Thankful Thursday: Nurses

Today I have a special message of thankfulness to give, and this one is to our nurses.

With our frequent flier miles at the hospital, we get a chance to meet and test out most of the nurses here on the pediatric ward. I know a majority of them…mostly by first name.

But today, this blog post is about them. I am thankful for them everyday…especially this week.

I am thankful for:

  • Not making me feel like a bad mother for wanting to not be in the room when medicine is given. When a little kid’s throat is sore, taking medicine is a form of medieval torture, no matter how necessary it is. I can be the bad guy when I have to be, but appreciate the breaks occasionally.
  • Talking to me like a mother, not a child or a doctor. When the doctor says, “We’ll talk about going home once he starts drinking.” And the nurse letting me know that with 2-year-olds, we could be here a bit.
  • Letting me know what’s normal. The above mentioned issue of not drinking? Guess what? Completely normal.
  • Taking care of one of my most prized possessions. That includes: reading his history, understanding my concerns prior to coming in the room and going above and beyond to do what is right for George.

No matter how you look at it, all of the nurses here are pretty much amazing. And one day, when George is big and strong and a no longer eligible for the pediatric ward, I hope to come back and personally thank each one of you, for your crucial part in our journey.

But for now, a simple “Thank you” will have to do.

What gets George through a hospital stay? His puppy, his blankie and his tractor magazines!

 

Wordless Wednesday – Mini-veggies

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve been working hard on getting our garden to make it through the year. You see, it’s not just because I like vegetables, or I think we’re the only ones who can grow a tomato right, or I don’t like getting vegetables from my store or anything like that.

It’s much more simple…I want to provide for my son.

George’s condition? George’s diagnosis? George’s illness? Hmmm…what do I call it…let’s just go with OTC. George’s OTC will not allow us to provide him with the wonderfully delicious beef that the rest of our family gets from the farm. And he never will be able to enjoy it…at least not much. George is limited to 10-12 grams of protein per DAY…and well, that just isn’t much in the scheme of things. And meat is basically out of his realm of menu options. Completely.

George loves his fruit! It's a good thing, since that's about the only thing he can eat a lot of!

 

 

So we go with fruits and vegetables. And since North Dakota isn’t real high on the fruit scale of production, we’re going to do our best on the veggie side. Like these:

These sugar snap peas are just about ready!

 

 

The cucumbers are showing up! Yahoo!!!

 

 

These peppers aren't much yet...but they're getting there!

 

 

Tomato...tomahto...can you say salsa???

Good Friday trumps Earth Day

I was all prepared to write a post today about all the things we do on the farm that celebrates the Earth, such as using our manure, using no-till whenever possible, using the water from our well to heat our home…then heat our shop…then to water our cows, etc. (That’s right, all the same water, I’ll explain it sometime.)

But as I was sitting down to type last night, I decided to check out George’s lab work that was done at Mayo. (They have a really cool set-up, where you can register to log-in and receive the lab results yourself. No more waiting for that stinkin’ doctor’s call!) Anyway, I logged-in and for the first time ever, and I truly mean EVER, all of George’s lab work came back within normal ranges! (Well, minus the Vit. D and iron levels, but those are diet/sunshine related, not illness/disorder, so they don’t really count.)

I’ll admit it, I cried a bit. For the last just-about 2 years, I’ve dealt with continuously feeling like something wasn’t right, that we weren’t on the right track, bloodwork continuously showed something off here or there, nothing fit together, etc. It was a whirlpool of nightmares. Since George was born, he has seen: three pediatricians, two pediatric geneticists, two pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatric cardiologist, two pediatric endocrinologists, two pediatric neurologists, two dieticians, pediatric oncologist, pediatric neurosurgeon and several other various ER docs, nurses and staff. He has had: two colonoscopies, an upper GI series, multiple x-rays and ultrasounds, a liver biopsy, three MRI’s, an echocardiogram and two CT scans. He has given more blood for bloodwork that some people donate to the blood bank. He’ll be 2, and he’s been through so much, but is still such a wonderful little boy.

