As I look out my window right now, it's a swirl of snowflakes. So beautiful. I couldn't be happier. I know lots of you are lamenting the fact we get snow, and the roads get bad, and kids get sick, but the beauty of a snowy day just kind of makes it all okay. That and the fact that if you live in Michigan you shouldn't be too surprised about the snow! We're off to the south tomorrow for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your loved ones or find someone to love!
Ah, so it was...no, IS a staph infection. And the doctor says that this one needs a stronger antibiotic than the two he has been on already, so when we are through next week, hopefully, he will have been on antibiotics for 30 days. I know, I know. It could be worse, and thank God it's treatable.
There is a hole in the eardrum of boy #1, and that is very disappointing. According to the doctor, this perforation is in a position that typically heals well. Considering we have had two surgeries on that one eardrum, and both times the hole has been patched and subsequently healed up, there is some kind of breakdown during the end stages of healing or soon after. It continues to remain open. There are lots of details I won't go into because I am sure my son would not like everyone to know all his health details, even at his age. HE doesn't even know all his health details! Plus, it REALLY bothers him and he gets in a funk when this ear thing becomes the focus of conversation. So, we continue to tell him that the Bible says we are healed by the stripes of Jesus, and that is what we will believe. He believes it with all his little heart, and more than anything, that is why I want him to experience healing.
And, yes, we are STILL administering breathing treatments to two of the three kids. I have come to hate the mysterious Reactive Airway Disease!
It's been a tough week, and it's like I am hanging on until we get a break from the daily grind. As much as I want to be angry, I feel like I really can't. I feel like I am being cheated, and that life isn't fair, but then the good times really outweigh the bad sometimes, and the hard stuff fades into the background. Mostly, I am confused. I don't understand why, and I probably never will. That just makes our level of frustration rise. Both Stefan and I have looked at these situations from every angle, and we have done everything we know to do, and sometimes we feel like we have just failed our children...faulty genes and all that.
"Mom, I feel pressure in my ear like I did when I was 5. I don't like it."
"Let me see, get the flashlight. Um, Stefan, what is this in his ear? His ear is bleeding, and it won't stop."
"Looks like some kind of something."
"Put it in a bag, you'll have to take him to the doctor tomorrow on your half day."
11:00 P.M. "I don't know, what do you think?"
"Well, I know I don't like the sound of that, so fill up the humidifier and put it in her room."
12:00 A.M. cough, cough
12:47 A.M. cough, cough, cough
1:00 A.M. cough, cough, cough, cough
Thursday, 6:00 A.M. "I don't know why I set an alarm, I was up all night listening to the coughing."
"Me, too. What time do you want me take him to the doctor?"
"I don't know; I have to make an appointment when they open at 9. I will call you on my break. You'll have to get him early from school and then get the little kids when you are done. Do you think she'll be okay today?"
"I don't know. I will make sure she sounds okay before I take her in."
"Well, let me know. I hate this."
1:45 P.M. text message "His bleeding ear is fine; some kind of scratch or something, he has ear drops to make sure it's okay. The other ear has another hole in the eardrum, though."
"Hi, I need to make an appointment for my son. The ear he had surgery on has another hole in the eardrum. We would really like to see the surgeon before Thanksgiving." 8:00 P.M. "I don't know what's wrong, but she sounds horrible, tons of wheezing. You should take her to the doctor in the morning."
"I already have to take #3 in for his 4-yr. well visit plus a recheck on his ear because it won't stop draining from that ear infection, so I'll just add her. Did you give her breathing treatments while I was at conferences?"
"Yeah, but she still sounds bad."
"How's the ear?"
"He's pretty upset about having to go back to the specialist."
"I know, but what else can we do? Now both of them have some ear thing to worry about."
"Do you think he'll change the antibiotic again tomorrow?"
"I don't know. I hope it just goes away. It's been two weeks and two antibiotics. Have fun up north hunting with the boy. Take his mind off everything, maybe."
Friday, 1:00 A.M. cough, cough, cough
10:15 A.M. "Dr. Sundar, I don't know what else to do about this draining ear. Should we try another antibiotic? Is this normal?"
"It's not 'normal', but it's not 'abnormal' since he still has the tube in that ear. At least the infection is draining out and not causing pain. I think I will swab it because it might be a staph infection in his ear."
"When will we know about that?"
"Probably Tuesday; it has to be cultured."
"What do we do if it's a staph infection? Isn't that serious?"
"Yes, but let's cross that bridge if we get there. Now, what's the deal with her? She doesn't sound good? Are you still doing inhaled steroids? Albuterol? Humidifier?"
