Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I think I am gonna have a fight on my hands...

with the damn health insurance company about Middle's pneumonia. This is not what I want to deal with, but I have not choice. Many phone calls will probably need to be made - oh, the joy. I am very thankful for the health insurance; I just wish the company would read the doctors' notes and realize that this was not an option or a fun vacation activity. This was my daughter's health.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The retreat afterglow...

So much fun was had at CPR. Loved meeting new people. Loved taking the scenic tour of Harrisburg and Port Matilda with Patti. Loved all the little chipmunks. Thanks Misty for all of your hard work!!!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

For Sharon

Here are some photos as promised...

We are getting some pages done. Sausan is working on jewelery, Christine is working on Christmas cards. Misty and Trisha just made a food run. :-) Wishblades and Cricuts are running. Diana is teaching braiding (in memory of Donna.)

We're here and having a blast...

We are having a fantastic time - the Institute is gorgeous. The building were all designed by the owner and are very large log cabins/lodges. There are some wonderful walking trails, and places to relax and reflect. Cute little chipmunks abound.

I am trying to get organized with the digital scrapping and finish watching the tutorials.

Patti is working away on her Disney album,, Trisha is working on her Tech album, and I need to make the rounds to check on the others.

No tvs in the rooms so that was a shocker last night - it was extremely quiet. Very odd from my usual M.O.

More later with pictures.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Momma's getting a break

Middle is on the mend. Hallelujah!!! She is eating and sleeping regularly; the cough is disappearing. The antibiotics are all finished. My girl's sassy tude is back - what a relief. She is looking forward to some major fun time this weekend to make up for the last two weeks.

After two full weeks of non-stop nursing to get Middle well, I am taking a short break. I am leaving in 5 hours for a weekend of fun at CPR. I cannot wait!!! Patti and I are driving up to Port Matilda to stay at the St. Joseph's Institute with a group of other fantastic ladies. (Julia ~ it isn't too late. Pack a bag!) Update with photos coming later! ;-)


Sunday, July 13, 2008

We are home, finally...

Made the trip in 5.5 hours with two stops. Not bad. Middle and Youngest are asleep in Middle's room - Middle facing one way, Youngest facing the other. They wanted to sleep together again. All of the clothing, toys, suitcases, etc... are put away. House is clean. Our wonderful neighbors cut our grass and brought over groceries. The dog is home and already put himself to bed. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and am going to bed.

This week has got to be better. :-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gotta post some lighter news....

Just cause this has been a not so great week.

Oldest - got to go to the beach with Amanda today. She picked a lot of seashells and just relaxed. Now she is home busy painting her nails black. :-) What a teenager!

Youngest - spent the day in her pjs enjoying all of her grandparents' attention. They even got her a Happy Meal from McDs. Now she is watching a movie on the little portable DVD player that Dad owns. What a great day for a four year old.

Maybe tomorrow there will be even more great highlights. Need a good night's rest first.

Another day, another ER visit...

Yes, that is how my day was spent again - back in the CHKD ER. Middle spiked a fever of 102 last night. I called our peds. back in Lancaster and was told to take her in. Since this was at 9:15 PM last night, and I was told the ER was very busy when I called CHKD, I made the executive decision not to go then. I just knew we would be there for hours in the middle of the night and did not want to chance Middle picking up even more germs.

After an extremely restless night for me, we went back to the ER about 9:45 this morning. Thank goodness I waited just a few hours as the ER was clear and Dr. C was on duty again. Middle had two more xrays which showed more white than gray/black on the lung than the radiologist felt should be there at this point (in other words - there was not enough air in her lung and too much gunk.) The radiologist wanted a CT scan run. I knew what the thought was - a mass or tumor - but that was never spoken aloud until after the test was completed.

Middle got her first IV; she did pretty well. Some tears and apprehension, but after the week she has had, that was totally expected. She got a new infusion of Rocephin since the IV was already in. The CT went fine - she had contrast with it and no reaction to it. Then we just waited for the results. PTL that the results were no to any mass or tumor and yes to just a very bad case of pneumonia. We were given the all clear to leave (and eventually to drive back home to PA.)

Middle and I were starving. She had eaten two bites of french toast this morning; I never ate due to my nerves. Pokemon is the toy of choice @ BK, and it was also Middle's choice of meals. Not mine, but whatever. She deserved to eat whatever she wanted at this point. She ate a little bit of the burger and a few onion rings. Now she is relaxing on the couch and coughing, coughing, coughing.

J was able to change his flight thru Southwest and will return to Norfolk instead of Baltimore tomorrow night. The dog continues to reside at the kennel (poor guy) and hopefully the cats are not tearing the house apart. Thank goodness our neighbor has checked on them everyday.

My plan is for us to go back to PA on Sunday morning. The dog can be picked up Sunday between 4 & 6 which should not be an issue. I guess that is it for now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The good part of the visit...

