...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ashe and his Asthma

This was a pretty sucky weekend to say the least. We are all still reeling from the effects.

Ashe was diagnosed with juvenile asthmatic when he was two, after a few emergency landings in the ER. However, the past couple of years, he has not had any severe attacks, and not any attacks for the past year. We were all hoping that Ashe had finally outgrown it.

Unfortunately that didn't turn out to be the case.

Two weeks ago we had a cold run through our family. Nothing major but it kept the boys home from school for a day. When Ashe caught the cold he developed a wicked cough, which we realized was his asthma acting up. His teacher asked if we could get him an inhaler for school just in case. I agreed, and planned on calling the doctor, but then life happened, the kids tracked out of school, and I forgot.

Last week another cold ran through our family. It was a 48 hour cold that wasn't anything to write home about. But Ashe started coughing again, which reminded me to call the doctor about getting an extra inhaler. Since it had been so long since he had needed any asthma medication, they asked us to come in so they could check him out and update the medicine.

We walked in expecting to be there for fifteen minutes. Instead, they checked his level of oxygen and he was below 90%. Under law, they cant release him unless his oxygen is at 96 or above. It took him two treatments before he got there and they sent us home.

His medicine is albuterol, and we can only use it every four hours. However, after the doctor visit, he couldn't get through three, than two hours, before his cough returned. By midnight his asthma medicine wasn't working at all and Ashe couldn't breathe. Realizing we were facing more than a regular asthma attack, we made the decision to rush Ashe to the ER. Since we have one working car, J took him while I stayed home with the other two sleeping boys. I helped pack Ashe into the car, handing him his blankie and Link hat, gave him a hug, and watched them drive away.

Of course we were NOT expecting an ER visit in the middle of the night, so Js cell phone was not charged. He told me he'd call with updates but otherwise he would keep his phone off. So not only was I stuck at home, but I had to rely on my husbands ability to call me at regular intervals. Which of course, did not happen. I got one phone call at two in the morning to let me know they were transferring Ashe from ER to the Big hospital in downtown Raleigh. I got another call at 7am to let me know that he was doing much better and they hoped to be home by lunch time. When lunch time came and went with no call or no family members returning home I started to panic. What if there was a relapse? What if a team of doctors were frantically hovering over him unable to make him better? Why won't anyone call me? Even the boys at home were getting worried, asking if I had talked to Dad, and when would their brother return home?

Finally at 3pm J realized that there was a phone in the room (after 12 hours of hanging out in said room) and called to let me know that they were on their way home. Neither of us were happy, me from being worried sick thinking of all worst case scenarios and he from only catching two hours of sleep.

But finally the boy and his father returned home to much rejoicing. The boys made Ashe a card, we walked down to the local gas station to grab him a treat, and huhs were passed all around.

So what does this mean for us? It means that Ashe is now on preventive asthma medicine twice a day until the summer. It means that we have been ordered to medicate the poor kid like crazy with asthma medicine the MOMENT he has a sniffle. It means that we have been told to wash his face and arms every day after school to try and keep viruses from infecting his nostrils when he inadvertently picks his nose.

We're used to daily meds for Xavier so it wont be much of a difference. But holy hell, our insurance deductible had better be paid for because I have no clue how we're going to pay for an ER trip, a $400 trip in an ambulance, plus a days stay at Big Wake.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pullen Park

After two weeks of the boys on school vacation (hence why there have been no new blogs as of late since I have zero time to blog while wrangling three kids at home) and a very crazy weekend which ended up with Ashe in the hospital (I will blog about that next) I decided that today we had to get the hell out of the house. I could not stand another day of the four of us stuck indoors when the weather is so perfect. Ashe was finally feeling good enough for an outdoor romp, so I packed the kids and snack into the van and off we went.

Despite the fact that the last time I was at this park Soren was scarred for life when I forced him to do the carousel, I chose to spend our day at Pullen Park, a local hangout that has not only three playgrounds, but the fore mentioned indoor carousel, a train ride, paddle boats, and good food. We went once when we first moved here. The two older boys don't remember it. It's been closed for the past two years for renovations, and it was worth the wait.


Because our family just finished a really crappy weekend I decided to splurge and buy tickets to do all the extra activities for the boys. First we hit the carousel, which thank goodness, had turned the volume of the music down so it didn't scare the shit out of Soren this time. Still, he chose to drape himself all over my person in the carriage we sat in, just in case. Which kind of sucks, because this carousel has got some of the coolest animal choices to ride. Aside from the regular ponies, there are tigers, giraffes, bunnies, pigs, and even ostriches. I know when J joins us one day his choice will be the ostriches. Ashe chose a donkey, which he quickly named Epona after Links horse in Zelda. Xavier chose a pig. This thing goes super fast and the boys whooped it up as we twirled around getting dizzy.


Next we hit the park, where the boys raced around with their excess energy for over an hour. I got tired just trying to keep an eye on who was where. We grabbed lunch at the local cafe and headed to an island near the paddle boats to picnic in the sunshine. After gorging themselves on hot dogs, tacos, and lemonade, the kids chased each other around the island while I soaked up the sun and took photos.

And then we hit the paddle boats.


