Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hospital pictures

We are moving back to normal (whatever that is). Evan is still adjusting to the fact that I am not here at his beck and call any more and Harry is adjusting to not being the only kid at home any more. There has been a lot of fighting and a ton of whining (I want to cover my ears and hide). It helps that Evan is finally over his poop issue, which I am sure was causing him a lot of discomfort. I kept telling him that he would fell better once he went, but being 4 he did not believe me. Thankfully we have turned the corner on that one so sharply that we are now having the opposite problem. I never thought I would be so obsessed with poop before I became a parent.

Here are some pictures from the hospital. I did not take many, I kind of forgot that I even had my camera with me.

Here is a cheerful pre-op Evan. They had a lot of toys for the kids to play with. One was a Transformer which really weirded Evan out. He would not play with it when it was in robot form and kept telling me that cars did not have hands.

A not so happy one day post op Evan. He did not like that the nurse and I kept dragging him out of bed to walk around. This was taken after he was finally allowed to be on a nasal cannula for his oxygen. Before that he had a mask which pissed him off to no end. They wanted the mask because it worked better on Evan since he tends to be a bit of a mouth breather. It was jut not worth the battle so they changed it to the cannula. Note the milk shake that was in his hand. It was his first meal post op, I wanted him to have something tempting and easy to throw up should his stomach object to eating.

My husband and Harry visited on Monday. Harry was quite interested in the bed and Evan was more than happy to show him how it worked. Evan loved making the bed go up and down repeatedly. I had to be quite firm with him at times since he preferred playing with the bed to napping.

Aaaaand the sock is off!

Harry thought it would be fun to take his socks off and was quite put off when I made him keep his on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We are home!

I am exhausted and my back is killing me, but I am oh so happy to be out of the hospital. Evan is equally as thrilled for the most part, although he is sad to leave the frequent TV watching and constant attendance of mother behind. We still have a slew of follow up appointments in the next few weeks but it will not be long before our lives are back to semi normal.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


We are doing better. Friday after I wrote my update I talked to the Pacemaker Cardiologist about my concerns about Evan's pain. She came up with a great plan that involved a combo of Oxy, Tylenol and a litocane patch to numb the area around the incision in his side. He was also allowed some morphine as needed. This seemed to help a lot and the day was relatively pain free.

We got him out of bed to help speed the healing process along. He did need some morphine after our expeditions but otherwise was quite comfortable. He was also allowed to start eating again, which I am sure helped his mood some. We were supposed to be transferred to the floor but they were short on beds. Last night was filled with a whole lot more sleep than the night before it.

We got to transfer this morning and are happily situated in our room. All the rooms here are single, so we do not have to share or worry about loud roommates. He also got his chest tube removed and they stopped giving him oxygen. The chest tube removal was icky but he looked a million times better after. He is a lot more willing to move around and get out and about. I am working on the nurse in hopes that they will remove one of his two IVs ( he has one in each hand).

Got to go but will write more later.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doin time

Evan's pacemaker surgery went well. He went under about nineish and was out by about 11:30. His lead was replaced and instead of going through his chest again the surgeon went through his left side. He was concerned about the possiblity of scar tissue from is previous surgeries.

Evan spent most of the day tranked out on morphine and oxycodone but the doctors became a bit concerned about his breathing and the fact that Evan was having a hard time going pee. Honestly I am not sure how much of the pee issue is him rigidly adhering to his potty training or if it is truly an issue from the painkillers. They cathed him to empty his bladder and are considering leaving one in if he continues to have issues.

Last night was tough because of pain control issues. The oxy alone was not enough to get him comfortable enough to sleep so another painkiller (fentynil ?? not sure of spelling) was finally ordered despite his bladder issues. It was quite heartbreaking seeing him in such pain and not being able to do much about it. Sometimes kids with incisions in the side are given epidurals for the pain, because it is a lot worse than if they go through the chest but because Evan is going to be getting back on his blood thinners an epidural was nixed due to the possibility of bleeding issues. Pain control seems to be something that is tough with a kid like Evan. Morhpine and other related drugs can depress breathing which Evan depends on to help pump his blood. Motrin and other related drugs can mess with his INR and cause bleeding issues. That leaves only a few painkillers that he can take and sometimes they are not as effective as the others.

