Friday, April 15, 2011

My personal hell this last week.

First off, let me apologize to those friends and family whom I have not gotten back to via email or phone calls.  Things have been a little bit out of wack around here, and it wasn't until today I began to feel a little more at ease.  I am not back to my chipper self just yet, but I am getting there. 

Let me explain....

Last Thursday just as I was getting ready to put the girls down for bed at 8 something the phone rang.  I figured it was only my Mom checking in for the evening from a Hilton somewhere.  Instead the caller id showed it was our Dr.'s office.  "That's strange?"  I told Dave since nobody had appointment reminders coming until July.  When I answered the phone it was our Dr. himself calling.  I was slightly freaked out now because it is not like we hang out and play Wii on the weekends, or even mow his lawn. We like him a lot, but we see him maybe 2 -3 times a year depending on who has a checkup scheduled.  So for him to call at 8:30 at night was a bit troubling and I immediately had that sinking feeling in my gut. 

He went on to explain that an MA in his office had recently been fired for not following proper procedures while giving babies the flu vaccine last year.  She basically confused the fact that a child's dose of the vaccine is exactly 1/2 of what an adults dose is in strength.  What she didn't understand is that the syringes are pre measured and meant only to be a single dose for each child.  She assumed it was her responsibility to administer 1/2 the vaccine to one child and then remove the needle put on a new one and administer the rest of the vaccine in that same syringe to a different child with an appointment at a later time.  Make sense? 

My first thought was ok, who cares if India only got a half of a flu shot this year instead of a full strength dose.  No biggie, she is healthy, and I am not all that into the flu shot anyway.  Ironically neither is our Dr., but because of the schools and daycares requiring and encouraging them these days, he provides them.  It wasn't until he mentioned the word infectious disease did the sinking feeling in my stomach return, only this time it was replaced with more of a punch to the gut. 

Because while the dippy MA was smart enough to actually change needles, the fact that she shared a syringe of vaccine between children put India at risk to contact blood borne pathogens.  In other words, according to the Colorado Department of Halth and Children's Hospital she needed to be tested now and 6 months from now to rule out any risk of Hep B, Hep C, and HIV.   I was speechless........You try so hard to do everything right for your kids from the moment you find out you are pregnant, to the day you die.  Now you are suddenly faced with something that is way beyond you and out of your control.  And for me to not be in control, or have the ability to fix it, is my own personal hell.  The only thing I knew to do at that moment was to wake my Mom up from whatever cozy hotel bed she was inhabiting and figure out what the hell to do next.  After she stopped hyperventilating as the Grandmother, The Joint Commission professional surveyor part of her kicked into gear and she explained since we were in Ft. Collins, and the MA used clean needles between people, I had good odds on my side.  The survey she did at a hospital coincidentally 2 weeks earlier in a very large city for a similar situation was not as lucky.

So last Friday after I dropped Calla off at school, India and I went to the blood lab across from the Dr.'s office to have her blood drawn.  Now for those of you who have met India know how petite she is.  She is in the less then 5% for her age group in height and weight.  She is 15 mo and still wearing 9 mo pants.  So when it came time to draw her blood they wanted five vials.  "Excuse me!"  I would like her to have some color when we leave and not have to pump her full of cookies and oj for the next month.  Because the Health Dept. is involved extra blood needed to be banked and frozen for future studies.  I on the other hand was super frustrated at this point and my confidence and cool were starting to waiver.  She weighs 16 lbs.  No way were they getting that much blood out of her.  2 nurses declined to draw the needed blood after they saw how tiny her thread like veins were.  Another assistant flat out refused because she was a mother and just found out she would be doing this to 144 other children in the same situation as India that day.  Finally, someone called the Health Dept. and found out that 3 vials were plenty. Then began the trick to get the butterfly into her arm.  I'll spare you the details, but the situation was awful.  They finally had to have the lead person come in to draw the blood.  The first arm had a vein blow up and bruise immediately.  So they tried the next arm and had better luck, but barely got the 3 vials.  I had to hog tie her down.  Now in hindsight what they should have done was start it lower down on her arm by her hand, and it would have gone much quicker.  I left feeling completely shattered and helpless.  India was exhausted from being so upset.  Truth be told the whole thing was probably harder on me then her, but seeing a waiting room full of children and their parents on my way out ready to go through what I just had was completely disheartening. 

After I strapped India in the car and got on the highway, I lost it.  I had no idea where we were headed, but it was not to work.  Calla was in school till 4:30 so off we drove to hang out at the Butterfly Pavillion and have lunch at the Mall.  I called Dave upset and he reminded me that because it was out of our control until the results come back I needed to stay calm and think of how the MA that got the 144 children into this mess was feeling.  I was in the angry stage at that point and didn't give a fig about the MA.  So I hung up on him and called my sister and a good friend with kids because empathetic was the last thing I was feeling. 

