Monday, March 24, 2014

About the Addendum

If you recall, I ended my last post with a brief note about retching that commenced early last Monday morning.

To quote myself,

I have a fun Monday morning addendum for you.  There is some retching happening in our home this morning.  Thankfully, at the moment, it's only the adults who have retched, though Trey considerably more than me.  We shall see how the day unfolds.

I had a sneaking suspicion about how the day would unfold when I typed that early last Monday, but I was hoping I would be proven wrong.  I was not.  The only thing I didn't anticipate was that there would be not one, but two ER admissions by nightfall.  And that was just Monday.  Oh yes, just you wait.

Let me begin by telling you that Reagan lived the first three years of her life free of stomach bugs.  When she was diagnosed with diabetes two months ago, one of the things I heard from medical personnel & parents of other diabetics was to take stomach viruses seriously.  I knew we'd catch one soon; after three vomit-free years, & all the warnings about vomiting that came after the diabetes diagnosis, I knew it would happen, & last Monday, it did.

I woke early & knew I'd be hovering over the toilet within the hour.  I was, but soon after felt considerably better.  I knew I'd likely caught a bug & contemplated leaving the house immediately, knowing if Reagan started vomiting we would likely be headed to the ER.  I was in the middle of a prayer that no one else would fall ill when I heard ghastly sounds from upstairs.  I don't know if it's just Trey, or if it's a man thing, but oh. my. word.  I guess pregnancy & childbirth / child-rearing prepared me for various of life's trials, such as dealing with nausea & vomiting, how to vomit without scaring small children, how to navigate horrible smells & various bodily fluids, etc.  I am surprised our neighbors didn't come knocking on the front door to investigate the sounds; it was the loudest vomiting I have ever heard.  Without making a trip up the stairs I knew Trey was sick as well, & I suspected the upstairs toilet might never be the same.  And, I am okay with that, because I never use it.

By Monday afternoon, Reagan was still holding steady, while Trey's condition deteriorated.  Trey's mom took him to the ER for fluids, & about five seconds after they left, I heard the splat I'd been bracing myself for all day.  I took a few deep breaths & walked to Reagan.  I calmed her down.  I cleaned everything up.  As a testament to how worried I was about Reagan's condition, my mind was so preoccupied I didn't gag once while stripping Reagan down, removing the (thankfully removable/washable) chair cushion, & wiping up the floor.

I checked Reagan's number; it was 98, so that was a boost I desperately needed.  I had expected something along the lines of "40" or "450," as illness can cause dramatic highs &/or lows.  I called the on call endocrinologist in Jackson, & he told me if she continued to vomit, she needed to go to the ER for fluids since someone her size can so easily dehydrate.  The problem with dehydration, other than the obvious issues it causes anyone, is that when the body is dehydrated, it is insulin resistant, meaning her sugars can potentially soar.  Next time you have a stomach bug, while you're folded over the toilet, possibly cussing & wanting to die, say a prayer of thanks that despite your stomach's upheaval, you don't have to worry about your pancreas doing its job, & you can drink a regular coke (real coke, the hard stuff) without worry, which is absolutely the only thing I want when I am nauseous.

I tried to stay calm.  I prayed that like me, she'd only vomit once & bounce back.  I was irritated that after two PICU visits in as many months, after finally getting a handle on her insulin needs, she was vomiting, the one thing I knew I wasn't equipped to deal with on my own at home.  Unfortunately, splat number two hit the floor about six thirty Monday evening, so my mom & I loaded Reagan up & headed for our home away from home, the ER at St. Francis (splat number three, which was, as it turns out, Reagan's final splat (on Monday, that is), occurred en route to the hospital).  Trey's dad was with him at the ER, so his mom came to the house to sit with Henry.  Trey was leaving the ER when we arrived.  We had a fun little family moment in the waiting room while my mom & I settled in with Reagan, & Trey's dad went to get the car for him, & somewhere in Baton Rouge, a Blue Cross/Blue Shield employee's head exploded.  Between us & Obamacare, these poor folks are not having a pleasant year.

