Category Archives: Pain

I Don’t Remember My Parents Going Through Stuff Like This

Yesterday, I had four happy, healthy little boys who spent the morning vigorously cleaning their toy room with their great-grandmother and playing with their visiting cousins all afternoon. I had a fifteen-month-old who was laughing and playing and hugging and kissing and being totally normal.

Until bedtime.

That’s when Eli started crying for no immediately noticeable reason. It wasn’t a ticked off cry because he wasn’t ready for bed. It seemed to be a pretty obvious “I hurt” cry. Since I couldn’t see anything wrong with him, I decided to check his diaper and make sure nothing was getting pinched.

Oh. My. Gosh.

While I’m sure it wasn’t a logical conclusion, I thought that one of his test*cles had moved to the other sided of his boy parts. Like they got tangled or something. I’m guessing that doesn’t happen but, people, that is definitely what it looked like. One side looked empty, and the other side was way too big and looked like it had two. In my book, this was not the kind of thing that you wait a day to see if it gets better. By 8:15 pm or so, Eli and I were in the car heading for the Emergency room at Children’s Hospital.

Thankfully, they were able to get him in pretty quickly, since he was having repeated bouts of inconsolable crying. No question about it, my poor boy was hurting. When the doctor came back, he determined quickly that he had a hernia. Then he went about trying to push it back where it belonged.

And I thought my son was in pain before. Wow.

He was able to get the “big part” in, but couldn’t get the rest in. He told me that we would wait a bit and try again. If that didn’t work, they would sedate him and try again. If THAT didn’t work, they’d call a surgeon and transfer him for emergency surgery. But, don’t worry, because that NEVER actually happens. They can always get them back in.

Uh, yeah. I guess they made an exception for us.

The ER doctor tried. He really did. And it was obvious that Eli did feel significantly better after he got that first big part in. The rest, however, would not budge. Plus, there was something else in there—roughly the same size and shape as his test*cle (no, not the other one…it WAS where it belonged, but that is why it looked like he had two on one side.). The surgeon was called.  He decided that surgery was necessary for an incarcerated hernia (basically, that means it was stuck and could cut off the blood supply to the intestine and cause that part to die and have to be removed—it can become dangerous) and a hydrocele (that other lump). I was comforted when I realized that the surgeon on call was the same one that had done Eli’s surgery for penile adhesions when he was about six months old.

The other kids went to grandma’s house and Sean came to help me. At around 1:30 am, Eli went in for surgery. Luckily, I had brought him in quickly enough that his intestine was not damaged so the surgery was a pretty routine thing that only required about a 1 inch incision. And, while he was at it, the surgeon decided to check up on his previous work and took care of the fact that Eli was starting to to develop adhesions again. That’s right—we got a two-for-one surgery (I wonder if THAT would happen under universal health care?). By a little past 3:00 am, we were in our recovery room.

You’ve all been in hospital rooms before, right? I’m assuming you are familiar with the concept of a “bed” for visitors. You know, those weird little chairs that have to be bent and folded like a Transformer until it creates a hard, flat surface to lay on. Yeah, we had ONE of those. I tried to lay down on it (despite the fact that I haven’t even been able to sleep in my own bed for over four months). After about ten or fifteen minutes of feeling like my legs were being ripped from my hips, I gave up and told Sean to enjoy his chair-bed. I sat in what was barely a step up from an office chair and read some of the Ann Coulter book, Godless. Of course, as much as I enjoy her reasoning and snarky delivery, there comes a point where lack of sleep turned my brain to applesauce and I couldn’t even do that anymore.

When Sean woke up at 6:00, I went back to the Transformer chair and “relaxed” in pain for about two hours. That was the totality of my sleep for the night. Which means that I spent the rest of the day feeling, well, about the same as I have for the past few months. But, at least this time I had a completely understandable reason, right? Not that that stopped Sean from spending two hours at the office this afternoon (I swear, dear, I’ll only be there for less than an hour…), then came home and immediately started mowing the lawn. Because I obviously would be able to nap through that. Bless his heart, it really is in the right place (even when he’s being totally oblivious).