"Yes, yes, and yes. She was fine until yesterday. Then she started with the wheezing. I have been doing everything I can think of to avoid steroids again. She is so little."
"Let me take a listen....yes, bad wheezing. We have to do something different because you are doing the max you can for prevention, but it's not enough. I am going to put her on a new medicine; it's not really approved until 12 months, but it's the lesser of two evils. Let's try it for a month.
"Are you sure it's safe?"
"I think so, yes."
"Okay, but I don't like this. I don't know what else to do, though."
"Try it for 30 days, and I am writing her a steroid prescription. Use it if you need to; you'll know when, you always do. I want to get you through the weekend without having to take her to the ER. Call me or bring them back if they get worse. I'll let you know about the ear culture, too. Keep her on 4 treatments a day and 2 of the steroid."
Sigh. text message "Little kids...not good. Things are falling apart while you are gone."
Saturday, 10:00 A.M. "Are you wheezing, too? Do you feel okay? Is it scratchy? Does it hurt? Let me see your ear? It's still draining. Let's take your medicine...and why don't you sit here and watch Cars while you have a breathing treatment. Let me get the other machine because it's time for your sister's too.
2:00 P.M. Another round of breathing treatments
6:00 P.M. Another round of breathing treatments 7:00 P.M. "Hi, it's Mom. She's been in an accident on her way home. She flipped the car and Dad's on his way. I don't know much, but she is walking and talking; I'll keep you posted."
"Stefan, are you on your way home? My mom just called. My sister's been in an accident. No, I don't know much, but I am waiting on her to call. I might need to drive out there. You'll have to finish up the last round of treatments tonight and give all the medicines."
Sunday More of the same
12:00 P.M. "I was so worried about you! Always hit the deer! How's your neck? Fracture, sprain, and concussion? Go lay down!"
My Bubba turned four last Sunday. I can't believe he is four! Just look at that sweet little face in the banner picture; he looks so pure. Tomorrow we are celebrating his four wonderful years with friends and family. We actually rented the Tumblebus, and he is very excited about it. The look on his face tonight when I reminded him that his party was tomorrow was so blissful; like there could be nothing better anywhere than his party. On his actual birthday, he kept asking, "Is it still my birthday?" He just couldn't believe his good fortune that he got a whole day to himself. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, considering that he is the middle child. When he was born, I was happy that he and his brother would be buddies, but at the same time I was apprehensive that he might not be able to find his own voice. His brother had come before him, you see, and not that our family or friends wouldn't value Slade for his individual worth, but all the "boy" things had been done, and all the boy sweetness and fun didn't seem quite as new and shiny. The Lord in his ever-faithful way took those quietly whispered worries and has made life such a sweet and exciting adventure with our Sladey-doodle. He recently quit saying that his whole name was Sladey Doodle, as in first name, middle name, and then Anderson.
Sladey Doodle Anderson: we couldn't have special-ordered a more complete blessing. You have given us hours of enjoyment and a million smiles. As many times as my heart has squeezed with worry about your health and my mind filled up with a myriad of unanswered questions, the joy out of your heart has been two-fold. Through you, the Lord has sustained both your Daddy and me. Everyday, we speak blessing over your life and your choices. The same way we trusted the Lord four years ago in making our family of three into one that would include you completely, we will continue to entrust you in His care. We love you!
So now it's November...can you believe it? I so can't. This year has literally flown by for me. I can't remember a better time in my life! I am so happy and blessed by my family, and we have had a lot of fun this year in welcoming Scarlet into our close-knit family of four and making the Anderson Five. I don't think there are two brothers who love their sister more than Spencer and Slade. She lights up when she sees either of them, and it's so wonderful to see that. I hope she continues to do the same thing when she's 13 and they are still protecting her and loving her!
In the last few weeks, we have done several Halloween/fall-related activities. I already wrote about the Friendly Forest, of course, but we also went on a hayride and enjoyed a bonfire at Spicer's Orchard in Fenton; Slade had a field trip with his pre-k class to an orchard in Oxford; Spencer painted pumpkins in art class; we participated in the family pumpkin carving at our library, and then last night...Trick-or-Treating with Commander Rex (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Buzz Lightyear, and Minnie Mouse!
It's been a great autumn, and I am looking forward to seeing a few snowflakes. I know people think that is weird, but in MIchigan, we get to enjoy all four seasons, and I really do. In fact, I have been disappointed with the forecast for the coming week: every day the temps will be 65-70, and that doesn't seem right for the first week of November in Michigan!