Despite two family members receiving treatment in the ER, I'm placing Monday in the 'victory' column for several reasons.  First, Reagan was not admitted to the hospital . . . on Monday, that is.  They gave her some fluid in the ER & sent us home, rather than sending us straight to PICU as they did in January & February when we showed up in the ER.  Second, by late Tuesday afternoon, we were all eating Chick-fil-A, & all the Chick-fil-A was happily digested.  Third, Reagan's numbers were beautiful throughout the vomiting fiasco.  Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to my immune system, which came through in a major way for me.  Maybe the toil of carrying & birthing & nursing babies & learning to cope with little to no sleep at times has toughened me up.  Maybe it's the daily probiotic I take.  Maybe the Lord knew that two ER admissions in one day was my limit.  Whatever the reason, my immune system did a stellar job of handling the virus.  I was up & retching before the kids awoke, & by the time they were both up, I was able to handle the morning chores, which I did while listening to Trey heave in the background.

Tuesday was ho-hum.  No one needed to go to the ER, so that's always a plus.  Reagan seemed to feel great.  She was eating, playing, & her sugars were good.  I relaxed, thinking the plague was through with us.  We all went to bed Tuesday night.  We slept a little.  At five o'clock Wednesday morning, Trey woke me up to let me know Reagan had vomited.  I am serious.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  Change her clothes, clean the vomit, wait for inevitable second splat . . . head to the ER.  Trey took her this time while I stayed at the house with Henry.  They decided to admit her the second time around, so I headed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon when Trey's mom arrived to stay with Henry.  We weren't admitted to PICU, since she didn't need an insulin drip, but simply some fluid to rehydrate her.  The regular floor just isn't as flattering as PICU.  There's no blood pressure cuff, no heart monitor, no checking her sugar every hour.  You just feel less special.  Her granddaddy made a few balloons with the nurses' purple gloves, but that was about it for excitement.

As was the case Monday evening, by the time we got her to the ER Wednesday, the retching had ceased, so it was just a matter of getting her rehydrated & watching her number.  We hung out at the hospital Wednesday, sipping Powerade, nibbling Jello, & watching Reagan's number, which was running a little low, but stayed in an acceptable range thanks to the Powerade & Jello.

I hope in the future we can attempt to handle a stomach bug at home, but right now Reagan throwing up is completely frightening to me, & not just because I am the one who has to clean it up.  I feel like I understand what to do in most situations - when she needs insulin, & how much, when she needs to eat something, & what, & how much - but vomit is a brand new ball game, one I hope we don't have to play again for a long, long while (seriously, if you or someone with whom you've spent any amount of time has a stomach virus, stay far, far away from my child . . . there's no punchline here; I am not joking).

The remainder of the week was spent on vomit-watch as one by one by one the grandparents fell like dominoes, with the exception of my mother, who (knock-on-wood-fingers-crossed), as of the time of this post, has yet to vomit.  You may also be wondering about a certain nine month old.  My sweet Henry man has held his own as well the past week, & I did in fact finally take a few nine month pics of him yesterday afternoon.

Isn't he just the cutest?  Henry & I have a crazily codependent relationship that involves a lot of slobbering & giggling, but it's working for us at the moment.

As you may've guessed by now, neither my revolver nor our new steak knives saw any action last week.

New set of steak knives = $100
Box of steak sauce shipped from Peter Luger's in NY =  ???
Steaks = $30
Having to freeze steaks because everyone is vomiting = 

I've postponed my concealed carry class.  After a family total of three ER visits in as many days, I was not about to rise early Saturday morning & sit in class for hours learning when & where I can & cannot use my firearm.  I just don't need the stress of it all at the moment; it's just not the right time for me to be handling a loaded weapon.

I'm not sure how to close this out.  I'm not going to announce any grand plans for the upcoming week because for starters, I have none, & also, if I did, I would not jinx things by discussing them because clearly I know by now that the way I should end every blog, & every sentence I utter, is the Lord willing.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Guns & Knives

A little over a week ago, Trey handed me his credit card & told me to keep it.  That was a major clue that a well-rested Anna would have never missed.  Due to tiredness & the snot & the coughing & the daily diabetes care, the clue went right over my head & I didn't give his credit card handover, his unsolicited credit card handover, a second thought until he came home from work one day with a big box.

To Trey's credit, we legitimately needed some steak knives, & now we have some.  We have some for our little family of four, & some for our twenty closest carnivorous friends.  I didn't register for steak knives when we got married because, well, they're not very attractive & while I tried to be practical with the registry, looking back, I failed miserably in some areas.  On the bright side, if there's ever some sort of entertaining emergency requiring that I serve everyone we know finger foods using nothing but Arthur Court serving pieces, I am prepared.

