Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reunion-Farewell-ER-PICU-Houshunting-Baby Shower

It has been a loooo-oooong while since the last time I wrote.  There's a lot to catch you up on... so be prepared for a looooo-oooooong post...

Labor Day Weekend
* Went to the hubby's USNA Class Reunion.
* Had a great time visiting with friends I hadn't seen in a looooong time.
* Missed one particular friend IMMENSELY when I ran into her husband and not her. Too bad she was off traveling in Europe.
* Enjoyed a little alone time with the hubby.  So wonderful.

Weekend Trip to VA
* Sadly went down to Virginia to say "So long, Farewell, Alfeeterzane (phonetically spelled, of course), Good Bye" or in the language of the Navy "See you next time we're stationed together"  to many good good good good great friends.
* It was sad and difficult to say the least.
* The trip began a good three days of me spontaneously crying and begrudging the Navy.

Birthday Celebration for G
* Planned to take G and her good buddy (and buddy's mom, who is my good buddy) up to Annapolis to do a little pottery painting and lunching in honor of G's 5th birthday.
* Excited to do a little something special for her for her birthday AND a good way for her to make one last good memory with her buddy.

Birthday Celebration Cancelled for Trip to the ER which led to trip to PICU
* The evening before we were planning on the Big 5 Celebration, S got a runny nose and started to sound congested.  We've seen this before and it requires a trip to the ER.
* Hoped and hoped he wouldn't get worse through the night, but at 330am and 530am I had to give him a nebulizer treatment at home.
* At 7am, he was up again sounding much worse.
* My Buddy, who was planning on being with us that day, was kind and flexible and understanding and everything "friend" means, and came over to take G & M while I took S to the local ER.
* About two hours at the ER and we had S hooked up to an IV; he had received two intense breathing treatments and was not improving at a rate that pleased the local docs. The ER doc told me, "if he doesn't get better, we're going to have to transfer him to a hospital up in DC with a pediatric ICU."  My thoughts were "oh, yikes. okay. but surely he'll get better."
* Overheard Doc on the phone saying, "patient shows high pulse rate. patient's retracting with every breath... blah blah blah... yeah. we'll fly him up to you."
* Honestly thought, "'fly him up to you'? wow, i bet we're gonna get in an ambulance with the lights on an 'fly' up there."
* Doc came to our little ER room and said "did you hear?" "yeah" "so we're gonna fly him up to Georgetown University Hospital.  You can go in the helicopter too if you want." "whoah! you mean, fly-fly?!"
* Okay, so it was pretty serious.  I didn't realize how scared I was at the time until after things got better and then thought back to everything and realized how dream-like it all felt.  I got into a helicopter that they pointed me to (the view was pretty amazing... and the fact that I wasn't scared to death of flying shows that I was so scared about S, I couldn't muster up any more 'scared'), I heard what the docs were saying, but didn't comprehend much of it.  And the most obvious sign that I was kind of freaked out was that the Resident doc didn't recognize me the next morning... she re-introduced herself to me the next morning, then said "oh my. I didn't even recognize you! you were so worried yesterday."
* P was out on the boat doing some carrier qual flights with a squadron out of Norfolk at the time.  I was never able to get in touch with the duty officer at that squadron to get word to him that S and I were heading to DC.... but amazingly he got word on the ship and by the time I landed at Georgetown, he had already be scheduled on a flight off the ship for a few hours later.  I am soooo grateful to all the Navy folks who stepped up and got that done for me.
* P showed up at the hospital later that evening.  S was doing better, but still had a very fast heart rate and his breathing rate was concerning the Docs.  He was up to 150 breaths per minute.
* Stayed at a local Holiday Inn for the night so I could get some sleep (after not sleeping the night before) and take a shower and have a moment to wrap my head around everything.
* S had a slower recovery than we hoped and had to do a breathing treatment constantly for 24 hours.  By late Sunday night he was finally released from the PICU and admitted to general pediatrics.  He was released from the hospital 36 hours later for a grand total of 3 and a half days at Georgetown University Hospital.
* It has been decided that he has asthma that is triggered by congestion.  We are giving him daily allergy meds and a preventative nebulizer every day.  We also have some steroid nebulizer treatments to give him if the retraction starts again.
**** I KNOW there are many many many parents who deal with much much much worse conditions and sicknesses with their kids.  I do not, by any means, want to imply that this was the  "worst thing ever" because I know we are very very blessed. My heart goes out to all those parents who have to spend long stays in the PICU.****

And On To CA
* The day after S was released from the hospital, P and I were supposed to be heading to CA for a conference and househunting.
* Postponed the departure date (a few $$ later) and stayed home until our local pediatrician checked him out and said he was doing fine. This postponement also let us be at home for G's actual birthday, which was an extra special treat since I thought we were going to miss it and I was having immense Mommy-Guilt about that.
* Arrived in CA two days late, but were there in time for my aformentioned size 8 dress.  (Read back a post or two for more on that.)
* After the conference, we headed up to Ventura County to surprise some great friends at church who we hadn't seen for 4 years!
* Two days of house-hunting later, we signed a lease in a community we were really excited about living in.

Baby Shower in Chi-Town
* Two days after returning from CA, I headed back to the airport and flew to Chicago.
* Evening One in Chicago = worst nail salon experience ever (I'll write about that another day) and tapas dinner with Dad, my brother-in-law "R", and my most-fabulous sister "K"
* Morning One in Chicago = Hair Salon with K for a chic blow-out, Baby Shower at Tribute Restaurant (WON-DER-FUL) for my sister and my soon-to-be new niece "E" and getting to see lots of great people whom I haven't seen in quite a while.
* Afternoon One in Chicago = Drive up to my hometown to see my bestest high school friend "J" and her brand new baby girl!!! Precious, sweet, cute, loveable, snuggable, darling!!! (my friend's baby is all those things.... not my friend herself, that would be weird!)
* Evening Two in Chicago = Delicious Italian dinner with Mom and K, followed by a sleepover for the three of us at K's city apartment.  If only we had Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea to watch!
* Morning Two in Chicago = Photo shoot of my sister and her baby bump, head to O'Hare and fly back to Baltimore.

And that, my friends, is what I did from September 2-October 2.
Which leads us nicely to The Big Move Across Country.... TBMAC....


  1. Betsy, I love reading your blog. You are so honest and real about being a mommy and a navy wife. You are so talented in saying what we really feel. Also, do not ever feel bad for what is your reality with your kids. When Tanner was on chemo, I lost many friends b/c they thought I wouldn't be able to relate to their reality (ear infections, etc)...I don't think they meant to run, but just got worried. Believe me, those of us in the "really bad" situations just want to hear about normal and there is never an ounce of judgement. Good luck in CA...can't wait to hear more!

  2. i love reading your blog...I can't wait to read about your adventures once arriving here in cali :)

  3. Thanks, Shanda. I didn't know that Tanner had had chemo... but I promise to still be your friend. :o) I remember reading something on your FB wall, but I don't think I knew the whole back-story. Anyway, it's never easy when your kid is sick, whether just a bug, something a little serious, or something super-serious. You've always seemed like an amazing mom every time I see you with him. And he was always such a happy guy when I saw him at the gym! Hope you're settled in in TN! Keep in touch.

  4. Thanks Kirsten.... I bet you'll be reading about some of our adventures together in future bloggity blogs!!! Hope you don't mind.