Archive for the ‘medical stuff’ Category


Poor Owen.

Looks nasty, huh?  Our first rainy day in a long while caused us to pull out the raincoats yesterday.  Owen is obsessed with putting his hands in his pockets when he walks, thus preventing him from catching himself when he tripped going up the slippery steps outside of church last night.  It was not a pretty scene.

Today he’s taking it all in stride.  This poor kid’s chin…6 months ago it was five stitches in the exact same place.  Now it’s a bump the size of an egg with a really gross looking bruise.  We won’t be walking with our hands in our pockets anymore.  It’s a new house rule.


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Let me set the stage.  I’m in the kitchen doing some surprise stuff for Travis’ 30th birthday tomorrow.  Owen and Molly are happily playing in his bedroom…until I hear a horribly loud crash and a blood curdling scream.  I race into the bedroom and here’s what I saw…well, part of it.

The drawer to the nightstand is wide open.  Molly is standing in the middle of the bed looking worriedly at Owen.  Owen is running around the room screaming and holding his chin with blood dripping down his arms.  From what I gather, they’d been jumping on the bed (even though I have told them COUNTLESS times that this is not something I allow).  Owen slipped off and his chin broke his fall by slamming into the corner of the open nightstand drawer.  Ouch.

As much as I’d like to tell you that I remained calm, I totally didn’t.  Owen was freaking out.  Blood was everywhere and I, for the life of me, couldn’t find anybody’s shoes!  On top of all that, I couldn’t get hold of my mom or Travis.  Taking Molly with me to urgent care was less than ideal.  I finally reached my mom who agreed to meet me at urgent care.  Travis stepped out of his meeting to call me back and then agreed to meet me at urgent care to help.  

We got to urgent care at about 5:30.  After waiting for 2 hours, we finally saw a doctor.  We had lots of time to snap pictures.  Here’s Owen’s cut pre-stitches.  The picture honestly doesn’t do his cut justice.  If you could see his profile you’d see that he had a chunk of skin gouged out of his chin.  And it was so super deep.  Nasty nasty stuff.

God bless the iPhone.  Travis streamed a movie through his Netflix ap, and Owen sat on the hospital bed and watched a movie called Iron Giant while we waited.  And wait we did.  The place was packed tonight.  Every person in our area must have had an urgent need tonight.  Including the man who was in the room right next to us that was hacking and making vomiting sounds every couple of minutes.  It seriously happened probably 15 times until the paramedics came to take him to the hospital.  I DO NOT deal with vomit well.  Listening to it in the next room almost put me over the edge.   Owen wasn’t phased by this nastiness, though.  Here he is after we asked him to give us a thumbs up (he gave us two fingers up…whatever).  Nice that his outfit doesn’t match and his pants are a size too small.  We had a bit of a bathroom incident earlier in the day and I pulled out the first pair of sweatpants that were clean.  On the bright side, I really don’t care that these pants now have bloodstains on them.

After 2 and a half hours of waiting, we FINALLY saw the doctor.  Lidocaine was applied.  Then Owen got to get into his Superman cape (cleverly named by the good doctor).  Telling Owen he was going to get to be a superhero and wear a cape like Superman was a genious way of getting him into a straight jacket.  He thought it was pretty cool.  See his goofy grin?

I’m so glad that Travis was there with me.  We needed the two of us to hold him down.  Trav got his feet and I got his head.  Owen did so great and was so brave.  He had to get SO many shots of Novocaine and he didn’t cry at all.  We just kept hearing his little voice saying, “OW!”.  He did great through all five stitches.  He started to get antsy on the last one and it took some work to keep his head still.  The doctor did pretty quick work and after a few minutes Owen was ready to show off his stitches!

Three hours later, we were on our way home.  They sent Owen home with a stuffed tiger and a sticker.  We swung by McDonald’s on the way home to get Owen a happy meal.  His excitement about his chicken nuggets and fries motivated him to stay tough during the stitches.  So by 9pm, we all settled down for a very belated dinner.  During dinner, Owen had so much fun calling his grandparents and Uncle Nate to tell them about his “itches”.  Here’s one more shot of our little trooper with his sticker, his bandaid, and his tiger:

Not exactly the way I wanted to spend my Tuesday night, but at least it wasn’t worse than it was.  The stitches come out on Monday, but until then he can’t be submerged in water.  Really not that big of a deal this time of year except that tomorrow is his and Molly’s last day of swimming lessons.  Bummer. 

