Category Archives: Get well soon!

Last, This and Next

This past weekend, Sparring Partner came up with a raging case of the Man Flu complete with migraines and what my dear sweet mother refers to as The Trots. Not sure why it’s The Trots. Maybe because it’s slower than The Runs? Yeah, no clue. My mother also is the one who says “WalMarts” and “cousints” and told us kids to “Go jump off a bridge!” or “Go lay an egg!” when we were driving her insane. Which is a bit of a mind-fuck since we did indeed have a bridge on the lane and of course, we had chickens.

I just figured this Man Flu was just Sparring Partner’s way of getting out of doing anything about the house because he always seems to have some degree of it on the weekends. Therefore his moaning and groaning about what little sunlight there was piercing his delicate brain through the windows, and his infinite trips to the bathroom, were really just par for the course.

Even when Aitch threw out a couple of diapers that emitted the kind of fumes that would strip car paint, did I really believe anything was up.

Well, lo and behold, Monday night my own plumbing started working overtime.

And really? That’s all I need to say about that.

Sparring Partner and I have this running (no pun intended) argument about what is considered “this” or “last” or “next” when it comes to days in the week.

For example, when I talk about THIS weekend (with today being the 24th), I’m referring to the 27-28th. That would make NEXT weekend March 6-7th and LAST weekend the 20-21st.

On the other hand, Sparring Partner, refers to THIS weekend as the one that’s past and NEXT weekend is the one just coming up (27-28th). LAST weekend then ends up being the 13-14th.

Well? Which weekend do you consider as LAST, THIS or NEXT?

I don’t care what Healthcare Reform “costs” the taxpayers. I care what it costs ME.

Due to a comedy of errors (without The Funny), our family is now without health insurance coverage. When I got the official letter, I admit, I nearly had myself a heart-attack, but because I couldn’t afford to have one, I just had a mild freak fit instead. Sparring Partner has been given strict instructions to get and save every receipt related to medical expenses in hopes of getting some of it back after filing taxes NEXT year.

I tried to reason with myself that our monthly out of pocket expenses surely couldn’t be more than what we’d pay for a monthly premium. Sadly, only two weeks into January and we had already shot our wad.

Doodicus’s 60 day supply of ADHD meds was $210. Aitch’s 18 month check up was $140. Then there was the urgent care visit for yet another ear infection for Aitch and the subsequent antibiotics that were filled. Not once, but twice. So, uh, yeah. Not quite the auspicious start I was hoping for in the new year.

After this last round of antibiotics for Aitch’s second ear infection of the year, we are now starting a six week regimen of AB (unknown cost at this time) that the pediatrician hopes will keep future infections away until the fluid can finally be absorbed by her body. If not? Then she’ll be getting tubes. Average charge at the local hospital? $2,700.

I haven’t made an appointment about my earlier concern (protected post). I haven’t a clue what the cost there will be.

Of course, then there’s the mammogram screening I need since the last time I had one was Fall 2007 as required by my RE before I could go through the donor egg transfer as I was then pushing my big fat zero around with a four. That alone will set me back about $450, including the radiologist’s fee.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to bitch once again about $25 office visit copays; $100 emergency physician copays; and $50 pharmacy copays… *sighs wistfully*

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep track of all of our medical expenses here. With the healthcare reform on life support (sadly) and full-time, permanent employment still a pipedream, keeping a runny tally will not only be helpful to me, but maybe someone else may find it beneficial, or at least interesting, to know what the “typical” medical expenses a family of four incur over a year. So I’ve started a new page on this blog.

And to avoid ending this post on what could without argument be the most boring conclusion ever, I’ll share a little story about Aitch:

She’s a bit “particular” when it comes to routines. Loves them. Chaos and change? Hates. At bath time, normally we go and start the tub water to warm it up, call out, “Bath!” and she comes running. While the tub fills, we get her undressed and the clothes go into a little pile by the door to be taken out to the hamper later.

The other night, I told her it was time for her bath while sitting in the living room. She was happy to hear it and started off. I stopped her by telling her to take off her socks. So she sat down and took them off. And the pants and the shirt (with some help – obviously). I asked her to pick up the now discarded clothes and we went into her room and I pointed to the hamper and asked her to put her clothes in there, and she did.

THEN we went into the bathroom. While my back was turned, adjusting the temp of the water, she dashed out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, she came back holding the pants, shirt and both socks in her arms. She deposited them, very deliberately, next to the door, gave them a pat as if to say, “Stay!” and then walked over to me to check out the status of the water in her bath.

She even puts away the box of colors and coloring books, you guys! Oh, yes, she does.

