Roid Rage

We have a full blown case of roid rage going on over here, again. I keep saying, poor Joey, but what I am really thinking is, poor me. It started on Sunday night with a crazy allergic reaction to who knows what, which triggered an asthma attack and out of nowhere came this horrendous cough. Because obviously one of those things alone wouldn't have been awful enough, so we better get all three to deal with at once because that will be more fun!

So, so much motherfucking fun!

We ended up in the ER at around 1a.m. and thankfully we got right in and it was slow so we didn't have any old people moaning next to us or any drunk guys screaming about having to piss in a cup for a drug test. Those were always the super fun visits.

Our local hospital is brand new and opened less than a year ago and I can say it is incredible. The ER rooms are all private, with doors!, and each has its own flat screen TV and bathroom. It is such an improvement from the old ER and now I can actually make myself take my kid there in the middle of the night.

What I don't love so much is when I get nurses or doctors, who although are incredibly kind, don't really seem to either know how to handle my kid or me as a parent. Any time an ER doctor says to you, "What do you think we should do?" You should make a mental note that this is not the best situation. I have incredible doctors for my son and it is unfortunate that sometimes his condition requires me to have to use the ER and its often less than stellar docs. I will clarify that not all of them are bad, but a few just lack what I am looking for in a doctor. Like answers and solutions and medical expertise, you know, small stuff.

I appreciate them asking me how I feel my son is doing, but let me fill you in on a little secret. If I got out of my warm bed and drove my 4 year old to the hospital in the middle of the night, it is not because I feel like he is doing okay. I thought this would have been implied by my visit, but alas it obviously was not.

So yeah, his face swelling? It normally doesn't look that way perhaps more than a shot of Benadryl should be considered. I could have done that at home. His breathing and non-stop cough? A problem. One that can (and usually does) quickly worsen being that my kid is severely asthmatic. So, yes, thank you for the nebulizer treatment of special epinephrine drug, that helped. The problem is when I ask you if I can get a prescription for that for home and you explain to me that they are only allowed to administer it in the hospital because he needs to be monitored on it and you are releasing us to go home, of course I am curious what in the sams hell you think I am going to do when he starts coughing as soon as we get back home? 

It is this question that makes you wonder whether or not you should admit him? Since it is almost 5am, my thought would be yes since he is 1) no better and 2) we are exhausted and 3) you could give him the secret neb treatment and monitor him and 4) AGAIN, HE IS NOT BETTER! But, you say you think if I just do my regular nebs at home around the f'ing clock his breathing should be okay and the cough sounds like croup (which the secret medicine was for) but follow up with you doctor to be sure and his face? Oh yeah, not sure why it is still swollen with hives. He must be having a reaction to something. WELL NO FUCKING SHIT, SMARTY PANTS!

As you can see it was a very long, incredibly frustrating evening. We left after they gave him a double dose of steroids and after following up with his "real" doctor yesterday it was determined that it was a croup cough and he still had wheezy lungs. His face was still bad but after a few more doses of antihistamine he was just itching and sneezing instead of swelled up like a plumper. His seasonal allergies are so bad and the early blooming this year along with the swings in weather (85 one day and 40 a day or two later) has made him a disaster. I am actually concerned he is going to scratch his eyeballs right out of his head.

The best part is I have surgery scheduled on April 4th for him to have some procedures done that will hopefully help him feel better. His CT scan showed chronic sinusitis meaning his sinus cavities are packed solid with infection that no antibiotic can clear (trust me, we tried 45 days worth.) This issue is also causing an increase in breathing issues, his pulmonologist believes anyway, so the plan is to do a procedure that will open up his sinus passages. They will also remove his tonsils, his adenoids (AGAIN, the damn things were removed and have grown back because they are apparently over-achieving adenoids) and they will also remove a tube that is stuck in his ear that should have fallen out by now. Yes, it is a lot to do to one 4 year old's face / head. It is going to suck bad, most likely really, really bad, but the hope is he will feel so much better once his sinuses are cleared. Poor kid has been complaining of a headache nearly every day for months.

Hopefully clearing the sinuses will also improve his asthma. They say they are all connected through some sort of pulmonary tree or something or another. All I know is they say it should work and I am praying it WILL work because he is only 4 and he doesn't need to go through this all the time. He needs to run and play without wheezing!