Moral of the story?  Don’t jump on the bed!  I think Owen learned this lesson the hard way.

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We are so thankful for all of the prayers for Owen’s surgery/recovery.  We definitely felt them as we dealt with two rough weeks, but Owen is FINALLY recovered and better than ever!  We went back to the ENT on Thursday for a surgical follow-up appointment.  The nurse practitioner took one look at his throat, said he looked great, was free to eat and drink whatever he wanted, and sent us on our way!  We are so thankful this is all over and are thrilled with the new Owen!

Here are some ways he’s changed…

1.  His voice is COMPLETELY different.  It used to be kind of low and husky.  Now it’s high pitched and a little nasal.  I’m still getting used to it.  Sometimes I don’t recognize his voice in a group of kids.

2.  He eats!  It used to be a battle to get him to eat a meal, and he used to take forever.  He’d chew everything about a thousand times and then finally swallow.  Now he eats fast and eats his whole meal.  (He’s still picky…that hasn’t changed.  But he’s getting a little better.)

3.  He doesn’t choke on his food anymore.  He used to choke at least once a meal…I guess because his tonsils were so big that it made swallowing difficult.  I haven’t heard him choke once since the surgery.

4.  No more snoring!  We used to be able to hear him snoring all the way in the living room while he was in his bedroom sleeping.  Now I have to put my hand on his back to make sure he’s still breathing because he’s such a quiet sleeper!

5.  He’s happy!  Many of you probably think that Owen already was a happy kid…and in front of others he normally was.  But at home, he was completely different.  Since he’s recovered, he wakes up from his naps and in the mornings with a smile on his face and happy.  He used to wake up crying and was grumpy for at least an hour.

To sum it up, I’ll take 2 weeks of horrible recovery for a much healthier, happier, well-rested, energetic Owen.  Lest you think all our problems are solved and he’s now perfect, the fits he’s been throwing lately are doozies.  He’s a bit confused why he can’t eat chocolate pudding and popsicles all day long now that his throat is feeling better.  Oh well, it’s easier to tackle that battle now that I’m not dealing with an unhealthy kid.

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the last few days

If I had to use one word to describe the recovery from a tonsilectomy…horrible.  I know it could be worse.  We could  have  been readmitted to the hospital because of dehydration, bleeding, etc.  We are still home, and for that we are thankful.  But there’s just not anything about this experience that has been fun.  Except for maybe the drugs.  Owen seems to think those are pretty fun:

If you watched the video you saw Owen totally spazzing out.  The medicine makes him CRAZY.  He sees numbers on the wall, horses in the sky, he calls me “Hey Girl!”, and refers to Travis as “Phil Collins”.  The medicine also makes him talk NON-STOP.  Seriously, he’ll talk for an hour straight about who knows what.  And then when the medicine wears off, post-surgery Owen returns.  Whiny and blatantly disobedient part of the time and screaming in pain the other part.  It’s awful.  We’ve been trying to distract him with whatever will make him happy.  We’ve watched more movies than I can count.  We’ve tried to distract him by doing quiet activities outside like this:

And we’re constantly trying to get him to eat.  For the first couple of days we were really worried about dehydration.  Every sip of water was a battle.  It’s nearly impossible to reason with a three year old about why he needs to drink water when it hurts like crazy to swallow.  We also really struggled to get food in his belly.  In order to take the pain meds, he  had to eat or else they’d make him sick.  And there’s nothing worse than throwing up after a tonsilectomy. 

On a positive note, things are starting to improve in the area of eating.  He’s starting to have something of an appetite, and I’m pretty much giving him whatever food he wants to eat and as much of it as possible.  He requested a hot dog and mac and cheese yesterday and ate all of it.  We were practically jumping for joy.  And he’s also starting to drink on his own without us having to force it upon him.  (A note about the drinking…super hard for a kid who’s used to drinking out of a sippy cup to not be able to do that AT ALL.  He’s not allowed to suck through a straw for two weeks.  Ugh.  I’m cleaning up lots of spilled drinks.)  Here he is eating a popsicle and smiling (very rare…the drugs had just started to work!).

