Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Accidentally changed the entire look of the blog and made some weird formatting things happen. ha ha ha ha ha ...still no video though.

Test Post

I am attempting to channel youtube through my blog post. We'll see if I can figure this out...

I guess I didn't quite figure it out:
Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tags cannot enclose tags param name="movie" value="

OK, so I cannot figure that out, but I can say if you want to see the video, click here.

Maybe blogger doesn't permit embedded videos. Perhaps it's not me. Maybe it's someone else's fault. Yes, that's it!

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Sampling of Photos from the Day we went to the Taste of Chicago

(which up until the time we realized we were violently ill from the Taste, was considered a nice day trip). Chuckles making friends with the Picasso
The Tin Man impersonators.
Hey, it's the Picasso again (we went before and after the Taste).
The tall buildings, the crowds, the glorious food...all sullied in my eyes.

Select Photos from My "Vacation"

The View from my cottage. It's a nice view. I spent a lot of time just looking as it wasn't really nice enough (nor were we well enough) to do anything.
The weather started getting rough, the tiny bost was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the ------ would be lost.
My cottage, showing the 60 mph winds blowing the birch tree over. This is after the gutters from over the door blew off.
Mr. L-S lighting the heater because the low was in the upper 40s. Also, not the blanket over the door and the cooler holding it there. The door did not seal so well and with the 60 mph winds blowing right at the door, there was a breeze through the cottage. Not worried about carbon monoxide poisoning though. I was worried about the flame in teh heate rgoing out and us getting gassed with propane but then I remembered the breeze would dissipate that as well before we blew up.

Vehicles, Baby

This Photo is Not Sideways

Unclear on the Concept of Sit-N-Spin

One Shoe On, One Shoe Off (now featuring a black sock, too)

A Trip to Costco (30 minutes and $100)

Q: Why was my kid so great in the car to Costco?
A: He was sleeping in the back seat.
Q: Why was he tired at 9:45 am?
A: Because he doesn't sleep at night.
Q: Why not?
A: Hates me.
Real A: I have no idea but I hope it's a sign of superior intelligence.

BTW, got him out of car and into cart and halfway through store before he woke up happy as a clam and wanted to do some "shopping, mom".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Sombrero Results Are In

I am no longer carrying samonella around with me. I may once again swim in public pools. I can wash my hands haphazardly after using the facilities. I can live free and fight against taxation without representation or something.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How did Monday's appt with the ped go?

Fine, but we need to do repeat, three-day stool cultures to make sure the salmonella is good and gone, so I was given another not-sombrero, rubber gloves, tongue depressors, and some sample bottles. Sacatology 101 here I come.

So, I have learned a lot about salmonella. Typhoid is cause by salmonella typhidium or something. So, if Chuckles is better but still harboring salmonella bacteria, he'd be just like Typhoid Mary but way way cuter. We don't know at this point which of the many, many strains of salmonella Chuckles had (although I am pretty sure it wasn't typhus). There are supposedly some additional results we need. The newspaper said it was suspected Heidelberg strain, so whatever. I read through all the notes from Wisconsin yesterday and the MIC was very clear that this strain was susceptible to amoxicillin, so we should be OK.

Oh, and I had blood drawn for a CBC and cholesterol test since while at my doctor she tsk tsked me for not coming in for the last four years. I was like, "Uhm, been healthy, but could you update my surgical record to include a c-section and an appendectomy?"

Stroke of Genius

So, I mentioned that Chuckles likes to take his shoe (only one shoe, usually the left) off while we're outside and walk around the yard while wearing a sock. This gets the sock very dirty and grass stained.

But, as I mentioned, I would rather he walk through a mud puddle in a sock than be in the hospital. But, again, we're not made of money and I can't go buying new socks every week and it's awful to let him wear the stained ones as the grandmother possy inevitably makes comments.

So, this morning, I had a stroke of genius. I let him wear black socks today. Take your shoe off all you want, kiddo. It's just fine. Of course, now he's wearing black socks and either (a) sandals or (b) gym shoes. Good look, I assure you.

