wrong high school.

Here is how it all came to be. Last spring some evil, sadistic educators came to the middle school and touted the joys of magnet schools. One particular school named Rancho has an aviation program. In this program you could take flying lessons and graduate from High School with a pilots license, or something like that. This all sounds good and wonderful. The problem I have with it, is that it is about 30 minutes away in a not so great part of town. There is a bus to the school, but if Jared was going to attend seminary, I would need to drive him every day. That was the real deal breaker for me. How sad I would deny my son an educational opportunity due to my limitations. But there you have it.

The other thing is that he has about 6 great friends here in the ward, so why not go to high school with your best friends. Also the high school here is 1 mile from our house, easily walking distance once Jared recovers. Also seminary is at our ward building 1/2 mile from my house. So it just made sense to me that he would just attend our local school. Yes he would miss out on being a pilot, but surely he could still do this sometime in the rest of his life, right? And who knows what kind of friends he would make there, when he already has really great, nice friends with the same values.

Let me also say, that Jared on his own initiative filled out the application online. I had nothing to do with it. I crossed my fingers that he would not get in, because it is a lottery kind of a thing. So back in April, Rancho sent us a letter saying that Jared was accepted into the aviation program. Curses. I hoped it wouldn't come to that. We then sent in the letter accepting their acceptance. I still figured that we could change our minds.

In May when it was time to register at our high school, Spring Valley, we filled out the registration form. In the mean time Rancho sent us a packet and we did not send it back or register with them. Also I failed to read in it where it said please notify ASAP if you decide not to attend.

Go figure that I never called Rancho. The month of June was spent recovering from the school year and preparing for scout camp. And somehow making that call never occured to me during all my countless hours at the hospital in July.

I assumed incorrectly that Jared was now registered at Spring Valley. That was the only school that we actually turned in a class schedule to. My first clue that something was wrong, was Sunday night when all of his friends received a call from their seminary teachersm Jared, bubkas. Then on Monday, we received a bus stop assignment to go to Rancho. This was a major red flag. Yikes. So Tuesday, I went to Spring Valley and sure enough he was not in their system. Oh, Dear. Next, I called Rancho and they were able to take him out of their system. Then Spring Valley told me that I needed to register Jared as a new student. Holy Bureaucracy, Batman. This involved bringing my power bill and drivers license in. At that point there were about 50 people waiting, so I opted to come in right at 7 am on Wednesday morning.

As planned yesterday, I woke up at 6:30 and went to the school. I was third on the list, not bad. I only waited for about 10 minutes. It was the teachers first day back at school and things were pretty crazy. I tried to go and talk to the counselor, but she was completely swamped. The other bad thing is that they completely dropped Jared from all of the classes that he registered to take. Curses again.

Because I couldn't talk to anyone. I ran over to the pediatrician and picked up the doctors note talking about Jared's limitations. Then I went back to the school and had a very good talk with the nurse. She is on board with helping him. Once he has teachers, she will e-mail them and let them know that if Jared gets to tired in class, he will be allowed to come to the nurses office and lay down for a while. If he feels better, then he can go back to his next class, if not then they will call me. The nurse was willing to meet with me and the counselor to help get his schedule arranged with classes as close to each other as possible. Hopefully that will happen today.

After all that at the school, I went to institute at 9:30 and got Jared registered in seminary. So that was all good. I think that most of his problems are solved. It is just getting his classes set up. And that can even happen next week.

I think especially given all that Jared has been through, I would have made him change back to the high school so close to my house. It will be comforting to know that he is only a mile away, if he has any problems.

It will be very interesting to see how he is going to handle sitting at school for 6 hours. He is doing better every day. Tuesday night he went to a swim party for mutual. He did pretty well at that. Today he went with Marion into his school. And last Sunday he went to all three hours of church. The more he gets out the better it is. He is really sick of being stuck in the house. Tonight there is a freshman open house.

This was probably pretty boring and long winded. Maybe something entertaining will happen today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mad Ninja Skills

This is a video of a fun new game I learned to play at camp. Maybe you have to be there to get the full funniness of it all, but I thought it was HIlarious. Basically one person is the sensei, and says "everyone bow to your sensei". Everyone has to bow, and make a ninja noise at the same time. I missed filming this part. Then the sensei karate chops (points) at someone. That person has to make a ninja noise and raise their arms up. The two people on either side of the person who was pointed at, have to pretend to chop the tagged person in the stomach, while making the ninja noise. Then the person tagged, points to another person. Just watch the video it will make more sense. If any one misses a beat then they are out, and the game starts again.

At camp this game was pee your pants funny, but that may be due to sleep deprivation and a large consumption of sugar. Tell me what you think? And now you can play it with your friends.

A Decade of Dedication

Marion went to meetings today to get ready for the fall semester. This is what he brought home. Pretty cool, huh? Not as cool as a check for $1000 or something else like that after ten years of service, but still better than a stick in the eye. It is hard to believe that we have now been here for ten years. We have served ten years of our life sentence. Yippee.

Oh I forgot, I am trying to have a better attitude about living here. I retract that last statement. Vegas is great. What's not to love. Blah. Blah. Blah.

So anyway a hiddy ho-job well done- shout out to Marion. It is very fortunate that he loves his job so much. It made the ten years just fly by. I am happy that he has such a great job to go to each day. And apparently we have good insurance, for which I think the word "priceless" might apply.

So here's to ten more years.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Part of the craziness of all the doctor visits last Wednesday, included a visit from the home health nurse to remove Jared's pic line. Now that the IV is gone, he is much more able to move around. Also it means he is now on oral antibiotics. Since he can now be more independent, I decided to head up to girls camp. All the girls and leaders went up on Tuesday morning. I woke up Thursday morning and got everything squared away.

I have to admit, that I really needed a break from nursing Jared. When I first got up to camp, I said "Yay, no one will ask me to empty their urinal, here." Our camp takes place up on Mt. Charleston. It is just a short hour from Vegas, and yet it feels like a different world. So many trees, and at least 30 degrees cooler. I think it was about 107 when I left, and only 75 when I got there. So nice. Also, I love it because I do not sneeze as much up there. Apparently, I am allergic to Las Vegas.

