Friday, February 25, 2011
I suppose it's a better statement then the usual...
Today is the Kiddo's birthday. He proudly told everybody who would listen yesterday that he was five but that today he'd be SIX. We aren't doing much for it, mac and cheese for dinner and sherbet for dessert. One gift tonight. Well, make two gifts tonight... one from us and one from Lady D (who is flying in to visit and help out for a week, her gift is her being here and the Kiddo is excited beyond words). Tomorrow is his birthday party so hopefully Sunday I'll have some fun pictures for you. We're going to be doing pizza, home made ice cream with goodies to sprinkle on top, and a chocolate cake which will be (God willing) shaped like a police car. Wish me luck on the cake!!
This week has been a rather long one. First day back to school for the Kiddo was Tuesday. When I dropped him off I offered to stay and help but Mrs. S told me that I did not need to, that she'd already spoken to the kids several times about the rules regarding the Kiddo and she felt prepared. Her only real concern was the bathroom and I told her that he would not have to go in school so it shouldn't be a problem. The relief on her face was almost comical, and she said "oh good, I'd hoped you weren't one of those moms."
He's done fairly well with the whole thing. Each day he does not want to go, but only a little so there are no breakdowns or lengthy arguments. We've been on time (barely) and gotten him situated easily. The other kids all love to see him and excitedly run up to give him a high five hello.
Mrs S says he is doing fine with the school work. There have been several in class break downs, where he does something not quite the way he meant to do it and freaks out. Not a normal reaction for him and Mrs S understands,... in fact on the first day as I picked him up she was explaining one of his breakdowns (almost as if she was worried I'd be disapproving of how she handled it) and I told her that she has the perfect temperament for his situation. She raised her eyebrows and said "what, hard nosed?" and I laughed and said yes, exactly, he needs to know you understand, but he also needs to know that breaking down over it isn't acceptable. I really do like her.
I mentioned in my One Week + post that we went to the Kiddo's well child visit last Wednesday. His pediatritian has been one of my favorite people ever since we first saw her several years ago. She listens, and she's willing to have a conversation even when I've gone into rambling nervous wreck mode. We had a long talk last week about the AD/HD concern and she sent us home with a couple Conner's questionnaires to fill out. One of them was for us to do, and one for his teacher. Basically we rated him on a scale of 0-3 on several different types of behavior/situation/etc, 0 being "not true at all" and 3 being "very much true". For example one of the questions was "Inattentive, easily distracted"... we put him down as a 3. Mrs S put him down as a 2.
Yesterday, Thursday, we took the Kiddo back to the pediatrician and she scored the forms and charted them. She said that we'd put him down much higher then Mrs S has... our form had him at medium high level of risk, Mrs S had him at a medium level. Then she did some more questions for us, and she talked to the Kiddo and observed him during the 30 minutes we were there. I expected the ugly acronym, and I expected to be making an appointment with a specialist.
But that's not what we got. Our amazing Ped told us he is normal, he is most definitely a very bright boy, but slightly socially/emotionally immature. She suggested we keep him back a year, that because of the level of involvement at home a second year in kindergarten wont hurt him at all. She said she understands it's hard to do something like that in this state, she'll write a letter if it's needed and she's sure between herself, his endo doctor, his eye doctor, his ortho doctor (for his leg) she's sure we can get enough heavy weight behind the request to make it work.
Deep breath, almost giddy feeling.... We were right!... I was so worried that I was looking at him with blinders on. That I saw what I wanted to see. To have an impartial person look at it and see the same thing is a very big relief.
Today when I drop him off for class I will try to be early so I can explain what the pediatrician said. That way we can get the ball rolling. Am I glad he's going to repeat? No. But in my mind it's the lesser of two evils and I think it will set him up for success more then any other course could (barring private school of course... man how I wish!...)
And a funny:
Sitting in the doctors exam room we went through the usual brief physical. Of course the assistant took his height and weight from me (we used his January Endo visit stats), she checked his ears, heartbeat, and blood pressure. Then she told us the doc would be right in.