So we are on steroids, yet again. I think this is his 6th round of steroids this winter alone and we hardly even had a winter here! It is rough and the side effects are horrible. He brings a whole new meaning to the term roid rage. He is fine one minute and losing his ever-loving shit the next. It is impossible to deal with at times and I just have to let him freak out and wait for a calm to pass over him. I wish I could put him in a t-shirt that says "I'm hopped up on roids" so people would understand the craziness and behavior swings. The drug is a miracle worker for his lungs though so we do it. It works and it usually works pretty quickly so I will tolerate my child becoming a monster, but oh sweet Lord is it difficult.

I feel horrible for my boy. He is brave and deals with so much, but I really can not help but feel bad for myself as well. It is hard being a Mom on any given day. It is hell parenting a kid on steroids.

Fingers crossed his lungs clear and we can actually go through with the surgery next week. It will suck but going through this week after week, month after month is sucks way worse, I think.

Four

It started with 12 weeks of panic. Once you have a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage you hold your breath every time you pee and say a prayer there won't be any spotting. The doctors always assured us once we saw a heartbeat we were pretty safe. I felt that panic through all 12 weeks, heartbeat and all. The first 14 weeks I don't remember much except the bathroom since that is where I lived. I have never been so sick and I was sure the baby I was lovingly carrying was trying to kill me one dry-heave at a time. That 14 weeks turned into month after month. They were all filled with worry, stress, doctors, tests and then bed rest. It was a long pregnancy and I knew going in my risks were high and complications were likely. I just didn't know how not to bet on the odds.

When I went into labor on the first day of my 35th week, I was elated. I had been having contractions that were roughly 5 minutes apart for about a month and had been on drugs to stop the labor from progressing. They didn't stop the painful contractions so when the doctor realized my body was making this labor thing the real deal, he let me stop the drugs and deliver. After all, I had been in this place before and we managed, surely we would do the same this time around.

At 5:39pm on March 24, 2008 my sweet-faced baby boy arrived. He was already so big for being born early and he came out roaring and ready to go. To say Joseph was a blessing would be an understatement, but then again, aren't all babies blessings. He was special in a different way to us, he was an accomplishment. He was the greatest reward after all the risk. He made the stress, worry and weeks on bed rest worth it.

Dear Joey,


I can not believe that you are four and that you are no longer the baby I remember you being just yesterday. You are strong, independent and out spoken. No one believes me when I tell them you are just turning four because you are only one inch shorter than your six year old brother and weigh only a few pounds less than him. You are a mini-version of your Dad and there are days when I look at your face he is all I see.


You are smart and show me how kind you are at the oddest times. You are not gentile and our joke is that when you love something, you love it to death. You are hot-headed and have a temper that rages which sends you to more time-outs than your brother ever had at your age. The way you flip from calm to crazy in seconds reminds me that you are going to be the one that causes me trouble as you grow. You are also the boy who will climb in my lap and snuggle me or ask me for one more hug before bed. You tell me you love me to the moon and back daily and each time you say it my heart bursts open. 


You are crazy and you do everything at 110%. It is all or nothing with you and you give everything you have when you try something new. I admire this so much about you.


You are a fighter, both good and bad. You will take your brother in a fight and never back down, always holding your own. You are not a pushover. Since you struggle with your asthma and breathing so much you have been put through alot. You always do what I ask and although you get scared you listen to me and trust me when I tell you that you will be okay. You never stop fighting through it. I am amazed by how brave you are.


You are a gift to our family. You are worth every minute of the worry I felt trying to get you to this world healthy. You make me realize that the greatest risks are what offer the best rewards. You make my heart happy and I can't imagine my life without you.


Happy Birthday, my sweet face.


I love you always,
Mama xoxo


A sweet-faced baby

One 

Two 

Three


Four

The Ex-Factor

I recently read an article about a woman talking about how she was so focused on what her ex-boyfriend thought of her. It was based on this woman wanting to lose weight so when she saw her ex at her high school reunion she could maybe get a second chance with him (never mind the fact that the lady was married.)