We were discharged from the hospital right around lunch time. As soon as they took the IV out of Eli’s hand, he insisted on being set down so he could run around the recovery room. He has been amazingly happy and normal ever since then. I am just stunned by how little it seems to be affecting him. Other than a normal dose of Tylenol at 9:00 am, he hasn’t even had any pain medication. You would never guess that he just went through all that pain and surgery last night. For that, I am incredibly grateful.

If I can get a night of serious sleep, life will be good.

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Filed under Kids, Pain, Scary Bits of Life

Moving on with Life

First, off: Thank you all. While I am spending very little time on the computer right now (sleep is kind of a big thing for me lately), I have taken the time to read through all of the comments not only on my blog, but also on the posts my sister and my mother put up right after the accident. It is so amazing to see the support–to know that there were people who I have never even had the pleasure of meeting face to face who were praying for me and my family. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your prayers are felt and appreciated. And, to those of you who have been helping me out in real life, your efforts are appreciated, too (and your food is being eaten and enjoyed). I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful and generous people.

Normally, it is hard for me to allow people to do things for me. This time, though, I have welcomed it. The truth is, I’m still dealing with a lot of pain. I hate admitting that because I feel like I’m being a whiner, but that is my reality right now. My bruises are starting to show some signs of fading (well, maybe not around the cut on my chest, which has now turned every color of the hematoma rainbow–sexy), but the center of my chest still screams with some of the simplest movements. I can usually pick E~ up without it being too bad, but if he moves suddenly or bumps me–not good. The poor kid is not getting held nearly as much as he is used to, which makes me feel horrible.

The other thing that kills me is that, while we have been able to talk to the other kids about their fears and feelings about what happened, E~ is too young to really comfort. As a result, he is terrified of being in the car. We took him to a car dealership with us last night. Every time we turned, hit a bump, hit the breaks, etc. he would shake his head back and forth and scream. I was sitting next to him the whole way trying to comfort him, but it just wasn’t helping. Thank heavens, he was so tired by the time we finished that he was able to sleep most of the way home. I hope that he will be able to feel safer soon.

As far as our dealership journey went, we did find a car. After how well our Explorer protected us, we decided to stick with a Ford. With a fifth child on the way, though, we decided to go bigger. We are getting a used 2008 Expedition EL (that is the model with an extended back–similar to a Chevy Suburban). It only has a little over 16,000 miles on it, and it looks brand new, so we should be happy with it for many years to come. And it’s a tank.

There is probably a lot more that I could say right now, but I’m going to leave it here. It has taken me all day just to get out this much. And, honestly, I don’t know how ready I am to face all of the emotions I’m still dealing with. Let’s just say that I’m going to sleep with the TV on and awake a lot in the middle of the night.

Once again, thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, and help. Things are getting better.

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Filed under Pain, Scary Bits of Life

Making it Worse in Order to Get Better

Today was the surgical consult for E’s, um, male issues.

First, can I ask why it is, when you go to a doctor’s office, that they don’t warn you if they are running behind? I showed up at the appointed hour, checked in with no one else in the waiting room, and was taken back to a holding cell exam room. I was told that a resident would come in, followed by the surgeon. After about forty-five minutes of nary a doctor-figure in sight, I went to the front to ask just how far behind the doctor was. He overheard the conversation, told me I was next to see him, and was in the room with me within a matter of minutes. The resident never came.

So, anyhow, E~ does have adhesions. The surgeon felt that, in some areas, it went beyond adhesions to full-blown grown together skin. He said that he could try to deal with it in the office, but he didn’t think it would work and it would be very painful for E~. I decided to go with his recommendation, which was to schedule surgery. I’m not fond of this option, since it will require general anesthetic, but I also didn’t want to put E~ through something that, um, personal and painful if the doctor didn’t believe it was going to work. The surgery will only take a couple of minutes, so he will only be under briefly. The surgeon said he wasn’t concerned about using anesthetic on E~ since he is a big and healthy baby. But he’s my baby–I worry.

Because of how long I sat waiting in the doctor’s office, I had a real rush to get to my massage appointment on time. Then I got lost, causing me to show up half an hour late. I hate doing that. She was really understanding, especially since I called when I realized I was going to be late. But still, I hate messing up people’s schedules.

It turns out that the massage therapist had a son who had to be operated on for the same kind of adhesions. Serendipitous and comforting. His surgery went well, and she assured me that it was no big deal.

