Monday, March 27, 2017

HPV, hematologist, happy hour.

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Today marks the start of the appointments for Edda's spinal fusion in May.  We went to her pediatrician, mainly for her birthday annual checkup but talked about what we need to do to keep our pediatrician in the loop of all the surgical pre-op appointments and procedures.  I want her pediatrician to be the hub of all the medical information I have on Edda.  I did get Edda the HPV vaccine because we are pro-vaccine, even though we aren't anticipating Edda to need protection from those types of papillomavirus.

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Then we went to Children's Hospital where I met with a hematologist who I wasn't too thrilled with.  Edda has low platelets, I just want her cleared for the surgery and provided a protocol so if she bleeds excessively during surgery to monitor her platelets and do the infusion if necessary.  The hematologist had back surgery himself a couple of years ago and had to take a bunch of time off work and he told me - Edda's surgery is going to be so much worse than mine!  huh.  Thanks for that boost of confidence.  Let's just focus on the bloodwork Mr. Hematologist!

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Typing Edda's blood.  I need to sit down and really write down all of Edda's appointments, they are starting to multiply like bunnies and I just have them written down on random sheets of paper.

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Finally to school, where I checked in with her teacher.  I haven't seen him in a bit.

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Got an unexpected extension on a ten-page paper, so I headed downtown to happy hour.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pancake breakfast, usual suspects, grateful.

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On Sat, we held our 5th annual birthday party/pancake breakfast fundraiser for Edda.  A bunch of Edda's pals came over (50? 60?) and we made a bunch of pancakes.

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Served with blueberry compote.

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There was some pancake art:

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Lauren made the beautiful birthday cake!

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We all sang happy birthday:

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And here's us!  We made it another year.  I'm grateful for Edda's health and happiness.  I'm grateful for all the support our families and friends provide us.  I'm grateful for all the services that Edda receives.  Thank you all for being part of our everyday.  <3

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Love trumps hate, 13th birthday, ACA!

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Edda's thirteen today!  I will admit that I've been moody all week which is not unusual for Edda's birthday week, always a mix of emotions happy/sad, encouraged/discouraged, lost/found, and maybe a Portuguese word - saudade -a melancholy nostalgia for something that perhaps has not even happened.  I used to be so discouraged that I couldn't buy Edda something she really desired for her birthday because she didn't want anything and then that seemed really sad and then I decided she transcended all material wants and that comforted me.  But finally today I decided that she's just asking for the big things, which I'm not always attuned to.  Apparently the continuation of the ACA is what she really wanted for her birthday.  And she got exactly that.  Happy birthday dearest Edda.  May the road rise to meet you and may the wind always be at your back.

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Birthday party tomorrow.  Lots of bacon.

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Lots of furniture moving.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

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Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snacking all the time.   Everything is delicious.

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Edda's birthday party is this Saturday.  We have no idea how many people are going to come.  Vince is practicing making pancakes with the number "13" in them.


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Costco for all the bacon and orange juice.  I also got a good deal on oral typhoid vaccine Vince needs for China.

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Fruit salad to end the day.  (At least it's not a pastry).

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Blood donation, McDonalds, Joanne.

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Edda's bed rails work pretty well.  She sleeps mostly through the night except for the nights right before and during her period (mostly).  But she moves around like a clock hand.  Here she is in the morning when I found her - all bunched up at the head of the bed perpendicular to her starting position.  I got a huge packet for her back surgery from children's over the weekend and I spent some time looking over it.  There is a mention that I could donate blood for her to use during her operation and my initial gut feeling was that I totally want to donate blood for her.  And then I'm like - who am I kidding?  The blood donation will flatten me for two weeks and I need all my wits about me for the next couple of months.  Also am I really going to add 2-3 more appointments to the 17 I've already got scheduled?

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Vince went to his 15th annual checkup.  Everything checked out OK.  We talked about vaccines for his China trip and also a bit about maintaining a healthy weight.

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But then I took him to McDonald's after school as a celebration (thank you for the 10,000 days of Chinese tutoring) and send-off for my parents who are headed to China tomorrow.

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Joanne, our Medicaid waiver coordinator, came by for dinner tonight.  She meets yearly with the each of the fifty families she manages.  We are here very last ones for the quarter!

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Snuggle, campout, poop, cake.

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Maxi is a nervous dog, she doesn't know how to snuggle.  But she managed to overcome her intimacy problems and snuggle up to me for just a moment this weekend.  I made Jeremy take a photo - but you can see in her face, she's still very concerned.

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Vince hiked 12 miles this weekend and camped out two nights.  The hiking was in good weather, but the sleeping was in wet weather.  Poor guy, everything was wet when he got home.

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I stepped in Edda's poop tonight.  I put her in her shower chair to get ready to wheel her into the shower.  Her shower chair has a cutout just like a toilet seat.  Anyways, she pooped, I failed to notice and then as I wheeled her into the shower, I stepped in her poop on the floor.  Not fun.

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Happy birthday Sarah!

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Look at this cake!

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

End-of-life, busy, snow.

Thurs, I went to an end-of-life simulation where we had a fake patient die from a motorcycle accident.  The patient was a plastic mannequin, but they hired actors to play the parts of the grieving family.  We went through a scenario where you had to talk a family through the decision about whether to withdraw life support or not.  The actors were crying and emotional, the whole scene lasted about an hour and then we spent a bunch of time critiquing how the whole thing was handled.  Even though you know it's all "make-believe", it's still emotional and draining.  Another student nurse who is working at the University of MD medical center neuro ICU says he sits through these conversations every day with a doctor and families.