Speaking of doctors…

Speaking of doctors…

It’s been what seems like an endless parade to and from a medical office of one kind or another lately. After waiting literally months for Aitch’s dermatology appointment, it came and went and left me feeling a bit fuzzy in the brain – like I hadn’t ever been to a specialist before – and went away with more questions than answers.

Dr. Eyebrows, the junior of his now retired father who we originally saw last year, took one look at Aitch and exclaimed how her condition and symptoms were exactly like his own son of the same age. I felt relief. He gave us a script for a cream, advised us to try an OTC antihistamine when things got bad, and swabbed her to see if she was a carrier of nasal staph.

Did you just go reread that last part?

Yeah. That’s where I got derailed at the appointment and failed as a parent to ask WTF. A couple weeks later I got a call from the clinic to confirm that she was positive. We’ll come back to that in a sec. At the time we were to start a nasal antibiotic right away.

For several days, we squirted an ointment up both nostrils of one very pissed off toddler. It would piss me off too.

After the treatment, her skin looked beautiful! I mean enviably gorgeous! And then a week later she was sick again with something viral (aka “cold”) and the rash and redness returned with a vengeance. Then the daycare told us that there were two confirmed cases of staph (I hadn’t told them about Aitch’s appointment). And then the coughing and wheezing started. And then she threw up. And then the blizzard snowed us in and the in-laws out. And then Christmas came and went. And then this past Sunday Sparring Partner bundled her up right away in the morning because she was getting worse and took her to the urgent care: ear and respiratory infection and the beginning of more antibiotics, this time the kind that taste like ass, even when flavored with grape, which resulted in a taste of ass covered in grape jelly.

And then finally, her follow-up appointment with Dr. Eyebrows. One I was determined to get to the bottom of with this staph infection carrier business. I spent free time googling “nasal staph infection carrier” needlessly. The nurse who called to confirm Aitch was positive did not clarify that she was positive for another kind of bacteria – but NOT staph. Awesomeness.

Basically, Aitch just has very sensitive baby skin and moisture followed by sudden dryness (like snot dripping and then subsequently being wiped away with a sleeve) will cause her extreme irritation. The prickly rash she gets on the rest of her body is her skin’s reaction to infections, which really does make sense when you consider the skin is the largest organ of the body. She should outgrow it eventually. Until then, if she gets really rashy about the face, we are to slather her with A&D ointment at bedtime. And that’s it.

Actually, I just had to tell you all this so I can share something even more awesome. I asked Dr. Eyebrows just how long would I have to wait to get in to see him to get a script for Retin A (adult acne? So NOT awesome.). He said he would get me a sample. He said something to the nurse and she came back with a box of Retin A. I asked her how long would it last me so I know when to schedule. She said there was enough to last me a year. A whole year! Yes, a box of prescription Retin A!!

Considering that we have no insurance so even the doctor’s visit would be out of pocket and Retin A is a non-covered and very expensive prescription, I really, really got lucky. Sometimes a little luck is all you need to feel a little bit better about not having a job, or no insurance, or the endless snow, or the fact that for several hours yesterday there was no heat on the one side of our house and the temperature dropped to the 50s (BRRRRrrrrrrr!!!).

Now if my face would look as good as Aitch’s, even on a bad day, I’ll be in seventh heaven. Simple minds = simple pleasures, and all that.

Until then…

One of my favorite times of the year is upon us. No, not Christmas. Winter Solstice! Why? Because it marked the shortest day (in sunlight hours) of the year.

It means that from that moment on, our days will get a little bit longer…and a little bit longer…and a little bit longer still. Winter Solstice to me means that spring is on its way! Crazy isn’t it? Especially when you consider that right now the Midwest is be dumped on by the largest blizzard of the year. Probably the largest we’ve had in several years. But I don’t care. Spring is just around the corner in my head.

Today I got a call from daycare. Aitch had thrown up. They had to wake her from a morning nap, which she was just moving out of and getting into a one nap a day routine. The night before we woke to her screaming and crying and while she settled quickly, she didn’t go back to sleep for over an hour. Right now, I’m listening to her whimper on the monitor and cough every 15 minutes or so. After I picked her up from daycare, she acted normal so I’m not sure what’s going on, but the wheezing she’s been doing for the past couple of days gives me cause for concern.

In just little over an hour, it will be Christmas Eve and I have never felt so unprepared for it. I’m tired of strangers thinking it’s OK to ask me if I’m ready for Christmas. It reminds me of when I would take Aitch out as a newborn and I would get asked if I was nursing. It’s none of your damn business and why do you even care?? See how full of the season’s spirit I am?