Oh, why don't I let him wear sandals without socks? I would, if he'd do it. He will often freak out if I try to get him to wear sandals period or any shoe without socks. So, there you have it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Do not cross the mad, mad, mad mommy bear AND ALSO GOOGLE IS THE DEVIL

Soooo, I was a little upset with the pediatrician's office during the first week of Chuckles's illness and tomorrow we have the follow-up with the ped, so I googled a couple of things and now I am just mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad mad. Did I mention I was mad and feel like we got very poor medical care?

Let's start, shall we? On Monday, we ingested the tainted food. Tuesday, we fell ill. By Tuesday night, Chuckles was vomiting everything he was given, had a fever, and was unable to keep fever reducing medications down. We went to urgent care at 6 or 7 pm. He had a CBC (blood draw) performed and was weighed and examined. We were told it was probably viral, should clear up in a day or two, follow up with regular ped.
Wednesday was the holiday.
First thing Thursday morning, I called the ped's office to get an urgent morning appointment as he was not better. Clearly not better. The nurse told me to go back to urgent care because the doctor was too busy to see us. OK, fine. they don't want to make the sick kid wait. I get it. But, there was no ped on duty at urgent care (because he was at his office triple booked). By this point, I was pretty sure Chuckles needed IV fluids. Sometimes a mom knows.
The doctor at urgent care looked at the stuff from Tuesday, did not examine our child, and wrote in the file (because, heck yes I looked) that he offered IV fluids at parent's request because they were concerned about a 3 lb (in 36 hour) weight loss (which is approx 10% of body weight). Fever was still high and he wasn't keeping fever reducers down. Doctor did not suggest suppository tylenol, which I think was wrong wrong wrong of him. Get the fever down to help the kid from dehydrating. Oh, and heck, right here on the internet it says severe dehydration's definition is having any one or two of these, and let's see, Chuckles had six of them. (1) child unable to drink, (2) minimal or no urine output, (3) greater than 9% weight loss, (4) prolonged capillary refill (defined as greater than 2 seconds, which according to that means I was moderately dehydrated as well), (5) deeply sunken eyes, and (6) direct quote: "Not paying attention to toys or television, or even being difficult to wake up (this is a sign of very bad dehydration)".
So, I think that IV fluids were not only for my benefit but were due to my child's severe dehydration. Which according to everything, severe dehydration calls for immediate IVs and possible hospitalization. This was still four days before we went to the hospital. Four days earlier, I knew something was severely wrong. I am the mom and I know what I am talking about. His little eyes were sunken. Period. He looked like a horror movie kid all gray and limp.

Oh, and one more thing. So, a positive blood culture for salmonella means that septecemia has set in. This is quite serious. The salmonella bacteria usually stay in the intestines and do not enter the blood stream. Chuckles was very sick. Salmonella septecemia has a fatality rate of 3 to 41% depending on the strain.

OK, so I am really glad I read this a week or two after living it because I didn't need to knew that before. I need to know it now both for my forthcoming law suit with the food vendor and for my frank and honest discussion with our pediatrician about his nurse's unwillingness to have us come to the office and his affiliated doctor who didn't think 10% weight loss in 36 hours was cause for bells and whistles.

I'm beat and am going to bed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Own Singing Bee

I had a good time the other day, so let's play again. Again, I will put the lyrics in a blank in white and you can highlight the area to see them. Let's Play.

Season 1 of Gilligan's Island Theme
The ship set ground on the shore of this
uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan,The Skipper too,
The millionaire and his wife,
The movie star
...[highlight here] And the rest. [end highlight]

Patty Smith singing "Warrior"
Shooting at the walls of heartache
[highlight here] Bang, bang [end highlight]
I am the warrior
Well I am the warrior
And [highlight here] heart to heart you'll win[[end highlight]
If you survive the warrior, the warrior

Elvis sings "Hound Dog"
When they said you was [begin] high classed, [end]
Well, that was just a lie.
You aint never [begin] caught a rabbit [end]
And you aint no friend of mine.