Shortly after the arrival of the knives, Trey requested that I buy some steaks at the grocery store.  This seemed logical since we do have a brand new set of steak knives, so the steak request didn't phase me.  Then, last Thursday, Trey came home from work with another box.  Unlike the steak knives reveal, this one lacked suspense as this is what Trey lugged in the back door & placed on the table, all while wearing a mischievous grin:

Peter Luger's is a steakhouse in Brooklyn, New York.  Trey & I ate there while we were in New York on our honeymoon in 2009, & obviously their steak sauce left its mark on Trey, much the same way Peter Luger's left its mark on Trey's credit card.  Their steak sauce is good, & now I can drown any steak I eat in it for approximately the next five years.  We'll see how long the credit card remains firmly in my grasp.  Thankfully, lately Trey's been reading a lot at night after the kids are in bed so he misses most of the infomercials; I can only imagine.

In addition to his new set of steak knives & the straight-from-New York steak sauce, the price of which I remain happily in the dark about, I am finally granting Trey a request he's made of me for quite some time.  This Saturday I'll be taking a concealed carry course so that I can legally carry my revolver on my person, except of course while I am at church or while I am teaching . . . but no matter, because everyone knows crazed gunmen respect the sanctity of churches & schools & would never ambush a large gathering of law abiding citizens who are unable to arm & defend themselves.

Since I've briefly mentioned our honeymoon already, I'll just take the whole stroll down memory lane & tell you that Trey gave me my revolver when he proposed.  Take a moment, wipe the tears . . . not only did he give me the revolver when he gave me my ring, the ring box was inside the revolver case.  Are you still there?  Did anyone faint?  What can I say?  Weapons are his love language, & I'll be spending several hours learning how to speak it this Saturday.  I am honestly completely dreading the day, but I do like the idea of not fearing for my life when I am out & about in Monroe, which has become just a tad scary.

I know you're wondering where they are, but no, I have not taken Henry's nine month pictures yet.  He will be nine months old for another two weeks, & I will make the deadline.  He knows that I love him.  This past week has been a blur of antibiotics, cough meds, breathing treatments, & insulin adjustments to accommodate the aforementioned meds.  The shame of it all is that Reagan has been doing saline breathing treatments a few times a day for the past week, & yet, all Darth Vader references are totally lost on her because she doesn't have a clue who he is.  She didn't smile once; she just gave me an odd look & said, "Mama, who's Luke?"

I suppose I'll close with an obligatory "Happy St. Patrick's Day."  I am thankful I'm home all day today, happily snug inside my house with all my weapons rather than out in public, taking a chance that some fool who would otherwise never dream of touching me might think it's appropriate to pinch me because I am not wearing green.  The whole concept of this day is just peculiar to me.  At least next year if I'm pinched on this oddest of days, I can accidentally, "accidentally," flash the offending dolt my concealed weapon.

I typed most of this up last night, but I have a fun Monday morning addendum for you.  There is some retching happening in our home this morning.  Thankfully, at the moment, it's only the adults who have retched, though Trey considerably more than me.  We shall see how the day unfolds.  So now our recovering stomachs will be in a race with the clock to eat the steaks I bought before the date stamped on them.

I hope your Monday is off to a better start than mine, & if you haven't vomited, well, it is.


Monday, March 10, 2014

I Want It Back

My hour.

I want it back.  I don't know if I can adequately express in words how much I detest losing the hour the federal government snatches from me every spring.  Don't they have their hands in enough?  Must they attempt to control time too?  Isn't spring harsh enough with taxes & all the pollen & the lack of college football & the sudden need to shave more frequently?  Finally, someone is speaking up.  Check this out.

I don't like the phrase 'Spring Forward.'  Blah.  Whatever.  I don't spring in the morning, ever, at all, & especially not after losing an hour of sleep.  This was my first 'Spring Forward' Sunday with two kids, & I've been dreading it for awhile now.  As if there aren't enough obstacles involved in getting young kids up & fed & dressed & off to church, let's pick a Sunday to eradicate an hour of time.  However, I ended up avoiding the situation entirely this year because, well, SNOT.  Henry & Reagan are both a tad ill at the moment.  No fever, just general spring yuck.  So, I went to church by myself yesterday morning while Trey stayed home on snot patrol.  Since returning home yesterday afternoon, I've been on snot patrol, & it's not doing a whole lot for my mood.  I guess it goes without saying that I am incredibly excited about getting up tomorrow morning to go face a classroom full of students who've been out on Spring Break for a week & just lost an hour of time.  Oh, the coffee that will entail.

