Blessings

Posted in health on March 5th, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We always knew that we were blessed with our 5 healthy babies, but the reality of how blessed we really were is beginning to sink in.  Our first 4 children were very easy, content, healthy babies, so our 5th child, Luke, has rocked our world a little bit.  He has always been an intense baby; very energetic, playful, sleepless, alert and specific about his wants and needs.  But during the past few months, he’s been sick as well, so the poor little guy is having  trouble being comforted.  We’ve taken him to the doctor a few times, and he’s been diagnosed with bronchitis and an ear infection.  As if these illnesses were not enough, his chest x-rays show he has an enlarged heart.  We are currently praying that this is not a symptom of something seriously wrong with little Luke’s health.  My husband made me promise not to google it since we’ve made a few medical scares in our family worse by scaring ourselves with random internet information.  We are currently waiting for our appointment with the pediatric cardiologist.  Scary stuff.

I will continue to update when I can.  In the meantime, prayers for Luke would be wonderful 🙂

Back To Blogging

Posted in Everyday Life on November 8th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It seems like I haven’t had the time to blog as much as I’d like to lately.  Put it this way –  Halloween ended over a week ago now, and I still have a draft sitting here detailing how my family spent what’s probably our 2nd favorite holiday.  I think I will quickly summarize and get it churned out next, hopefully.

One thing that’s been taking up my blogging time is laundry.  When the seasons change, my laundry responsibilities increase from about 3 loads per week to 6 or 7.  That’s because my family of 6 is now wearing pants instead of shorts or sundresses, many of us dress in layers in the fall which adds sweatshirts to the mix, and then there are the added number of blankies that the kids use when it turns cold outside.  The good news of all this is that when spring turns to summer, I find myself with about half the laundry I’ve gotten used to doing in the winter – kind of a fall back, spring ahead-type thing for laundry, I guess.  But more laundry folding and less blogging for me in the mean time.

And that reminds me, a funny thing happened at church yesterday.  When my class got back to our classroom after large group, there were 2 new kids sitting there.  I introduced myself, and we were just getting started when their dad came to the door, seemingly embarrassed and very apologetic as he asked for his kids back – turns out their family had forgotten to set their clocks back  an hour, so they were actually there for the next service 🙂

Our family remembered to change our clocks, but we didn’t get to appreciate the extra hour of sleep it was supposed to bring – kids have biological clocks, they wake up at the same time every day regardless of what the clock says or what time zone they are in.  This is especially good advice if you’re going to travel with kids across time zones – don’t fool yourself into thinking that your kids will adjust to the local time when you travel, or you could be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise.  My wonderful, thoughtful husband is always the one who gets up early with the kids, but I had to be at church at 8:30 yesterday.  Also, I was up all night with a killer headache – now that was strange.

I am very lucky to be able to say that I very rarely get headaches.  If I don’t get enough sleep, I will have a dull ringing in my head, but nothing like Saturday night’s doozy that was actually waking me up throughout the night.  Luckily it went away (with help) before I arrived in my classroom full of 1st graders.  But I have to wonder about the cause of this colossal headache – could it perhaps be some kind of weird virus that had me laid up all weekend?  Saturday I was knocked flat on my back by a sudden and severe mysterious back pain.  It began on Friday, when I decided to take my kids to the zoo since they had a day off school.  By the time we were ready to leave, I couldn’t bend over and had to ask for help to tie my shoes.  I thought maybe it was a pulled muscle or something, maybe a cramp that would work itself out – I couldn’t remember injuring it.  But I did not enjoy myself nearly as much as I usually do at the zoo 🙁  And thank goodness Hubby decided to  come with or I don’t know how I would have been able to handle 5 kids (my daughter’s friend came along) by myself without hardly being able to bend or move right.  When we got home, Hubby had some work to catch up on, and I fell asleep on the couch while waiting for him – something I haven’t done for ages which makes me realize that I didn’t feel too well on Friday.  Then Saturday dawns, and I can’t get out of bed because of the extreme pain every time I tried to bend.  So I stayed in bed until 1:30 – played my cards right and got lunch in bed too 🙂 – when we absolutely had to leave to meet our youth group kids for a service project.  I got the easy job – waiting for the kids who were late – while the others raked leaves and picked up litter, and while I took it easy, my back started to feel better.  But then came the headache which was to plague me all night.  What makes me think this is a virus is because of all the stuff going around lately, plus the fact that my sister had this same exact sudden backache a few weeks ago – could it be a contagious ‘backache virus’?  I owed my parents an email, but I couldn’t get in front of the computer with my sore back, so I called them from bed Saturday morning, and that’s how I found out about my sister.  Anyway, my point is, it was a busy weekend, but also one where I couldn’t get to my computer even if I had had the time, hence the slow pace of the blogging.

