Sunday, July 29, 2007

Feed Me*

Um, so I thought I might grow a few tomatoes this summer...

They are literally taking over my backyard. I have 6 tomato plants - 2 cherry, 2 grape and 2 beefsteak - and they are, ahem, a little bigger than anticipated.

There are also some peppers in there, but as you can tell, you can't see them - you have to live by faith that they are there and they are growing and that we will get some peppers this fall. I will officially be made entirely of salsa by the time school starts after I eat all of my crops.

*BTW, the title is a reference to an 80's movie. Can you guess which one? Winner gets... yes, thats right - a tomato.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just so you know

As soon as Nora gets this cast off of her arm, I am going to break my arm. Seriously - I am.

This child has cashed in so much from the sympathy (and generosity) of others... money, movies, toys, a cookie bouquet (my personal favorite), numerous cards and phone calls to see how the girl is doing.

It is all greatly appreciated, but really, if it doesn't stop she's going to break a bone every 6 months or so - or Ryann will want to get in on the goods and she'll break one.

Honestly, though, I think it was the surgery. Only one thing came before the surgery and after the surgery the motherload began...

My herniated disks are really bothering me, I think I need surgery.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Surgery day = just another day

Nora had surgery yesterday. And the whole day turned out to be quite surprising for me. I expected pain, crying, whining, laying on the couch to watch movies and cartoons, asking for special food, just a general sense of feeling icky. Um - not so much.

We left for the hospital at 6:15am (a little late). Registered, got settled etc. One thing that kept bugging me was that in the course of preparing for surgery the anesthesiologist and every nurse that came to see her made sure to emphasize that "this isn't going to hurt" or "there's nothing to be scared of". I know they had very good intentions, but come on people - she wasn't cowering in a corner rocking back and forth from the fear of what was about to happen. She was tired and shy, but she was good. I don't think she really knew what was going to happen - regardless of my attempts to prepare her in the previous days. She wasn't scared - UNTIL YOU SHOWED UP AND SUGGESTED THAT SHE SHOULD BE.

Ahem. Okay - I've gotten that out of my system. Its a big pet peeve of mine.

So the doctor came in to say hi and give us an idea of the timing and so on - oh and to mark which arm he would be cutting open. At this point I asked if she could have a waterproof cast and the answer was an emphatic NO. In fact, there will be no water touching this arm for 3 weeks. No showers. No baths. No pool. And no trying to compromise with the doctor. Period. No. I was very excited about that news.

She left for surgery around 7:40. Cornbread and I spent about an hour in the waiting area chatting and probably annoying the heck out of the other waiting family members by spouting off all of our knowledge about the stock market, marketing for a business, etc. I mean - we know it all and everything, so I'm sure we weren't at all annoying. Besides that, he has quite a hard time keeping his voice below a normal talking voice so there was no chance that everyone in the room did NOT hear everything we were talking about.

We were summoned at about 8:45 to come back to see Nora. As we walked to her room she was being wheeled back in and was crying for me. Wait - yes, you read that correctly. She was crying. For me. I had to ask her to repeat herself and had to ask the nurses if she was delirious before I believed it was true. She wanted me - not daddy. Mommy. And she wanted a hug from mommy. My poor girl - she was miserable. I think she was disoriented from the anesthesia as well as in a lot of pain. But after a round of apple juice, cookies and codeine she was fast asleep and not complaining. Cornbread and I watched the president's news conference and made comments throughout that I'm sure would not have annoyed the people in the waiting area had they heard them - because yes, we know how to win the war and what he should do.

We were home by 11:30 and I figured Nora was going to go right in to the couch and lay down to watch a movie. Nope. She wanted to play with Nolan. He wasn't home so she opted to watch the roofers put new soffits on Nolan's house instead. The rest of the day was pleasant and she did really well. When it was time for her next dose of codeine she didn't want any. Her arm was feeling okay and she said no to my offer for more medicine. She ended up playing with Nolan when he got home and all was right with the world.

All in all yesterday was a shocker for me - but a good shocker. Once again I am amazed at the resilience and toughness of my little girl. She has been surprising me non-stop through this whole ordeal.

I tried to take pictures of her xrays. They're not fantastic, but I think you can get an idea of what was done.

Here is her arm pre-surgery. On the image on the left part of the screen you can see the bone chip/growth plate that is floating and needed to be pinned. It is the dark spot on the right side of her arm that is hanging out right about mid-joint level. You cannot see it as well in the image on the right - you can in the actual film, but not in the photo.
And here are the films from post-surgery. On the left image you can see the two pins that are pinning the piece back to the bone. On the right image you can see the pins - they appear more like a twist tie.
This is the entire film. The top is the pre-surgery images and the bottom is the post-surgery images. Not sure if you can click on the photo to make it larger.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

WHY CAN'T I PUT A TITLE IN MY POSTS ANYMORE????? Am I the only one having this problem? I have three blogs and I cannot post titles in any of them... I guess its not so bad - I hate coming up with titles anyway:)

So here I am to update the world on Nora and whatever else hits me as I'm typing.

