Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the Kitty Saga Continues...

When Monday night ended with me hovering over the business end of my cat- tail in one hand; pair of scissors in the other cutting matted dried up excrement out of fur. My sister kindly restraining her body, three legs and a head in place so I could do this. I wondered where I had gone wrong in life.
Earlier that afternoon we'd arrived home late- at 5:10 and I need to have both boys fed and back out the door to WC's 6pm karate class no later than 5:35. And since WC had gotten in trouble at school for the exact same infraction as Friday and when he told me he'd 'forgotten' about our conversation about it on Fri, I was livid. If he thought I was angry last night- let him do it again.
We have taken to shutting Rhi up in the bathroom with her litter box while we aren't there. I heard her meow but didn't have time to look in on her and I wasn't letter out of the bathroom while we away again. Cat arrives home right before we leave and she wants to tag along to the karate studio to flirt with an assistant instructor.  For a while I had her taking WC to karate which works out for me except when she's gone on the weekends I dont know what to get him to practice. So we all go. She runs into the house for a minute then come back to the car and tells me that I'm going to kill the cat. At this point I dont want to know, I can't do anything about it anyway.
On the drive home after class I received a call from Jay. "You obviously didnt see what the cat did."
"Nope." Not a lie- I did not see what she did. But I did leave out where I was aware something ugly had gone down in the bathroom. I had told him that we didn't have long before we had to leave and that WC had gotten into trouble- yet again.
"She's locked in the laundry room with dried poop on her back left paw and dried poop all over her rear end. There's litter and smeared poop all over the bathroom and all in the bathtub.She peep in the floor next to the box. It looks like she rubbed her rear end from one end of the bathroom to the other and threw litter everywhere. I cleaned up part of it and now I'm getting in the shower."
Heaven forbid he actually clean the whole mess up, not just enough of the floor to allow him to get to the shower.
We end the call and I tell everyone in the car that we're going in the front door when we get home. I'll work on cleaning Rhi after I get CJ in bed. Which is how I got to where this story began.  Initially I tried to wash it out with a wet rag but it wasn't working. So the scissors came out. Now I wished that I'd thought to cut more of the hair out from around the bottom area.
She managed to urinate behind the recliner again twice on Saturday. After my sister spent two days last week cleaning the carpet and blocking it off from access. Saturday Jay moved several things then got upset when she got back there and went. He spent 20 minutes cleaning one spot then left the room and went right behind him and urinated next to the spot he'd just cleaned. I wasn't home but received the text message. I chose not to tell my sister that she'd gone back there again-we'd have a kitty swinging from a noose in the back yard.. Jay cleaned it well enough to get rid of the smell.
I've made a vet appointment for her for this Saturday for another check up. And I'll see what she has to say about all this. Something has to be done. I don't know what. I'm not prepared emotionally to euthanize at this point unless she is too far gone to ever have a good quality of life again. I said from the beginning I wouldn't force her to live in pain just for me. They didn't find anything but the diabetes and UTI last time.
It's becoming far harder at this point than I ever anticipated. In my mind I always thought she'd live until she was about twenty without any health issues then pass on peacefully in her sleep. I'm seriously never that stupidly delusional about anything else. Usually I play out all the worst case scenarios in my head that don't come to fruition.
Now once again forced into reality, I will seek the advice of the vet and see where it goes from there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It shouldn't be this hard to buy a bra.

Kids say the darnedest things and it's usually funny. Except when the darnedest things are coming from the mouth of your own babe in very public spot. The only place where this could have possibly been worse would have been in the middle of church.
The other day we went shopping. Jay needed a new pair of pants. So while he perused the men's section I decided to wander on over to the lingerie. After all I could use a new bra. Of course the children had to come with me. I'm not allowed out of CJ's site right now-even pushing him in the stroller. I guess WC thought where I was going would be more interesting then pants. Turns out he was right.
We weren't over there two minutes and they were pulling items off the rack. I correct them & go about attempting to find something that I like & in my size.  Two or three minutes later I notice WC wasn't next to me anymore. I call for him and he responds. I go in the direction of his voice and see him facing a mannequin that is modelling a matching bra and panty set, both of his hands up over his head- each hand cupping a plastic breast. "Stop touching the mannequin," I scold him. He smiles and says, "But it's slippery." he rubs the satin bra then looks around behind the mannequin and rubs it's bottom smiling at me. "Stop it and stay with me," I whisper angrily. We move on through through the rows. At one point they begin to giggle. I look down and both of them are each wearing a pair of panties as a hat. I snatch the panties and toss them back onto the table display. Somewhere a saleswoman hates us.
