Thursday, January 21, 2010

Listen to your gut... before it tells you goodbye

I like my gut. It's been good to me through the years, so I try to be good to it. I feed it when it's hungry. I try to keep in reasonable shape so it looks good. And I try to listen to it when it talks to me. Except this time I didn't. And I'm so mad at myself I would kick myself in the groin if it was physically possible.

And, if I had a groin.

Anyway, if you read my last post, you know my Mom, who is in town visiting, became sick and I took her to the ER on Saturday to be checked out. The diagnosis came back as a bladder infection, even though my Mom was telling the ER doc that the last time she felt this bad was when she had a kidney infection. And I at one point I remember asking the doctor if a bladder infection would make someone as sick as my Mom.

It was at this point my gut was telling me to push the issue. Except that I didn't. I know my Mom doesn't like confrontation, and at this point it was after midnight and we were pretty tired. Besides, my gut doesn't have a medical degree, so I let it go.

Fast forward to Sunday and my Mom isn't doing any better. She's had flashes of okay-ness, but for the most part is pretty sick. I try to convince her to go back to the hospital because my gut keeps poking me, and it's getting annoying. But we figure she just needs to stick with the antibiotics she has and give them time to work.

On Monday it's clear things are getting worse, so I take her back to the ER. Since it's a Monday and a holiday, I figured it would be pretty light.


We wait in the ER for 3 and 1/2 hours, all the while my Mom is getting worse and worse. Finally they take her back, but they have no rooms, so she has to lay in a bed in the hallway. It seems we have found a competent doctor who tells us that, yes, she does have a kidney infection and it has gotten so bad that they need to admit her.

At this point it's about 7:30 at night, she's STILL in the hallway, and I need to go home to eat and put Elise to bed. After we get all that done, I'm exhausted, so Fred goes back up to the hospital to spend some time with my Mom. It's now 10:00 pm, and she's still sitting in the hallway of the ER.

Thankfully, they get her into a room before she was discharged, and ends up staying for three days. I am so mad at that first doc who didn't listen to my Mom, and even madder at myself for not listening to my gut.

And because every story should have a moral (or two), here are mine:

Listen to your gut (duh)

You make sure you buy travel medical insurance when you travel to another country. Do it. Don't argue with me and don't be a dummy about it. I shudder to think of what it would have cost my Mom if she didn't have it. I'm betting it would have been cheaper to fly her back to Vancouver first class, than to admit her to the hospital.

So now you know why things have been so quiet around here lately. You don't think I finally just decided to shut up, did you?

Edited to add: I forgot to say one very important thank you to my sweet friend, Liz, for bringing us dinner when we were in the midst of all of this, and for bringing my Mom flowers when she went to visit her in the hospital. So, thank you Liz... you have no idea how much you blessed us!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bob Geldof had it right.

To paraphrase those Blackeyed Peas; when I woke up this morning, I had a feeling, that today was going to be a good day. Today was going to be a good, good day. A feeling. Woo hoo. That today's going to be a good... wait.

Sorry, got a bit caught up in the music in my head. As I said, I thought today was going to be fun. Mostly because Elise started up her gymnastics class, and that girl loves her some tumblin'. She had been talking about it all weekend, and was very excited to go. And there's just something about being a parent and watching your child enjoy the crap out of something. Not because she's extremely gifted at it, because let's face it; she has my genes swimming around in her. But because of the pure joy that they get out the experience.

Plus, I really like the bouncy floor we get to run around on.

So fast forward to about 9:15 am. Class starts at 9:30, and I can see the street I need to turn into to get to the rec centre when my car starts to sputter. I frantically try to turn left into the closest parking lot. I don't make it and my car dies straddling the middle of the road.

How crappily sucktastic.

So I sit there with my hazards on, calling Fred, all the while stuck in the middle of a two-lane each way, pretty busy road, with my precious cargo in the back. When I get ahold of Fred and explain my situation to him, he asks me what road I was on.

Let me take a time out here to explain to you guys how we women work: We are not a GPS. We don't know the name of the road we are on, unless it's the street we LIVE on. We know we need to turn left at the 7-11 and that's about all we know. Now that I live in Texas and have no landmarks to guide me, I don't know my north from my south. And when you ask me what road I am on while I am in the middle of a pretty stressful situation, my answer will be so high-pitched and shrieky; only animals and small children will be able to hear it.

Anyway, we manage to figure it out, and Fred tells me he's on his way. Meanwhile, all the fine citizens of the city of Hurst are driving past, either glaring at me, or honking while waving at me with only one finger. You sure have a strange way of greeting people in Texas.

Apparently, my 5 ft. 7, 120-pound frame is too intimidating for anyone to stop and render aid, so Elise and I languish there for 20 minutes. Until two rather nice gentlemen decide I'm not a threat to them, and they help to push my car into a parking lot. I'm thankful they did help... but still, 20 minutes in supposedly one of the nicest states in the union. Not good, Texas. Not good.

I did manage to break down in the not-so-nice section of Hurst, so there were auto shops a-plenty. When Fred arrived, her ran across the street to fetch some help. The guy he brought immediately went to work; banging his rather large wrench against something on the underside of the car. Hey! I didn't know I was qualified to be a mechanic! Apparently, his knowledge did not go beyond thumping on my car and was unable to help.

Fortunately, we have a rather amazing mechanic (no, you cannot have his name), who managed to diagnose the problem OVER THE PHONE. How cool is that? Turns out it was the fuel pump.

This post has gotten rather long, so I'm going to cut it off here and not mention the gut-wrenching stress over being so far away from home, with my child who has diabetes and needed to eat her lunch coming up pretty soon (I was prepared with some food, but not enough to cover her lunch). Nor will I mention the Battle-Royal Elise and I got into over her nap; which led to her falling asleep, face down on her floor, 90 minutes after I put her down.