Our drive down was fast and uneventful. We left our house at 1:45 PM and made it to Mom and Dad's by 7:00ish. That was the fastest we have ever made the trip. I think it really helped that we did not make the usual stop at Chick-Fil-A for an hour. We only stopped by Wawa for a few food items and drinks. The kids were fantastic and watched movies or listened to the iPod. Had a little dinner after arriving and then set up the bedrooms for the kids.

The girls spent the morning in the IT center (otherwise known as the dining room.) We went to MacArthur Center for a little family time. Dad could get his walk in and the rest of us got out of the house. Mom wound up doing a little shopping at Ann Taylor and J. Jill. I found her a great jean skirt and cute shirt and was totally thrilled when she bought them. Middle and Youngest got new Webkinz - a Chihuahua for Middle and a Bulldog for Youngest. They loved them. Oldest and J hit up the Apple store.
Saturday night we cooked out since we didn't get to on July 4th. Dinner was great and easy clean-up.

Since we spent most of the day at the Urgent Care and the ER, dinner was great. Neither J or I had any lunch and nothing at the ER so we were famished. Mom had ordered an entire turkey, dressing and gravy from the club since we couldn't go there to eat. Eric and T came up and brought Ben for us to meet. He is a cutie. Dinner was soooo good. Thanksgiving in July.

Ash spent the day hanging out with Amanda and Sam. They went to see Hancock at the movies and then hung out for a while. Ash then spent the night at Amanda's which was fantastic cause it gave her a break out of the sick house. Audrey hung out with J and Pop-Pop since I had to take Abs back to CHKD for a check-up. Abs got a new Webkinz (again) since we promised her with all of the tests and shots she got from her ER visit. The great part was that the Webkinz of the Month was free with the purchase of Abs horse so Aud got a new one too - a Cheeky Monkey.

Ash spent the day with Amanda hanging out and watching movies. J took Audrey to the Virginia Aquarium (that name sounds so unfamiliar as it was always the Virginia Marine and Science Museum.) They had a blast and even took a boat ride in the inlet. That made me nervous as another storm was rolling thru. J said he also rode by the old house and neighborhood. Our old house is 8 years old now; apparently the landscaping has really grown and looks great. We ate turkey dinner again - always good.

J. left this morning to go to Nashville. Mom was great and took him to the airport so I didn't have to get up early since I had been up half of the night again with Abs. Aunt T came up with Ben again and spent the day with us. She made the girls spaghetti for lunch and Abs ate some - which was fantastic. Mom was able to come home early since Dad went into work for a while. Aud performed another piano concerto for everyone. Ash went to the mall with Sam and then over to his house to hang out. Eric came over, so we all had dinner together. We cooked out again which was another quick easy meal. YUM!

The past week of our life...

Middle woke up from a nap (hint #1 that she was ill) and had a fever and a belly ache. Thought she had picked up a bug - same that I had the previous weekend.

Middle woke up with the same belly ache and fever. Decided to take her in to the peds to get the belly checked. Dr. F. wanted an ultrasound to double check for an appendicitis. No appendicitis, but the tech did find mesenteric adenitis (enlarged lymph nodes in the lower right quadrant that mimic an acute appendicitis. We were told that Middle basically had a virus and it would run its course. Given the all clear to go to Virginia Beach. We decided to give Middle an additional day to rest and just leave ASAP in the morning.

Woke up at 6:30 AM to a child with fever but no belly pain. We attributed the fever to the virus and thought it would continue to run its course. About mid-morning, Middle was feeling better (the fever seemed to have broken and she was starting to rebound), so we decided to finish packing up, drop off the dog at the kennel and head out of town. Middle had a fever in the car, but we thought that might be the end of it. We arrived at my parents' home and just let her rest for the night.

All seven of us decided to go to MacArthur Center to do a little shopping and get out of the house. Middle seemed to be doing OK. We shopped and enjoyed ourselves, but Middle started to get cold (not that unusual since she has no fat on her) and developed a little cough. I thought maybe she was getting a little cold as the cough was a dry hack not congested. She seemed to run out of energy and just wanted to go home. Jason and Dad took her and Youngest home. Mom, Oldest and I finished up at the mall and hit the pharmacy for some Dimetapp for Middle. Again - the high fever returned.