Who knows what goes on in the mind of a two year old. Is it that attempting to figure the world out and with everything bouncing around in there things just pop out at random times. CJ announced very loudly and very clearly, "Mommy has penis." Then without skipping a beat, WC replies just as loudly, "No, mommy doesn't have a penis. She pees out of that weird furry thing." The declaration echos bouncing off all four walls of the store. I imagine sales associates at the register in the front doubled over laughing until they cry. People peering around the racks to see if I would beat this child to within an inch of his life or perhaps just to see the woman with the weird furry thing.
O...M...G...please strike me with lightening and liquefy me into nothing. I want to announce that I am the nanny. But no one would believe me- even if WC didn't bear a striking resemblance. We then leave the lingerie department and return to Jay with one item.
"What's that," he asked.
"A bathrobe."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mommy Brain

I don't know what happens to brains of women when we become pregnant. For my entire life before children I never once worried that something unimaginable would happen to myself or anyone that I loved. After reading the recent blog of my friend, Michele, where she has exhibited classic case of survivors guilt after the birth of twins. The worry over if her joy brings pain to someone else. I immediately understood. When I found out I was expecting CJ, I worried about telling her. I knew they wanted children so badly. I was so afraid that me getting to have another child would cause her pain. Of course she was overjoyed for me but I knew she wished it for her life as well. When I sent an email full of photos of my smiling happy children only to discover Nicholas had arrived the next day and not survived I was terrified of the pain it would cause her. But she wouldn't let me stop sending her photos. I knew she was happy for me but I still worried about the emotional impact. Ultimately we want the best for everyone.
She wonders in the same entry when it is considered a "success." Is it after the risk of SIDS, college, etc. The worries aren't limited to preemie babies in the NICU. My full term children I was terrified for weeks after I brought them home. WC wouldn't sleep well on his back so occasionally I'd put him to nap on his stomach then I'd sit there and watch him breathe the entire time he was asleep. Once I had to urinate so bad but I wouldn't move until my mom arrived and made her watch him breathe. I was only slightly less psychotic w/ the second one (luckily he slept on his back wonderfully). For the first time in my life I was utterly convinced because I loved this "thing" so much it would have to be taken away from me. For whatever reason I figured I didn't deserve something so wonderful.  Why is that? I began to contemplate these feelings that I am sure that all mother's have- whether or not they admit it. Unfortunately I've come to conclusion that the worry never goes away. Ever. Now we can't allow these irrational fears to rule forefront of our minds- we'd never be able to function. A friend recently confided to me that she was scared that a car would leave the road and drive through her daughters bedroom located on the front corner of the house. It isn't that she lives on a busy, main or particularly curvy/ hilly road. In fact the sheer physical mechanics of it would seem it highly improbable that could happen. Unless someone was intentionally aiming for it. Still the thought entered her mind one night as she lay down to sleep. You can imagine that it took a while to fall asleep with that thought bouncing around in the ole head. So, if you make through pregnancy and bring home a baby the worry doesn't stop it just changes to what you're worried about. An infant who can't move you worry about SIDS, developmental milestones, breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, co-sleep or not, gas or a serious intestinal issue. Then they start in with the mobility- rolling over & scooting. You've gotten used to leaving them on the couch or bed for a min to run and get something & you hear a thud- child on floor. Again new set of worries- both rational & irrational. I worry with every illness it's something far more serious and work hard to find the balance between over and under reacting.  As soon as you have one set figured out along come some new ones. As far as I can tell this pattern pretty much repeats itself for the rest of your life. I've learned from my MIL (mom of 4 kids) that graduation doesn't stop the worry. And the only thing your child getting married accomplishes is bringing a son/daughter in law into the picture to worry about. And then there's the grandchildren.