And speaking of things going around…  my parakeet JJ is feeling much better.  He’s even chirping again!!  He hasn’t lost his balance while sitting on his perch in days, and his physical appearance is starting to look healthier.  The lady at the pet store said that if a little bird is fluffed up and at the bottom of his cage like JJ was that it’s almost always too late to save them, so I feel really great that my little guy seems to have another chance.  I guess I should have bought this really cool looking toy I saw the other day, but my husband and I have a policy that we try not to buy anything unless we have an immediate use for it.  This thing was a $10 cabinet – you install it in your living room or somewhere; it’s a nice looking wood cabinet, and it opens into a little play yard for small birds.  Ugh, just writing about it makes me want it, but the store was an hour away, and JJ is a cage bird – I don’t know that he would come out to play in a play yard.  I think of him as so fragile, so it would be difficult for me to make him come out; I sure wouldn’t want him to get sick again.

Well, anyway, I’ve rambled enough – guess I just wanted to share my relief at getting well and of being able to blog again.  Until that overdue Halloween post…

My Poor Little Bird

Posted in Pets on November 3rd, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

JJ, my parakeet, is very sick.  I had parakeets when I was younger, and I know enough about them to know that we are lucky that he’s still alive.  His chirping and squawking gradually decreased until I realized the other day that he doesn’t vocalize at all anymore.  He is very lathargic, and sits puffed up on his perch where he loses his balance every few minutes.  His tail is bobbing when he breathes, which is a sign of respiratory distress, and he has some discoloring around his cere (nose), which indicates discharge.  The other day, I noticed that he was sitting on the bottom of his cage, which is a sign of imminent death in parakeets.  Based upon my research (past experience, the internet, and bothering the heck out of the local pet store), JJ seems to have a respiratory infection – something that is often fatal for small birds.

But he’s hung on a few days now from when I first believed his death was imminent when he was at the bottom of his cage.  After all, parakeets’ instincts are to hide their illnesses.  If they show any sign of being sick, wild birds will be cast out by their flock, so if captive birds allow signs of illness to show, it’s often too late to save them.  I got some birdie antibiotics, and I’m hoping that he is drinking his water where the meds are.  He is still eating, and that’s a great sign.  We put a blanket over the cage, and are trying to keep him warm and calm so he can rest and get well.  It’s just touch and go at this point, so I’m praying for my little bird.  I got so attached to the little guy!  I got him right after my beloved dog passed away, and seeing my happy little bird helped me feel at least a tiny bit better.  And now I’m watching him suffer; it’s hard.  I want to move him back upstairs where it’s a little warmer and quieter, but I’m afraid of stressing him out too much, which is basically the same reason I don’t want to take him to the vet.  I guess I’ll wait for him to improve a little more before moving him upstairs; that’s the only plan I have right now.

Like I said, he does seem to be improving – the loss of balance on his perch seems to have subsided anyway.  But he still does not look well, and he is not vocalizing.  He is less than a year old, so maybe his youth is keeping him strong and resilient.  Poor JJ!  He is just a little parakeet, but he means a lot to me.  If you could send out a little prayer for JJ, we’d appreciate it.  And pray for my husband while you’re at it; he’s fighting a nasty cold.  Obviously, Hubby’s health is a billion times more important than JJ’s, but if I wrote a blog post every time Hubby got sick…   well, I wouldn’t have time for that!  Besides, Hubby’s illness is not life-threatening.  I wonder if Hubby and JJ have the same thing?  That’s one thing that stinks about this time of year – all the illness!  Wish I could transfer some of my super-immune system over to Hubby, who seems to get EVERY single thing that comes our way…

Wonder Woman

Posted in Current Events, Everyday Life on November 12th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Probably a year ago now, I received one of those email forwards about getting to know your friends.  You know the type –  you read your friends’ answers to some strange and random questions and then you answer them, getting to know more about your friends and yourself.  One of the questions was something about choosing a fictional character that best describes your friend, and my friend wrote “Wonder Woman” about me.  I thought  that was awesome because I don’t feel like a wonder woman, but it’s fun that someone else thinks that about me, so it’s kind of stuck with me…  Especially in these recent days where I am one of the last ones in our family standing as the others are flu-stricken.  It’s been kind of a mantra I say to myself as I walk around our barren wastelands of a living room, tending the ailing…  “I am a wonder woman, I will not get the flu.”