I was done with this high fever business and called our pediatrician again. She asked if we could find a dr. that could do a strep test and a urine dip to rule out strep throat and a bladder infection. I called the local Urgent Care that was recommended and was told to bring her in.
They were very nice and ran the tests. The nurse was rough as hell doing the strep test though. I was not happy with her heavy hand - you would have thought she was scrubbing mildew off of a wall not swabbing a child's throat.
Both tests were clear so the Dr. suggested a chest xray and blood CBC. I wasn't sure about those and our peds had said to just have the two tests done and not let them talk me into anything else. I was apprehensive but did not say anything as I thought at least it would rule out some of the other possibilities for the high fever for four days.
The xray tech took one picture then gave it to the dr. The dr. thought it was too light and requested another. The tech took another xray and then one from a side angle. The next thing I knew the dr. was calling me over. He did not have any bedside manner to begin with and confirmed it with his next statement. He said, "I cannot treat her. You need to take her somewhere else. You need to take her to the hospital. See her lung. It shouldn't look like that. It is all white."
The xray showed her left lung to be completely opaque compared to the one on the right which was black. Both Jason and I were terrified. All I could think was my child was going to die. The doctor said he was going to write up his notes for us to take. The xray tech had me sign a waiver to take the xrays with us. (I have no idea why since our insurance was paying for them, but whatever....)
I confronted to xray tech and asked if Abs had pneumonia or what. He thought she had pneumonia, but again the dr. still had not said anything. We got the letter and left with Abs to head to CHKD ER. That was the only place I was comfortable taking her. Having lived in VB my whole life and raising the kids here for a while, I have intimate knowledge of CHKD.

We waited an hour and forty-five minutes to get called back despite the small amount of patients waiting. Once we got back there we saw the Dr. fairly quickly. He was the attending and seemed to know his stuff. He said Abs definitely had pneumonia and gave us a choice. She could have two shots of Rocephin and go home with a script for Amoxicillin and a promise to return on Monday for a re-check OR we could admit her. He said if it were his children, he would take them home. Two shots, a script and a promise later, we went home.
Abs was worn out as were J and I. I think our whole world fell apart when we thought she was deathly ill. The first dr. never said the word pneumonia. However, in his notes that we received, he did write pneumonia. J was happy the a-hole found the pneumonia and didn't just send us home after the two test were negative, but he wanted to punch the dr. out for the manner in which he let us know something was definitley wrong with Abs.

I took Abs back to CHKD to have Dr. C. check her out. He was fantastic - he met us in the ER just as promised. He looked her over and felt there was a small improvement and could continue to recouperate at home as long as we continue to see an improvement. Dr. C. even looked Abs over without us formally signed into the hospital so we also avoided another ER charge. :-) YEAH.

Tuesday & Wednesday:
Abs continues to cough like a lung is gonna come up. The fevers seem to spike in the afternoon and night, but each time are slightly less - so tonight's is 100.5 under her arm. That is down from 103.5. Abs has no appetite which makes it very difficult to get the Amoxicillin in her as she needs to have some food in her tummy. We have switched from Ibuprofen to Tylenol for the fever. It is very difficult to just watch this child be so ill. Normally she is bouncing off the walls and talking non-stop. There is none of that right now. She is napping each day and when awake, she just coughs, watches tv or plays Webkinz.

I am exhausted.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

so we are still home

yep - never made it to VB. Middle woke up with the same pain in her tummy and a fever. Called the peds to get her checked out before leaving. Dr. F. was able to see her at 11. Great! See Dr. F. who orders an ultrasound at LGH to rule out an appendicitis since Middle has localized colicky pain with fever.

Go to LGH - that has got to be the friendliest hospital - and get Middle registered. Waited maybe 5 minutes. The ultrasound took under 10 minutes and the tech even told us that the test ruled out an appendicitis but looked like enlarged lymph nodes which are common when fighting a viral infection. The ultrasound tech still had to run all the info thru the radiologists and the peds. We got the all clear to go home. Thank goodness!! Middle got her McD's with Dr. F's blessing since she has no tummy issues. Middle was starving and soooo thirsty from the fever.

Dr. F. felt the symptoms were definitely viral. Keep Middle hydrated. Motrin only is fever is 102 or higher to keep her comfortable. So the new plan is to try to get up by 6 AM and throw all the stuff in the car. Should not be too hard since it is all packed and in the garage sitting there. Unfortunately, even with Dr. F's approval to go out of town, I don't know if Middle will be better tomorrow. Her fever is still there despite a dose of Motrin @8PM. She didn't eat dinner and is asleep again. Sooooo not like her.

This is not the vacation I had envisioned. Oldest and Middle are very upset as are my parents. What can we do? Just pray that she starts to improve very quickly - as quickly as this came on her.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Road Trip Time...

in less than 12 hours I (we) will be on the road to Virginia Beach to spend the holiday with my parents. The kids are all super excited to go to the beach and hang out with their grandparents. Youngest loves the Bay Bridge Tunnel - loves the tunnels and watching the boats.

*** Keeping fingers crossed. Middle took a nap today (very not like my 7 yo - the Energizer Bunny) and woke up with a severed tummy ache, headache, fever, and her legs hurt. Eventually the tummy ache subsided, but the headache, fever, and leg pain only seemed to lessen with the aid of Ibuporfen. The fever is still kicking. After my bout with food poisoning this weekend, I hope that this is a fluke of nature showing up right now.

Taking the new "Green Machine" as Dad calls it. Actually it is the 17" Dell we bought with some of extra tax money this year that Uncle Sammy alloted a little early to provoke some consumer spending. Love, love, love this laptop.

Ciao. Catch up when I am in VB and have time.