The Kiddo started looking around. He saw a sign on the wall and read it to us, "please no food or drink in the waiting room or exam rooms". Then he turned to us and with his best woe is me face he said "hey mom, can I have a drink of water??"
Me: What? No. Jeez you just read that sign, what did it say?
Him: It said food or drink in the waiting room and exam rooms
Me: No it didn't, it said NO food or drink
Him: no, it's says food or drink, there isn't a no
Me: there is too, re-read it
Him: (reading) Please food or drink in the waiting room or exam rooms. See the NO is silent, you don't say it... it's a quiet no.
Me: it's a.... oh man.....
Yeah, he's creative our kiddo... he definitely tried to work the system. Needless to say the conversation/argument over the fact that the word NO cannot be silent went on for several minutes before he gave up. We got him water on the way out.
Monday, February 21, 2011
The Kiddo said he had a dream last night where he left his cast and his hurt behind and went outside to play on a farm. He keeps telling me that he's worried his leg will never be fixed and he'll be stuck in the cast forever. We've got a calendar for him to look at so we can show him about when the cast should be coming off, but two months feels like forever to him.
The good news of the day is that we successfully made the transition from Loritab to Tylenol last night. Since his second day home he's really only been taking the pain meds right before bed but we think at this point it's more for an ache then an actual pain. So we switched him, and he did fine. I don't know why but it makes me very happy to have him on the less potent stuff.
He still does his hour or so of reading in his room first thing in the morning, but then I bring him out to the "brown chair" and let him watch some cartoons until breakfast. Cupcake really misses being with him, with the cast he's almost never on the floor where she can reach him.. that doesn't stop her from laying in his doorway watching him read, or sitting under his chair keeping him company. She really does love her boy.
Tomorrow is his first day back at school. I'm can't quite wrap my mind around how it's all going to work. I will ask Mrs S if she would like me to stay and help and see what she says, I imagine she'll want me too. I'm hopeful that at the very least by the end of the week she wont need me around for the full class anymore. The good news with that is that we went ahead and purchased that table I mentioned in an earlier post for the Kiddo.
It arrived last Friday and we've been using ever since. It does everything we thought it would, it adjusts in height, swivels, and tilts. We can set it higher and angled for when he wants to color or do his at home work (see him in this picture checking his watch to see if he's going to get his numbers done before it counts up to seven minutes?). We can set it a bit lower and flat for when he eats. It'll be a major pain in the tuckas but I'll be lugging this thing to and from his classroom every day so that Mrs. S doesn't have to worry about 'how' he'll do his work.
So the only thing left to write today is my embarrassed humble admittance that I haven't written my grandmother since this happened. I generally write her twice a week so I'm sure she's wondering what the heck is up. I can't decide if the Kiddo's broken leg and immobility will worry her or not, so I didn't know whether to write. At the very least I thought I should wait till I had some more cheerful things to talk about... Maybe now that things will be back to a more normal schedule I'll do it, I don't think the cast itself will bother her as long as it's mixed in with happy faces and normal life.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
It’s been one and a half weeks since the Kiddo fell and broke his leg. We spent several days and a few sleepless nights dealing with pain issues. The mornings have been the best part of the day. The Kiddo normally stays in bed (sitting propped up in his corner) and reading books for a few hours before breakfast.
On Saturday I had a conversation about school with the Kiddo. He was asking when he got to go back and I had to explain that it would be over a week because we had to wait for his leg to heal enough so that it wouldn’t get hurt again. He was very upset, he knew that meant missing Monday and the class Valentines Day party. He cried harder during that conversation then he did when he broke his leg! So I told him we’d see how he felt on Monday and decide then. Either way we had to make his cards to give his class so we rolled him up to the table and set him to work.
27 kids, I think he labeled ten of the cards before I had to take over… the pain medication and awkward angle made his writing very difficult and sloppy.