First - Nora.

We brought her back to the Pediatric Orthopedist on Friday to get more xrays and to find out if she needed surgery. They took her splint off, which apparently hurt a great deal and took the xrays. She needs surgery. I'm bummed - I was really hoping that this was not going to be the case, but alas I will now go forward into my first surgery adventure.

She continues to amaze me with how well she is doing with the struggle of "losing" her right arm/hand. I was in complete awe the other day when she showed me a drawing she made of a castle with a moat and a princess with a tiara - all done with her left hand. I never would have guessed. I really, truly sat there with my mouth wide open about that.

She does not complain during the day. At night (in bed) we have bouts of her being very sad and frustrated. One night I overheard her crying to Ryann that she was never going to feel better and she would have to wear this thing forEVER. Broke my heart - I'm a tough mom and very little is done or said to evoke much sympathy from me, but this did. She's been so good, and I'm so proud of her:)

On the plus side, we came home on Friday with a new cast. This one is hard so she can't feel if she gets bumped. AND it is glow in the dark and pink striped. What 5 year old would not be excited about that?

She is having surgery on Thursday morning. It is an outpatient surgery and the doctor said it should last about 20 minutes. Yesterday I told her about it and when she asked if it was going to hurt, I said, "Yes, it is going to hurt and probably a lot." Oops:)

Here is our girl with her new cast: Christine/Doug - is this something that I should let our pediatrician know about? I haven't informed them of any of this.

Our other very exciting news is that we found a baby fish in our aquarium!
Its kind of hard to tell from the photo, but it is TINY - probably about 1cm in length. I rescued him from the big bad shark and put him in his own bowl. Seriously - we have a shark that hangs out in our rock and chases fish away when they approach (its very humorous to watch). This little guy (Nemo) swam right into the entrance of the rock - all the while I was yelling "Don't go in there!!!!" I was very scared for Nemo because Bruce is NOT friendly and does not take kindly to visitors. He has begrudgingly allowed the placostomous to take residence in the rock, but I'm not sure he had a choice - that thing is about 3 times the size of Bruce and is hard like a rock. So Nemo backed out and I got him the heck out of there and found him his own little sanctuary.

So we're going to monitor his progress and reintroduce him to the big guys when he's old enough to play real games:)

Other than all of that, we have managed to pass the flu around the family over the weekend and now I am catching up on all of the laundry. I have leftover laundry that I hadn't gotten to, we have sheets from over night guests, and flu laundry - plus whatever piled up in the meantime. My room looks like the clothing fairy had the flu.

Onward I march - I am a machine today.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fond Memories

Remember when I used to blog every day?

Yeah, I should get back to that.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Our first major injury

On Friday evening, Nora fell off of the swingset. She falls off of things everyday and I hardly pay much attention. You know - as a mom, you become adept at distinguishing between real cries and not so real cries. I had never heard this cry before.

I ran over there to help her up and did one of those huge, loud gasps that tells everyone in the vicinity that something horrible just happened - it also sends all little children into a big panic... Wait, my mom is actually shocked and upset about something - that must mean that its REALLY bad!

So off to the ER we went. Cornbread driving, me holding Nora's hand during the longest 15 minute car ride of my life. Luckily we were with our next door neighbors and they just kept the other two girls.

It was ugly and we weren't sure if it was broken, dislocated or both. We were triaged immediately and brought to the fast track area of the ER (didn't even know they had one of those). Tylenol with codeine, iv fluids, xrays, anesthesia, more (better) xrays, and admittance to the peds floor all consumed our night. She was tired and slept a lot, but she was a trooper. You may recall that I've mentioned that she is a little oversensitive and dramatic, however, in this case she was very brave and really did well - she cried when it hurt, but she didn't panic, she didn't scream - she just hurt. I was proud of her.

So it turns out that she dislocated her elbow. And my best guess is that her initial xrays looked like this (based on what the outside looked like - this is what I imagine the bones looked like):

She also broke one of the knobby things off of her bone and it is kind of floating around in there. We have to go for a follow up appointment this week to find out if the pediatric orthopedic doctor thinks she needs surgery (lets hope not) or if it will heal on its own. The orthopedic doctor we were dealing with seemed to think it would heal okay on its own. So she has a splint and a sling and is still in quite a bit of pain. She's also getting just about anything and everything she's asking for, so that may be contributing to the "pain" she is feeling:)

We haven't told her that her tball season is over. I'm pretty certain she'll be reacting worse than this when we do:

She is right handed and this is presenting many difficulties for her daily life. She has to learn how to color with her left hand ("if I do I will SCRIbble and I don't like scribbles!"), how to do most things with just one hand, and how to sleep comfortably without moving very much. These are hard lessons for a 5 year old, but she will get it and will be better off for it.

I'm thankful that it wasn't worse than it is and we're praying that she heals well, heals quickly and won't have to have surgery.

And just so you know - she's our cautious child. We never expected this to happen to HER. Its going to be an interesting several years with the other two:)

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