I got there just in time for the leader lunch. Which is a wonderful thing where the stake feeds all the camp leaders. All the girls stay at their camp and eat sandwiches. Our ward did the zip line, craft, and climbing wall before I got there, but I was in time for archery. This is actually the first year I have tried the archery range due to the fact that it always seems to be at the end of the week, and it is way at the top of the camp. I am usually out of steam and unable to make the climb up there. But this year I was fresh and full of energy.
For the first time, I gave the archery range a try. I may not have bow hunting skills, but surprisingly I have some arrow shooting skills. I even popped a balloon, helping our ward move to the front of the balloon popping score. The next day another ward did beat our score, but we were in front for a while.
Here is one of the girls, Bailey signaling victory after we moved ahead in the balloon popping event. The man in the crown, is our Bishop and he was in charge of the Archery range this year.

After archery, the fourth year girls went and did repelling. I can't imagine that I will ever participate in that event, given my fear of heights. There are always more people who want to do it, than there is time, so I am OK with that.

Then it was time for the variety show. Our ward was assigned to do a take off if the show Nashville Star. None of us have ever seen it, but they gave us a CD of some country music. Our Bishop did a great impression of Billy Ray Cyrus, complete with hilarious long curly wig. The first act was mini Shania Twain. This was two girls kneeling down, with one being the face and body, while the other one is the arms. It was so cute and funny. Then the picture above is the "Homely Hillbillies". The whole thing was pretty funny and turned out very well. We are probably biased, but we though ours was the best.
We were the last stake to use the camp this summer. Perhaps due to that fact, the chipmunks were surprisingly bold. As pictured above they would eat right out of some one's hand. We even put out bowls of sun flower seeds for them. They were very cute little creatures and almost like pets. Very strange.That night it got alarmingly cold. Everyone kept talking about how it wouldn't be that cold in August, but it was quite cold and I was disappointed that I did not bring my hand warmers and thermals. Necessity is the mother of invention, and so I devised this attractive hat to help keep me warm. Tell me I do not look like some one out of Fiddler on the Roof.Thursday night was testimony night. It was a very special evening, and I felt so fortunate to be a part of it. There was a very strong spirit and it was worth the trip up there. There is something about sitting around a campfire, that makes such testimony meetings extraordinary.
Of course we stayed up visiting, singing, laughing, and generally having too much fun, until way to late. I think it was 2 am when I finally got to my bed. Here is a picture of me, snug as a bug, in a rug. I am wearing three shirts, and two sweat shirts, my gloves, and a knit cap. I had an extra blanket and my coat on top of my sleeping bag. So I wasn't two cold. I missed my hand warmers, though. And perhaps my thermals.Friday morning, our girls found the spirit stick, which was shaped like the Olympic torch. We found it twice and so our ward had it the most times. Here are all the girls on a large log by our camp. Tori is holding up the prize in the middle.Friday, was unscheduled except for the short obstacle course that we did in the morning. We filled the day with fun activities, such as hair do makeovers. Here is a picture of my new do. Nice don't ya think?
This is my hair stylist, Taylor. Thanks for the colorful hair. She has been to camp all three years that I have gone.Here are Tori, me, and Bailey. They are making the sign of WOW, with their hands and mouth. They have a funny saying they do that says "WOW MOM, COW MOM" All made by turning the "w" into a "m" or "c". Here I am in a rare moment of down time. Kicking back and taking it easy.While lying on the bench, I happened to look up and see how pretty the trees and the sky were. I love nature, and really miss the trees of the northwest. There is something so peaceful in the mountains. Especially the fact that I don't get cell service. No texts from Jared, or calls from Diana. It is easier to feel close to our Heavenly Father in the mountains. Perhaps that is why temples were in the tops of the mountains in the Old Testament.Here is our amazing, awesome, astonishing, astounding, fantastic, incredible, marvelous, stupendous, wonderful camp director. She is returning from latrine duty. What a women. You go girl. At one time I was a bit sad to not be camp director, but Shawna did such a great job, that I felt glad she was in charge instead of me. I only wish I could have been more help to her. But there is always next year.Here are five of the young women leaders. I love working with these women and am glad to count them as friends.
And here we are in a bit more natural pose.
Here is a shot of all six of the leaders from our ward. The sister on the top of our pyramid helps the stake a lot and doesn't get to spend very much time in our camp. She does happen to spoil us with treats and that is good. She is in charge of the zip line. And had to work pretty hard all day long.
Friday afternoon, the YCLs (youth counselor leaders) passed the flame onto the fourth year girls, who will be YCLs next year. Here are those girls from our ward. As you can see they are half of the twelve girls we had this year. Next year will be very, very, small as we only have one girl turning twelve this year. These girls will all turn sixteen during the next year, and move up to my class. They are amazing girls and it will be fun to get to teach them.
Bailey and Tori wanted to roast their starburst candies. Bailey even roasted one for me, just so I could adequately blog about the experience. Seriously, she said, you better taste one if you are going to write about it. She is one of my regular readers, and I even convinced her she needed a blog. I have to say the starburst was good, when roasted the starburst gets soft and gooey.
Here is Tori's pose with her starburst. Two years ago, one of the girls roasted her gold fish cracker. Very odd. We have known Bailey and Tori since we moved to Vegas, as they were in our old ward before they moved to this ward. Jared and Tori are the same age and were on the same soccer team for several years, back in the day.
We had so much fun singing around the camp fire Friday night. We even got in some dancing. Good, good times. It is no secret that camp songs is my favorite part of camp. They even sang my song "Princess Pat".
This is the final picture. It started to look like rain in the afternoon, so we took down several of the tents. Then we took the pic nic benches out of the dinning tent, and let all the girls sleep together. It was a bit crazy, but they had a great time together. Finally they ended up signing primary songs, and put themselves to sleep. And it did not rain, so having several of the tents already packed up, helped us get out of there sooner in the morning.
I did not go to bed until 3 am Friday night. We got up early Saturday morning and packed up. We were the second ward out of there, woohoo! We were back to the church by 9:00, but then the worst part is unloading everything in the heat. It is pretty much miserable when all you want to do is go home to take a shower and a nap. Finally everything was unloaded.
I came home and helped Jared for a while. He did remarkably well without me. At least he was still alive. He said he was hungry and that Marion didn't feed him enough. But he seemed pretty good to me.
The good news about my going to camp was that I had a nice break from my nursing duties and I had so much fun with the girls and leaders.
The bad news was that I got about 9 hours sleep in two nights, and those were not uninterrupted. So I feel more tired than before I left. There is a price to be paid for fun.
Yesterday I took about 3 different naps. And so it has been so long since I have managed to blog. Hopefully, I can do everything this week that needs to be done for school. And Jared has PT three times this week. Then he has 3 doctor appointments next week, to look forward to attending.
All in all I am very glad I was able to go. Girls camp is one of my favorite things, and I plan to keep going until they are sick to death of me. I even can picture my self with my walker some day, trudging up and down the hill. I had to miss the trip to Seattle, I am glad that I didn't have to miss all of camp. In some ways it was good to have new fresh blood show up.

