Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Livers are Important... Another Update

Do you ever just not know how to start telling a story?  That's where I am with this post.  There are all the vague things that I could use like "Life is crazy" or "So much has happened" but that just doesn't seem to do justice to what has happened in that last week.  I guess I will just start.

There are so many details, it is almost hard to know where to start and what to share.  For the sake of respecting my in-laws and their privacy, I guess I will just give the gist.

Here we go...

Last Tuesday, Phil's dad went back to the hospital.  He has drains that help drain his liver and after the tube change, he developed another blood infection.  This is at least the 3rd one he has had since July.  But things were looking really bad this time.

At one point last week, they thought his kidneys might be failing.  He had a seizure.  His sodium levels were dangerously low.  He was sleeping all the time and seemed confused when he was awake.  They even had to intubate him at one point.  And the only way to treat this infection was to put in more drains.  His dad had very clearly said NO to more tubes.  They were afraid to let him go home because they thought it would kill him.  It looked like it was a matter of days before he would pass away.

With that in mind, Phil left for Virginia last Friday.  We bought him a one-way ticket because we didn't know how long he would need to be back there.  But we knew he needed to be there.  Henry and I stayed behind, thinking we would be following in a couple of days to go back for the funeral.

But his dad started doing better.  They had given him some IV antibiotics which he responded well to.  At this point, they started talking Hospice again.  In the past his dad wouldn't even entertain the idea of Hospice.  This time he listened.  By some small miracle, he agreed to Hospice earlier this week.

Now they are preparing to send his dad home.  All the durable goods (like a hospital bed) are being delivered Thursday morning and his dad should come home, which is what he wants.  

The nurses and doctors have told Phil they think he has a matter of week(s) to maybe a month, assuming the infection doesn't come back.  Nobody knows if/when the infection will come back, since Hospice doesn't do antibiotics.  Phil is staying a little while longer to make sure his dad gets settled and his mom has what she needs.  But I think he will come home in a couple of days, baring his dad taking a quick turn for the worst.

One of the biggest challenges during this time has been deciding what Phil should do.  Where he should be.  Last week, it was a matter of deciding when he should go back there.  Now that he is there, when does he come home?  I know he wants to be there with his dad and mom and I can't blame him.  But I know he misses Henry and I (probably Henry most) at the same time.

I'm a little afraid Phil will come home and his dad's infection will come right back.  At the same time, Phil can't be gone for a month.

Losing a parent really hard and I think it is even harder for Phil since he is so far away.

So that's what is happening at the moment.  At least on the east coast.  

Ed was diagnosed with Liver Cancer in August of 2010.  They gave him 6 months to live, maybe 12 months at that time.  He has made it over 3 years.  It's been a long, hard fight and it looks like we are facing the end of it.  Please pray for Phil and his family as they go through this crazy difficult time.

Midnight Shopping

It's been a long week... and it's only Wednesday.

The other night, Henry woke up at 11:30 for his first of what would be 3 night wakings.  I nursed him in a daze and put him back in his crib.  After I put him down, he started to stir again.  Rather than rush in there and pick him up, I stayed in bed.  I am trying to give him the opportunity to put himself to sleep.  I know it will help me in the long run.  However, it meant I couldn't just fall back asleep, since his half-asleep pseudo-cries were coming through the baby monitor loud and clear.

So what was I to do to keep myself awake?

Online shopping, of course.

After all, we needed more size 2 nipples for Henry's bottles.

And I had accidentally melted the piece that connects his pacifier to the string.

So off to the Amazon app I went.

I tracked down my items, added them to my cart, went to check out only to find out that they were "add on" items.  I needed to spend at least $25 for these items to ship.

So I thought to myself, "What do I need that I could get from Amazon?"  I didn't want to waste money.  I didn't want to get junk.  And I have to be able to ship it with PRIME.  And I drew a blank.

Somehow, I managed to fill my cart for a total of $30.  I checked out and will have my items by tomorrow sometime.

The only problem?  The next morning, I had NO IDEA what I had ordered.  Thankfully, I got my confirmation e-mail when everything shipped.  So what did I purchase?

The pacifier nipples

The pacifier clips (those things always disappear when we are trying to run out the door)

This pop-up toy (Christmas present)

A loofa

And some soft blocks

Can we say random?

No more midnight shopping.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dang teeth

Oh teething...

{Do you think he might be teething?}

My new arch-nemesis.

And I'm pretty sure it is Henry's biggest current enemy as well.  It's either that or having to wait 3 seconds for food.

