Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One Tooth, Two Teeth

Summer of 1983 is when I lost my first tooth. I had just turned 7 and my family was on vacation in Vermont. (Coincidentally enough Amy and I are going to that same resort for a long weekend in October. Weird, I know)  Anyway, my tooth was so loose before we left I was worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't know where to find us if it fell out.. So I wrote the tooth fairy a letter telling her the address of where my family and I would be staying so in case my tooth did fall out, she could find us. Lo and behold, my tooth fell out while we were in Vermont and the tooth fairy was able to find me and leave me something under my pillow.  And yes, I do still have the letter.

Well, history seemed to almost repeat itself almost 30 years later. My wife and I were on vacation with the twinado visiting relatives in NY and NJ and making a stop in between to go to Philly. One of Douglas's bottom teeth was very loose when we left for vacation and we had a feeling it would fall out while we were away.  So before leaving we made sure to get some Sacagawea coins from the bank. Hey, no one wants to carry those things around and a shiny new coin is the equivalent of giving a baby a box to play with.

Towards the end of the week we were visiting my wife's grandmother in Southern Jersey and took a day to head to Sesame Place, which was only about 40 minutes away. The boys had a great time and were doing so well until Douglas got a little scared while just about to go on one of the water rides.  It's a really good thing we didn't wait in line for 45 minutes to go on this ride, because then it would have been a total waste. (Yes, that was sarcasm).

However, on the way down to the bottom of the stairs, Douglas says "Mommy look" and points to the newly formed hole in his mouth..  So excited, Amy asked him where the tooth went and of course, got the 4 year old shrug of "I don't know".. So she did what any good mother would do and started looking all around on the ground for a tooth the size of a grain of rice in a crowd of 50 people. Numerous bystanders started asking if was she ok or if she had lost a contact lens. As soon as she told them her 4 year old son just lost his first tooth, immediately she had 5 mothers on the ground all looking for his tooth.  Unfortunately, after some time it was evident that the tooth was lost and we were going to have to figure something out.

While he was not too sad about losing the tooth, he was more curious how we were going to let the tooth fairy know where he was.  So the idea was that we would write a letter to the tooth fairy letting her know we were on vacation in NJ and giving the address of where we were staying.  However, there is this little problem of how does she find the tooth?  So, thankfully we still had a map of Sesame Place.  We circled the ride and the area that it fell out and included it in the letter.  Douglas signed his name to it and we placed it in an envelope under his pillow.

Now, you're saying wait a minute.. How does the tooth fairy know that he even lost a tooth?  How does she know to come to the house if the address and where to find the tooth is in the letter?  There are so many holes to this story.. But thankfully we are dealing with a 4 year old who thinks the tooth fairy has orange skin, blue hair and red eyes. So I think we're safe with this one.

We put him to bed with the envelope under his pillow but the kid would just NOT GO TO SLEEP! I'm thinking of calling in Samuel L Jackson at this point because seriously, it was past 1030p, we had had a very long day and I was tired..  If I, er the tooth fairy, was going to put the coin under his pillow, he needed to be asleep!! So finally at some point past 11p when I can barely keep my eyes open he falls asleep. I carefully exchange an envelope with the coin in it for the envelope with the letter and map. All is right with the world.

Fast forward to the next morning when he wakes up, early of course because it's vacation.  He comes into our room and says that there's nothing under his pillow. Now, I know for a fact there was because I did it, but obviously I couldn't tell him that. So I told him it had to be there all the while he is inconsolably balling because he didn't get anything from the tooth fairy (I blame society for this).  Thankfully, the envelope had just fallen behind the bed from under his pillow while he flailed around during the night.  He was extremely happy with his shiny, new gold coin and was very excited to put it in his piggy bank when we got home.  So excited in fact that he wanted to carry it around with him for the rest of the trip to make sure he didn't lose it. While you would think that would have disaster written all over it (his nickname is The Kracken after all), believe it or not he kept that coin with him for 2 more days and did not lose it. So I have to give him credit for that.

Since this episode, he has since lost the tooth next to the other one so he now has a gaping hole on the bottom of his mouth. Now you're saying "hmm, 4 seems to be a little young to be losing teeth".  And you'd be correct. However, in terms of doing things first between his brother and him, let's just say the scales are not tipping in his favor.  So while it may be early, at least he lays claim doing something first.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Day

For anyone who knows me, I have pretty much been the same weight since I graduated college..  There was this uptick of about 10 pounds my senior year from 150 to 160, but I honestly have no idea why.. Must have just been a fluke; you know, one of those things..

Anyway, I've been hovering around 150 for the better part of almost 15 years now (ugh, has it really been almost 15 years since I graduated college?) and I've been able to eat pretty much anything I wanted.. It's a gift you know?  It's like I can't control it. (Anyone who's seen The Girl Next Door knows that line). My metabolism, thanks to my grandfather, helped me out with that..  Truth be told, I've always been pretty active, but I've slowed down a bit in recent years.. With a full time job and the Twinado, my nights of playing indoor soccer have disappeared and my days of pick up hoop games with friends have waned into non-existence. Don't get me wrong, chasing the boys around, playing at the park with them or even taking the dog for a walk is good exercise, just not to the level I'm used to.