Steely Dan "Hey Nineteen"
Way back when
In sixty-seven
I was the dandy
Of [begin] gamma chi [end]
Sweet things from boston
So young and willing
Moved [begin] down to scarsdale [end]
Where the hell am i
Hey nineteen

Don MacLean "American Pie"
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And [begin] moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone, [end]
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the [begin] jester sang for the king and queen, [end]
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester [begin] stole his thorny crown. [end]
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while [begin] lennon read a book of marx, [end]
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang [beging] dirges in the dark [end]
The day the music died.

Guns-N-Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" (which upon reading the lyrics is a very disturbing song)
Welcome to the jungle
We take it [begin] day by day [end]
If you want it [begin] you're gonna bleed [end]
But it's the price you pay
And you're a very sexy girl
That's very hard to please
You can [begin] taste the bright lights [end]
But you won't get them for free
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Feel [begin] my, my, my serpentine [end]
I, I wanna hear you scream

Wang Chung "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
[begin] Rip it up [end] - move down
[begin same] Rip it up [end same] - move it down to the ground
[begin same] Rip it up [end same] - cool down
[begin same] Rip it up [end same] - and get the feeling not the word

And because I am feeling a little sadistic....Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
With the lights out
[begin] it's less dangerous [end]
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid
[begin] and contagious [end]
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
[begin] An albino [end]
A mosquito
[begin] My libido [end]

And a big shout out to LyricsFreak.com for most of these fabulous lyrics.


Chuckles's new habit is taking a shoe off while we're otuside. Then, he proceeds to walk around the garden in his sock. Maddening. Truly maddening. But, I keep telling myself, I'd rather have him happily walking through the garden with his shoe off than in the hospital. Now that, my friends, is perspective.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I am so totally addicted to NBC's new show, "Singing Bee". I love it, but I am sad that during the tiebreaker at the end, you can lose by getting one wrong and the other contestant does not need to get one right to win. My husband thinks he knows all these songs and stuff, but dude, he didn't even know the words to the Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff's "Parents Just Don't Understand". I'll type the lyrics and then leave a big blank and you see if you can figure it out. I'll type it in white font and when you are ready to guess, you can "highlight" the selection to see teh answer, OK. Here we go:

Ok. Here's the situation.
My parents went away on a week's vacation
And, they left the keys to the brand new Porsche {end highlighting here}

Part 2 of "Please Make My Baby Better"

I forgot to mention that during all of this...once teh adrenaline wore off, I was still hungry. In my super great diaper bag, I had a banana which I shared with the Mr.

We were given the option of leaving the hospital or being admitted. I had a clear preference for leaving. My options were to stay at teh hospital and not sleep in a chair or to go back to our cabin and not sleep while lying in bed (or is it laying in bed?). Either way, we were headed back to the hospital at 11 am the following day, so we might as well go home and try to rest (and maybe locate a granola bar and a piece of toast). We were given instructions to push fluids and not worry about food at all. Fluids were key (I already knew this but hearing it from doctors reminded me to tell everyone else to leave him alone about the food and stop pestering the poor, sick kid to eat...get him to drink though, OK).

It was after 11 o'clock now. The automatic sprinklers were on at the hospital even though the ground was very wet from the rain. It was clammy out. Chick-chick-chick-chick-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch went the sprinklers. We drove back to our cabin and were greeted by the in-laws who wanted to visit. I was tired, Chuckles was tired, it was late. I finally said to Chuckles, "Grandma and Grandpa are sorry they have to leave but they'll see you in the morning." Subtle, eh?

Overnight, he woke up and I gave him his usual cup of milk. He'll often take 5 or 6 ounces overnight if I let him (did I mention he still wakes up at night frequently?...I think I have mentioned that). This night, he took three sips and just sat there holding the cup. I tried to put him back in his bed, but he'd have nothing to do with it. I took him to bed with me and he slept until 6:30 in the morning.

Morning came and he wouldn't drink. I gave him formula, soy milk, water, lemonade, pedialyte, random mixtues of things he might like. Anything. He drank nothing. As it was a beautiful day, I decided to take him for a paddle boat ride to change the scenery. He didn't want to go, but once we were on teh water, he was fine with it. He was wearing long sleeves, pants, and a hat, and life jacket. I kept him in the bay. I heard through the rumor mill when I returned after less than a half hour that my father-in-law just kept saying how irresponsible that was because Chuckles might get a chill or get some wind in his ears. Ok, he has a high fever. And it was a iny bit breezy, but unless the breeze was going to blow up his rear end and infect him, I didn't see the harm.