And then there’s sleeping.  It’s been like having a newborn again.  He’s up several times a night, and he wakes up screaming.  I think he gets scared when the medicine wears off and the pain returns.  He’s totally out of it so Travis and I have to work together to get him to calm down enough to drink something and then take his medicine.  Sometimes he’ll calm down in 15 or 20 minutes and go back to sleep.  Last night he screamed for an hour straight before we could get him under control.  I feel awful for him…he wakes up sweaty and shaking and keeps screaming, “Help me!  My throat hurts.”  It’s exhausting on a lot of levels.

Every day I know he’s healing.  I just am looking forward to the day that he wakes up, the medicine has worn off and he’s not screaming in pain.  Travis was able to take off work until today.  It was SUCH a blessing to have him home.  I couldn’t have done it by myself.  Thanks for your prayers!  They’re very appreciated!

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Owen’s surgery was this morning, and it went very well!  Thank you to everyone out there who has been praying for Owen.  We really appreciate all the prayers and kind words you’ve been sending our way.  Here’s a recap of our day…

We arrived at the surgery center promptly at 6.  They got us all checked in and then ushered us to our own private recovery room.  Owen was excited that he had his own personal TV to watch while he waited for surgery.  The nurses introduced themselves and then helped Owen get dressed in his special pajamas.  We’d been talking about these special pajamas that he’d have to wear at the hospital so he knew they were coming.  Here’s a picture of him in his big hospital bed:

We had about an hour to kill while all the paper work got filled out and the doctors and nurses told us all we needed to know.  Owen got to watch a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny.  We also were trying to get him excited about all the ice cream and popsicles he’d get to eat when we got home.  Here’s Travis pumping him up about how AWESOME this experience was going to be!  It looks like we fooled him…for the moment.

Then the anesthesiologist came in and gave Owen some kind of drug cocktail so that he could relax.  And relax he did!  He got a little loopy and kept talking about the horse in the room…and there definitely was not a horse in the room.  Loopy Owen also didn’t mind smiling for a picture underneath all those nice heated hospital blankets.

Before we knew it they were wheeling him down the hall to surgery.  He thought it was cool to ride on a rolling bed, so he had no problems saying goodbye to us.  Trav and I went to the waiting room while the surgery took place.  We were surprised how fast it was…30 minutes later the nurse came to tell us he was done.  And then the fun began.

As we walked out of the waiting room, I heard this strange noise that sounded like part cry part scream.  I remember thinking, “Man, someone must be in a lot of pain.”  As a mom you can pretty much recognize your child’s cry anywhere…I guess I’m going to have to get used to Owen’s new voice.  He sounds like a completely different kid with those tonsils gone.  Anyway, once we turned a corner and I realized that horrible sound was coming from my child, my motherly instinct clicked on.  The nurse immediately handed him over to me.  He was flailing and screaming and desperately trying to pull the IV out of his arm.  I finally managed to sit down in a chair with him, and then it took both Travis and a nurse to keep him from hurting himself.  Later I asked the nurse if this kind of behavior is normal for a little kid coming out of anesthesia and she said that it is.  That made me feel better, but I wish I’d have known what to expect.  This whole thrashing, screaming, hellish experience lasted about 30 minutes.  The nurse finally bribed Owen with a glass of juice, saying that if he’d drink the juice she’d take out the IV.  That worked and once the IV was out, he calmed down.  Some of his calm could also have had to do with the morphine they gave him during his freak out.  Regardless, the screaming and kicking was subsiding and we were feeling a bit less stressed.  Here he is with Travis once he’d calmed down:

During one of the most stressful moments of the anesthesia withdrawl, Owen yelled at the nurse while she and Travis were holding him down, “I DON’T LIKE YOU!!!!”.  I was rather embarrassed, but I figure this must not have been the first time she’d heard this from a kid.  She responded with, “Buddy, I wouldn’t like me either right now.”  She later told me that she’d raised 5 kids, so she could take anything they put out.  After 5 kids, I guess so! 

We were thankful for how God orchestrates everything so perfectly.  Right as he was beginning to chill out, Dinosaur Train (Owen’s favorite show) was coming on.  This helped calm him down completely so that we could get some fluids in him and check his mouth for bleeding.  The nurse told us that if he didn’t bleed during all that screaming, he probably wouldn’t bleed at all.  That gave me a little comfort considering we’d received the instruction that if we see any bleeding at all we are to take him immediately to the ER.  A few minutes later, the surgeon came in to talk to us.  He’s a man probably in his early 60’s…so he’s been doing these kind of surgeries for quite a while.  He commented to us that Owen had some “massive tonsils”.  From a man who’s seen it all, I’ll take that to mean that Owen’s were pretty big! 