Sometimes You Don't Have To Do Things The Hard Way

I know that I have been missing in action for quite a few days. Last Wednesday, I spent the day at doctor appointments and celebrating Diana's birthday with her.

We had originally planned on having a full blown party. Diana had decided that it should have an Olympics theme with water type events, and then everyone would come inside and watch movies and act out parts from it, and then go back outside and have a water balloon fight. And there would be pizza and cake and... and.... and.... and pretty much sounded like fun, if you are not tottering on the edge of falling into the bottomless pit of insanity.

Too bad for her that her mother is old and decrepit and has lived through a traumatic experience in the past month. And truthfully, it is not as if she sat in her room ignored on her birthday. In Seattle, my family all went bowling and made her a cake and gave her presents up the yin yang. So the child is not neglected. It is just that in my anguish of sending her away, I made stupid promises that a party with all of her friends would happen when she got back .

At one point in my anxiety about the upcoming party, I even foolishly offered to pay her $100 not to have the party. You know kind of like when parents offer to pay their kids instead of having a wedding reception. Most likely a party would have cost about the same, although I could have done it for less, if I was willing to put more work into it. Honestly I did not have the energy to put into it, so I would have spent the money anyway. But finally, I came to my senses and realized that this year I was not up to all that a birthday party requires. You know stamina, energy, resources, small stuff like that. For sure I didn't want to end up like this poor mother.

So in my best sneaky motherly way, I convinced Diana that wouldn't it be better if we had our own special Mother/Daughter birthday extravaganza. She had been lamenting the fact that we had not had her birthday sooner, so I exclaimed "and we can do it today" as an added incentive. Pretty underhanded, don't ya think?

To begin with, we went out to eat at the place of her choice. This ended up to be Appplebee's. Yay, I love that place. Diana chose the oriental chicken salad and I got a yummy chicken, apple, walnut salad. They were both delicious, and then all the employees came and sang to her and gave her a yummy chocolate mouse dessert.

After dinner, we headed to the mall and went to Build-a-Bear. This was also her choice. Diana had been to Build-a-Bear four previous times. And somehow the fates have smiled upon me, and I have not taken her yet. So this was my fist time. Yes, I was a Build-a-Bear virgin. But not to worry, Diana knew very well what to do.
She chose a husky dog, that can hold a little baby husky with a magnet in its mouth. Here she is helping to put the stuffing into the shell.

And here is the finished product. She had a great time, I even found myself getting into it and enjoying our special time. So it fulfilled the purpose of convincing her we had celebrated and helping to fill the void that she has felt with me spending so much time with Jared. Yay, for that. And with no party looming on Saturday, I was free to go to girls camp. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Latest Jared News

This morning we went to see the infectious disease doctor. Our appointment was at 8:30, and it was like pulling teeth to get us both there. It does not bode well for things to come when school starts.

We had to wait for a long time to be seen, because our nurse was out buying fruit and juice for the office. (I am only assuming this because we saw her run in out of breath with grocery bags from Smiths) This was hard because Jared is in a fair amount of pain due to physical therapy, yesterday.

So yes, after what seemed like forever we went into the room and the doctor finally came in and he said that the blood levels are looking good and so we can stop the IV antibiotics. This is very good news. And he said that we will only have to take the oral kind for two weeks. How happy is that? And we can stop the one oral antibiotic that he has been taking for the past three weeks. So basically we will be down to just taking something 3 times a day. Instead of like 4 different things, so that would be less wouldn't it?
Here is a picture of the IV antibiotic. Once a day I put a new one of these baby bottle things onto his IV port. It has this balloon thing in it that disperses the medicine over 24 hours. You can see the difference between the one that I took off and the new one waiting to be used up. This is so much better than trying to be on top of giving him an IV 4 times a day. The infectious disease doctor had actually never seen this before, and he was quite interested. He had his nurse come in and look at it and wanted her to get him more information about it, so he could request it for future patients. It really is so easy that anyone could do it.I guess some people call physical therapy (PT) pure torture. That could be true. It seems that no pain, no gain is actually true. I prefer the No pain, is No pain saying myself. But Jared has lost so much muscle, he has got a long way to go to get it back. We will be going 3 times a week for the next two weeks, and then maybe only twice a week.

I am hoping that I go up to girls camp just for Thursday. I hate to miss all the fun and camp song singing. Hopefully one day will be better than no days. We will see.

I still seem to be explicitly exhausted. I am very frustrated by that, and all these early morning doctor appointments and late night Olympics are not helping. I even gave up lasts night and went to sleep before the men's gymnastics was over. Oh well. Someone said it took a month to get this tired, maybe it will take just as long to get back to feeling normal.

So overall it is good news. We just have to keep plugging along and taking each day as it comes.

Crazy BYU Fan

Something very very exciting happened to me last weekend, and its name is my brother called me to see if we are coming to my niece's baptism on Sept 13, and if so did I want to go to the BYU/UCLA game that day. Hip Hip Hooray!
I have been lamenting the fact that I will not get to see a BYU football game this season, because they are not playing in Vegas this year. And if things go well, they will not be back to the Vegas Bowl, Yay for them, boo hoo for me.
So I told my brother absolutely count me in for a ticket to the game.
How fun, I have not been to a game in Lavell Edwards stadium since I was a freshman. You know pretty much the dark ages.
I now know the names of the players in my picture. I am sure you don't care, but just in case here is the breakdown. Byrce Mahuika(2) is right next to me on the left in the front row. Then the back row from left to right is Chris Muehlmann(56), Brendan Gaskins (6) (back up quarterback), James Lark (7) (gone on a mission), Vic So'oto (37), Chris Bolden (31), and Tyler Beck (52) (also gone on a mission).
So yes, basically this is the best thing to happen to me in a long time. I can't wait. Maybe I will get some more stalker pictures for my scrapbook. Who knows.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I have a fan.

