Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In Memory of Grandma Simmons

Last night, Troy's maternal grandmother passed away. We will miss her a lot, but we are glad that she is free from her physical pains and that she can be reunited with her sweetheart who passed away almost 10 years ago. I am so grateful for a gospel that provides us this peace and knowledge. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ who makes all of this possible. She was a wonderful grandma and I'm sad Erica will not know her better. We love you Grandma Simmons!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Standing on her Own

I've been working with Erica standing on her own. She lasted like this for a little bit, but she is still very wobbly. Although she still hates to be on her stomach, she will often roll onto her tummy and get mad. She rarely returns to her back even though we've seen her do it and know that she can. We've decided she is just lazy and wants us to flip her. I don't think she is going to crawl; I think she will skip right to walking (not any time soon though).

We let Erica try out a "Biter Biscuit" which is basically a really hard graham cracker.

I think she liked it!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finally, a picture with O-ma

It was fun to have you visit O-ma. We miss you already. Hope you had a good flight home. Thanks for taking care of Erica and letting us go on a date.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Measles v. Autism

About a month ago I took Erica in for her 6 month check up. The pediatrician informed me that there is an outbreak of measles in the Tucson area and he recommended that Erica get her MMR shot now instead of at one year. Now, I had heard rumors of a connection between autism and the MMR shot, so I asked the doctor about it.

He explained that studies have been done, but nothing confirmed. Supposedly, someone was paid off to support this false connection. He also explained that autism is one category in a larger sphere of mental disabilities and that the rate of autism has increased, but the sphere of mental disabilities remained the same. Thus, the definition of autism is simply broader now.

I had previously done some Internet research on my own (so who knows how reliable that is) and read that from about 2000-2006(?) or sometime, there was some ingredient in the MMR shot that might be correlated with autism. However, this ingredient is no longer in the shots. The pediatrician informed me that it was a miniscule amonut and in no way could cause autism. Although the Internet said that the important people in the medical field met in secret to try and keep this information secret. Hmmm?

Finally, he told me that measles can be fatal and cause brain damage. Ultimately, I decided to go with the shot. Thoughts from everyone?

As a side note, ever since that shot, Erica has become behaviorally difficult. She is much more fussy and needy. Maybe it is simply coincidence and it has to do with her teething or something that happens when a kid turns 6 months. Maybe I'm just noticing more. Who knows.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Last Week Sucked

This is just a venting stream-of-thought blog, so don't read any further if you don't want to hear me complain. Last week just plain sucked!! It started off with Troy in the emergency room (see below) on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday night I started feeling sick. At 2 a.m. I started throwing up, having stomach cramps, started my period, had a headache and all sorts of other fun stuff. I was in bed ALL day and could not move to pick up Erica. Even though Troy was in the emergency room just 2 days earlier, he took care of Erica all day Thursday to help me out. He was still sick, just less sick than me that day. He ended up feeling worse the next day.

Also, on Thursday morning we found out that the airline with which we bought our tickets to Hawaii this summer declared bankruptcy and they were not flying anymore. Thank goodness we were able to get a refund, but we ended up having to pay a couple hundred more dollars on another airline to schedule the same trip. Plus, we had a trip planned this week and ended up cancelling it because we were so sick.

Well, Thursday night Melody H. took Erica for about 2 hours and we slept. That was the greatest 2 hours. I ended up calling my mom in Idaho and begging her to come down for the weekend because we could physically not take care of Erica. She got on a plane an hour later. What a wonderful mother. She showed up Thursday night and all weekend took care of us. She shopped, cooked, watched Erica and cleaned. It was lovely to have her here and I don't know what we would have done without her. To show our thanks, we gave her the flu on Sunday and she ended up staying another day. She feels better now and we hope her flight home goes well. Thanks Mom!!!! Erica misses you. So do we.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How Did You Celebrate April Fool's Day?

Late Monday night Troy's stomach started to ache. He went to bed, but his stomach still bothered him during the night. In the morning, little Erica threw up her bottle. After talking to a friend, I learned that the flu was running rampant in our neighborhood. Troy's stomach was still bothering him in the morning and the pains started to increase. He was getting intense aching and tightness in his upper stomach. Soon the pain became so unbearable we decided to take him to the nearest Urgent Care facility (20 minutes) away. We're still thinking it is only the flu, so I only threw in 2 bottles and 2 diapers for Erica because we were in a rush to get out the door.