Since his surgery was out-patient, we stayed for 2 hours after surgery and then they sent us on our way.  By 10am, we were wheeling Owen out to the car in style.

He did just fine on the ride home, but immediately asked if he could see “Molly Cake” when we got there.  I called my mom and she met us over at our house with Molly.  He was happy to see her for about 30 seconds…until she started to play with his toys.  Glad to see he’s still his old self!

Owen was very excited to open up his care package from Nana and Bubba.  This was the motivating factor behind getting his clothes on and getting in the car to go home.  They gave him lots of fun things to do in bed like sticker books, coloring books, games, dragon action figures, a movie, and tonsil dog!  Nana wrote that the dog had his tonsils out, too, and Owen could take the bandaid off the dog’s throat when he thought the doggy’s throat was feeling better.  Very cute, Nana!  Owen thought so, too.

Currently the little patient is napping.  We gave him his first dose of narcotic pain medicine and he’s been sleeping soundly.  He’s already downed two cups of pudding and a fudge pop.  He seems happy when he’s eating cold foods.  I stocked up yesterday, so I’ll just keep the cold stuff coming!  The nurses did tell us that today he’d probably feel better than he will tomorrow and Saturday.  She said he’ll start swelling a lot more and his throat will hurt worse then.  So the next couple of days could be rough.  We’re going to try to stay on top of his pain by giving him lots of medicine and keep the fluids coming.  I’ll update with more later.  Thanks for all the prayers!

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We’ll be up and at the surgery center WAY too early.  6am is our scheduled arrival time and the surgery is set for 7.  It’s supposed to take 45 minutes for surgery, and then he’ll be in recovery for at least 2 hours.  Then they’re sending us home.  Scary.  I like the idea of having nurses around to help out for a while.   

Molly’s spending the night at my parents’ house, the fridge is stocked with everything cold I could possibly think to buy at the grocery store, and Travis is taking the next 2 days off to help out.  I’ll update tomorrow after surgery.  Your prayers are appreciated!

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My First Birthday Bib Boy/Girl-monogrammed bib, baby's first birthday bib, pink, blue, first birthday cupcake, cupcake, one candle

…because she no longer spits up!  It took 11 1/2 LONG months, but I can finally say that the reflux is gone.  It took me a while to want to do this post because I was sure that the second I did it, she’d start spewing again.  But she’s officially off her medicine and we get a chance to see her cute outfits, rather than read about how cute they are.  (Because evidently a lot of people really like to buy bibs that say “I’m so cute” or “Adorable” or “Daddy’s Girl” or “Princess”.  There’s not really a whole lot of options out there for us bib-buyers…particularly those of us who need to buy our bibs in bulk.  Like go through 10 bibs in an hour kind of bulk.)

I am loving the fact that I don’t have to do laundry every day because otherwise I’ll run out of bibs and burp clothes.  Don’t get me wrong…I still do at least one load of laundry almost every day, but I’m no longer worrying about the velcro on the bibs sticking to my clothes and making funny pulls on the fabric.  I no longer nag Travis about remembering to save the cute bibs for going out in public and letting her wear her “Daddy’s Girl” bibs when we’re playing around the house.  And I’m no longer bending down several times an hour to wipe up the floor of Target, the grocery store, church, my friends’ houses, etc. 

If you don’t have a spitter, then you probably think I’m exaggerating.  If you’ve had a spitter who literally will spit up the entire contents of everything that was just put in her stomach and then some… multiple times an hour…you know my relief.  I no longer give her over to the nursery workers with a warning, “Just so you know, she spits up A LOT.”  And they would inevitable say, “Oh that’s okay, we’re used to that.”  And then I would say, “No, you don’t understand.  She spits up a WHOLE lot. ”  And then the responses from people when I’d come to pick her up, “Um, just so you know, she spit up a whole lot today.  Just didn’t know if that was normal and thought you’d want to know.”   

Ahhh…it’s nice not to have to worry about those things anymore.

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