Despite the illness in my home, I did do the speaking thing this past Friday night.  Friday afternoon, I left the kids in Trey's capable hands & headed to Lake D'arbonne State Park.  Well, actually Trey's dad & sister were also at the house because Trey's mom hasn't been feeling well either . . . I'd just like to note that that's three people, three college grads, mind you (one with a law degree), left to do what I do most days, as Reagan would say, all by myself.  It's good to feel needed.  But I digress.  I thoroughly enjoyed the drive out to Farmerville.  I went under the speed limit to allow myself time to sip the coffee I'd made for the drive over, sing along with Celine, & relax as I prepared to speak.  Everyone knows the best way to vocally prep for a public presentation is accompanying Celine, because you know, sometimes she struggles with those high notes.  Where does my heaaaart beat now . . . 

I suppose the speech went well.  It wasn't as polished as I would've preferred, but given that my only run-through was delivered in front of Henry (who thought the whole thing was hilarious), I was pleased overall.  In a thirty minute talk, I managed to make references to The Little Mermaid, Aida, & threw in a generic reference to vampires.  I reigned myself in & didn't get Twilight specific with the vampire example.  I knew I was going to be cutting it close on time, & I figured if it came down to omitting a few Bible verses or a detailed explanation of the virtues of Edward Cullen, I ought to let Edward go, & so I did.  It was refreshing to stand in front of fifty or so ladies who were attentive & generally seemed happy to be there, as opposed to my usual audience, twenty or so students, half of whom are surreptitiously attempting to text &/or surf the Internet on their phone.

I'm a bit behind on photographically cataloging my kids's lives.  Henry hit the nine month mark last week, on Thursday to be exact.  That photo shoot is scheduled for later this week when his face is, hopefully, free of snot.  Here's what I've been taking pics of - -

Are these not the most beautiful numbers you've ever seen?  Last week was pretty dreamy as far as blood sugars go.  At some point I suppose I'll stop taking pictures of the awesome numbers (& texting them to all her grandparents), but currently it still gives me a considerable thrill to see numbers like this pop up on the meter after weeks of crying & gnashing my teeth nearly every time I checked Reagan's number.

I do have one pic of the kids I took Saturday night in the new pajamas Nana & Papa bought them in Denver.  You didn't know this, but my parents spent last week in Denver.  I didn't tell you because, you know, my mom doesn't want me advertising that their house is empty so I don't encourage someone who creeps my blog to break in their house & steal their treasures . . . I mean my mom has numerous clothing items that feature the cast of The Andy Griffith Show, & my dad has tons, & tons, & tons of books; everyone knows thieves can't resist a detailed history of the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant.  Don't be tempted; they're home now.  

Here they are, ready to Spring Forward . . . or sleep restlessly & whine randomly, whichever:

I need to go now, but there's one more thing on my mind, & you should know by now that if something is on my mind, it inevitably spills onto the blog.  It's been brought to my attention that a few of you reading the book are, & I quote, "obsessed."  Aren't obsessions the best?  I was obsessed with the book when I was writing it.  There were entire conversations between Edie & Dr. Foster - - or James, I think we can call him James now (I mean if you're reading, surely you see that's where we're headed, & soon) - -  in my head that I'd try & recall when I could find time to sit down & type; sometimes the two of them would not hush.  I could afford the obsession then because I had one child, & she was sleeping all night & taking two lengthy naps during the day.  

As I reread along with some of you, I have to say, the obsession is rearing its head again.  In the past few weeks, I have, for the first time since finishing the book, had to quash the yearning to sit & write again.  I mean, yes, I write when I blog, but between you & me, it's kind of mindless.  There's no coherency; it's stream-of-consciousness, except not the cool D.H. Lawrence kind.  Writing a book is a different matter entirely, & while I well know I don't have the time I'd like to devote to it at the moment, Edie & James are yammering in my head again. Constantly.  I've missed them, but I'm hoping I can get them to shut-up for awhile. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Overlap & an Invite

I am out of school this week for Spring Break.  Naturally, it is thirty degrees outside.  I thought about cleaning up the house a little & digging out my Easter decor, but then I realized that Easter isn't until April 20th this year, & again, it is thirty degrees outside.  I know everyone is complaining & longing for summer, but, I am not.  I reserve my weather complaints for July & August, when it isn't possible to buy & unload groceries without needing a shower, & it gets so hot you think twice about drinking your afternoon cup of coffee.  So go on & whine now, but I will always welcome thirty degrees & the warm sweaters & fires & hot cups of coffee that accompany it.