If I were a sort of flu wonder woman, I would carry holsters for my tools of trade: bottle of disinfectant, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, Hall’s Defense lozenges, antibacterial wipes, tissues…  I’ve washed my hands raw in the past week.

This is all very strange, maybe the flu has infected my brain.  I’ve also taken on what seem like really weird habits lately, like swallowing garlic cloves and onion petals like pills with my dinner.  I’m not going to say anything about how I smell lately, but hey, I’m one of the last ones around here who hasn’t gotten sick.  So far, our two youngest kids and myself remain healthy.  I  can’t believe we haven’t gotten it, and it feels strange to live life feeling like a sitting duck.  This thing is so nasty and contagious, it’s really only a matter of time…

Our oldest daughter came home last Friday night and stayed in bed until Tuesday when she also finally starting talking and eating again.  Our second oldest daughter had a bad fever Tuesday and slept for awhile and then she was fine.  My husband has felt terrible for 3 days now.  It’s affecting everyone differently, and it’s completely unpredictable.  I had to go into the middle school to get my daughter’s homework, and that’s where I found out that half the 4th grade came down with it Friday night.  I also learned of the “8 day” theory – some people have thought that their families were sick and over it, only to have other members of the household come down with it 8 days later.  Sounds like a horror movie, feels like a sci-fi movie.  Pretty much everyone I know who has kids has H1N1 in their families.  I’m especially worried about our friends whose diabetic daughter was sent home from school with a blood sugar reading of over 300.  Her mother also has a chronic illness and her medication includes steroids, so both of them are high risk for H1N1 complications.

We had a busy week planned this week and had to cancel most obligations.  It’s really difficult to live our busy lives without being able to commit to anything, not knowing whether we’ll be sick or healthy.  I hope everyone else is doing ok…  is the outbreak especially bad in our small community, or is this just the reality of the 2009 flu outbreak?  I am a wonder woman, I will not get the flu…

So what’s that tickle in my throat?

IT Is HERE

Posted in Everyday Life on November 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

It’s official – there is a flu wreaking havoc in our house.  I don’t know if it’s H1N1, but all the signs are there.  Our middle-schooler came down with it Friday night, and she’s been in bed ever since.  She had to miss a birthday party and church this weekend, and she won’t be going to school tomorrow.  Today our 5-year-old and 1-year-old starting showing symptoms, and tonight our 3-year-old looks like she might be starting to get it.  And oh yeah – why would you think this one skipped Hubby, who  gets EVERYTHING that comes around?  Looks like it’s making an appearance in him tonight.  As usual, (except for the flu season when I was pregnant and was sick from Thanksgiving until Christmas – one bug after another) I remain the last one standing, as yet untouched by the virus (crossing fingers, knocking wood…)

So up goes this post, and down goes our family – I think a flu outbreak is a good reason to go to bed at 10, don’t you?  Here’s hoping and praying that it doesn’t hit us too hard and also that I  may stay well enough to care for my family.  We are going to have to quarantine ourselves this week, which is a shame since we had plans for every single night.  Tomorrow will see a slew of phone calls made and emails sent to cancel everything.  Health comes first, of course.
Best wishes to readers for staying healthy!!!

This Swine Flu Business

Posted in Current Events on April 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

I’ve been a bit of a hypochondriac for as long as I can remember.  My parents had a big thick medical book at their house when I was growing up – that’s where I learned about a condition called Black Hairy Tongue, and the book had a photo of it, it’s self-explanatory.  I would always look through this medical book, mostly to use the self-diagnosis charts.  As a kid, I diagnosed myself with everything from thrombosis to cancer.  So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m pondering the illness I had last week as a case of the “it” illness of the moment – the swine flu.  Never mind that no cases have been reported in my state yet; I think I may have had the swine flu.  I’ve never had a stomach illness that lasted 6 days before last week (those are usually 24-48 hour deals), and it was accompanied by a sore throat, runny nose, body aches and a scratchy voice (though I did enjoy singing with my scratchy voice – it gave me a whole new sound).  I thought I got hit with two viruses at the same time, but maybe it was all one nasty thing.  I’m half-joking here, I don’t really think I had the swine flu – but it did cross my mind.  I don’t understand though why it’s been all over the media lately.  What makes this flu any different or worse than the others?  I do know that it’s spreading at a rapid rate – this morning there were 20 confirmed cases in the United States, and now we’re at 40 as I write this.  But then again, can’t it be said that most cases of the flu are extremely contagious?  The media is treating this swine flu as if it’s the next Bubonic Plague.  Remember the bird flu and SARS?  Those are two illnesses that were expected to be pandemics, but I don’t think either one was nearly as bad as the media was making them out to be.