It also turns out that I am a bigger mess than I thought I was (and I knew I was a mess). You know how you think of that nice, comforting massage where you practically fall asleep on the table because it is so relaxing? That’s not what you get when you’re all jacked up. I had a lot of tensing and “ow”ing while she worked on me. My hips were in such bad shape from toting a baby around that it honestly felt like she was shoving a metal rod into them when she pushed on the muscle with her finger. It even hurt when she massaged my one forearm (I remembered afterwards that the reason I started using a sling was that I had been getting shooting pains in that area when carrying the boy). I told Sean to not be surprised if she told him what a mess I am next time he sees her (they are in a networking group together). It got to the point that she was laughing about just how bad I was. Progress was made, but it may require Tylenol tomorrow to counter the side-effects of progress.

Yep–motherhood is rough on a gal.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Kids, Pain, Scary Bits of Life

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Like a Chicken with Her Head Cut Off

So much to say–so little time to say it.

I got a phone call on Monday. A BIG phone call. T~ called to ask me what I was doing on Thursday and could she, maybe, come for a visit then. Of course! We have been trying to work out a visit for months now. It has been over a year since the last time we saw each other. She and I have each added another baby since then, and the other kids have done a lot of growing up during that time, too.

And, of course, N~ has really figured out who T~ is in relation to him during that time period. I have warned her that he asks questions about her being his “other mom” (she was shocked that he already gets it). I’m curious to see if he will ask her questions about it tomorrow. I’m also a bit nervous for her sake. I’ve gotten to grow into his questions. Anything he asks her would seem a little more out of left field.

So, what do you do when getting ready for company that you haven’t seen in over a year? Let’s see:

  • This morning I am trying to do my normal general cleaning stuff. If I’m lucky, I might have the chance to pull out the carpet scrubber.
  • During nap time I plan to work on the teddy bears I started last night for T’s three kids. (What? You don’t get ready for company by making handmade teddy bears? Slackers!)
  • This afternoon will be any cleaning, sewing, carpet scrubbing that doesn’t occur this morning.
  • Voice lessons at 6:00 pm.
  • Youth group at 7:00 pm.
  • Before bed I need to clean the nasty ferret cage (he “redecorated” his cage, moving the litter box out of the corner, then continued to poop in the now litter box free corner). Yuck.
  • Somewhere in there, I need to buy food for tomorrow and flax seed, cloves, and plastic eyes for the teddy bears.

No problem, right?

Right.

Oh, and to add to the day, I seem to have developed a clogged milk duct. Faaaaabulous.

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Filed under Daily Life, open adoption, Pain

Things I’ve learned

Things I’ve learned this week:

Frozen french fries are the ultimate in cuisine to a two-year-old. Don’t misread this. FROZEN french fries. Not frozen french fries that have been cooked. Just FROZEN french fries. Blech.

Apparently, the quickest way to really tick off a four-year-old boy is to call him “Veruca.”

It’s also the quickest way to get him to make your point for you.

Dogs have an amazing ability to sniff out a “special” object and try to claim it for their own.

scarlet and bear

I soooo did not stage this picture. And I caught her doing the same thing with one of E’s blankets the day before. Scarlet was our first “baby” (we got her right after we were married), and I don’t think she has ever forgiven us for all of the other animals and kids that we have brought home since then.

I have also discovered this week that, sometimes, “help” ends up meaning “more work.” Sean’s grandmother offered to come help out every morning this week since I’m “recovering” from having a baby. She won’t.stop.cleaning. OK, I know, what am I complaining about? After all, the laundry is caught up, the toy room is picked up and organized, and the boys have been making their own beds. It’s nice. But I feel, um, judged. If I sit down or turn on the tv, I feel like I’m getting sideways looks (and a few small comments…). In short, instead of relaxing because I have help, I’m working harder on things that wouldn’t normally bother me because I have help. I suggested a trip to the children’s museum for her “last day” on Friday. The kids were thrilled. As we were parting ways, she told me she would see me on Monday. I guess I’ll have to rearrange my sock drawer to prove my homemaking skills.

Finally, a week of a horribly uncomfortable ear infection saps me of all motivation to write. This post has taken me almost a week to finish (how sad is that?). I’m praying for a pain-free week ahead. Heaven forbid, I may have to break down and go see a doctor. Yuck.