Somehow I managed to put myself back together.  I had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and get on with the week ahead for my family.  We finally got a call from the Dr. while I was running errands on Wednesday.  India tested negative for HIV and Hep C.  She was positive for Hep B antibodies.  This is a good thing, because it means her vaccine is working and she can't contract Hep B.  I of course felt a sense of relief.  Because even though our odds are low, there is always that chance.  Now that I knew India was ok, I asked the Dr. how he was holding up, because of all of the news and press (my mailman even knew because of the morning news.)  He explained with a hint of sadness in his voice that he was doing ok, and so far so good with the kids results coming back. 

The whole situation is just very sad.  I am not explaining all of this to y'all to be a debbie downer, or to make you feel bad for us and what we went through.  I am sharing this story to say please please be aware when you are in a Dr.'s office.  Ask questions even if you understand.  You won't be looked down upon.  And besides who cares.  My mistake was not paying closer attention while she was getting the vaccine because it was a quick flu shot clinic.  It wasn't a routine well check where everything is explained and shown to you in detail by our regular nurse.  One thing I do know for sure is we probably won't be getting flu vaccines next year.  I am too freaked out at this point.  If the girls can't be given the flu mist, then I would rather take my chances.  Besides just as I had my own personal quality control sponge counter inspector in the OR with me when I had Calla, you bet your bottom dollar she will be with me at the rest of the girls well checks involving syringes and needles.  Sitting quietly in the corner not saying a word and just observing and giving me that much needed peace of mind.  By the way, in case you were wondering, I am talking about my mother, not a flask full of Jager in the diaper bag.  That's for after the appointment. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Spring weekend.  Hopefully without this freakin wind.  Dave and I are headed out on a much needed date tonight for dinner and a local hockey game.  I promise I will return next week full of vim, vigor and smart ass comments.  Because after all Scarlett.... "Tomorrow is another day!"


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Mornin y'all,

American Gothic
Ok, so you know how things typically happen in threes?  It usually isn't good. You never hear of someone winning the lottery 3 times in a week.  It is more like 3 celebrities will die around the same time, or your car will have 3 things break down on it all at once.  In my case it is our house. 

Photos courtesy of Google images

Now we knew buying an older home came with maintenance and upkeep.  Dave is really handy which helps immensely.  We also have a very lovely family who pitches in graciously to help us redo the 6 layers of roof in 100 degree heat, remodel the kitchen before I pop out baby # 1, or whatever crazy hairbrained scheme I come up with after reading This Old House and Martha Stewart.  But I am officially beginning to feel like our house has turned into the money pit and we haven't even started the addition yet.

# 1  The barn foundation is crumbling. is only 101 yrs old.  It's not like they had rebar back then.  This can be fixed and we are digging trenches and pouring concrete to fortify it. 

# 2  The septic leach field is in the neighbors open space (which used to be our property 100 yrs ago) and it is failing.  We know this by the only trail of green grass in a brown field.  Yuck.  It doesn't even line up where ours is supposed to end on our property.  Backhoes, soil sample tests, permits and inspections with the county oh my!   

# 3  I come home after dropping off the girls at school yesterday and the mud room smelled like burnt plastic.  I of course start to freak out and wonder what is on fire.  Now because it is cold and we live in the country an occasional mouse usually finds its way into our basement cellar thing.  And for a couple of weeks now it has smelled like one had died in the basement, but the smell was off a tad and I couldn't find it.  Well last night because the smell was strong and just not right we tore the basement apart and still couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from.  The girls needed dinnerand were starting to get cranky.  I came upstairs to get settled and turned up the heat for the evening and nothing came on.  So back down to the basement we went.  Dave took the furnace cover off and we concluded it must be the igniter and called someone to come out and diagnose it.  According to the furnace guy it was the blower, fan and he could order a part and everything would be peachy again.  As he was finishing up on his way out, he stopped by the back door.  All I hear from the other room is, "hey I found what killed the blower, or should I say what the blower killed!"  Hi you have my attention, thinking stupid mouse.  Nope it was a bird.  Now no one can explain how a damn bird made its way down the roof flue and how it got sucked into the blower fan and jammed it up.  We have a lot of birds out here and find them in the most unusual places, like the one stuck halfway in a hole between the top and bottom floors of the barn, but this is most definately a first. 

This post today was originally supposed to be about gardening.  But my head is just not there.  I'll get more in the mood this weekend after we start our seeds I'm sure.  Grandma Susie is headed out today to play with Calla and they usually do a project while I get work done.  Perhaps I will have them make a scarecrow to keep the birds away.  Not for our garden, but the roof.