At 11 am, we returned to the hospital to follow up with the most amazing, caring, wonderful doctor person I have ever met-and she had excellent clinical skills as well as bedside manner. I want her to be my new pediatrician. She would not come home with us. Something about having a life already there. blah blah blah. Doesn't she know I need her? She's an osteopath physician which is a real doctor. They do surgery and prescribe drugs and everything. I think the only difference is their philosophy of treating the whole patient (and maybe even teh patient's family). Before I even get into the visit with her, I want to say again how great she was. She gave us her office number, her pager, her cell, and when we called the office, they put her right on the phone...no talk to a medical assistant first, no leave a message and we'll call you back, nothing. They went and got her and put her on teh phone. Amazing. Perhaps things are just more laid back in teh Northwoods. Or maybe she is the best doctor in teh history of forever. If you live in North Central Wisconsin, let me know and I'll refer you to her.

We sat down and wait for about 10 seconds before she came in. She asked us how teh night went. She examined Chuckles (who had fallen asleep on my lap again). She immediately said that looking at him, she was sure he had a bacterial infection of some sort even though the labs did not indicate that. She also said that he should not have been this sick for this long (a week at this point). She asked if we'd like to give him a shot of antibiotics or give him oral antibiotics. At this point, he would not take anything by mouth at all and when he did, he'd vomit, so we begged for the shot and as I was about to ask about tylenol suppositories, she said they could give him a suppository in teh office to help bring the fever down (and she personally demonstrated teh technique for holding it in there until it dissolved...she didn't even have a nurse do that). And she gave us samples of suppositories, chewables and different flavors of liquids. She said to give him whichever one he would take. It's all the same dose so it doesn't matter as long as they are taking it. She also gave us popsicles, although Chuckles was uninterested.

Then, she got tough but fair. She asked if we were camping or staying in a travel trailer. We said, no. She asked if we were in a hotel without a kitchen, no again. We were staying in a small cottage/cabin. No A/C but kitchen, heat, and hot and cold running water. She said if we were camping or in a hotel, she was going to put Chuckles in teh hospital because it is too hard to care for such an ill child under those circumstances. She also said that if he were in teh hospital, she would have him on an IV of approximately 2 ounces per hour, 24 hours per day and without the IV, it was our job as parents to get an equivalent amount of fluid into him. So, since we hoped he would sleep at night, it worked out to about 3 ounces an hour during waking hours. She gave us syringes and told us to play "squirt guns" into the mouth, she gave us medicine cups and said to play "tea party". I had brought colored straws and straw cups, so we coudl try that too. Experiment. Get him to drink. Positive reinforcement when he did drink. She would call us in the morning to find out how we did and if we couldn't get the fluid in him, into the hospital he'd go. There were several conditions she gave us where we were to rush him back immediately as well.

The nurse came and gave him the shot. The doctor gave us some samples of other kinds of diaper cream to try on teh rash and a script for antibiotics.

So, we set off for the nearest Walgreens with our instructions and a sense of purpose about our lives. Our goal was to keep our baby out of the hospital and to get him well.

He took a long nap (over 2 hours) when we got back to the cabin, and all I kept thinking was "Now I am 6 ounces behind on the water consumption". We marked each of his cups with ounce markings and a permanent marker. We set up a chart with 50, and each ounce he drank, we crossed it off and changed the number. Diarrhea diapers meant we had to add one ounce to the total number of ounces to be consumed. At one point, I was hours into it, and we still had 51 ounces to go. It was maddening. And then, something wonderful happened.

