Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey for you..

So, Thanksgiving is over.  I can honestly say I did not over eat.  I guess I did something wrong then. But I did eat. I've been eating differently since my last kidney stone episode, but Thanksgiving is different. It's ok to let yourself go every once in a while.

Something I have always wanted to do as well, I did. I played football outside on Thanksgiving with my son. Daniel and I played for about half an hour and it was so much fun. My brother in law and his two kids were there too and everyone had a great time. Not to mention, the kid has quite an arm! And accurate too, somewhat..  While he did catch a few, we have to work on that.  Maybe he'll just be a quarterback.

But what was missing was my wife and my other son. After the surgery, he needs to recuperate and can't do too much. Being with his brother and his cousins would have been too much stimulation for him. There is no way we would have been able to keep him grounded, literally. He would have been running and jumping and that would have been extremely detrimental to his recovery. So he had to stay home.

It was no fun celebrating Thanksgiving without my entire family. while I don't wish to do that again, I know that they were only 1 hour away. They were not half a world away. Please, everyone let's put our differences aside for just a minute to realize what we have.

Whenever we go to Children's Hospital, it is always the most humbling experience.  Not only is it the best hospital in the world, but it always manages to put things in perspective. You literally are there in the lobby and you look to the left of you and see a child who is worse off than yours. Then you look to the right and you see another child worse off than the other one. Then you look at yours and you don't feel happy, you don't feel sad.  You just feel thankful.

Let's all take a moment and be thankful for whatever it is you wish to be thankful for. But let's remember that for all our differences and for all its faults, we live in the greatest country that has ever existed. Let's be thankful for that.


No, nothing to do with politics..  This stands for DO NOT CATHETERIZE!

After spending roughly 48 hours with my son who had a catheter in, I'm all set thanks. Based on what I just had to do over the past 2 days, if it's necessary just forget it.

He did not move from my bed for almost 2 days.  I had to pick him up every hour to empty the catheter so that it did not flow backwards. Additionally, he was upstairs in my bedroom while I was downstairs trying to do work. This obviously presented a problem.

I had what I thought was a genius idea of giving him a bell (small Liberty Bell we had) that he could ring if he needed me. His voice was still very hoarse from the breathing tube so this would work perfectly. I recall from my childhood there was a cartoon with the same premise. Someone who was sick was given a bell to use to signal when they needed something. Then the bell would ring and the person would come upstairs only to find their kitten had gotten hold of the bell and was playing with it like a ball of yarn. We don't have a kitten, but it was something like that. I found him one time just playing with it and not needing anything. Thankfully his voice got better as the day went on so the bell wasn't as necessary.

But still every hour, if I wasn't going up to change the show, movie or bring him food/drink, it was upstairs to empty the catheter tube. Then, overnight he slept with me in my bed where every 2-3 hours I had to do the same thing. Plus, I had to make sure that in his sleep he was not rolling over on either side so the catheter would stay in place. Needless to say, I have not slept much since Monday.

Then finally Wednesday came and the doctors appointment to have it removed.  He has had a bladder tube before (a tube inserted directly into the bladder that diverts the flow from the urethra and out a tube so it allows the urethra to heal) and my role was to hold his torso down (mostly his arms) and make sure he is as calm as possible and not flailing his arms around.  I had to do that twice and it was not fun. But it was fairly quick so it wasn't too bad. (FYI, the bladder tube also naturally causes bladder spasms. At one point I had to stand in the middle of the living room and hold him in the same position for two hours because it was the only position he could be in where it didn't hurt). Yep, the things we do.

This however was different.  After keeping his arms down for a few minutes and after he screamed his face off right in mine, I told him not to worry they were almost done, only to hear the nurse say that they hadn't even started yet.  UGH! It got to the point where he was spitting up (kind of like the spittle that sometimes leaks out of your mouth when you sleep with your mouth open), except in a much bigger puddle accompanied by screams of pain. Yeah, good times. By the end, he and I were both literally sweating. His head was drenched and I needed to take off my sweatshirt and was having trouble breathing.  Remember, this is a kid on HGH. You know, the thing athletes take to make them stronger? Let me tell you, it really does work.

But once he calmed down and was home, he was fine. So he's resting comfortably on the couch now watching Power Rangers and we're doing our best to keep him limited in his activity. No running, jumping, straddling or any quick or sudden movements for 10 days. Yeah, have you met the Kraken?

Monday, November 19, 2012

7th Time's a Charm?

So as I sit here in our personal section (or at least it seems that way) of the waiting area of Boston Children's Hospital (again), I'm reminded of the first time I sat here. It was exactly 5 years ago to the day and we were waiting anxiously to hear from the doctor about how the heart surgery had gone. We had gotten the news about 48 hours prior (as we were about to take him home for the third time) that Douglas's aorta narrowing had gotten worse. The two previous attempts to take him home were thwarted by last minute spikes in blood pressure (In hindsight, probably a good thing). It stemmed from an improper closing of the PDA valve after birth. This caused a narrowing in his aorta making it extremely hard for the blood to flow. Because he was so small, probably only about 5 pounds or so at this point, his heart was working overtime just to pump the blood normally but was working double overtime because of the narrowing. This was causing his blood pressure to spike even more. They told us if they did not operate to remove the blockage in 72 hours, his heart would literally explode.

Now you would think that news like this would be so devastating to new parents that they would break down uncontrollably and cry. But after the last 10 weeks of what we and the boys had been through, this was pretty much par for the course (and should have been a sign of things to come). Long story short, the procedure went flawlessly, his blood pressure is stellar and the annual EKG's have all been fun actually since he gets to play with all the stickers on his body.

But I've come to the realization that the old saying is true: That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Because this kid is the strongest 5 year old I know and if he can get through all of this in his first 5+ years of life, he can get through anything that life will throw at him. I love him more than he'll ever know.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Beach

No, not that awful movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, the real beach.  You know the one I'm talking about..  No, not that one..  The one that appears inside your children's sneakers from daycare.

I never thought it would be possible to have a pound of sand in each shoe when they didn't really go to the beach. (While I didn't actually weigh it, by the amount that ends up in the dust buster, I can only imagine it's that much). Plus, their shoes aren't even that big! They are wearing sizes 9 and 9.5 in kids! How do they even have room for their feet with so much sand?! Yet, every day when they come home and rip off their sneakers, there they are on the tile in front of the door, piles of sand. It's kind of a running joke between many of the parents because we all know what we're talking about when we say "the beach". "Oh did you go to the beach today?"  "No, the beach came to us!"

The good thing about the winter is the lack of sand in their shoes. However, then there's the snow.  I guess the beach isn't so bad after all.