With that, I do wish you all a wonderful weekend whether you’re getting snowed in or if you’re taking a dip in the pool (a nod to my southern hemispherian friends), but more importantly I wish you all a spectacular New Year in 2010. I’m wishing it will bring me a job.

Happy Holidays, my friends. Count your blessings. We each have more than we realize.

'Tis the Season to be Merry

What’s Black and Blue and Red All Over?

That would be Aitch’s face, thank you very much.

We intentionally requested that our stairwell downstairs not be one straight shot. We had thought that if the baby (remember? We were pregnant with Vivienne when we started construction) was to fall down the steps, to have a landing in the middle would lessen the damage.

This weekend we moved the gate that was at the top of the stairs to just beyond the landing and I showed Aitch how to come down the steps going backwards and then up again. She did really, really well.

So when I heard from the kitchen the first THUMP, I knew exactly what was happening and I ran to the steps just in time to hear her begin to wail as she was sprawled out on the landing. Without really thinking about the consequences, I scooped her up into my arms and quickly made off to her room to rock her calm again.

I saw blood come out of both nostrils and her nose swell up. I called Sparring Partner at work (I was home thanks to a snow day) to tell him what happened and to see if he thought I should go to the ER. While she cried for some time, she settled quickly once I put Dad on speaker phone for her to hear. To better assess the injury, he asked me to take a picture and send it to him, but the swelling didn’t show well in the grainy cell-phone photo, the one I’m showing here.

Of course, I feel absolutely gutted that it happened. I also realize that for many parents, a fall down the stairs seems to be a right of passage, but this is the second time (once at my SIL’s), and frankly that’s a right I could do without. The image of her tiny body on the stairs will give me nightmares I’m sure.

There is still dried blood in her nostrils as we put her to bed. Also, the outside of each is starting to bruise and there’s a scratch on one side. I’m hoping by tomorrow morning, it will be better and not worse. I hope I feel better.

#29 – More of the same.

Thanksgiving day we originally and tentatively planned on having supper for his side of the family at our house. We have the most dining space, plus it would be easier to manuever the MIL and her wheelchair once we snuck her out of the nursing home for the afternoon. But SIL said that we shouldn’t bother. Let’s go to The Club where they’ll be serving a buffet and just let someone else do all the work. OK, I thought, that’s cool, especially since everyone here was sick in some form or fashion.

Wednesday evening I discover that SIL is having dinner at her house. See you there! Ugh.

I used the rest of Friday to prepare the dinner for my side of the family at our house. Potluck style, which worked out really well. Except for the devilled eggs.

Care to guess how many dozen eggs it took for me to get enough decent for serving? Go ahead, guess.

We were up late Friday night cleaning up and Sparring Partner offered to take the kids to McDonalds in the morning so as to both keep the kitchen in order and to keep everyone out of my hair while I did some last minute prepping. It was a good plan until Aitch woke up once again vomiting Saturday morning after a couple days of appearing to be better. It wasn’t a huge mess this time, but I kept her home with me while Sparring Partner and Doodicus went out for their Scottish breakfast. I gave Aitch half a bottle and plunked her in the high chair while I worked on the eggs, emptying the dishwasher and polishing my fancy glasses (when I say “polish”, I mean dust them off since the last time they were used was when I put them away in the cabinets – four years ago).

Within minutes of finishing her bottle, Aitch lost the entire contents. It wasn’t pretty. It never is, is it? I was thankful it was in the kitchen just because it meant not pulling out the carpet shampooer yet again.

Are you sick of hearing about us being sick yet? I’m sick of telling you, so don’t feel bad if you are.

She had no dairy for the rest of the day. My mother felt it necessary to shovel her full of cranberries and corn until I sternly told her to knock it off. “She’s hungry!” “Then feed her some of this applesauce and make her some toast, because DUH!” Okay, I didn’t say “because DUH!”, but only because I was just too tired to start any shit with her.

Today we all feel a bit better. Aitch kept everything down, but she hasn’t been eating much. It’s been a full week since this all started and while I understand that stuffy noses and coughs can linger, vomiting randomly is not the norm. I’m hoping for a better week to follow.

#27 – BlaRRgggGhhh…AcChooggxllllgbbbllelll

I don’t know who to formally thank for the tip that actually came in useful last night after Aitch was put to bed, but THANK. YOU!!

The tip, my dear friends?

When dressing the crib mattress, start with the mattress pad (obviously). Cover with a fitted sheet. Put another mattress pad over that and then another fitted sheet. If by the grace of mattress pad loving gift-givers you have a third, then by all means, add that one too.

Crib mattress lasagna, I think it is called.