Chuckles asked to drink out of Grandma's giant cup with bendy straw. And when he took a sip, we all clapped and said, "Yay!!!" Then we said, "Show Grandpa, he didn't see it." And Chuckles drank and Grandpa clapped. Then we walked him around the resort and had him repeat this for every person we saw. Everyone knew we'd been at the hospital, so they were all in on it with us. Even the other kids knew and they asked him to show them how he drank from a straw and they clapped. We did this drink-clap-drink-clap-drink-yay thing for about four hours. He drank 8 ounces. It was heaven, but it still wasn't enough. I was inserting tylenol suppositories every 4 hours and the fever was way down, but he still wasn't drinking enough and we still weren't sure why he was so sick. All the tests were negative.

Dinner came and went and bath time and drink-clap-yay. It was time for bed with stories and a cup and that went well. There was a message on teh cell phone. It was Dr. Fabulously-Wonderful calling to tell us that she didn't know what it was, but something was growing in his blood cultures. Stick with the antibiotics and she'll call when she knows more. I actually felt relief. We still didn't know what it was, but we knew he had something and something can be treated. Unkown is very hard to deal with.

We called her in the morning. We had to report that we only got him to drink 36 ounces, but his fever was down under 100. She said with the fever down so much, he no longer needed 50 ounces and 36 was just fine, keep teh fluids up, stick with the antibiotics. She thought it looked like a secondary E. Coli infection in his blood, but she wanted to be sure so she could get the right antibiotic to him. My husband asked me how our perfect little toddler could contract E. Coli and I said that his butt was bleeding and sitting in his own fecal matter. I can see how E. coli could enter the bloodstream this way. Sure we clean diapers soon after they are dirtied, but there was still contact with an open wound.

Wednesday morning she called to check on us. The lab results were in. Chuckles (and I as well who at this point was still quite sick) had salmonella. She switched antibiotics on us to get something that would work better and told us to give these to him and follow up with our pediatrician. She also told us she had to report this to the health department because they like to track these things.

I immediately called a friend back in Chicago because I was so relieved and she had been living all of this with me. She was my vent. I hope I someday can repay teh favor to her. I kept thinking, "how did this happen?" Sure, we had Veggie Booty in the house that had been recalled for salmonella, but it had been a week before we got sick since we had eaten it. I figured that's where we got it though. I went to Walgreens again to fill the new script and the power went out (4 times). Then, my cell rang. It was my friend in Chicago. Power went out and the phone dropped the call.

My friend called me back shortly reading a news story off of the internet about how 17 people were sickened with salmonella after eating hummus at the Taste of Chicago. Wait, we ate hummus at the Taste. We fell ill within 24 hours of attending the Taste over a week earlier. We were 18 and 19. We were famous.

As of right now (Tuesday, 3 pm), The Tribune reports:
More than 500 people have reported becoming ill after eating food from the Pars
Cove booth, according to the Chicago Department of Health. Health officials
have confirmed that at least 50 of those cases were caused by salmonella
poisoning and at least 17 people were hospitalized.

I have no idea whether we are included in those numbers. Chuckles is lab-confirmed. I sent my samples in today (and that thing they gave me to collect my samples is not a sombrero-do not put it on your head). We have been reported to health departments in three states (WI, IN, IL).

As soon as the medical bills are done coming in, I get to write a strongly-worded letter demanding medical bills and some unspecified amount for pain and suffering, et al. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Chuckles can now give himself his antibiotic. He knows how to put the syringe in his mouth and push teh plunger. He still has diarrhea though. It's been two weeks. Fever is gone. Vomiting has stopped. He gained back a little of the weight, although I did pull some of last summer's shorts out for him as his clothes were literally falling off of his body. No droopy drawers for my boy.

I am recovering physically. I sent my sample to the lab today and went to my doctor. I'll know in a few days if I still have salmonella or not. I still have the lingering effects, but I am eating yogurt like a crazy person. Emotionally though, this has been pretty rough on me. I know it's not all about me. He is the sick one, but I am scarred for life from this. And my mother-in-law agrees. She said she rememebers everything, including the names of the paramedics, about the time my husband had febrile seizures as an infant. However, of all things, this has made me want another baby. The love I have for Chuckles is strong and I guess I just want more of that.