This got me thinking, do people really do this? Focus on their ex's and pine away for second chances with them? I can sort of understand wanting to lose weight before a high school reunion as much as I can understand wanting to lose weight before getting married, etc. I try and stay in shape so others don't think I'm a fat ass, this is true. No one wants people to think they look bad. The last thing you want is to leave your HS reunion and have people talking about how bad you looked or how much weight you've gained. That is a no-brainer even if it does have zero to do with your happiness. But, if you think for one minute that I am running my butt off (literally) each week so my ex boyfriends are impressed with the way I look, you are completely wrong. I run mile after mile so I feel good about myself and so my husband thinks I'm hot (or at least hot enough for him.) I could care less if my boyfriend from high school or college think I am fat or skinny or whatever.

I guess the idea of thinking about the woulda, coulda, shoulda's in terms of old relationships is insane to me. There is a reason those relationships didn't work out in the first place. Sure, there were plenty of times when I was devastated that things didn't work out. I was no different than any other heartbroken girl would've been, but after the fog of the break-up passed, there was no looking back. I never waited for any guy to come back to me or for a second chance. I am good enough for one chance - if the guys back then couldn't see that the first time around then I really didn't want to be with them then or now.

I still occasionally see or talk to some of the guys I dated back in the day (that is what old married people say) and I can honestly say I am so thankful things didn't work out. I'm so thankful they weren't the one. I look at where some of them are now and what they are doing with their lives and I am more certain than ever that my life is better without them. I don't want that to sound mean, but it's the truth. I can't even imagine who I would be or what my life would be like with them. I would hope they are happy in their lives. If I would've given any of them a second chance, or went to a reunion looking to impress them so they would want me back, then that would mean I wouldn't have had a first chance with my husband. Truth is, my husband puts all those other guys to shame.

There is something to be said for unanswered prayers. I would like to think everyone would value themselves more than trying to be someone second chance.

Sayonara February!


Who is happy it’s March 1st? This girl, right here. I have mentioned my dislike of February before, and this February was no exception. I do feel like a jerk even talking bad about how crappy February usually is since we have had a gloriously mild winter in Chicago this year.

Yes, I know now that I said that we will get 4 feet of snow next week. I get how karma works. Seriously though, it was 62 and sunny for most of the day yesterday and taking the kids to the zoo in February has never been so much fun.



Almost as tall as a Grizzly bear!

So as far as most Februarys go, this one was by far the best I can recall. It is still the yucky part of what feels like the never-ending, ugly winter around here. Which is totally different from the early, Christmas season part of winter and all things jolly. The end of winter is dirty and gray and (usually) cold enough to wear you down into a deep I never want to get out of bed kind of depression.

This past month, yeah past as in over, was full of sickness, doctors, medicines, medical tests, the talk of surgery and more sickness. So yeah, see ya later alligator. The only thing I find decent about February is Jack’s birthday and even that was kind of destroyed by sickness this year. I could care less about Valentine’s Day and if it wasn’t for the tradition of Lou Malnati’s pizza Jay and I hold true to, that day would be no different than any other. I was spoiled by my boys this year and received a super sweet necklace for Valentine’s Day. A Lisa Leonard gift is always the way to a girls’ heart (chased by Lou’s pizza, of course.) Those three really are the greatest boys ever.

A little love from my Valentines....love them!

I am hopeful March will bring things other than snotty noses to our house. I am looking forward to things blooming and green things to start appearing. Our house is happier when the boys get some time to play outside each day and Jack has been waiting to learn to ride his new 2-wheeler ever since Santa brought it, which seems like forever ago. Jason and Joey celebrate birthdays this month so we will have more birthday party fun to look forward to and well, cake, of course. It is, after all, the most important part of a birthday!

Our new puppy comes home the first week of April and we are all excited about what fun chaos she will bring. We still don’t have a name for her but we get to meet her in a couple of weeks and hopefully when we see her sweet face we’ll know her name.

One of these little fatties will soon be ours!

We still aren’t past the threat of surgery and it looks like it may be inevitable and Joey will need to have a number of procedures in the near future. Nothing super serious but necessary to help him breathe and just be healthier. It is just not something any of us wants and to say we dread it is an understatement. Having to decide if surgery is the right decision for your kid (when it isn’t something obvious like an appendix or something) is the suckiest part of being a parent yet. I just hate to put my little guy through all that and he is such a good sport about all the tests and doctors that it makes me feel even worse. He trusts me to make him feel better and I am afraid in order to do that I am going to have to cause him so much pain. We shall see…

No matter what March brings, it is still not February anymore and that is good news.

Welcome, Spring. 

Necklace photo from lisaleonardonline.com   Check her amazing jewelry out, you will love it. I promise.