Google images
In the mean time, I'll be here clicking my heels together. 3 times of course!  Muttering to myself.......

There's no place like home, There's no place like home, There's no place like home!

Y'all come back now, ya hear.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Home again home again jiggity jiggity

To market to market to buy a fat pig.  In my case I went to the Pike Place Market bought some sausages and came home the fat pig. Not from the sausages but the red velvet cupcakes. 

Oh Pike Place how I miss you already. $10 flower bouquets full of spring flowers and cherry blossom branches. $10 seriously ........

Ok, in case y'all were wondering if I ever made it home from Seattle because I have been gone so long from the blog..... I did.  I have just been going balls to the walls since we got back.  Did you enjoy the travel emails between my parents and myself from England?  I just couldn't help myself.  :)

Anyway I did make it to WA and home w/out too many mishaps.  I say not too many because this is my kids and I we are talking about.  It turns out the small child named after a 3rd world country did make it through security ok.  Sort of......

It was Calla who started things off by crying when the TSA agent asked her her name.  This is the kid who still hides in between my legs if you say hi and tell her you like her tutu.  And here is the very official TSA agent asking her her name to see if she is supposed to be with me or not.  Um, did you not get your daily dose of caffine this morning.  Come on, she is my mini me dude.  Good thing India's name wasn't on a ticket.  It just said Inf. 

So here we are schleping and stripping our way through security, and get behind a nice Dad like figure who helps us push our stuff in the buckets down the belt.  Cool.  All the while I am slowly undressing India and praying to Budda they don't make me take the pacifier out of her mouth to get scanned.  It's plastic and stuffed in her mouth, and besides what the hell could I hide in it anyway?  I am so not kidding when I say no sooner do we watch all of the stuff go through the xray and Calla is through the scanner does India decide to puke right in the middle of the floor, and all over the xray belt.  Nothing like hearing over a TSA agent's radio, "we are going to need to get a wet cleanup on lane 4?" Needless to say by this point Calla is starting to freak out a little bit because they won't let her go back through the scanner to get to us, so I just left the milk puke all over the floor and scurried my butt though the scanner before a level 10 mermaid freak out took place with Calla, and India puked again.  Who cares if everyone was looking at me expecting me to clean it up.  I wasn't about to stick around.  In case you were wondering, mermaid freak outs are the kind that involve flailing, and are so not fun at 6 am.  

We only had one more puke episode on the plane and I was covered there, because I had a blanket and Calla couldn't decide if she had to go to the bathroom or not so we were up and down and up and down.  Get up try and go, nope... back to the seat.  Rinse and repeat 5 more times.  I had to make sure I switched bathrooms each time because India kept pulling out all of the Kleenex and paper towels while she was sitting in the sink waiting.   Have you ever tried to poop on a plane?  Kind of sucks, so I don't blame her.  This is why I book an aisle seat and not a window. 

Things truly didn't get fun until the flight attendant spilled a 1/2 a can of Pepsi in my lap while she was pouring it for the person in front me.  So glad I wore the skinny jeans.  It was at this point I found myself turning into a 5 yr old and muttering to myself...."Are we f*ing there yet!?" 

Lets just say it was a good thing I was meeting my sister on the other end and not the Pope, because it was only 10am and I had a super sticky crotch and smelled like milk puke.  Whatever, that didn't stop me from changing my shirt in the car so we could head off to the land of Swedish Meatballs. 

I am not sure why I didn't take more pictures for y'all.  There were plenty of opportunities, I just kept missing them because we were so busy wrangling 4 kids and making sure we didn't leave anyone behind.  Sorry.  Some of the cutest ones we took were of all of them in the tub at the end of the day.  Those went to Grandma.  Jon did take some good pictures of the kids.  This is why he is the professional and not me.  We did the typical things like run around downtown Seattle, play at the Children's Museum, and shop.  We had a nice dinner with Dave's Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.  Love them!!!!  I'll use the excuse it was raining as to why I didn't take a picture of us after dinner. 

Goldilocks and baby bear

Doing a construction project at the museum

Anywhoo, the plane ride home was uneventful which was good.  India slept for 40 min or so, and I paid $8 for Calla to watch Tangled again.  It was the only way I could keep her still because she was so excited to see Dave and eat TCBY when he picked us up. 

All in all it was a good trip and I can't wait to go back. Calla misses her cousins already and besides I need some more stories to tell.  

Be sure and check in later this week.  My out of order favorite things post will be all about gardening.  Because that is what I am all consumed with these days.  Other peoples and mine.