My husband asked his boss yesterday if he could have a "do-over" on our vacation, errr, "vacation". The first half was deathly sick, and the second half was cold, rainy and windy (and our cabin was not winterized).

By the way, why was a lack of snot, diarrhea, and vomiting OMINOUS FORESHADOWING? Because he was too dehydrated to make mucus, poop, or vomit, that's why. And his lips were deflated and his eyes were sunken into his head, but I guess I didn't notice until they plumped him back up with fluids.

Today feels a lot like "vacation"

Spent the morning running to the doctor and having tests. It's raining, windy, and 71 degrees out. Yep, that sounds like my most recent "vacation".

Best of the Best

#1 of all time: Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

#2 is a recent newcomer to the field: Edy's Slow Churned in French Silk (so good and reduced fat and creamy)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recap of "A Week I Wish I Could Forget, but Fear I Won't Be Able"

During this entire post, any time I use the word vacation, please put "air quotes" around it. I fear I may forget to do that, but it is important to the flow of the story. There is OMINOUS FORESHADOWING that must occur during this as well. We'll see if I can figure out how to put it into a spooky font for you...here goes.

So, by Friday, we were feeling well enough that I got a blog post out in snappy highlight/lowlight fashion. The diarrhea had somewhat subsided for Chuckles, the sniffles were completely gone, and the vomiting had mostly disappeared. So, Saturday morning, we decided to set out for our scheduled-for-a-year vacation, oh wait, that's "vacation". We made excellent time. Chuckles was so docile and content in the car and slept a lot. (I have decided that blue is the color of OMINOUS FORESHADOWING).

Without a child in tow, it's a six-hour trip. It only took us about 6.5 hours, which is truly excellent. We arrived and it was hot and sunny and absolutely beautiful. We went for a good dinner of hummus and vegetable gyros and came back to our cabin. Oh, my in-laws were on "vacation" with us as well. I am not sure whether to put that sentence in blue, but it is relevent to later events.

I had, in my sickness induced haze, forgotten to pack a changing cloth or blanket or something to cover teh bed when changing diapers. As diarrhea was still a very real possibility, this was definitely not good. My mother-in-law came to the rescue with a beach towel that I covered in cloth diapers.

Sunday was a beautiful day as well. We had breakfast on the deck overlooking the lake (well, I had breakfast, Chuckles just sat there not eating or drinking). I attempted to convince Chuckles to swim in the lake, but every time I touched him, he shooed my hands off of him or cried (who could blame him as I was mostly touching him to change diapers at this point and that was a painful proposition by now his butt was so raw, swollen, red and bleeding, I cannot imagine how much it hurt). I did end up putting him on a raft and sending him out to sea for a bit. I took him in to get him out of wet clothes and he promptly threw up on the changing towel. I just wadded the whole mess up and tossed it on the deck. Eventually, he fell asleep (which, as you know, is not like him at all). He still had a fever, but all seemed well enough. Until....he woke up from his nap.

The ear thermometer read something like one-zero-five-point-one. Yes, that's right 105.1 deg-F. We gave him ibuprofen and left immediately for the nearest hospital. It was exactly 5 pm and it was dinner time and I was hungry, but there was no time to delay. By now, it was pouring rain and dinner was supposed to be done on teh grill, so there was no telling what time we'd eat and we couldn't wait. Our car seat had been moved into the in-laws' car the night before, so we ended up driving their old people car to the hospital. Mr. Long-Suffering drove (without the windshield wipers on as he couldn't find the switch) and I sat in teh back with Chuckles holding a bucket and telling him about the adventure we were on.

We got to the hospital in good time as traffic was exceedingly light what with the driving rain storm. We were registered and triaged quickly. While sitting in the ER waiting room (after seeing the triage nurse), Chuckles threw up all over me and ding. The ibuprofen was gone. Ding was puked on. I was puked on. BUT, there was a spare ding in the bag, thank goodness---good mommy packed a supreme diaper bag. Do you think we'd have been seen sooner if he had retched on the triage nurse?