The hospital here is quite nice. The PICU is huge compared to the one we went to in California (although to be fair they did recently move to better updated quarters). Evan's room actually has it's own bathroom, so I don't have to leave the unit every time I need to go. All of Evan's nurses have been very nice and helpful. I have not seen much of the doctors which is something I really miss about California. We got a lot more face time with them and they were very good about coming around and explaining the plan for the day. The surgeon that did Evan's surgery was nice enough but he was not nearly as compassionate and caring as the surgeon that did Evan's first heart surgeries.

Today we are hoping that Evan gets moved from the PICU and into the cardiac stepdown unit. I am also hoping that we get a good handle on his pain so that he can get the rest that he needs to heal.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lots of stuff

Surgery is on for tomorrow morning. It was a really long day today filled with a lot of "fun" stuff. One really nice thing was that we got to stay in one room for most of it and only had to leave the room for the chest x-ray. They also had a lot of nice Car's related toys that kept Evan entertained for the majority of the time. I was bored out of my mind but did not dare bring my knitting.

The surgeon has decided to replace the lead so we will likely be in the hospital until Sunday. Instead of going through Evan's chest he is going to go through the side. He felt that the scar tissue from his previous surgeries would probably cause more trauma than was really needed to replace the lead. I am really keeping my fingers crossed that we have an uneventful stay so that my husband does not have to take any more time off of work. His current shop is a lot more sticky about stuff since his bosses are civilians and not military.

While I was gone my OB's nurse called and talked to my husband for a bit. I called back later and got educated over the phone about injecting the insulin (since there was no way I would get in any time soon to get face to face instruction). It was kind of redundant, since I was already well aware of how to do a sub-q injection having had a lot of practice when Evan was on Lovenox. I got enough to insulin at the local pharmacy to last me until the home health care place that is handling my testing supplies can process everything and get me my drugs mailed to me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I am seriously frustrated with my OB right now. I got shoved into the first diabetes education session that they could schedule despite what it would mean to my schedule (I ended up rescheduling it because there was no way I could make it) and yet when it comes to finding out if I will be using insulin or not all I get is delays.

After the consultation with the dietitian that I wrote about earlier i was given the impression that things would move quickly. So I was surprised when I went in for my appointment last Thursday when I found out that the OB was not even in. I spoke with the nurse and found out that the OB's kids were sick but that I would find something out on Friday. No call happened at all that day and then of course was the three day weekend. I call this afternoon to see what was going on and after a bit of runaround I find out that the doctor is not even expected to be in until this Thursday!

I really would have appreciated some sort of notification instead of having to call and dig it out of the staff. I am waiting for some important information so a courtesy call is only polite in my book. I ended up hanging up on the receptionist and bursting into tears thanks to my lovely hormones.

I would like to clear up my last update a bit. After a lot of back and forth between the doctors it was decided to not admit Evan to the hospital prior to his surgery, so we are not in the hospital at the moment. I realized that after I talked to my mother last night I had not even mentioned that here. The good news is that when I tested him INR this afternoon that it was the 1.5 that the surgeon wanted, so it is looking like we will not have to change our already tight schedule any more. I am going to be so glad when this is over. I am getting really tired of doctors at the moment.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Well Evan's pacemaker surgery has been pushed back a day. When we did his INR test at home this afternoon the results were a bit too high for the surgeon's liking so he wanted to give Evan more time for his INR to fall. I plan on trying to get Evan to eat as many green leafy vegetables as possible so that we don't have to move his surgery date again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I love warm buns!

Back when we were shopping for our minivan I though it was so silly that all cars with leather seats came with seat warmers. After all, how long did it really take to warm the seat with your own body heat?

Now that I live in Kansas, where it can get fricking cold, I am deeply in love with my seat warmers. I think I would marry the person that invented them if I was not already married. I would do horrible things to anyone that threatened to take my precious away.

When you are shivering waiting for your car to warm up nothing is nicer than feeling your seat warm up underneath you. It is the first thing to heat up in the car. I love you seat warmers!

BTW in case you can't tell it is crazy cold here in Kansas again. The bank singn as I drove by read -3!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ah well

Last week I talked with a dietitian and got educated about how my gestational diabetes would change my life. I got a good meal plan that (for the most part) is easy to handle and very doable. I was getting really good numerical results from my blood sugar testing but I was also having ketones in my urine (which meant that I was not getting enough carbohydrates in my diet). Upping the carb content of my evening snack resulted in fasting blood sugars that were too high. I can't cut back on the carbs because I and the baby need them, so now we are moving on to insulin.