So, if you're taking this journey through parenthood with me- congratulations we will be crazy until the day we die.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And it just kept getting worse

The next day after WC's doctor visit, he stayed home with Cat and received his nebulizer treatment every four hours and to rest. This approach usually keeps his bronchial tubes open enough not to cause any additional health issues- infection or pneumonia. And Wednesday was to be business as usual. Then I awoke that morning unable to speak, my voice simply would not come out. And I really didn't think that I would be able to get out of bed. When did a mac truck drive through my house and run over me? My throat had been a little irritated and tender on Tuesday but it hadn't concerned me. Jay had a voice but didn't feel any better than I. Then Cat reported that she felt about like Jay did. But WC & CJ both seemed fine. Someone took WC to school- I honestly can't remember who. And no one felt well enough to take CJ to daycare. The rest of us stayed home. If I moved that day it was for CJ's basic care- food & diapers. We decided that the three of us probably had the same thing so we sent Jay to the clinic & if he had something that could be treated with meds then Cat & I would go too. He came back reporting a respiratory virus- sorry no drugs. His flue test was negative. About five minutes before two the school nurse called and said WC had a one hundred fever and we had to come get him. Now school is out at two. Jay went to pick him up. At home, he did not have a fever and acted completely fine. However, because the school nurse said he had a hundred he was not allowed to return to school the next day. The sun rose on Thursday with me still unable to communicate verbally, coughing my head off and CJ running a 101. He and I sat on the couch together and if he was awake he was crying. We slept on and off and I made an effort to force him to drink. The end of the day saw CJ's temp hit 103. I put him screaming into a cool bath. Friday saw everyone but CJ & myself return to normal activity. Again we spent the day on the couch together- everything I needed within arms reach- remotes, tissues, thermometer, ibuprofen and drinks. By that evening I swore the couch was grafting itself to my ass. If he was awake, he was crying chanting 'mommy' and/or 'blanket' which he had both and there was nothing I could do. I still couldn't speak and wanted to cry. I knew that we needed to go to the doctor but I honestly couldn't get off the couch and make that drive. Friday evening I was able to squeak out some semblance of a voice but only in short succinct spurts. It's really easy for them to ignore you if they can't hear you. Throwing things is a great way to get attention. My frustration level by the time I put CJ to bed Friday night was an all time high. Not that it was either of our faults. It was what it was. Saturday morning came and CJ still had a 101 and I did too. So it's off the doctor. My plan was to take him to the pediatrician then take him home and myself down to the clinic. We get there and I explain the best I could to the nurse but between the voice giving out and the fact it took all the energy in me to get there and sit upright I wasn't the best communicator. The doctor came in and we spoke briefly then she looked him over to make sure he was free of ear infection and his lungs were clear and announced she wanted to run a flu test on him. I didn't realize that the test was a long q-tip square up the nose. CJ didn't too kindly to this woman cramming this thing in his nose. He screams like someone has crushed his testicles and begins to throw himself around. The swab caused his nose to bleed and I am unsuccessfully at restraining him to pinch off the nose and stop the flow. He's screaming, throws himself back hits his head on the wall, twists himself and falls to floor blood from his nose is going everywhere. The only thing I can do is burst into tears. I am burning hot, sweating through my clothes already and now I'm sobbing my eyes out in front of this stranger. I'm mortified on the inside but I couldn't control it. The nurse lifts CJ off the floor and places him hissy fit an all on the exam table- restrains him and gets his nosebleed under control before returning him to my lap and leaving with the swab. I had about twenty minutes to compose myself before the doc returned. The flu test was positive. She also brought more great news being that it was only the first of September she felt this was the H1N1. OMG- Swine Flu? Seriously? Swine flu was just something I've seen on news like every other illness that gets highly publicized it happens to other people- not us. Then, as if she knew the next thought that popped into my head she asked about WC. He was fine only the asthma issue of a few days ago but no high fever like CJ & I. She pulled WC's chart and prescribed him the antiviral medication as a preventative. It was too late for medication for CJ or myself. She also recommended that CJ & I stay away from WC. I was not to tend to him. And Jay not to tend to CJ- not as if CJ allowed that anyway. I asked if she thought if I should go to the clinic and get tested too. The doc said from the way I looked (gee thanks) that she felt certain I had it too and I should just go home and stay there. I expressed that I needed to get back to work on Tues (Monday was Labor Day). She didn't feel that would happen. It didn't. I ended up having to go to the clinic anyway to get a note stating that I wasn't contagious before my work would allow me to come back on Thursday. The NP noted that I my blood pressure was high and asked if that was normal. No- I have never had high blood pressure except the day the CJ had to be delivered. But I wasn't surprised; I was already convinced I was having a nervous breakdown. I'd been sick at home cooped up with a sick crabby child for five days. I had been fever free for a couple of days but still wasn't back to normal. Even today my voice still sounds strained but the coughing has finally calmed down to a minimum. By Thursday CJ's fever was finally gone but he still slept a lot during the day so he went to my mom's on Friday. He returned Monday to daycare- which was much needed. The illness had upped his spoiled factor immensely. He began this thing where he would lay on the couch & wanted to be covered by his security blanket then he would sit up and immediately begin to cry "want blanket on." Wanting me to cover him up with his blanket. And I had to carry him all over the house- where ever I went- if he didn't have me and the blanket at all times he would scream. Then he threw up on blanket and I had to put it in the wash- he cried with out stopping the entire time that blanket was in the washer and dryer. During this time Rhi also began urinating behind the recliner in the living room. I cleaned what I could then piled a bunch of toys and a diaper box back there to keep her from accessing the area until I was better.