However I had an epiphany recently, or maybe it was a hallucination from the excruciating pain I was feeling while enduring my third kidney stone in the last 8 years.. I have no idea why God picked me to have these, but oh I am so thankful!! I used to think that you're never given anything you can't handle (see previous blogs), but seriously this isn't even funny.  My first one was in 2004 when living in Smallbany, NY. I would write a blog about that, but we weren't even there long enough for anything interesting to happen.. Oh, except for all of our belongings being stolen by the movers, but that's another blog for another day I guess..

It was in the middle of the night and it was pain unlike I had ever experienced before.. I had never really had any type of pain experience like that so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Of course, Amy wasn't feeling well that night so she had taken the red devil (NyQuil) so she could sleep.  So there she is in her NyQuil coma and I am writhing around in pain on the floor thinking something is going to burst through my side like in Alien (yes, I know, that was his chest but your kidney's aren't in your chest now are they?) 

Thankfully my wailing eventually woke her with obviously no clue as to what was happening.  Not knowing the area too well, or really what was going on, 911 was the best course of action.  While the ambulance is on its way I thought I could make it to the door.  It is the middle of the night, in February, in Albany so it's not exactly balmy out. Somehow I have clothes on when the paramedics arrive.  I thought I could crawl the length of the hallway from our bedroom in the back of the apartment to the front door, which in retrospect isn't that long, but seemed like one of those never-ending hallways.  Well, I didn't make it.. I collapsed somewhere between the end of our bedroom and the beginning of the kitchen, which was probably a total of 5 feet.  They had to put me on one of those chairs that keeps you in a tuck position because the pain of having to straighten my body was unbearable. Amy followed along in her car while the ambulance drove to the hospital which was about 5-10 minutes away. I do remember them hooking me up to the IV and giving me morphine for the pain.  I remember them saying " OK 5 cc's of morphine" and administering it.  Then they ask you, if you've never been in an ER or ambulance for a pain-related emergency, "describe the pain from 1-10?"  So I said 20!  OK, I'll let you in on a little secret here.. I don't deal with pain well.. I mean, a cut on my finger, or s stub on the toe, big deal.. but real, actual pain?  Nope..  So they gave me another 5 cc's of morphine. After a minute or two, they asked me again and I think I said 15.  So yes, they gave me 5 more cc's of morphine and then I was floating.  I was done. No more pain.  No more anything really..  The relief was the best thing I had ever felt..  Until it wore off at some point in the hospital so they gave me a prescription for Vicodin. While at CVS filling my prescription for Vicodin, the pharmacist asked me what it was for as it was heavy medication.  I told her it was for a kidney stone and she said, and I quote" I have had 3 children by vaginal birth and I have had 1 kidney stone.  I would gladly have 3 more children by vaginal birth than have another kidney stone." Fan-tas-tic.  Now make with the Vicodin before the one I took wears of..  

Unfortunately, I did not pass it so I had to sit on the couch for a few days and in between popping Vicodin drink those 24 oz sport bottles of Poland Spring and pee every 5 minutes into a strainer to hopefully pass a stone that was about half the size of a grain of rice, if that..  Tons of fun let me tell you..

The second one, of course in the middle of the night again was not as bad as before the ambulance even arrived I was already starting to feel better.. It didn't mean I wasn't in pain and didn't gladly accept the morphine they were giving me, it just didn't hurt as much for as long the second time. However, circumstances had changed because we had 2 very young children and in the middle of the night, it just wasn't going to be possible to have Amy and the boys follow me.  So after I was released, the ER called me a cab and yes, I took a cab home from the hospital. Only, I didn't have any money and had to plead with the guy to take me home explaining my situation.  I was praying that we had some cash at home to give him and thankfully, we had just enough.  Sorry dude, no tip this time.. Maybe next time..

And yes, there was a next time.. For the kidney stone, not the cab thankfully..  But of course, the middle of the night (there has to be something to this) and there it is again.. Agony.. After already having had two of them, I knew exactly what the pain was. So we pack up the boys in the car and drive to the ER. Toridal and Dilaudid this time around, which did the trick.. We were only there for a few hours and still was able to get a few more hours sleep on Saturday morning..  However, we were planning on going with some friends to Davis Farmland which had already been postponed once for the weather.  It was the boys' birthday weekend and I didn't want to miss it.  So I perc'd up and it was pretty fun actually.. 
So, the real point of this blog (if you're still reading) is that for the first time in my life, I'm on a diet.Well, it's not really a diet I guess, just trying to cut sodium.  You would not believe the sodium content in some things.. I'm not saying that too much sodium will kill you, but there are lots of things that we eat that can have lasting effects on our health  I'm not here to preach don't worry.  But my point is in addition to the fact I have no want at all to relive the pain of another kidney stone, I do have the want to see my sons grow up. . These last 5 years have totally changed me. But it doesn't have to be just kids. It can be parents, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, whomever.  It doesn't matter who as long as it's someone. I'm not saying don't enjoy life, I'm just saying make sure you make it last a long time. And while I don't want to go too crazy, I will if I have to.  Because I think it's worth it.