Whatever it was that I had last week, I’m happy to report that I’m over it, and I think I got the worst of it pertaining to my other family members.  My stomach hurt so bad; I couldn’t imagine my poor little babies dealing with that!  And hey, if it was the swine flu I had, then that means that I am now immune to it since I’ve already had it, right?

Sick Of Being Sick

Posted in Everyday Life on January 30th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The past week and a half in our house has been awful.  It all came to a head last Friday when our two-year-old got sick in the car.  Last weekend, when she wasn’t sleeping, she was throwing up or in the words of Chandler, played by Matthew Perry on the tv show Friends, “visiting a town a little south of throwing up…”.  Later in the weekend, her baby brother was afflicted with the same illness, and now we had huge messes x2.  Big sister Sammie got it later in the week, but luckily, the little ones started feeling better.  Add in a snow day and a couple of weather delays, and our house was chaos for what seemed like forever.  On top of everything, I had some sort of extreme fatigue.  I was so worried about it that I even made a doctor’s appointment and went in, where the doctor ran some blood tests and even gave me a neck xray since I had a strange achiness accompanying the fatigue.  I guess it didn’t occur to me that I could have the same virus that struck down the kids, mainly because I didn’t have the same (disgusting) symptoms they had, but I did look up some stuff on the internet in an attempt to scare diagnose myself.  The good news is, my xrays and blood tests came back normal (well, I’m actually still waiting on one of the tests, but it’s Friday and the nurses are out to lunch and won’t be back until Monday afternoon – what is that?  Can I have a job like that?), but the tests that did come back show that there is nothing wrong with my thyroid or my iron levels, both of which I thought were possibilities.  So that’s good…  I guess.  If there was something wrong with my body chemically, we’d be able to fix it, and then I’d have the energy I need to keep up with my 4 little kids.  Now that most things came back normal, I don’t know where to start to feel better…   Although I do feel much better today, but still no where near normal, and that makes me think it might be the illness my kids had after all.  But it was a bizarrely lengthy version of the stomach flu, and it will take us weeks (at least!) to catch up on all the work that didn’t get done in the week and a half of illness, sigh.

My husband had to take off from some of his work so he could watch the kids while I rested, and especially with all the laundry we’ve had to do around here, Mt.  Washmore is once again threatening to take over the second floor of our house.  All this catching up, and I’m still exhausted…  My husband seems to think I have sleep apnea, mostly because I snore often and loudly and I’m always needing more sleep.  I forgot to bring this up to the doctor, but if I ever get ahold of her and that last test comes back normal, maybe we can go from there…  I do seem to need an awful lot of sleep to function.  Well, anyway, that’s my story – sorry if I grossed anyone out (especially body-function-joke-hater Derek), but I thought people should know where I’ve been for the last two weeks.  At least the kids are feeling better – it was beyond sad to see them crabby, lethargic and not able to keep anything down…  Is it time for summer yet?!?

PRAYERS PLEASE

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , ,

My husband and I are worried sick.  It started about a week ago, when he began experiencing a terrible stomach ache.  In the past week, we’ve been to the ER and several doctors, and they’ve run various tests, but we haven’t gotten any results back yet, in part because it’s a darn holiday weekend.  So meanwhile, we are both worried SICK, which is an understatement.  The internet is acting as both a blessing and a curse, with us obsessing over his symptoms and making ourselves crazy with thoughts of one horrible diagnosis (mainly involving colon cancer) after another.  So I’m writing this quick post as a way of hopefully using the internet as a blessing rather than a curse and putting out this call for prayer.  Please, please pray for our family that my husband’s illness is nothing serious, and that we will be able to find the cause and the cure in a timely fashion.  We have 4 little children, and it’s been really difficult to function as a family with one of us sick and both of us so worried and terrified.  It’s probably nothing, but I thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.