This is so cute, I have to share the sugary stickyness of it.
Today while I was sitting on the stand to give my talk, Diana sat with a sister in our ward who was alone with her six month old baby. Diana loves this cute baby and loves to make faces at him to make him smile.
There was a youth speaker, and another speaker, then the rest hymn. Finally it was my turn to speak.
When I stood up at the podium, Diana leaned over to the sister she was sitting with. These were the words she whispered:

"I'm a big fan of hers."

Isn't that hilarious? I thought it was particularly amusing to me when my friend told me about it. Who knew.

Celebrate Good Times!

Last night we actually went out and celebrated our anniversary. I remembered that we had a gift card for the soccer team. They treated us for a yummy, yummy meal at Macaroni Grill. I haven't been there for a really long time. I love places that bring you bread so you can fill up before your meal. Then when your meal comes you are too full to eat it, and then you take you dinner home to eat the next day. Kind of like making the experience last.
We had very scrumptious crab stuffed mushrooms. And the rosemary bread at that place is to die for. I had chicken with mushrooms, artichokes, capers, and lemon sauce. Delicious! Marion had something with shrimp, pine nuts, mushrooms, and a creamy sauce.
Jared and Diana, did survive, although we had one of Jared's friends stay with them, just in case. Who would have ever thought a fourteen year old could need a babysitter.
Today we actually left him home, while we went to church. Of course the church house is just a half mile from our house, and I made sure he had his phone and I had mine.

Pat's Ponderings

I gave this talk in church today, and I thought I would share it with all of you.

Trials and Adversity

My favorite hymn, is "How Firm a Foundation". Verse two of the hymn states:

In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

The last week of June, Jared was sick with a pain in his right leg and some flu like symptoms. Seven hours at urgent care diagnosed him with a sprained muscle and the flu. We went home with crutches and ibuprofen.

Four days later, he was much sicker. We went back to urgent care. When we first arrived there, his blood pressure was 63/40. He was quickly transported to UMC. Soon it was determined that he had septic shock, or blood poisoning due to a staff infection. Surgery was performed that night to remove his appendix, but this proved to be perfectly healthy. His appendix, was not the cause of his infection.

After a day of heroic efforts to keep his heart going, it was discovered, that he had a pocket of infection in his right hip. Surgery was performed that night, to drain the infection.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

Spencer W. Kimball said: Patience in suffering cleanses the soul. I’m grateful that my priesthood power is limited and used as the Lord sees fit to use it. I don’t want to heal all the sick...for sickness sometimes is a great blessing. People become angels through sickness.

Before we left for the hospital, Jared received a blessing. In that blessing Marion, promised Jared that the doctors would be able to find out what was wrong. There was a tangible feeling of peace and comfort. I was very concerned and worried about him, and yet I felt that things would be OK. What a blessing the priesthood is in our lives and the Comforter has value beyond measure.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

Neal A. Maxwell said: "Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us and do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good."

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

In the next two days, Jared would go through two more surgeries to remove more pockets of infection. During this time, he was asleep, as machines worked to pump his heart and breathe for him, so his body could fight the infection.

George Q. Cannon said: "I know that everything will be overruled for our good if we do right. No matter how difficult circumstances may be to bear at the time, they are for our good and God watches over us; His angels are round about us all the time."

I truly felt this, at this difficult time at the hospital. So many people were praying for us, I know this made a huge impact on how we managed to cope with such a frightening experience. Truly I felt ward members reaching out to help bear my burden. Dinners were brought, my house was cleaned, cards received, and calls of support all made such a difference. I am so grateful for my ward family who were here to help, when my immediate family were so far away.

Robert D. Hales said: "We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things. It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning."

We have a tradition at our house each Christmas of putting together puzzles. I absolutely love the thrill of taking a huge pile of pieces and figuring out how they all go together to make a beautiful picture. My kids hate it when I do puzzles because they ask me to help them with something, and I say just let me find one more piece.

One of the things that helps the most in putting puzzles together is the box with the finished picture on it. Sometimes you pick up a piece and have no idea where it goes or even what it is and when you look at the box you can see exactly where it fits with the rest of the pieces.

Sometimes when we are faced with trials, we wonder how do all the pieces fit together? How can we possibly squeeze in everything that our demanding lives require of us? What do we do when life throws us a curve ball that we weren’t expecting or planning for?

One answer can be found in Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

We can trust in the Lord because he is holding the box, he sees the big picture. When we can’t figure out how a piece of our lives will fit, we can listen to the Lord. He can direct us so that the pieces all fit together the way the Lord has planned for each of us. Sometimes, the pieces look more similar and we can only see the approximate location of a certain piece. Still the Lord in his infinite wisdom knows exactly where each piece will fit.

Alma said "for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."

John Taylor said: "In relation to events that will yet take place, and the kind of trials, troubles, and sufferings which we shall have to cope with, it is to me a matter of very little moment; these things are in the hands of God, he dictates the affairs of the human family, and directs and controls our affairs; and the great thing that we, as a people, have to do is seek after and cleave unto our God, to be in close affinity with him, and to seek for his guidance, and his blessing and Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in the right path. Then it matters not what it is nor who it is that we have to contend with, God will give us strength according to our day."

E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

After 10 days on the ventilator, Jared was doing well enough to breathe on his own again. He was getting stronger each day. It seemed that the Lord still had a work for him to do on this side of the veil. But he was still very sick, and just as we were about to be sent home, the doctors found yet another pocket of infection. So Jared had a fifth surgery to drain that infection as well.

Heber C. Kimball said: "Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial, and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work. This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it."

He also said: "Trials gave saints the opportunities to prove themselves worthy of eternal blessings by showing their commitment to God and His kingdom.
Spencer W. Kimball said: Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery."

In addition, Boyd K Packer said: "You fail to understand that the challenge comes not as an army against the Church, but as the adversary against your individual testimony."

One of my favorite Old Testament stories is that of Shadrach, Mishach, and Abindigo. They had their testimonies and faith put to the ultimate test, when they were unwilling to bow down to a false God. The King then ordered them put into a fiery furnace.

This was their response to the King: "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King"
"But if not, be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)

Dennis Simmons gave a wonderful conference talk about these three young men. He said : "They knew that they could trust God-even if things didn’t turn out the way they hoped. They knew that faith is more than mental assent, more than an acknowledgment that God lives. Faith is total trust in Him."
"Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him."
"Men accomplish marvelous things by trusting in the Lord and keeping His commandments—by exercising faith even when they don’t know how the Lord is shaping them."
"We must have the same faith and trust as Shadrach, Meshack, and Adenego. Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not....He will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not....Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations, and insecurity, but if not...He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not, ....we will trust in the Lord.

Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not... He will make sure that we are loved and recognized, but if not...We will receive a perfect companion and righteous and obedient children, but if not,...we will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can do, we will, in His time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that He has."

Howard W. Hunter said: "I promise you tonight in the name of the Lord whose servant I am, that God will always protect and care for his people."

James E Faust had this to say about trials: "It is my testimony that we are facing difficult times. We must be courageously obedient. My witness is that we will be called upon to prove our spiritual stamina, for the days ahead will be filled with affliction and difficulty.
As the pioneers had the larger vision in their daily challenge for survival, so also we need to have a greater vision and understanding of our eternal destiny. Our challenges are more subtle but equally hard. Maintaining our spiritual strength is also a daily challenge. The greatest source of that spiritual strength comes, as it did in their time, from our temples."

I find it interesting that Pres Faust says that our challenges are different, yet equally hard. We must do all we can to maintain and increase our spiritual stamina, especially in times when we are not facing trials, so that when trials come unexpectedly, we will be strong enough to endure them.

As we watch athletes in the Olympics compete, we can see how much training they have put into being ready for this competition. You must train in advance, you can not just show up and expect peak performance from you body. It is the same for our spiritual training. We must prepare for the trials and challenges we know are to come.

Dallin H. Oaks said at a BYU devotional "Indeed, we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing." Sometimes we want a piece of the puzzle to fit right now, when really it can not be put into place until the other pieces around it are put together.

I love this quote from C. S. Lewis said that Marvin J. Ashton used in a conference talk:
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of...throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace."

Elder Scott said "Trust in God no matter how challenging the circumstance....Your peace of mind, your assurance of answers to vexing problems, your ultimate joy depend upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ."

Robert D. Hales said: "There is nothing that we are enduring that Jesus does not understand, and He waits for us to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I testify that if we will be obedient and if we are diligent, our prayers will be answered, our problems will diminish, our fears will dissipate, light will come upon us, the darkness of despair will be dispersed, and we will be close to the Lord and feel of His love and of the comfort of the Holy Ghost."

Elder Craig Zwick said in conference 2003"It is the wounded Christ who leads us through our moments of difficulty. It is He who bears us up when we need more air to breathe or direction to follow or even more courage to continue. Trust in His promise of eternal life and allow peace and hope to distill upon you."

I can honestly say that this happened to me, as I sat for hours in the hospital. I felt the Saviour close to me, and even holding me up at times when I didn’t think I could stand one more minute.

Spencer W. Kimball said: "If all sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith...There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls."

It is part of the plan that we suffer and experience both sickness and health.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Finally, just over a week ago, after 18 days in the ICU, and 25 days total in the hospital, Jared came home. He is continuing to recover and regain his strength back.

When we tell his story to any one, the first question almost unfailingly is "How did this happen?" The answer is we do not exactly know what caused the infection. It seems inconceivable that a young, strong healthy kid could be swimming in a lake at scout camp, and two weeks later be fighting for his life in the hospital.

Spencer W Kimball had this to say "Answer, if you can, I cannot, for though I know God has a major role in our lives, I do not know how much He causes to happen and how much He merely permits. What ever the answer to this question, there is another I feel sure about.
Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death, if He will. But He will not."

Through it all, I felt strengthened and supported by the prayers of family and friends. I know that Jared is doing well today thanks to the faith of so many, and the will of the Lord.

Neal A. Maxwell advised: All crosses are easier to carry when we keep moving.

And Mary Ellen Edmonds suggested: "At night I turn over all my problems to Heavenly Father. He’s going to be up all night anyway."

I know that each of us will be called upon to endure trials and adversity, and through faith and hope, we can withstand all that life is ready to throw at us.

Jeffrey R Holland said: "Only on His triumphant shoulders can we ride to celestial glory if we will but choose through our faithfulness to do so."

I bare you my testimony that I know that the Lord lives and watches over each of us. Even when we are going through difficult trials, He is there for us to lean on for support and understanding. Not only those on earth helped me through this difficult time, but I have not doubt that many of my deceased family members were there strengthening me at some of the most trying times. Once again I want to thank all of you for your love, concern, and prayers. I don’t know how we will ever repay such a debt. I am so grateful for my membership in this church. I can not imagine life with out it. Also my appreciation for the Holy Ghost has increased. I think I often take for granted, his constant companionship and comfort. And of course my gratitude to my Heavenly Father and the Saviour, for I felt their sustaining love. I know that Heavenly Father will not leave us to face our challenges alone. Ask him to help you solve the puzzles in your life and he will help you put the pieces together so that your final picture looks like exaltation.

I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eight Eight O-Eight

Twenty fours years ago, today, I married my sweetheart. We met at BYU, kind of like many other people. Although our first date was a fix up, and our second date was arranged by Marion's brother calling me on the phone and pretending to be Marion. Our first date was to see the movie "Man from Snowy River". Such a great movie.

Marion got me some gardenia plants, that we will try to grow again. We had some wonderful ones in California, and maybe they just don't like to live in Las Vegas. We have tried once before and they died, but he recently fixed the sprinkler system, so we are going to cross our fingers and try again.

Tomorrow we will go out for dinner, if I can stand to leave Jared home without a parent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Massages, blood work, and dinner

This afternoon I went and got a massage. It was beyond wonderful, although an insurance snafu kept me from getting adjusted at the chiropractor. Another topic of discussion: Health Insurance Companies, spawn of Satan, yes or no? I shouldn't dis on them since they are probably saving my about $100k, but I really needed that adjustment. Oh well, next week, I will go to my normal doctor and get a referral, just like the insurance company wants me to do. So raspberries to them. :p

Then I successfully picked up the rest of Jared's medication. Yea no more trips to the pharmacy. Jared's blood work from yesterday looked really good. In order to switch from IV antibiotics to oral ones, his ESR number has to be less than 30 and his CRP number has to be less than 2. Last week when we left the hospital, his ESR number was 100 and his CRP number was 26. His blood yesterday showed that his ESR is down to 40 and his CRP is 1.1. That seems like a huge improvement to me.

My friend Tammy made us yummy chicken roll ups for dinner, complete with a loaf of homemade bread. She also kept Diana entertained for most of the day. Diana continues to complain about her ear hurting. I am on the fence about taking her back in. I called and they said that sometimes it just takes longer for the antibiotics to kick in. I guess we will wait a few more days. Still no rash. So good news there.