On Sunday we took our first trip outside. It was a warm sunny day and perfect for a walk. I gotta tell you it’s a lot of work getting him down the stairs. At least two trips up and down depending on where we are going. One with the wheelchair, then another lugging him, then back up to grab any extra stuff and lock the door. But we made it down okay, and we spent two hours walking around the complex. Of course during the whole walk he refused to admit to any pain (check out his foot, you can tell his leg is hurting when he tilts it up like that)… It was a great test on how much work it was going to be to get him outside (and then back inside).
When Monday morning rolled around he was determined that he was going to the party. I finally decided that it was worth the effort to take him and made him promise he’d be okay if we had to leave early.
I stuck by his side the entire time and made sure that he didn’t get bumped. I handed out his cards for him, and he got to color, spread icing on cookies, and eat some of his candy. He said “it’s JUST like Halloween!!”… *sigh* the only reason I put candy on the Kiddo’s cards was because I thought with him not being able to go it would make him feel like his were more special… but I guess candy with V-Day cards is the norm now; and, after seeing how many other kids did it I was really glad I’d put candy on his too (so he didn’t feel like he ‘stood out’).
Since then each day has been a little better with the pain and swelling. Tuesday he had his follow up appointment and x-ray, the doctor said things looked really good and that he wont need to see the Kiddo until March 11th. After the appointment we took a trip to the DMV to get ourselves a handicap parking placard. For the next two months I get to park right up close to whatever place I’m going. It’ll be a big relief to not have to worry about if somebody parks next to me or not (if they did I’d have to pull the car out before being able to put the kiddo in).
Wednesday we had our well child visit. Really they couldn’t do much as far as examining him goes. But they did interview us/him for ADD tendencies. Our Pediatrician said that she thought it sounded like he had some of the signs; but, that she’d like for us, and his teacher, to fill out a Conner’s survey. Once that's done we take them back in to her (next Thursday) and she’ll evaluate the answers to get a better idea of where he stands.
This morning was his best morning yet. He woke up at 9:15 full of cheerful energy. He asked to play with his toys … and he was very specific, he wanted to sit on his floor and have his airport, race track, and town surrounding him. I told him we’d see what we could do and between the two of us we figured out a way..
He played in there with those toys for almost five hours (with a breakfast break in the middle). I’m glad he’s feeling so much more like himself! I’m nervous about him going back to school next week, I assume I’ll have to spend several days (at least) in the classroom with him. Hopefully by the end of the week his Teacher will be set enough that I wont need to anymore. We’ll see *fingers crossed*
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I think most of you (my steady readers) know that the Kiddo broke his leg on Tuesday, but most of you haven’t heard the whole story yet so I thought I’d spend a few minutes writing down the whole story (with pictures). I will start by saying that the Kiddo is fine, he’s far more cheerful then he has a right to be and is adjusting well (so far) to his new restrictions.
Lately the weather has been a little confusing, some days are freezing cold and others are relatively warm, but with my tendons still messed up I’ve been driving the Kiddo to and from school every day regardless of temperature. It’s a seven minute drive, quick from here to there. When we get home I try to park in the closest parking spot to our apartment. Usually that means dealing with parking lot ice, but there’s only been a couple times where the Kiddo has slipped and landed on his butt or knees. I’ve seen a few other kids slip in the same area and I try to make sure I hold his hand until we get to the side walk.
Tuesday I wasn’t fast enough. The kiddo hopped out of the car and started his walk (yes he was WALKING) before I could grab his hand. As he neared the back end of the car I told him to please be careful of the ice, he pointed at the ground and said “what ice? that ice?”, I told him yes, that ice and the stuff all around there because it can be very slippery. As I reached out to take his hand he fell… He landed in a slightly side split position and after a pause started to cry. They weren’t screaming cries, just “holy crap that hurts” cries so I thought he had pulled a muscle. I crouched next to him and cuddled him into a ball rocking him while he hiccupped into my shoulder. After a minute he stopped crying and started to take deep breaths, so I picked him up. Immediately he started crying again, he had his hand locked onto his right thigh. When I finished standing he stopped, breathed some more, and told me that his leg really really hurt. I asked if he could wait till we got inside for me to look at it and he said yes, he buried his face in my neck and breathed shaky breaths all the way across the common area and up the three flights of stairs to the apartment.