Yesterday was a kind of a big deal . . . for me at least, that is, but I hope yesterday was great for you too.  Reagan's highest sugar yesterday was 144; I vacillated between weeping & attempting a cartwheel.  I'm just going to type that all out one more time.  Reagan's highest sugar yesterday was 144.  She went to bed at 122 Saturday evening & woke at 116 yesterday morning, with readings of 122 & 136 in between.  She woke at 93 this morning, & her pre-lunch reading was 104.  This may be Greek to some of you, so I will translate it all into the parent of a diabetic child language -

Also, there was a nap overlap of about an hour yesterday afternoon.  What, you say?  Henry took a long nap from about two yesterday afternoon until around four thirty.  Reagan fell asleep watching Finding Nemo a little after three o'clock.  If you're good at math, you now see what I mean by a nap overlap.  Again, I vacillated between weeping & attempting a cartwheel.  I ended up doing neither, opting for a cup of coffee & a handful of these amazing Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips I bought for Reagan because a serving size (16 chips) is 8 total carbs.  I'll just say that I consumed a few more than 8 total carbs as I downed the coffee in the tranquil house.

My mom will likely read about the nap overlap & say, perhaps aloud, You should have gone to sleep!, but I did not.  I don't sleep on cue all that well, & the coffee & dark chocolate chips were just sitting right there, begging.  It's actually a fantastic week for a nap overlap & for me to be home on break because I have things I have to get done, as in an actual deadline.  This weekend my church is having a Ladies' Retreat at Lake D'arbonne & yours truly has been asked to speak Friday evening.  The theme for the weekend is Daughters of the King, & we're all leaving behind the men & children in our lives to discuss the fact that we are princesses.  Tiaras are optional.

Naturally, in preparation for Friday I am working diligently on a presentation in which I will thoroughly examine Ariel & Prince Eric's relationship, & am in deep thought about how exactly to work a Twilight reference into the talk, which, if I can pull it off, will have something to do with immortality . . . something both Edward Cullen & the Lord have to offer.  You think I am kidding, don't you?

If you're a lady & you're reading, you are more than welcome to join us (unless you're my mother-in-law & are helping Trey out with the kids while I speak).  I am short on some of the specifics, but things get started around 6ish Friday at Lake D'arbonne State Park in Farmerville & I believe I speak around 7ish.  Things pick back up Saturday morning around nine with breakfast, & will conclude that afternoon about two.  There will be three speakers on Saturday.  Feel free to come for any or all of it.  Contact me, either through Facebook or the blog, if you want more details.

Moving right along, did anyone else sleep a little sounder last night now that we live in a world in which Matthew McConaughey is an Oscar winner?  It's something I've felt was inevitable since I saw him in A Time to Kill many, many years ago when I was a wise teen.  Even if you didn't watch the show, his win could not have escaped you since his acceptance speech is all over the news today because he thanked - - gasp! - - God!  As the saying goes, you can take the actor out of Texas . . .  Anyway, I usually don't watch the Oscars, but I paid a bit of attention last night for a few reasons.  First, Idina Menzel! sang her hit song from Disney's Frozen (I was kind of hoping she'd break into "Defying Gravity" when she was done).  Second, I was hoping Bradley Cooper would win a supporting actor Oscar for American Hustle since he was denied a well-deserved Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook last year.  Third, I wanted to watch Jennifer Lawrence present the best actor Oscar because there's always a great chance she will do or say something hilarious & inappropriate.  Finally, I was hoping maybe Bradley Cooper would propose to Jennifer Lawrence so they can just get married already.

I hope you have a great week.  Mine is off to a rousing start.  Given that I have two additional days this week to stay in my pajamas all day, I think I can swing posting three chapters of the book Friday, 13, 14, & 15, which will mean we will have arrived at the halfway mark in Edie's saga.  I am anal & like things to be nice & neat like that, so that's also fueling my desire to reread, edit, & post three chapters this week.  I don't want to oversell them, but I like these next few chapters.  They're filled with dialogue, which I like - I like to read dialogue, & as it turns out, I like to write it.  See you Friday.