We were placed in a private room in the ER and Chuckles fell asleep on my lap. That's right, Mr. Nap Resistant fell asleep without any convincing whatsoever. By now, of course, I was a leetle bit worried. Steel on the outside, but mom mush on teh inside. A man entered the room. He was some kind of medical student and as near as I can tell, he was very nervous. I think he is hard-of-hearing as I speak clearly and loudly and he kept asking me to repeat. This annoyed me to no end. He had poor clinical skills, but he was nice. He didn't know how to open a tongue depresser package and in fact, did not realize he'd need to one to look in Chuckles's mouth. I had to suggest it. I think the student should go into podiatry or geriatrics. Halfway through the physical exam, Chuckles woke up. He was unhappy, but didn't make a big fuss at all.

The student came back to tell us that the real doctor would be in shortly to do teh exam but that he was pretty sure there'd need to be tests and blood, x-rays and possibly an IV and wanted to make sure we were OK with that. Which we were. Please, make my baby better. Chuckles fell back asleep. By now, with all this sleeping, for my kid, I was getting just the tiniest bit nervous.

The real doctor, who let me tell you was an emergency medicine physician and a reference to George Clooney would not be out-of-line at all, came in and had no trouble locating a tongue depresser and examining the child, who again woke up half-way through the exam, but didn't say so much as boo despite having his mouth opened by a piece of wood. We were told they'd need to draw blood, do an IV for possible administering of drugs and to give fluids, do a chest x-ray, and some other stuff that I don't mumbo jumbo nervous remember.

Chuckles fell back asleep. They sent a team of 4 in to get the IV line in (which after the failed IV on Thursday, I thought was reasonable). There was on to do it, two to hold (one was named Emily - she's a good holder they said), and one to hand things to the person doing it. They started positioning him for the IV and Chuckles did not wake up. I stroked him and called his name and he did not wake up. After about 30 seconds of that, I was a teeny tiny bit freaked out, but he woke up. They inserted the needle but it was in the wrong place, so they poked him again. He said plainly, "Ouch." They were using the same port to draw teh blood for the tests as they were for the fluids, so there was blood everywhere. I shed about 3 tears, none of which Chuckles saw, but Mr. Long-Suffering saw it. He couldn't see what was happening with the blood and the digging for the vein. Chuckles was naked on the table, with his arm strapped to a board. There was blood on the blankets and the sheets and the adult-sized gown that I was using to cover him. It was air conditioned in the room and we were all wet from teh rain, so despite the ridiculously high fever, I was worried he'd get chilled. I was cold and shivering (or maybe just shaking - hard to say).

I remembered why I love Mr. Long-Suffering. He held Chuckles's hand for four hours. We needed to keep him from twisting his arm, even though it was all gauzed to a board. So, Mr. Long-Suffering held Chuckles's hand. It was touching and in fact, right now, this is the thought that makes me want to tear up.

Now, we just needed to wait for the test results. The more fluids that were pumped into Chuckles, the more alert and talkative he became. I hadn't realized just how sick and lethargic he had been until he lighted right back up. It was amazing. Emily came back. She was sweet, probably only 20 years old, a student and she brought beanie babies. A bear and a striped kitty. I am so thankful for Emily. She came back again later and blew bubbles with Chuckles. Emily needs to go into some kind of pediatrics.

Chuckles's fever came down with the fluids. The test results were inconclusive. We were free to go but we were to follow up with the local pediatrician the next day.

I think I'll stop here and pick up right here next time.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I hate someone

I just want to say that I hate the person who came up with "surface wash only with damp rag" for stuffed animals. I just wanted to take teddy bear and dunk him in a bucket of hot, soap-y, bleach-y water. Instead teddy got a sponge bath in the sink with Johnson's head-to-toe baby wash and then spent 40 glorious minutes in the most scorchingly hot dryer ever. He's never been fluffier.

Also, even with two dings, I still had to explain to my limp, lethargic, pathetic, ill child that ding was dirty and needed to be washed. One was in the washer and one was still 20 minutes from done in the dryer. He took it like a trooper. Even two days later, he occasionally looks at ding and says, "Ding dirty". Also, with all this ding washing, at one point, Chuckles was holding a ding and noticed a ding in the laundry, picked them both up, hugged them both like a long-lost friend and cried, "TWO DINGS". I snatched one of them as soon as he wasn't looking and stowed it under the couch. Good thing too, because about 6 hours later, in the middle of the night, I needed to make an emergency ding swap.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The week that was

Alternate Title: When the ess-ayche-eye-tea hit the fan

I'll now recap my week for you in snappy format.