One of the things that I hear the most, when people hear about George, is that he doesn’t LOOK like anything is wrong with him. That’s always the problem. I wonder how many of those doctors blew us off because they felt he didn’t “look” sick enough. I know for sure one did, I overheard him tell the students that were following him those exact words. It went something like this, “And in this room is a 6-month-old male patient, case seems somewhat unremarkable. Mother has sought care at Mayo. Came in with fever, slight dehydration, etc. There’s no clear diagnosis, and I’m not real sure why they’re here. Their local hospital probably overreacted. We’ll keep him through tomorrow to satisfy the Mother.” (Needless to say, I requested a discharge immediately and we never returned to that set of physicians.)

We have so much to be thankful for.

This morning, Big Bro told me that they didn’t have school today because it was Earth Day. That sealed the deal for me. I’m not writing about our farm today. I’m not writing about how to recycle, or how to reduce your carbon footprint, or how to reuse your milk carton to make a mailbox. We should all know these things, and we should all be doing them. Every day. Period.

But today is Good Friday first. It’s a day that we celebrate all that has been given for us. The Blessing that was bestowed upon us so many years ago. And for me, today is a day of thankfulness.

Yes, I won’t be brushing my teeth with the water on, I’ll turn off lights where I don’t need them, our bulbs are already energy efficient. Those are things we do everyday. But today, I’ll spend extra time thanking God for those gifts that He has given. Including the ultimate sacrifice of His only Son.

Today is definitely a Good Friday.

Day 2 – More good news

I had to make a quick, mid-appointment update to bring some really great news…George no longer needs to have growth-hormone shots!

Now, this may only be temporary, we will have to come back in 4 months and double-check on things, but I’m certain that things will continue to go on the right track. Sadly, our visits with Dr. Lteif (endocrinologist), may become fewer and farther between…but that’s only sad because she’s such an excellent physician, and thinks pretty highly of our little man.

Up next, we see the neurologist, who will become the lead doctor in George’s care. Dr. Renaud is a pretty great doctor, too.

So, as long as everything goes as planned, we’ll be on the road heading north shortly after lunch. And for once, I’m leaving Mayo feeling as if we’ve finally turned a corner, not just headed further into the abyss. What a great feeling that is! (And for those new to my blog, George is suspected to have Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency, a disorder that doesn’t allow him to break down protein…which means he won’t be enjoying full servings of meat, dairy, etc., for most of his life.)

Yesterday, when they drew his blood, I saw on the paperwork that his tests were heading to Baylor for the genetic testing. George hasn’t travelled much in his almost-2 years, but his blood certainly has!

Ag Book of the Day 13:

“What Do I Make? (Let’s Find Out!)” by Dale Simpson. A great board book, with turning wheel, where you can match up the animal with their gift to us! Great for the little guys! Include milk from cows, honey from bees, clothes from sheep, etc. And with the cute cow-shape of the book, and great illustrations, it keeps the little ones interested in the book!

Details

So far, so good

Last night’s trip here to Rochester was uneventful. We were able to meet up with friends in the Cities and ate at Fogo de Chao’s (a Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse). It was wonderful! But the company was even better. It’s great to meet up with friends and take a moment to relax and enjoy yourself, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

George likes to keep up-to-date on the Royal Wedding details.

Today’s appointment went pretty well. The blood draw part went better than expected. It usually takes several tries and a few different pokers. But this morning was a one-time shot. It was great! (Maybe the extra flesh on his bones has helped?)

Then we were off to see the dietician. She had good news for us, telling us that his ammonia level had dropped by almost half. (Proof that the diet is truly working.) They want to see it below 20 and we hit 18. Yay, George!

Boss Man was a little disappointed. He asked her if George would someday be able to enjoy a hamburger with the family. She burst his bubble when she told him, “Probably not.” He’s holding out hope that maybe a slider wouldn’t count as a full burger, so I’ll let him live with that dream for awhile.

The surprising news? She told us to start watching calories. Yeah, imagine that. We’ve been struggling with putting on weight, fighting for every pound. Now she tells us to back off. That’s just medicine for you, always changing.

His heighth has hit the 41st percentile, but weight is now at a whopping 93rd percentile. From a boy that was born at over the 95th percentile, then dropping off the chart, we’re now where a Wagner boy normally resides…well into the top of the charts! What a blessing!