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Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Pain

Some Stereotypes Exist for a Reason

For instance, the “clueless male” stereotype.

Last night, Sean told the boys that he would try to take them swimming at the YMCA today. For the record, we have never done this. Sean told them they would go “if he could work it out.”

I should have been concerned right then.

This morning, N~ was talking again about swimming. Sean again stated the “work it out” stipulation. After N~ walked away, he asked me, “What would you think of taking the kids swimming on one end of the pool while I do the water aerobics class this evening?”

Honestly, I thought he was kidding.

Honestly, he was not.

I resisted the urge to ask him under what circumstance he would think that a woman, bloated with 8+ months of developing child, would be even mildly interested in squeezing her expanding bottom into a bathing suit so that she could go swimming (in public!) with two preschoolers and a toddler on her own so that he could do water aerobics with overweight women with AARP memberships (OK, maybe not all of them but, again, some stereotypes exist for a reason). Instead, I just informed him that, while I may be willing to sacrifice my dignity enough to help HIM take the kids swimming, I sure as heck would not be dealing with all three on my own.

By this afternoon, he didn’t really feel like splashing around in the pool either. Especially since he had hoped his brother would come with his daughters (again, thinking he could do the class if said brother was there to “help” me), but the daughters didn’t bring their bathing suits to his house.

New plan–I get to convince my children that going to McD’s play land with their cousins would be more fun than swimming. Yeah, right. Sure. W~ was buying it, to some extent, but N~ wasn’t going to be convinced. Sean’s brilliant idea? Just tell N~ that he (Sean) will be taking the other boys to the play land with their cousins, and I can take him to the Y to go swimming. Yeah, ’cause that will persuade him he doesn’t want to go swimming enough to miss out on McD’s. As I expected, N~ thought this was a great solution. The only thing able to get me out of it was that W~ then was sure that he wanted to go swimming with me, too.

So, it’s back on Sean to be the bad guy. As I told him, I’m not going to be responsible for carrying out his idea. Not this time. Not when it involves exposing an extra 30 pounds of flesh. No ,thank you.

Pregnancy Update

I had another appointment on Tuesday. From here on out, I am now on the once-a-week schedule. I also got the handy little “What to do if you go into labor” sheet. Yay! There is something wonderful about being far enough along to get that little slip of paper. I am, quite honestly, ready to be done with this.

When I was going through all of my fertility stuff, I really hated it when pregnant women complained about being pregnant. All I could think was, “Be grateful for the experience!” I would have given anything for the puking, aches, pains, and other socially-unacceptable aspects of carrying a child. And I still hate it when women whine incessantly about the normal aspects of pregnancy. But, sometimes, well…

I really think I would be fine if not for the fact that I have been sick for almost three weeks now. Really, the bad stuff has been gone for about a week, but I’m still coughing. Imagine doing a backbend so that your stomach muscles are stretched as tight as they possibly can go. Then hack, consistently, for the next three weeks.

Exactly.

I have a spot on the left side of my stomach that pretty much feels like it is going to rip open every time I cough. I can’t help but imagine the scene from Aliens where the alien comes crawling out of the guy’s stomach, except I’m the host organism.

Yes, I’m grateful for the chance to be pregnant. However, I will also be grateful for the chance to STOP being pregnant.

Not Everyone Deserves to be a Parent

I have, once or twice before, mentioned the ex-lesbian-in-law and her stellar parenting skills. Well, she’s hit a new low. The other day, my 14-year-old niece told my brother that, in addition to cigarettes, her mother (and mom’s girlfriend) smoke something else that smells “kinda sweet, and old.” And, apparently, their smoking paraphernalia was getting a bit rank, so she decided to have my niece, her 14-year-old daughter, wash it out for her. The niece described it as looking something like what the caterpillar was using in Alice in Wonderland. Imagine being a responsible parent, and having to explain that to your child.

He’s contacted his lawyer. He’s trying to set up an appointment with the mediator. He’s hoping for mandatory drug testing to prove what she’s doing.

I’d be contacting Children’s Services and creating one hell of a paper trail for the custody hearing.

But that’s me.

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Filed under I think my head might explode, infertility, Pain, pregnancy