Things are slowly but surely returning to a "normal" healthy state. I've never been that sick before and don't ever want to be that sick again. And don't want either of the boys sick either. Now I'm a hand sanitizing, Lysol spraying fiend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


It all began nearly three weeks ago. After the Saturday afternoon merriment of a giant inflatable water slide birthday party while on the drive home the cough that I dread...the croupy bark that I've come to despise reared its ugly head. It's the only thing that remains after five years of fighting like hell every time WC gets a cold to keep him out of the hospital. It's the cough that cannot be stopped. It means his asthma is acting up. The cough is his only symptom and over the years the episodes have gotten fewer and farther between and lack the urgency of those he had at aged two.
The thing I dreaded about kindergarten was having to get a whole new group of adults used to his symptoms-just because he coughs out phlegm doesn't mean he's contagious. The daycare/preschool people had become used to him over the past three years. I knew the school people would probably overreact. On Monday I give him his nebulizer treatment before he leaves for school and I was aware of his cough. I get a call from the school nurse at 8:20- he'd been in the clinic coughing uncontrollably for about ten minutes, his "oxygen saturation was low" and he couldn't return to class she needed someone to come pick him up. I call Cat to run over to the school & get him. I knew they'd overreact but this did seem a little much for me to send him home just for coughing. But then the oxygen saturation comment set in my mind for a few minutes. I flashed back to (after a long illness that kept getting worse) carrying my unconscious two year old through a parking garage towards the ER then the barrage of nurses, doctors, techs, tubes, IV, xrays. Being alone watching these strangers poke needles into my baby because Jay worked for a satellite office two hours away. Then sitting up all night next to the crib in CCU staring at the oxygen monitor praying, begging God to let that number rise. Sleep only happened when I dropped off with my head leaning on the crib rail. Xrays revealed he had pneumonia so bad they couldn't tell if it was viral or bacterial. They usually can tell by the way it looks in the xray. But his was so solid that they couldn't determine or see the area where his heart should have been. Over the next three days they ran an hour worth of antibiotics through his IV twice a day- two different antibiotics for 30 min each. Over the next three days I witnessed him come back to his old self. The day we were going to be discharged we were sitting in a chair in the room, he was watching cartoons on the tv and I could see down the hallway of the CCU. I noticed that one room down the hall had medical personnel rush into the room three times during the course of the morning and the last time the occupant of the room rushed out in a fury. When reality slammed me like a lead weight- We would be taking our baby home that day and not everyone around me would be afforded the luxury of taking their child home. The kid in the room next to us had a bandage wrapped around his head- brain surgery. I cried, ashamed that I had felt sorry for myself and complained. We were the luckiest people on the floor.
This was wandering around in my head all morning when I called WC's doctor and made an appointment that afternoon. His pediatrician made me feel better when she told me to take the results of the oxygen saturation with a grain of salt. The school would have used a portable oxygen monitor and those results aren't accurate. They wont even have one in their office because the sticker they place on the finger has to be the appropriate size and has to be fit on the finger perfectly- otherwise the results are skewed. WC was far too perky and alert to have low oxygen saturation- case in point his condition the day I took him to the hospital. It made sense. Now he was definitely having issues with his asthma and she prescribed him a new preventative medication. An inhaled steroid. He hasn't been on a preventative med in over a year because it didn't make any difference in the number or severity of episodes and at $1 a pill it has to make a marked difference before I will keep buying it. I'm happy with the inhaled steroid because unlike the liquid (which can't be used long term due to side effects) or another pill this is put directly where needed (lungs) and doesn't travel throughout the body and helps cut back on any possibility of side effects. She is well aware that I'm not into medication for a long term basis- if he only reacts four months out of twelve why stay on medication for the whole 12? She asked me to leave him on it up through spring and then decide because if he's fine why risk it by taking him off. My though though is that if he never reacts May-July then why? He's been on it now for two weeks and it takes a full two-four weeks to build up and get maximum benefits- so we shall see how this years cold season goes. And with the added threat of swine flu (they say attaches itself deeper in the lungs than traditional flu)- which has already entered our home- more an that later- we shall see. Fingers crossed and prayers said.
***Congratulations to Michele and Peter on the birth of beautiful twins, Bobby & Maya. You're in my thoughts & prayers. I love you guys!