I will mention that I received a very nice award from the uber-funny Wym. She said (and I quote):

Joanne is the most passionate mother I read about. Her daughter has Type 1 diabetes. Check her out and help her cause.

That, is just about the best thing you could ever say about me and helped to make me feel better about this terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-Monday. I'm also supposed to write 7 things about me and pass the award along to others, but I think I'll save that for another day. Thanks Wym, for the smile!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Beyond Thunderdome

I have never seen any of the Mad Max movies, so I don't know what they're about, but I like to use the title from one of them in my crazy vernacular. It's Beyond Thunderdome and you use it when you are so far past a certain emotion/feeling that there really is no description for it. For example:

When you are so hungry that your stomach feels like it has started eating itself, and the idea of gnawing on your own arm sounds heavenly; you are Beyond Thunderdome Hungry.

Or when you are so angry that your entire body is shaking with rage and everybody better get out of the way because you're going to start throwing crap. Not literal crap, but whatever is within your reach, including a 42 inch LCD flat screen TV. That is called Beyond Thunderdome Mad.

Got it?

Well friends, I am Beyond Thunderdome Tired. I swear to you, I'm not sure what decade we're even in anymore. I think my brainwaves are so screwed up that my dog has started communicating telepathically with me. I forget what I'm saying, as I am saying it, and I can't remember what a toilet is used for. I am so far past Beyond Thunderdome Tired, I can't even see it anymore.

All of it has to do with Elise's diabetes, but if you want to read more about that, then you need to visit my other blog. But seriously, these days 4 hours is a good night's sleep for us.

Some of it is our own doing... most nights we don't crawl into bed until midnight, mostly because we check Elise's blood sugar at midnight and sometimes it's not worth it to go to bed, only to have to wake up in 45 minutes.

But the other might we truly outdid ourselves. I don't know how Al Gore managed it, but he has somehow reversed global warning because Texas is in the middle of an Arctic freeze. And when we have any sort weather event, the local meteorologists have orgasms and decide to start freaking their viewers out. Which leads to all necessary supplies within a 100 mile radius being sold out.

You know those water faucet cover thingies (we call them boobies)? Well, the other night we couldn't find our second one, which according to the weather people OUR OUTSIDE PIPES ARE GOING TO BURST AND THERE WILL BE WATER ALL OVER YOUR HOUSE AND IT WILL FREEZE AND THEN YOU WILL DIE.

Or something to that effect.

So at 11:00 at night, Fred sets off on his intrepid journey to find us another boobie. Being Ms. Practical, I told him to call and make sure the store had them in stock. We finally found some in the devil's emporium, Walmart (I personally will not step foot into Walmart, but have yet to convince Fred to follow suit), about 20 minutes away. Except that when Fred got there, they didn't actually have any, the person who answered the phone was just too lazy/stupid to check.

Fred tried again, only to have the same thing happen, and finally made his way home at 1:00 am, boobie-less. Upon further inspection of our outside premises, he found the missing boobie under a bush in our garden. I don't even know what to say about that.

The only positive part of this whole meandering, go-nowhere story is that Fred now agrees with me that Walmart is the worst place in the world and should be avoided at all costs. I told him if he ever regresses, I'm going to do a little classical conditioning on him and kick him in the groin while yelling, "Walmart!", so that if he ever gets the urge to shop there, he will feel pain in his nether-regions (à la Pavlov's dogs).

The moral of this story is three-fold:
I am tired
Walmart sucks
Look for lost boobies in the garden

Monday, January 4, 2010

A FailMom kind of day

You know you've had a FailMom kind of day when:

It takes you THREE tries to get the oatmeal-making right this morning (OATMEAL for the love of all that's holy). Try #1 has you boiling up a pot of quinoa instead of your oatmeal. Because quinoa and steel-cut oats look exactly the same. Not in the real world, but in a world where you've only gotten three hours of sleep, they do. Try# 2 has you wandering upstairs and completely forgetting about your breakfast, thus burning the oatmeal and making the entire downstairs a total stink-fest. You finally get it right, over an hour later. Good thing the oatmeal was for you and not your kid who had already been given her insulin and needed to eat like, 50 minutes ago.

You manage to convince yourself that it is no big deal that your daughter is wearing the same top for the third day in a row, and more than that; it's okay that it's a pyjama top. And it's completely fine to take her out into public dressed like that because hey, at least you made an attempt to find matching pants. Emphasis on the word attempt.

You peek out through the shower curtain and notice your child is keeping herself busy by building the Leaning Tower of Feminine Hygiene Product Packages. You then shrug and tell yourself it's cheaper than having to buy her actual building blocks, since they serve a dual purpose.

You try to introduce your daughter to a brand new and totally fun game called, "Let's all take a Nap!" Wherein the object of the game is for you both to lie on the floor completely still and pretend to sleep . The secret object of the game is for you to actually sleep, while your child believes you are playing a fun game.

While you are making dinner, you allow your kid to pull out every pot, pan and other cooking utensil from the cupboard because you're just happy she's keeping herself occupied. You then notice with complete horror that there is blood everywhere and discover she has cut herself with the apple slicer-thingy. Not a bad cut, but a cut nonetheless. You then, being a mother of a T1 diabetic child, quickly ponder if you should use said blood to do a BG test, because hey... you need to test her in about 15 minutes anyway.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... I am a star.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

End of Year Newsletter

If you are lucky enough that my husband has your email address in his extensive list of contacts, then you have already received this. Since I am too lazy to figure out which email addresses we both have so I can weed them out and send it to the people that are just on my list, I decided to post our newsletter here. Enjoy!

Click on the image to read the larger version.