I had hoped to avoid needing medication and I was so hopeful that I could lick this thing with diet alone, but my body says otherwise. It is looking like I will only need one shot in the evening before I go to bed, but of course that final determination is up to my OB who I talk with on Thursday. It will not be a big deal to poke myself one more time when I am already jabbing my poor fingers four times a day.

As a bit of an aside, Evan was very interested when he saw that I had to poke my finger. The process is very like the testing I do on him to check his blood thinning levels. He has even asked me to do it again just to amuse him. Both boys love to gather around when it is finger poking time and watch in fascination as I do my thing. I am pretty sure they are convinced that I am doing it for them.

The hardest part about the new diet had been the need to change my breakfast habbits. The placental hormones are strongest in the morning, so that is when insulin resistance is highest. That means that my bowl of cherrios and large glass of milk are gone and have been replaced by one piece of toast, a small glass of milk and eggs (which gives me wicked bad heart burn). Milk has been the hardest hing for me to restrict, I have discovered that I was the main milk drinker in the house because we are not going through it nearly as fast as we used to. I am looking into sugar free drinks because I am getting very tired of plain water and I refuse to invest my carb servings into juice because you get so little juice per serving. I still get some milk, but not nearly as much as I used to drink.

The main thing that is motivating me is the hope that I will not have another 10 pound baby. I would be nice to be avle to use some of the newborn sized clothing that I have stashed away. Evan and Harry were into 0-3 months at birth.

How not to make a good first impression

Evan's pacemaker surgery is fast approaching. I had not heard from the surgeon's nurse about when to stop Evan's coumadin so I called the office to see how they wanted it done. Every practice is slightly different so I did not want to just rely on my memory of how his previous surgeon did things.

I called and apparently they had no idea that he was even on blood thinners!!! I was more than a bit flabbergasted at that bit of news. The secretary tried to excuse it by telling me that they had not received his records from his current cardiologist, but I pointed out that he has been on blood thinners for a good long while so it would be in the records from California too. Sigh.

The good news is that they are now aware that Evan is on blood thinners. The bad news is that this office likes to admit children on blood thinners before the procedure and put them on heparin (which has a shorter lifespan in the blood stream) . So while the procedure is not scheduled until Wednesday, Evan and I will be headed up to the hospital sometime Monday. Fun times! I really missed eating crappy hospital food and trying to keep a bored and very healthy child entertained. I even get the fun of trying to sleep in a hospital room with all the noises and interruptions that happen.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Gah! I hate heart burn. That is all.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hey look something shiny!

To distract you from me updating about how I am doing with my gestational diabetes (I don't want to jinx anything) I am going to tell you something funny that Evan said this morning. I was peeling a hard boiled egg as part of my breakfast. Evan saw me and told me that I should let the chick out of the egg. I laughed but had to think of a way to explain to him about how this egg was unfertilized. I ended up telling him that some eggs had chicks and some did not and this was an egg with out a chick.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday Cuteness

Today was Harry's first Sunday as a Sunbeam. It is strange to think that both of my boys are old enough to be in Primary with the "big" kids and are no longer the "babies" that are in Nursery. My husband and I got to meet our new class. Previously we were teaching the 11 turning 12 boys but since there were only going to be 2 this year we got the girls too. It should be an interesting but fun class. Some of the girls could potentially get the teenage attitude but I think that they will behave during class if I can keep it fun and interesting. the boys I know will be no trouble since I am friends with both of their mothers. They know I would have no issue with talking to their moms if they misbehaved.

I was trying to take a picture of just Harry but Evan decided to get in on the action too.

Harry looking introspective and serene.

I tried for a smile picture but he would not take his fingers out of his mouth and we were running late.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

We rang in the new year in our typical way, everyone asleep except for me. 2008 was a very interesting year for our family, it was not bad but at times it was quite stressful. It has been interesting adjusting to our new home and missing all our old friends. At times I have been more than a little homesick. All those stresses came with good things though. It was exciting becoming first time homeowners when we had previously thought we would end up only in areas where we could not afford a house. My husband's promotion has given us extra breathing room and a chance to pay off our debts early.

We are hopeful about 2009. We know we will welcome a new addition to our family in the spring. Hopefully we will not have to move yet again this summer. Evan will start kindergarten this fall, which is going to be hard for me since I just can't get my mind around the fact that my first baby is now old enough for school.

I am pregnant so I am taking it easy on the resolutions. I am only setting one which is taking more pictures of the kids. I discovered when I went to assemble our yearly picture calender that the latter part of the year was very thin when it came to picture selection and I want to change that for the upcoming year. Here is a start.