The pictures above show how far we walked and where he fell. We were parked where the green oval is, he fell at the red star. You can see how bad the ice is, but the spot we parked in was uncovered so the ice behind it isn’t as bad, plus it was 3:20 in the afternoon… I keep telling myself that I had no way of knowing he would slip and fall, let alone break anything.
By the time we reached the apartment his breath was very shaky and he’d cry for a few seconds off and on. I sat him on the couch, took off his shoes, and very quickly yanked off his pants. His right thigh was huge and my stomach flipped over, that’s when I did the unthinkable stupid thing. I put my left hand on his thigh and pulled his leg strait towards me with my right. I felt the bone shift and line up. He cried out and with tears in his eyes demanded I not ever do that again. I let him curl onto the couch, covered him in a blanket, and called the Man. It was not a very coherent conversation. I think I said something to the effect of “Chance broke his leg! Come home NOW, I don’t care how you get here but be here NOW”.
He told me to calm down, breath, and wait till he got home. See the Man works very close by, it’s a seven minute drive for him. The hospital is also five minutes from our apartment. So it makes a lot more sense for him to come home and drive us in then it would be to call an ambulance. Anyway after I hung up with the Man I went and quadruple dosed the Kiddo with his HC (his normal dose is 5mg so we loaded him up 20mg and then kept his emergency shot handy just in case that wasn’t enough). While I waited for the Man I quizzed the Kiddo on everything I could think of, what he wanted for his birthday, how to spell his spelling words, what flavor ice-cream he wanted (he said sugar *chuckle*) etc. He kept trying to close his eyes and I was scared he’d go into shock so every time he did I’d tell him to look at me and keep answering my questions.
The Man finally got here, and, after checking the Kiddo's leg for signs of, as he put it "Femoral Bleeding" (There weren't any) and confirming that it was likely broken, he picked the Kiddo up as carefully as he could and we rushed him back down to the car. Then I drove strait to the ER with the Man holding the Kiddo in his lap (checking for signs of Femoral Bleeding and Adrenal Crisis). When we got there the Man had me go inside to get some help getting them out of the car (the position they were in had made the Man's arms go to sleep). I went in and had them bring out a stretcher for him. Then the Man, with a Male Nurses help (mostly just hovering to catch a dropped Kiddo), very carefully lifted him onto the stretcher, and then they rolled him inside. The whole time he was quiet and breathing through the pain. He was so calm that they had to ask me if I was sure it was broken. Every new person got the story, “he slipped and fell, did the splits sideways, broke his right thigh bone, he has AI so please make sure you watch him carefully”.. I told EVERY person, nurse, tech, doctor.. I kept out of the way but at the same time I watched him for signs they might miss, and I talked to him. They all listened to what I had to say and were extra careful with him, ER doc ordered another dose of HC (50mg) just to be safe. They dosed him up on morphine and x-rayed his leg. Yep it was broke (duh), he had a “long oblique right femur shaft fracture” and we were told that they wouldn’t be able to cast him at that hospital and that he’d have to be transferred to the children's hospital about 30 minutes away.
They wrapped his leg in a temp cast so it wouldn’t move and when he was told he’d get to have an ambulance ride, his face really lit up. He struggled to stay awake while we waited for them to arrive. Finally they rolled in, and shifted him (bedding and all) onto their gurney.
I went with him in the ambulance and the Man followed in the car. While he drove the Man called the Kiddos Endocrinologist to let him know what was happening and to find out if there was anything we needed to do that hadn’t been done (there wasn’t, we’d done perfectly).. the Endo said he’d call the children’s hospital and make sure that the ER doc on duty knew what to do for the Kiddos AI, plus he asked them to make sure that the Kiddo got a stress dose of HC every six hours just to be safe.
The Kiddo managed to stay awake the entire ride, he chatted with the medic and told him how he wanted to grow up to be a fireman and ambulance driver etc. The guy that rode in back with us was the older one and he was amazing, he listened and talked with the Kiddo, did the paperwork, and kept a very close eye on him. I know that’s his job but I still really liked him, he kept me calm and the Kiddo very happy during the entire ride.