When we arrived at Urgent Care, we found that it did not open until noon. FYI-we were later informed that it didn't matter because Urgent Care will send abdominal pain patients to the ER anyway. So, then we drove another 25 minutes to ER. The whole time Troy's pain was increasing. About 20 minutes from the hospital, Troy's hands started to tingle and it was moving up his arms. He said he felt like his whole body was going numb. About 5 minutes from the hospital, he started vomiting all over himself and the car and he was screaming in pain. I'm starting to really panic because I have no idea what is wrong with him, I'm trying to drive and I swear every slow driver was in front of us and it felt like we hit every red light. I called 911 from the car even though we were so close. They said we could pull over and wait, but that I would probably get there before they ever would.

It seemed like forever, but we finally pulled up in front of ER. I ran in and frantically called for someone to come help. Troy didn't have the strength to get out of the car on his own and I couldn't help him because Erica was still in the car. Now, I'm sure that the ER gets frantic people in there all the time and I'm sure sometimes it is not as big of a deal. However, this ER lady was moving SO slowly, like she intentionally wanted to prove to us that we weren't that much of an emergency. When we got back to the car, Troy's whole face had gone numb and he was talking like he had just gone to the dentist. I lost it at this point. I thought he was having a stroke and every horrible thought of losing him was going through my head. The ER lady finally realized that it was actually an emergency and hurried in to get a nurse to help. Hello - if you work in the ER, you should expect to treat everything like an emergency. Anyway, they said this numbness was from his body going into shock and it was normal.

While they took Troy in, I parked, grabbed Erica and ran inside. Apparently, the slow nurse that took him in asked for ID, but the other nurse said to just take him on in. I had no idea where they took him and after wondering around, with no one helping me, I finally found him in this random room. They were asking him all the usual questions. He was freezing/shivering and I asked if they could get him a blanket. For whatever reason, they said they couldn't until they got his arm band. So I pulled Erica's little blanket out of her diaper bag and put that on him until they got him a better one.

In the meantime, I'm trying to find someone on a weekday morning to drive all the way to the hospital and pick up Erica for who knows how long. She wasn't going to be allowed in the back of the ER because she was so young. Plus, I wanted to give all my attention to Troy. Thank goodness for Mindi Parker. She said she could take Erica for as long as we needed and she left immediately to make the 45 minute drive to the hospital. When she arrived, she said that she was going to go swimming that morning, but for some reason felt like she should run instead, which made her available to help out. Mindi still had to take her kid to a doctor's appointment that day, make dinner for someone else and who knows what else. And to top it all off, on the drive home, Erica exploded poop out of her bum and all over everything else. Mindi kept her all day and I will be eternally grateful to her for doing this.

While we were waiting for Mindi to come, they took Troy to another room and we just waited. His pain was fluctuating between a 7 and a 10 and he kept moaning. Then we went off to another room where they asked for his information again. Why is it there are always more patients in ER than doctors. They know there are always going to be people with emergencies, so I don't get why they don't keep more people on hand. He started vomiting again on the hospital floor and that got them moving a little quicker.

Finally, he got a "room". It was basically a stretcher in the hallway under a piece of paper taped on the wall with a number on it. Where are we, Ukraine? I kept asking for a blanket and after they took his temperature, they finally got him one. They got him hooked up to an IV and gave him some pain killer and anti-nauseous drugs. Soon the pain drastically reduced and he just layed there feeling groggy. They took some blood to run some tests and the doctor came to feel his stomach and ask him some questions.

After a few minutes, Troy lifted his head to vomit again. Suddenly, his eyes rolled back and he passed out. I was saying his name and asking if he could hear me and he didn't respond. I yelled for someone to come help and a couple nurses came rushing over. By then, Troy had come to and looked confused. They lowered his head, checked his vitals and everything looked normal. They said sometimes the drugs have this effect and told Troy not to lift his head up anymore.

Well, we just sat there waiting. Troy was in and out of sleep, but at least he wasn't in pain anymore. I was updating everyone on the phone. About an hour or so later (who keeps track of time in ER), I see the doctor walking by. I asked him how long it would be before we would know anything. He said that they already had the results of the blood tests and nothing serious was wrong. All his organs were normal (i.e., pancreas, liver, gall bladder). That is great news!! Why in the world didn't someone come tell me as soon as they knew so I wouldn't sit there worrying that Troy might die any second. Aaaaaah!!!

The doctor said it was probably some type of viral infection in his stomach and they were going to keep Troy a little longer to monitor him. If he did okay, they would discharge him and send him home with prescriptions for pain killers. Troy did okay and so about an hour later we left the hospital.

We had a good night and he is feeling much better today. He is tired and not 100%, but we are sure glad that he will be alright. What a crappy April Fool's Day. I waited to post today so everyone knows this is not a joke.