So yes, after days of rather uneventful sickiness, Aitch decided to hurl after we put her down for bed last night. If she hadn’t decided to roll her muppet-hair in it, we could have simply peeled the first layer of pad/sheets off and put her back down.

This morning she again seems to be right as rain. She’s already packed away about 8 oz of milk, one scrambled egg and at least one strip of bacon (you can blame Sparring Partner for that one). Wait, a slight retraction of the “right as rain” since that would only apply if rain was green and can shoot out of the nose with such velocity AND adhesion that it allows the one firing off nasal frogs to sport an impressive handlebar moustache made entirely out of mucous.

And while searching for an image of a snot moustache, I found these:

Tell me, wouldn’t these be awesome if they’d fit on a baby bottle or sippy cup?!

#25 – Little Miss Muffet

Ahhhh, Saturdays. The beginning of the all too short weekend. The day to get shit done around the house because Sundays always get me down*.

Unfortunately this past Saturday heralded in the funk at Mama’s house. Not more than one hour after Aitch had her bottle (yes, she still is using a bottle. What of it?!?), and while we were all still lounging around in pjs discussing whether it was eggs and bacon day or pancakes day (Doodicus picks), she decided to unload the entire contents.

In an amazing display of centrifugal force, my cheek (and mouth!), neck and hair could only stop a small portion of what ended up hitting the floor in a curds and whey streak five foot long. What lead up to me becoming a human barf bag is that while I was in the front room blogging working, I heard Aitch start to whine and cry, like Doodicus had taken a toy from her or ejected her from the little rocking chair. I was prepared to reprimand him as I saw her standing there, clutching her hands together in front of her. Then I just assumed she had smooshed her hand into something. She reached for me and I picked her up and that’s when hell broke loose.

I rushed her into the bathroom and we sat in the tub while Sparring Partner and I got her cleaned up. I was grateful that I had gone to bed in a tank top under my t-shirt and was able to get most of the funk off of me simply by peeling off one layer.

I then focused my attention on cleaning up the mess left on the living room carpet and noted cast off on several toys. While I hate my Kirby vacuum, I was grateful for the shampoo attachments.

She did OK for the rest of the morning, drinking only a bit of clear pedialyte mixed with 7up, a chunk of banana and a couple of crackers. She woke from her morning nap not hungry, but once she saw Sparring Partner snacking on some chips, she quickly sidled up to him. I said it couldn’t hurt.

After one chip, she again upchucked.

Since then, she’s started coughing, oozing green snot, and one eye is weeping. Isn’t that what we refer to as a hot mess? Sparring Partner is currently suffering from an intestinal bug and I’m high on Tylenol Cold medicine for my troubles. Doodicus on the other hand, is a picture of health. He paid no attention to the drama that unfolded literally at his feet Saturday (hello?! the tv was on!); and since he refuses to give or take kisses, he has avoided transference of any number of funkified germs floating about the house – knock on wood.

I stayed home with Aitch yesterday, but today I figured I’d return the favor to the daycare and sent her on her way. She’s on antibiotics for yet another ear infection and bronchitis.

Needles to say, we are off the hook for Thanksgiving dinner at our house Thursday. (whoot!) It looks like it just might be the four of us hanging out together with Doodicus holding down the fort while the rest of us alternate between warming up the throne or getting some much needed beauty rest.

Maybe with this long weekend, I’ll be able to get to those questions, specifically the one about my art degree which will require photographic proof. My computer + pictures = frustrated Yo-yo, so try to be optimistic, OK?

* Extra brownie points if you know who sung this?

#20 – I could be dangerous if I knew what I was doing.

I was scratching my head trying to think up a post for today and really screwed myself over yesterday since I posted THREE times in one day when I could have stretched those suckers out into the weekend. I was all high on Bitching. Sorry about that.

I owe someone a meme.

I also owe you some answers to the “Hey, I’ll answer all your questions!” (thank god there were only three)

But while I was loading some pictures onto my computer I found some pictures I wanted to show you, and since Sparring Partner took my computer over to a geek dude to try to figure out why the effer was so slow, I thought I’d test drive it upon its return.

I’ll spare you the details, but I wanted to show you what I did with a Target shirt and some coordinating fabric, like so:

I made Aitch a dress!

OK, it doesn’t look like much, but it looks cute on. Or at least I think it will. Right now it comes to her ankles. This summer I promise to post an updated picture of her wearing it.

And no, my computer doesn’t work any better. It took 30 minutes to load two pictures. Me not happy.

OH! And before I forget, today is Aitch’s appointment with the dermatologist. You remember, don’t you? The one we scheduled THREE months ago?? I better get some answers this time around or I’ll…I’ll…oh hell. Who am I kidding. I’ll just come here and bitch some more.