Highlight: Going to the Taste of Chicago with Jamington (and a sleeping Chuckles)
Lowlight: The fact that Chuckles had a mild fever and sniffles while there

Highlight: I scheduled a networking lunch this week to help get me a job
Lowlight: I cancelled it.

Highlight: Having a dryer that works
Lowlight: Doing 4 loads of laundry between 10 pm and 6 am over the last several nights

Highlight: Chuckles napped every day this week
Lowlight: One time, he woke himself up from nap by vomiting all over his crib

Highlight: My husband answering his work cell phone
Lowlight: I was begging him to come home from work because I was so sick myself, I could barely strip the sheets from the crib, scrape the gross into the can, strip Chuckles's clothes, get him into bath, and do the laundry.

Highlight: Chuckles slept through the night Wednesday
Lowlight: And when I got him out of the crib in the morning, the bed was full of [yuck] and it smelled - bad.

Highlight: My rugs are very clean
Lowlight: Because after being sprayed with vomit, I took them outside and scrubbed them with a brush (right after I hung the flag in patriotic fashion)

Highlight: A mid-week holiday meant my husband was home from work to help on Wednesday.
Lowlight: The fact that he needed to go back to work Thursday
Bonus Highlight: Which he didn't because I had gotten 90 non-continuous minutes of sleep overnight and basically could not get out of bed in the morning.

Highlight: Holiday traffic to urgent care is low
Lowlight: Holding my son down while two nurses tried to get the IV fluids into him.
Bonus Lowlight: All that effort and they never got the line in.

Highlight: Since we weren't eating, I didn't have to cook or do dishes.
Lowlight: Since he wasn't eating or drinking, Chuckles lost 3 pounds in two days (10% of body weight)
Bonus Lowlight: I wasn't eating, and gained 2 pounds.

Highlight: My son now knows how to call for a bucket before he throws up.
Lowlight: The fact that he needs this skill

And it went downhill from there including a second trip to urgent care and a diaper rash so bad I cannot describe the awfulness.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The new swing set - NOW WITH ALL PARTS

He turned his bike into a car carrier truck


Extremely Before - 4 years ago (but not all the way before... by this point, I had already painted the very dirty beige walls bright white and replaced the bronze drawer pulls on the vanity with cute little stainless ones). Note the very yellow shower walls and the mirror over the sink (without cabinet, which was attached to the wall with construction adhesive), the white-painted vanity and the laminate mable countertop with surface mount sink. Feel free to look at the Aqua Net hair spray and the giant tub-o-spackle and putty knife as well.

A glimpse of after: we replaced our bronze light fixtures that featured big light globes with flecks of sparkle with these basic white fixtures with a frosted glass. The picture looks dark, but man, do these brighten the room. And they are so little you don't even notice them.

A little more after: THE CABINET IS DONE. After 13 weeks, I can put my brush in the drawer. We got a new countertop with integral sink and a new faucet, which is quite cute. I stripped the white paint from the vanity (along with a coat of pink paint, two coats of yellow and a coat of beige) and stained it in honey walnut (3 or 4 coats depending on location) and applied 3 coats of polyeurethane for damp areas. We got a countertop in "Castle" from US Marble with the contrasting color integral sink. The floor I replaced 4 years ago and I think I am going to replace again. I am going to go with 6" squares of something that looks like stone. This will probably require that I re-do the stripes I painted 4 years ago as well. But that 4-year ago cosmetic remodel cost under $200 (medicine cabinet, tube surround over tile, paint, drawer pulls, and self-adhesive vinyl flooring) and got me here today.

Feel free to notice the 2 screwdrivers in the picture and the POTTY STICKER CHART on the floor. There sure are a lot of stickers on that chart!!!! Progress is being made once again after a Mexican Stand-off on the potty front.