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Arg, I'm a little too busy.  I like protecting my time.  I like doing a lot of things but not feeling overwhelmed.  Now I'm in a season of a lot of things to do so I've cut the following things:  going over Vince's schoolwork everyday (Vince is picking up the slack, monitoring himself), laundry (big piles everywhere), 1xweek bills (now it's once every three weeks and the taxes!), blogging everyday, studying/writing papers for the A (this is hard for me), backing off on time working out, cooking "fancy" dinners - lots of fish sticks on my nights to cook, and a million little paperwork things, followup with travel visas, Edda's surgery, various nursing job applications and certifications.  I feel good though - learning a lot, meeting lots of different people, seeing lots of stuff.  I wish I could do more politically, I wish I had the time to tell you all the things my pals are doing to protect Medicaid - it's impressive and I'm so proud of them.  Maybe I'll find the video and embed here.

I set up all of Edda's pre-op appointments: neurology, hematology, cardiology and pulmonology and her primary care physician.   It'll be a new cardiologist and a new pulmonologist - we'll see how it goes.  I let work know about the ramp up in sick time before and after the surgery.

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We forgot to bring Maxi's bed downstairs.  She's suppose to sit on it during dinner, but she only found this folded towel.  She's one the towel because she's hoping for a meatball.

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Here's our snow for the moment.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stitches, bed rail.

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Why is Dad holding up his index finger?

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Because he sliced through it on Monday.  12 stitches.

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Edda's new bed rails.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winter, laundry, chili.

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Winter is finally here.  Edda's face is chapped.

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I'm doing Vince's laundry.  He had to empty his room of laundry to host the six boys for the sleepover last weekend and he laundry ended up in the upstairs foyer.  So close to the washing machine.  I'm giving up and doing the laundry.  All day loads went in and I think I'm not even halfway done.

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It did snow and ice last night, we got about 2-3 inches of heavy, icy snow.  Kids were off of school (we heard through the grapevine that MCPS was going to cancel school even if we got a dusting because we haven't had any snow days yet this year and the teachers were going to run out of curriculum days early).  I walked Maxi to her vet appointment at 8:20am.  She wouldn't let them stick their thermometer up her butt.

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Facetimed mom to make sure that she was OK.  They shoveled everything themselves - but didn't use the snowblower.

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Adriana came by at 2pm and helped watch Edda during the afternoon and evening.  Chili for dinner.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Night-o, blankets, corgi.

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I spent the weekend away from the house at an orienteering training camp.  This involved running through the woods at night with a headlamp.  I was too scared to go on my own, but I found some friends to go with me.

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I came home to find Vince with 10,000 blankets and Edda tucked into his bed.

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Vince showed me his favorite corgi videos.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring, practicum, 15!

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Happy spring loves.  I've been busy, trying to figure things out about this nursing thing.  Am I really going to do this?  I've managed to find myself on the most challenging floor at the hospital for senior practicum.  I like the folks on the floor, I like the work, I like the patients and I can see into the future that I can manage to do what I want to do, but first I'll need to travel through working weekends and holidays and I'm not sure I'm all ready for this.  The whole thing is fascinating to me,  you have the general science-y ness of all the meds and the numbers and the procedures, then you have the whole bit about delivering medical care where management wants to come in and reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction (who is ever satisfied about being in the hospital?), and then you have the emotion of people getting terrible diagnoses, family members watching people they love suffer and die, people who are slowly killing themselves with drink and drug (lots of people are angry and pissed.  lots of people are thankful and nice.  some people are confused and delirious and remain that way.) and then you have a team of nurses/doctors/social workers/techs that are all thrown together to try and hold down the fort and you can see if the team is falling apart in certain places and really cohesive in other places.  Maybe it isn't so fascinating and I'll become all upset and hardened.  I think I have 5 (maybe) years worth of bedside nursing in me -and then I'm done - I'll head to other endeavors.  But I need to do the hospital work first.

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In other hospital news, Vince turned 15 on Thursday.  Of course, it's Vince's birthday, but it's also my anniversary of becoming a mother.  I retold his birth story to him, like I do most years.  How he was due on the 1st and when he wasn't even budging a week later, I got all frustrated with him and walked three miles home down Lamar where I was at work at UT Austin to our house and by the time I got home I was in labor.  I told him how I was determined to have the granola-hippie labor - no drugs, a midwife, Birkenstocks (but at a hospital), but after 40 hours of labor, his big head was stuck and then they cut him out of me.  And then how he insisted on nursing 21 hours out of everyday and that drove me up the wall because I'd never been touched so much in my life - no one else could touch me (poor Jeremy) because I was completely touched out for months and months.

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Happy birthday Vince!  Thank you for being my best son and teaching me to be a mom.  My kids!  They teach me everything.  All the time.

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We celebrated on his actual birthday with my parents.

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Tonight, the boys are here.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Defiant, brussel sprouts, Florida.

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Happy Women's Day today!  I love this statue of a defiant girl in front of the charging bull on Wall St.
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Vince has a social studies test tomorrow on WWII.  

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I burned the brussel sprouts tonight.

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Went to a boy scout prep meeting for the spring break Florida trip.  A father / son trip coming up in four weeks!

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