Once we hit the children’s hospital they gave him another dose of pain meds and he passed out (see he’s got his leap frog with him, and his blue snowflake blanket… that’s the same blanket he had as a baby in the nicu). It was 50/50 whether they would have to operate and put pins into his leg, or whether they could get away with just doing a cast. The big bone breaks on kids his age are just awkward to fix. After much consulting and waiting (and about a dozen different nurses and techs) it was finally decided they’d cast him.
He fell at around 3:20, we were in the first hospital by 3:50 , and he finally made it to the OR at around 10pm. Everything went smoothly and he was finally back downstairs in a room by 12:30am.
We sent the Man home (to take care of cupcake) and I stayed to spend the night with the Kiddo at the hospital. They gave him some juice and a bunch of crackers to snack on.
He fell asleep around 1. I don’t think I slept more then an hour that night (broken up in chunks). The Kiddo was out (pain meds!) but I couldn’t stop peeking at him to make sure he was breathing and okay.
That was my view all night. He slept like an angel, stirring every time they came to take his vitals but never fully waking up until around 6:30am Wednesday morning. When I asked him how he felt he smiled and told me he felt okay, that the pain level was about a 4 and he wanted to watch cartoons. We watched Disney channel the rest of the morning, breakfast came at 7:45 (I ordered him a banana, pancakes, and fruit loops) and the Man showed up at 8:30.
We didn’t get out of the hospital until late afternoon though. First we had to wait for the car seat consult, see the way the cast is on the Kiddo’s leg he wouldn’t fit in a normal car seat. They have special seats to fit but they’re usually used for smaller kids. The alternative is a vest type thing that he wears, laying down, and it seatbelts in. Fortunately for us the booster seat we’ve been using fits well enough that the woman said we could use it instead. He has to sit a little sideways but he says he’s comfortable.
We were also waiting for a wheel chair but they sent the tiny one to the hospital (with his cast anything smaller then an adult size wouldn’t fit) so we had to send it back, but the wheel chair guy was nice enough to meet us at the apartment with the bigger size.
It’s still not a very good fit, he’s sitting on the front half of the seat and I can’t shake the feeling he’ll slip off… but he says he’s secure so as long as we’re careful he should be fine and it DOES make it a lot easier to move him around.
Once we got him home we found several different ways to sit him so that he’s comfortable. He needs to be able to be in different positions to make sure the cast doesn’t press on any one part of his body for to long. So we set up a chair, figured out how to sit him down on the couch, how to lay him in bed (for sleep and hanging out) and how to lay him on his side on the couch too (to elevate his leg for when it swells).
Last night, first night home, was a bit rough. He woke up every hour or so crying, but when I went into his room he swore his leg didn’t hurt. This morning I realized that he was probably having muscle spasms (duh me) so tonight I’ll be sure to give him some of the medication we brought home to help with that. And when he was waking up this morning, still half asleep, he stretched to reach his curtain and pulled the leg, which caused really sharp pain and a lot of confusion .. he cried for 10 minutes shaking and scared, telling me he fell out of bed and hurt himself again. I had to explain over and over that he’d just pulled the muscle a little before it was ready, that he hadn’t moved and that he was going to be okay.
He’s in pretty good spirits today. There’s a bit of crankiness (who wouldn’t be upset with losing all their independence that quick, he has to call me for everything from needing a drink to going potty and he can’t play with his toys like he’s used too) but he’s okay.
I also really want to find an affordable adjustable tray for him, one that will slide under his bed or chair or couch and put the table right in front of him. So he can eat, or draw, or what not. Something like the laptop table picture I’ve got here. It adjusts up and down, the table part adjusts in pretty much every way you can think of, it rotates, tilts, and can be put on either side of the center bar. I found one on Ebay for 40 bucks. The question is whether I have forty bucks to spend on it :)
Now we have to go to the apartment office and write out an incident report on it. I want to yell and scream at them for being so lazy with the ice in that spot … but I know that’s not fair and that it wont accomplish anything… still it’s a problem spot and they’ve got salt machines … I guess it’s a good thing I have a few days to calm down before I write anything.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
This morning she had a pea. She started playing with it in the livingroom near the Kiddo (who was on the couch watching his morning tv shows). I walked over to her...
me: He you, what do you have?