Now, the kids are used to kayaking. We've done it a few times over the past couple months and the boys know the rules when sitting in a boat. HOWEVER, I need to remember to take into account Ashe and his ability to find himself in situations that most normal boys would not be in. Ashe has apraxia, which makes it difficult for him to pronounce certain sounds. Recently J was dong some research on it and found out that apraxia can also cause the muscles to not work properly, causing a child with apraxia to sometimes seem clumsy. In fact, an older diagnosis for apraxia used to be Clumsy Child Syndrome. If you know Ashe, you know this labels him perfectly. When J read that out loud to me, we both looked at each other for a moment and burst out laughing.

So, take one child with Clumsy Child Syndrome, one paddle boat with barely a lip to keep people on, and our bad luck dribbling in from the weekend and you get.....

Ashe falling out of the boat.

Yes, yes he did. And I saw it happen in slow motion. He was sitting in the back and leaned forward to get a better view of the ducks. He leaned just a little too far and tumbled forward. I tried, in vain, to grab his pants to pull him back up, but my hand slipped and PLOP! Down he went. People, this is why if you ever go on a boat you wear a life vest. Because that bothersome life vest made him pop right back up, and I was able to haul his wet little ass back into the boat. Fortunately he didn't lose his glasses or else I would not be sitting here still giggling as I write this.

After dragging his soaking wet, 42 pound behind back into the boat we sat there gaping at each other for a long, quiet moment. He looked at me with wide eyes, mouth opening and closing like a gasping fish for a moment, cleared his throat and shakily said "I think I leaned too far forward Mom." To which I replied "Yes hon, I think you did." And then I sat there laughing my ass off for the next fifteen minutes. I wish I could tell you that I took a photo of my soaking wet bedraggled five year old. I wish I could show you the aftermath of this crazy event. I even pulled out the camera as I giggled to snapshot this moment that no one will ever forget. But Ashe looked at me in such abject misery and asked me in a beseeching voice not to. And for once, I didn't have the heart to make him feel more worse than he did at that moment. Even though it would have been an award winning photo. Instead, we pretended to ignore that Ashe was soaking wet and walking with his arms out a bit to mimic the Frankenstein stride, and we finished up our trip to the park with a train ride. We spent almost four hours at the park today. You would think that after all that we did, the boys would happily sit for quiet time and watch a movie. But no, they are currently upstairs raising hell and shaking the walls with their shrieks of delight. But that's fine. I surreptitiously snagged the iPad so that I could blog a bit before they noticed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weighty Validation

After a year of painful frustration dealing with rapid weight gain for no reason, today I finally received validation.

If you remember, I blogged awhile ago on how very quickly, with no change in diet or exercise, I gained 30 pounds in three months. I blogged on how I went to the doctor in a panic, and after a few blood tests he determined that I just had a "fat gene" and there was nothing I could do. I tried his weight loss pills to no effect. I started working out like crazy to no effect. I cut my calories and carbs down like crazy. To no effect. I even tried a pure liquid diet which worked for two weeks. Then I stopped losing weight. I tried thermogenics pills, best on the market, to no effect. I drank shit tons of water every day, staying close to bathrooms due to my new superpower ability to pee at a  moments notice. To no effect.

Finally, after trying everything under the sun, I returned to my doctor and demanded that he send me to an endocrinologist now. One week later I was having 15 vials of blood drawn while doing a glucose test. Today I got the results.

I don't have a fat gene. No, I have hypothyroidism and I'm pre diabetic. And I only found out because I refused to stop fighting for an answer. I knew I wasn't lazy. I have three kids to raise, plus I work out five times a week. I knew I wasn't stuffing my face, because I've kept my calorie intake very low. I knew something was wrong and a year later I got my answer. Not only do I have a answer but I understand what is going on with my body too.

My thyroid numbers came back on the "normal" side, but just barely. I also had every other symptom that pointed to hypothyroidism; rapid weight gain, exhaustion, dry skin, brittle nails, history of anemia, etc. On top of that, it was discovered that my body simply cannot break down glucose. In trying to combat this issue, my body produces ten times more insulin than the normal body, trying to break it down, with no success. My doctor explained this is why no matter what I do, I can't lose weight. It's not my fault. Its something I can't help on my own.

Starting tomorrow I am taking a low dosage of medication for hypothyroidism. My doctor says I should start to see the weight come off. I go back in three months, where we will determine if I get a higher dosage or add more medication on. I finally have a plan, a way forward, and medical help I have been crying for for a year.

So, douchebag doctor who said I had a fat gene, how bout them apples? Effective immediately, you're fired.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Soren's Bum Woes

The other day, after returning home from a doctors appointment, Soren and I were hanging out in the living room. I was reading a book while he poured over youtube videos of Agry Birds. Suddenly he turns to me.
"Mom, my bum hurts."
"Your bum hurts, huh? What kind of hurt?"
He starts to scratch his arse. "It's itchy."
"Ahh," I say as  I hop off the couch and head over to him. "I think we can fix that. Let's go wipe your bum and see if that helps."
"No Mom," he says "that won't help. I think I need to go to a bum doctor."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

For the Dads out there:

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