My mental illness has a name.

I found out today that I'm not crazy, I'm just hyper vigilant. Hyper vigilance is an abnormally increased arousal, responsiveness to stimuli, and scanning of the environment for threats. Or according to another definition: the condition of maintaining an abnormal awareness of environmental stimuli. Think mommy ninja on the constant alert for danger to her child.

A person suffering from PTSD may have...hyper vigilance, heightened startle responses and flashbacks. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. Yeah that might just fit the description of my life last month. If my hyper vigilance is not from PTSD, then it could be that I have GAD. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which is behavior marked by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and anxiety over many different activities and events. My money is on the PTSD, and I read something that says you can recover from that in just a few short months.

I am going to work on controlling my hyper vigilance. This will be hard because of my natural tendencies to be empathic and over helpful are feeding this fire of hyper vigilance, like gasoline to a campfire. In other words, I am a natural born hyper vigilant. So I must slowly wean myself away from constant interaction and yes scanning the environment for threats. Jared will return to being a normal 14 year old teenager. Soon I will probably wish he were back in a comma, nice and quiet. And just as a side note, scripture study is easier with teens who are in a comma. Just so you know.

Tonight I will begin my recovery by sleeping in my own bed instead of three feet from where Jared is sleeping. Baby steps. Baby steps.

You can all help me, by being my watch dogs. If I post anything that sounds unreasonable and yes, crazy to you, in regards to my helpfulness to Jared, just post HYPER VIGILANCE in the comment post. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees, you know.

Hopefully recognition is the first step to recovery.

Hi, my name is Pat, and I am a hyper vigilant.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Life is just so daily.

Well, today started at nine o'clock this morning with phone calls from the occupational therapist and then the home heath nurse. They were both coming at 10. Jared was still asleep, but I said OK.

The occupational therapist came and visited and watched Jared. He is doing so well that she said we didn't need her services. Well that is nice to hear.

The home health nurse came next and drew blood and changed the dressing on his wound. She also measured the hole in his hip. It is healing up nicely and is only 2 cm in diameter. I guess it is not much of a hole anymore.

This afternoon, the physical therapist came and evaluated him. He actually went up the stairs for him. He told him to try and walk not on his tip toe, which is what he has gotten used to. We don't need home physical therapy, but will start the out patient therapy next Monday. Hopefully we can get him strong enough for school by the 25th. He is making so much progress each day, that there is definitely a chance.

This afternoon, I went out to do a few errands. First of all I needed to get the rest of Jared's oral antibiotic. Last Thursday night, the pharmacy only had enough to give me for five days. They said come back and they would give me the rest. Well today, they still had not received their shipment. I gave Jared the last two I had this morning. She ended up giving me 2 doses worth. So I can give it to him tonight and in the morning, and then I get to go back. Oh good I have nothing better to do with my time, than run back and forth to the pharmacy every day. Hopefully they will have it worked out tomorrow. Sheesh.

Then I went to make a deposit at the ATM, because my bank is in Utah. Yes I know this is crazy, it is a long story I am too tired to tell right now. But due to our Debit card mishap, I could not get the ATM to work. Something about my PIN number.

So I headed to a bank inside Albertson's because apparently it is a shared banking branch. I never knew this, but I could make my deposit there just fine. This worked out well, because I grabbed a few essentials like bread and eggs. Also I was suppose to go to the pool store, but was running out of energy, so I grabbed some shock from the grocery store as well. Yea, for knocking things off my to do list, in one stop.

Oh, and by the way further research at google told me that 70% of the people labeled with an allergy to penicillin, are not really allergic to it. They just had a rash as a side effect once. This gives me a little bit of comfort, but I am still checking her every day for a rash, nonetheless.

Mending Evening

I know I am a spoil sport and party pooper, but I am done with this Breaking Dawn stuff. It seems like everyone I know, either in person, or through cyber space are consumed with reading that darn book. I know, I should be more sympathetic. I myself have experienced the occasional obsession (ie BYU Football games or Harry Potter). I do get it. I am happy for all of you to have your dreams and anticipation finally fulfilled. And it is my fault for not getting on the band wagon yet. My plan was to wait until just before Breaking Dawn came out, and then I could just read the first three books and not have to wait for a ridiculously long time, for the fourth book. Remember I am patience challenged. But here is the deal, what am I suppose to do. No one is posting things for me to read. No one wants to waste time on the phone. I think things have gotten a bit out of hand. Remember it is suppose to be all about me and my needs. Goodness.
And can anyone figure out what my post title means?

Monday, August 4, 2008

It takes a village...

I started thinking about why am I still just as tired, if not more so than I was at the hospital. I am sure that many factors apply. I am still not sleeping in my own bed, although my mattress on the floor is much more comfortable than the fold out couch with a bar in it from the hospital. And we have not yet made it through the night with out some interruption, although it is getting better each night. And there is something to be said for all the stress finally catching up to me.

But then I started thinking about all the people who were taking care of Jared in the hospital. Here is a list of all I could think of:

At least 1, and often 3 or 4 doctors watching test results and ordering medications.
2 nurses each day, 12 hours each, the first three days he had two nurses each shift
echo gram technician
chest x-ray technician
CT scan technician
MRI technician
Respiratory specialist, making sure his breathing was going as it should
A housekeeper, who would sanitize everything
One person to take the dirty laundry away
A person washing all the dirty laundry
A person delivering the clean laundry
A person delivering the food to the hospital so it could be cooked
A cook, preparing all his meals
A person delivering those meals to his bedside, and taking his order for the next meal
A nutritionist keeping track of what he ate and how much weight he lost
2 child life specialists who made sure he was entertained as possible, with movies and games
2 physical therapists, who came each day and made him exercise, even when he didn't want to.
A pharmacist who would have his medicine delivered to his room, each day.
A person who would take his vitals, every fours hours, once he was off the machines.
3 people in surgery pre and post opp, for his five surgeries.
1 ER doctor, that helped with the appendix surgery
1 Orthopedic Surgeon
1 Infectious Disease Doctor
Lab technicians to run blood reports
A Mechanic, to scare the daylights out of you at two in the morning when your bed is broken.
An accounting office to pay the bills, so you can enjoy the luxury of A/C, electrical lights, and running water.

Perhaps the fact that I have taken over for all of these people might explain my fatigue. Although I am not performing any surgeries, most of those other duties listed up there are now up to me to get them done. A bit daunting, when you think of it like that. Thank heavens for the meals that have been brought in, they have been priceless.