Her: (jump jump pounce lick jump)...
Me: alright, drop it!
Her: (grumble, slurp, grumble... spits it out)
Me: What the heck? A pea?? Where did you get a pea?
Kiddo: (laughing so hard he nearly falls off the couch) What did you say mom? a pee? cupcake was playing with pee? (more laughter)
Yeah, he's reached the potty humor stage *sigh*
And the updates.
First day back to school for me is March 8th. I took a four day workshop this past week to help teach me how to use their online learning system. I spent at least three hours a day finishing up the exercises and writing question answers. I aced it. I think I have one or two more of those types of things before my actual first day, but the fact that I did well on this first one is encouraging.
Two weeks after messing up my tendons I think they are almost better. I woke up and took Cupcake out this morning with almost no pain. As long as I remember to stay off them during the day, and prop them up when possible, they don't hurt. That's a huge improvement over a week ago so I'm confident in their healing. Still it'll be several more weeks before I'm back to running form.
The Mans home. He flew in last night. We get one weekend day (today) and then it's back to the grind. We're all glad to have him home.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
In the mornings Cupcake usually wakes up somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30. the Kiddo is almost always up around 8, but on those days when he’s not… well she gets a little restless.
She really doesn’t like it when he gets up late. Yeah she likes her alone morning time, we go out then she plays for a few minutes, eats breakfast, plays for a few more, and then starts her pacing. She takes toys to the front of his door and plays with them there, she comes to ‘get me’ and takes me to his door, she whines and paces.
She isn’t trained yet to alert to him being sick but she does notice when he’s not himself so the first time she did this I got a little scared, but now I know she just wants her playmate up to be with her. When he finally does get up we go through about 10 minutes of morning wrestling, and it’s on with our day.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
But in school the Kiddo is still struggling. He says he tries to imagine a timer in his head but his brain gets tired and he can't do it. We will, of course, keep working at home with it... There hasn't been time for him to get in the habit of thinking that way so to expect him to magically fix in school when there's nothing to remind him to focus is really not fair. The timer we got him to use at home is far to noisy to even consider asking Mrs S about letting him have in class. But I have wondered if there's something out there he could use that would work almost as well?
Lady D and I have been putting our heads together about it and thought maybe a stop watch. But to find one that counts DOWN is difficult, and always ends up having far to many buttons to "play with"
I did find one count up stop watch that might work. It's about as simple as they come and the digital screen is nice and big. I figure maybe he could set the thing on the desk next to his paper so it's in his field of vision. Then again no matter how hard we drill it into HIS head that it's a tool not a toy it could easily become one for his classmates.
The only "count down" timer I could find that wouldn't make a huge loud noise was this one. It'd would work, and the idea for it is fun. Basically it's a white "egg" that changes color the closer you get to times up. I am nearly positive that the sound can be turned off (from reading the specs) and the size is relatively small.
Still, as with anything not attached to his body, I'm sure it would become a toy for the other kids (and Mrs S probably wouldn't appreciate me asking her to deal with that).
Which leaves the final thought/option. We've tried a watch at home, (mine), we tell him to try and finish before the watch says five minutes have passed. In order to teach him to use something like a watch we will have to spend quite a bit of time "training" him, it doesn't make noise and it isn't sitting in his line of vision... he would have to make a conscious effort to look at it and I'm not sure how long it would take to get him to do that even in a distraction filled environment.
Of course for now we'll stick to his little noisy ticking kitchen timer. He has a ways to go before he gets in the habit of racing the clock.. and he needs that before we can realistically try something quieter and less intrusive.
*as usual all the picture hyperlink to the items (on amazon)