I'm not sure why God made teething so terrible for babies.  If I had a guess, it is probably Eve's fault.  Since teething also makes Henry need to nurse every hour or so, I'm sure it is a part of Eve's punishment.  I'm still mad at her for contractions.

Poor little guy is having a hard time sleeping.  And since he can't sleep, he's fussy.  Lack of sleep and fussy baby... oh man I'm tired.

Like so tired I'm angry about it.

I know teething is temporary.  And my sweet sister-in-law said with her boys, teething got easier with each tooth.  Oh please let that be the case.  I am keeping my fingers crossed every day when I pick him up from daycare that I will see a little pearly white sticking through those puffy gums.

Until then, we will have frozen wash clothes, teething tablets, lots of bibs for a champion drooler, baby Tylenol, and a constant tongue sticking out.

{His bib says "Who Needs Sleep?".  Answer: I DO!}

And I'll be rotating between drinking coffee and wine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oops... Did I say that?

I don't know about anyone else, but when I am tired, it definitely affects my communication.

I get tongue-tied.

I lose my filter.

When typing, words come out spelled at crazy ways.  Or sometimes in the wrong order.

Since Henry's teeth are greatly affecting the quality of my sleep, I am even more afraid that I may make a communication blunder while at work.

Here are a few things I am afraid may happen:

1.  I desperately afraid I will accidentally tell someone "I love you" when leaving a message or getting off the phone.  While this might be forgiveable if a woman were on the other end of the line (women tend to be more understanding of mommy-hood sleep deprivation), I usually only speak with men.  It could make for some awkward meetings if I have told everyone in the room I love them before I get off the phone.

2.  Public... without the "l".  Not sure that one needs much explanation.

3.  In my engineering reports, I have to report some things in units of time i.e. feet per second.  But it is common to eventually abbreviate seconds to "sec".  The "x" is really close.  I'm a little afraid I will start reporting flowrate in terms of cubic feet per sex.

I think I will have to start searching my documents for inappropriate words before I print and send them in.  Nothing says professional like sexual references, amiright?

When it comes to being overly verbally affectionate, I know it is just a matter of time.  Seriously.

Until then...

Love you.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Did I have Cancer?

Before I knew I had Cancer, I purchased an Aflac Cancer Policy through the office.  My thinking was this:  if I have it, I won't need it.  Murphy's Law and all that.  And since I have had cancer, I have put off actually filling out the paperwork for the claims.  I don't know why.  I guess I am afraid they will deny my claim (I had a bad experience with some travel insurance).

I finally decided I need to fill out the paperwork and file the claim.  In doing so, I needed to make sure I had certain dates right for the forms.  So I went back through my calendar to double check and it was the strangest thing...  To think back about everything that was going on.  And I still remember how scared and anxious I was the whole time.

I can remember camping with my family, feel of anxiety about meeting with the endocrinologist the next day.  I remember travelling to Virginia to see Phil's old roommates, taking Synthroid in hopes my nodules would shrink.  I remember the half-marathon Phil and I ran, hoping that we would be finding out the next week that my nodules had shrank and therefore I wouldn't have cancer.  I remember the complete and total frustration when my endocrinologist cancelled my biopsy an hour before it was supposed to happen and the extreme anger I felt with it took 3 more attempts before she would actually perform the procedure.  I remember the way my heart sank when her nurse called me, asking me to come in and discuss my biopsy results with the doctor.  And how the 5 minute drive from my office to her office seemed to take forever.  I remember sending text messages to Joanna and my brother because I couldn't think about calling them and getting the words out.  I remember going to my parents house, having Phil meet me there.  I walked in and didn't get any words out, just tears, and my mom started crying too.

Having a baby, which was the only thing I wanted, was on hold for who knows how long.

And now I get to sit and hold and feed and cuddle with my little boy.  I take my thyroid pill every day.  And I see my endocrinologist every once in a while.  I find myself running my hand across my scar almost daily.  But I am still overwhelmed by the fact that I actually had cancer.

Just the other day, I turned to Phil and said, "Can you believe I had Cancer?!?"  It just doesn't seem like something that happens to seemingly healthy people in their mid-20's.  But I did.  And I still remember how terrifying the experience was.

The truth is, having cancer has changed me.  It made me more empathetic for other people and families going through their own Cancer battle.  It made me more aware of the people and the hurt around me.  And it made me more grateful for my health and the health of those I care about.

And it has made me a thousand times more grateful for this guy:

Henry, I didn't know if I would ever get to meet you.  I thank God everyday that I get to be your mommy.
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