We travel economically. Make-do cribs! (Just kidding!) 🙂

I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes. It’s snowing now, so we’ll see how our trip home progresses…if the docs don’t change our plans.

Here is Ag Book of the Day 12, a suggested reading by my sister-in-law. I don’t own this book, but it will definitely be added to our farm library!

A Brand Is Forever

“A Brand is Forever” by Ann Herbert Scott. It’s about a young girl who has a pet heifer, and she’s nervous about branding hurting her pet. The book explains why we brand, and walks through the process. What a great book for those that are familiar with branding, as well as someone who is questioning why we brand! (I think this would work for the parents, as well as the child!)

I’d love to hear any other suggestions! And thank you, for all the thoughts, prayers and support. It’s been a long ride, but we’re keeping our heads above water!

Roadtrip

We are on the road again. We will be in Rochester sometime this evening, for doctor appointments the next few days. I know George isn’t a big fan of the trips, so it’ll be interesting.

I’m still going to try to blog every day. Had I been far enough ahead with all of this, I would have had my blogs ready to roll before we left, but that’s never worked out so well for me! If I plan far enough in advance, something always falls through. Oh well, our lives are exciting to say the least!

Spring has decided to play games with us, and winter has once again reared its ugly head. It’s snowing now again, as we speak. Yuck. I’m ready for sunshine and green grass, but maybe that will be here when we get back? One can always hope.

Here’s a few pics of EJ being helpful and shoveling our sidewalk. Love his enthusiasm!

Not what you want to see in April!

 

EJ love the "shubel" that Grandma B. gave him for Christmas! Maybe next year we will get him a snowblower.

Here it is, Ag Book of the Day 10:

“Little Star…Raising Our First Calf” by Twins Rianna and Sheridan Chaney. It’s a great story about twin girls and their experiences on the farm. I love how they define words in children’s terms at the back of the book. For example, “Manure – A fancy name for cow poop.” The pictures are great, and my kids love to see other kids involved in agriculture. Kindred souls, I guess.

Little Star... Raising Our First Calf
First in a new children's agricultural book series.  Rianna and Sheridan Chaney hope their experiences on the farm will help children understand the importance of farm animals and inspire them to appreciate all of God's creatures

Silver linings

If you’re friends with me on facebook, then you’ve probably realized that I’m kinda into finding the silver lining in every situation. I think it’s a mental-survival thing. Without it, I would be completely whack-o a few times over. (Be careful…I know what you’re thinking!)

But today’s silver lining showed up a few times! Yay!

First: George ran his first fever last night since we had The Plan in place. It was a bit scary, but things went well. I called the pediatrician, he ran through things with me, we formulated our plan and all went well. I ended up not having to take him in, the temp stayed down over night, took him in this morning and all things are well. Woohoo! Chalk one to George!

To celebrate, we got his FIRST big-boy haircut! Not bad, for a boy that’s about to be 2!

Not only will George be 2 in a month, but he got his first real hair cut today!

Second: Someone asked if the deer are still a problem. Here’s the answer:

That isn't just dirt on the horizon. Those are hundreds of deer, still making our yard home.

Yep.

But the silver lining? Another creature has followed them here…namely Bald Eagles. It is COOL! There are at least four of them right now. I think they’re eating off the carcasses. But they are so majestic and all things amazing. I tear up looking at them, and feel like saluting as they fly by…kinda weird, I know.

Getting close to a Bald Eagle isn't as easy as getting pics of deer in our yard.

And just to let you SEE what kind of damage the deer are doing, I’ve got these pics for you:

Yeah, that's what you think it is...deer urine

You can see where the hay has been moved from. Notice the difference between white and yellow/brown.

Notice the yellow/brown snow? Do you remember what your mother said about eating yellow snow? That’s right, that’s urine. As in deer urine. As in lots and lots and lots of deer urine. Now imagine all that on your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yum.

But SB 2227, which will give landowners a few more options in deer depredation, is supposed to be voted on in the House of Representatives tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted.

And come next fall, I expect you and ALL of your family to come hunting.