No wonder the insurance companies are so anxious to get people out of the hospital. They are paying all these people a very large amount of money, compared to me who is getting, let's see....NOTHING. That would be less wouldn't it.

The nurses in the hospital kept telling me that I was so good at helping them, they would ask did I have some sort of medical training. I would say, "No, just as a mother" Which let's face it is extensive experience, and basically nursing is just mothering, with a little bit more technical knowledge.

So here's hoping I am up to the challenge of imitating a village. I think I have the village idiot job down pat.

The Doctor Appointments Begin

Well after all the excitement yesterday, things settled down. I even took a three hour nap in the afternoon. And then a very yummy dinner, complete with home made rolls and mint brownies arrived. Thanks Spencers. A nap really did help, even if it was interrupted a few times.

Today I got up at seven, so we could get ready and get to a doctor appointment by 8:50. These medical people are determined to keep messing with my sleep. This appointment was with the orthopedic surgeon. He thought that the wound was healing nicely. He gave the go ahead for Jared to shower. Now we just have to figure out how to do that with the pic line. Call me silly, but I am a bit anxious for Jared to have his first real shower in over a month. I mentioned this at the doctors office, and he said "You haven't showered in a month?" Jared was quick to inform him that he has had sponge baths. Oh, yeah those do count. But somehow it is not the same as a all encompassing shower. The Ortho Surgeon also gave us a referral to physical therapy, three times a week, for a month. That will be fun, but at least Marion can help with those appointments, since summer school, is over.

We returned from that appointment, long enough for Jared play video games with a friend and eat some lunch. I typed up a short three page document of the past month. I though that might be easier than trying to describe and repeat the whole story, AGAIN. So we headed off to the pediatrician for our 1 o'clock appointment. We managed to get Jared on the scale, with his clothes and shoes, he weighed 136. I'm not sure how much of the three pounds gained are just his clothes, but at least he hasn't lost any weight since last Wednesday. The pediatrician was glad that I brought my little history, as he had not received anything from the hospital. He was quite interested, and surprised at my calm recitation of the near death experience. He gave me his card, and was more than willing to help us with any referrals we might need.

We returned home, and Jared went right back to the video games with his friend. I felt worn out and went and had a nap. Diana and Marion were gone doing an electrical job. They took a break to get some dinner and then had one more job to check out. When Marion went to pay with his debit card, he did not have the new one we got in the mail Saturday. So he called and I ran it out to him, and picked up Diana so she could come home and take her medicine.

Next my visiting teacher brought us a delicious lasagna dinner. Thanks Janice and Brooke. Jared really liked it and had seconds. It makes me so relieved to see him eating again. He had 4 pieces of french toast for breakfast.

So little, by little things are getting back to normal. I can't believe it, Jared did not lay in his bed at all today. That seemed like huge progress. I wonder if he will pay tomorrow for over doing it. The home health nurse comes tomorrow, but otherwise we should have a quiet day.

We don't have to see the infectious disease doctor until August 12th, next week. And I am going to see if the home health people will send physical therapy to our house, before I schedule him appointments to go to outpatient.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It just gets better and better.

This morning Marion ran to the church to help distribute the Fast Offering envelopes. The Bishop and second counselor are out of town. I guess the other counselor forgot, because no one was there with a key to the clerks office.

When Marion came home, he noticed a water leak out by the front door. He asked if he could turn the water off. I was trying to get the dishes done and was considering taking a shower and going to just sacrament meeting, but I figured he better do what needed to be done to stop the leak. He tried to fix it, but as plumbing is wont to do, it broke worse. (Topic for discussion: Plumbing, Tool of the Devil, Yes or No?) So he came inside and made a few calls to get YM stuff delegated at church. This was hard as many young men leaders were working. He finally found someone. And then left to go to home depot to get the needed part. Think ten oxen in the mire. Major emergency, if we have no water.

A minute later he came back and said the battery in his van was dead. I stared at him dumb founded. Why, I don't know, I should be expecting these things by now. So he took my car instead. Miraculously, it was not out of gas.

He's back the part is fixed so the water can be on in the house, but the sprinklers will need more work. Low, low, low on the priority list.

So basically, I am on the edge of my seat in suspense. What will happen next? Will our house burn to the ground or just be hit by lightening?

I swear you could not write this stuff. Television producers would reject this script as completely unrealistic and implausible.

No one in this house is going to church. Oh well maybe next week.

Worry for nothing?

Diana is still alive and breathing, no hives yet. Her ear still hurts, but hopefully after a day of medicine, she will start to feel better.

I forgot to write about a blessing at the pharmacy. They have different flavors to put in the medicine. It costs 2.99 extra, but it was on sale for 1.99. Honestly I would have paid more, just to not have to fight with her about taking it. Diana picked watermelon. And it is working, she just drinks it right down.

I will continue to watch her, but I am cautiously optimistic.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

When it rains it pours.

Maybe I was wrong to mock life, with that "it couldn't get any worse" comment. Ooh, look at me at the bottom. Poor, poor, me. I take it back, Ok, are you listening. I. Take. It. All. Back. Do not bring it, not even a little, just keep it all far, far away from me. But now it is too late. Apparently there are no take backs in the game of life. Dang. Bummmmer!

Diana has been complaining that her ear hurt, ever since the day after she got home. So that was Thursday, when we were busy trying to get out of the hospital. I contemplated taking her across the street to urgent care. But honestly, I wondered if she was just trying to get as much attention at Jared. So I actually talked one of the doctors at the hospital into just looking in her ear. Just tell me if I need to go to the doctor, that is all I am asking. The doctor looked and said it looked fine. Diana was still so whiny and so we left and stopped at the corner drugstore and bought some ear drops. Once again, I listen to a doctor and ignore the inner mother voice that said she was really sick. Will I never learn?

Friday she was still complaining, but I would put the drops in and that would seem to help her. I honestly thought it was just the placebo affect. And I was so tired yesterday, I never did anything more for her. Last night she was so whiny again. I figured it was just that she has been basically motherless for a month. That seems to justify a little whining. So I held her, rocked her, gave her a bath, washed her hair, and put her to bed.

Today she had some friends over for most of the day. I took advantage of how occupied she was, and really got things cleaned up around here. Did some laundry, unpacked from the hospital, and cleared out some furniture so that Jared can walk around the house when he needs to. Then, after another yummy delivered dinner, Diana and I went to Wal Mart and got a few things we have discovered we needed. All through Wal Mart she kept saying how bad her ear hurt.

I finally gave in and took her to urgent care. I felt like a prisoner marching to the guillotine as we drove to this place that is right across that street from the hospital. Surprisingly we were in and out of there in an hour. I had prepared myself for a two hour wait. And yes, she does have an ear infection. Because of course, why wouldn't she when I mocked the Gods of Health and Wellness. Especially in writing and on the public Internet. And so for me, Yes, another nomination for worst mother award to make her suffer for three days before I finally took her to the doctor.

We had a very nice doctor. I told him a little bit about Jared and would that be contagious or have anything to do with her earache. He said no, especially at this point. Then I asked if there was any way he could give me the once a day Zithromax. Because lets face it, I need another prescription to keep track of, like I need another hole in my head. He agreed, (about the easier drug, not that I needed a hole in my head) but of course our insurance would only pay for the amoxicillin. So why not, I will just add it to my spreadsheet of things to do at certain times during the day. I'll be fine making sure she takes medicine three times a day for ten days, that she hates more than walking across hot coals, NO PROBLEM. Then I asked the doctor if there was any way I could steal a hospital gown, because it would be so nice to have two of them. He said here hide this in your purse and don't tell anyone. So now we have an official hospital gown, and the newly purchased one. Always nice to have more than one set of clothes to wear.

And so with our pilfered pajamas, we drove straight to the pharmacy. When we got there they told me that their computer showed that Diana was allergic to penicillin. Oh yea, that does sound familiar. When she was about 3 months old she did get a rash one time. And so we have always said "yes" to her being allergic. But I could swear that at some time in the past year, she took some amoxicillin and did not have any reaction. The really scary thing is that I know that is the case for me. I had a rash once when I was about 8, but for some reason I know I took some amoxicillin in the past few years and nothing, I was fine. So I had Walgreen's take the allergy caution off of my file.

The pharmacist tried to call the doctor back, but only got a recording saying they were closed for the weekend. I have a kid in total pain. I would almost swear that it will be fine. The pharmacist says he will give it to me. I can just watch her and at the first sign of any rash, stop the medicine and give her Benedryl. Or worst case scenario if she has trouble breathing, take her to the Emergency Room. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? At this point, I have trouble breathing myself and hold onto the counter for support. It is nine thirty at night, I am beyond reasonable thinking. I stand there trying to decided if I take the chance or not. I figure I might as well wrap this worst mother award up with a bow (start engraving my name on it now), so I take the amoxicillin. I also bought a huge bottle of Benedryl. I am nothing, if not prepared.

I just gave her the Amoxicillin. Now do I stand next to her bed monitoring her breathing all night long? How did this happen? Please someone take over driving this vehicle called my life, because I have obviously lost the ability to function competently.

How soon does anaphylactic shock start? If I watch her for four hours can I go to sleep? Will I ever sleep again? When I do sleep will I ever stop having nightmares about the hospital? How do you know when you are officially insane? Does the pharmacy have the ability to super size my Valium order, if I can persuade/threaten some doctor to write a prescription for me? What are the penalties for falsifying a prescription? What illness with Trent come down with tomorrow? When I have my anxiety attack, will I foam at the mouth, and if so will some one take a picture of it for my blog? Will I look fat in my straight jacket? Will someone also take a picture of that? Will it hurt when I pound my head against the padded wall of my room at the mental institution?

Tune in tomorrow to see if I still have three children in the morning.

And I was wrong, there is something worse than one sick kid........... Two sick kids.

All the news that's fit to tell

First of all, good news, Jared only needed help once last night at 12:30 and then we slept until 8. When he called out to me, I was so soundly asleep, I had a hard time waking up. I thought I was back in the hospital again. Yes, I was having a nighmare. I wish I could say I feel like a new person, but I still feel way sleep deprived. It will probably take more than one night to catch up. But I feel very hopeful for the future.

Here is a picture of the sign I put on our door at the hospital. The first night we were on the regular floor. Everyone left our door open. And our room was right outside the nurses station. With about 15 residents and 15 nurses, it sounds like a herd of elephants in the morning. Color me not impressed with all that noise. So I made this helpful sign to remind them, that Hey, maybe a little peace and quiet would actually help people recover from near death experiences.
Here is a picture of the wound about two days ago. Actually since this picture, the doctor took the one stitch in it out, so it is a little more open. It is getting better every day. This time I thought to put something there for reference. It has to heal from the inside out and so I am not sure how long he will have this gaping hole in his side. It is making wearing boxers and shorts, difficult. A good friend went and bought me a hospital gown. Thanks Tammy!

Yesterday was a long day. It was so nice to not have to worry about dinner. Thanks again Eliza. Jared actually ate some of it. That is the first time he has eaten anything for dinner in over a week. The nurse said that the antibiotics he is taking, are probably making things taste funny. That would explain things a little bit better. Usually he eats a big breakfast, takes a few bites for lunch, and doesn't even touch his dinner. But he is drinking his ensure plus at every meal, so that is good.

I think that we have managed to get things situated. We took one of the love seats out of that room, and put a recliner in there, for him when he needs to sit up. He needed a bedside table that was higher than the little end table that I had. Some times being a pack rat is a good thing, as I was able to go shopping at the DI (aka my garage) and found just the perfect thing.

My friend Shawna, came yesterday and took my library stuff back to the library. Yea, now they will stop sending me e-mails telling me that I am going to have to pay $40 for each of the five DVD's that Diana lost. She took them with her to Marion's school during the first week Jared was in the hospital. I never saw them again. Finally on Tuesday, when I was home for a few hours, I was able to spend one of my precious free times looking for those darn DVD's. And wouldn't you know that I was able to find them. It was another miracle. So bottom line, I will not go bankrupt paying my library fines or finally be banned from the place either. Although that would not be a bad thing for my blood pressure.

I have made myself a spread sheet with all of the things that need to happen each day. He has three other oral medications he has to take each day besides his IV. It is a lot to keep track of, so now I have a list I can print each day and check off as things get done. It also includes things he needs to do, like sit up in a chair or walk. Also I am a little compulsive about what he is eating and drinking, so I am tracking that. And his temperature. If it goes over 101, I have to take him back to the emergency room. I am slowly getting used to the way it fluctuates over the day. I can almost remain calm when it goes up to 100 like it did last night.

Slowly but surely, this is begining to feel normal.