Tuesday, April 08, 2014
What a crazy, crazy week this has been! Some of what's gone on, I've shared with my BLC Sunset Stingrays team. The biggest thing of all, though, is what I wasn't free to share until now.
Most of you know that #2 son David moved in with us at the end of last summer, with Erik (now nearly 7) and Sean (4-1/2). He's been a single Dad since their mother left about 2-1/2 years ago. He has another son Marshall (11), the product of a failed engagement all those years ago. He has been living with his mother since his birth.
It hasn't been a good situation for Marshall. He was abused when they lived with her Dad. We complained to Orange County, CA, but he was not removed even though there was a substantiated case following an injury and police report. His mother has babied him terribly, stuffed him to morbid obesity, kept David and us from him when the whim struck, etc. etc.etc.
When David was planning his move here, he tried to get custody. No go, because Marshall repeatedly told/tells us that he wants to be with David - but he wouldn't tell the court advocate appointed for him. And why not? Because he knew she would cry, and he didn't want to see that! His mother subsequently moved to Utah to live with her mother. She has not complied with the court order to pay half of his transportation costs for visits here, so David has borne it all. He has been here one week of Christmas vacation, spring break, 8 weeks each summer.
He has a late spring break compared to Fulton's, next week. David has had a ticket for him for this coming Saturday.
He has been bullied at school, for quite some time. David found out about a week ago that Marshall had been suspended for losing his temper at school. A few days later, he found out that this was an indefinite suspension - because it was a second suspension for this. His mother "forgot" to tell David, and she had told Marshall not to tell him.
So, out of the blue, she told him a week ago that she might let him come here to live. It depended on what she found out at yesterday about how long his suspension would be. And today, she called to say that he's suspended for the rest of the year. She said she had talked with her mother, stepfather, and father about what they thought of Marshall moving here - and they all think she should let him.
Hallelujah! We'd figured all along that when he acted out to the point that she couldn't handle him, that this is how it would turn out.
So now we all have lots of planning to do! And soon we will all have a lot of adjusting to do! But we are ever so thankful that Marshall will be with us at long last. He will arrive Saturday with a letter from his mother stating that she and David have agreed to simply reverse the custody arrangements, with the plan that he will be with her only 5-6 weeks for this summer only, since he's already been with her more than half the school year.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Two days of severe thunderstorms expected here in Mid-MO. This morning, I got caught in it. We'll see what tomorrow brings!
For those of you who know there's also a 4 year-old grandson in the house, he rides a bus to his preschool, so he doesn't figure into this story.
But I walked Erik to school just in time. I went a little farther than usual, making sure I got him safely across the school driveway. (Not trusting drivers, even with kids in the car, to be attentive this morning). The hail started when I was near a house we cut through a back yard. I figured I'd go to another hose a bit farther, knowing folks are home, and just wait there.
I couldn't make it! I had my umbrella - thank God! But my legs were stinging so from being pelted. So I just sheltered under my 'brella near the first house. Soon the worst of the hall was bigger than jawbreakers, but smaller than golf balls. The umbrella protected my head, and the house wall shielded the worst of it. But I took three bad ones on my left shoulder and one on the top of my left toes. (Fortunately I wear leather shoes)! Also had one ricochet off the house and into my back.
Then I found our how hard it is to walk on a couple of inches of hail balls, uneven size and VERY slippery. Took my time coming home and arrived safely. My shoulder was still tingling from the worst hit when I got here. And,since it's still tender, I had Paul check for bruising: minor but noticeable.
Another bad storm about an hour later, and now in a clearing area until sometime after supper. More of the same expected from sometime after midnight until around 9:00am. Thinking Erik might be getting to school a bit late - safety first!
Monday, March 31, 2014
This morning I read a reference to pesticides in commercial teas, which are largely unwashed before being bagged. So I googled "brand name tea and pesticides" and found numerous articles. This one, and its suggestions, was a real eye-opener.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
2 Timothy 1:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
My original reaction to the news of grandson Jakob's need for surgery on cartilage in his voice box was worse than fear. I found myself almost paralyzed, literally reliving - literally feeling all over again! - the terror of those first few weeks of his life. Coming home from a delightful shopping trip with my mother to have my Dad tell me that Jakob's arrival was imminent, at just 24 weeks and 3 days. Hanging up from Tobias's phone call referenced in my last blog still in tears. Taking a piece of printer paper and drawing a "baby" on it since he was only 11-1/4" long. Holding the paper and crying and crying and crying.....
But I have since been able to let go of that and get on with life. I wish I could say that it was just because of the strength of my faith, but I can't. It was definitely helped along by some good news on the medical front.
The doctor doing the surgery has postponed to the 20th. He is confident enough of not needing to do a trach that he will do it in what's called the short-stay area of the hospital. If he finds he needs to do the trach, he will not proceed but will wake Jakob up and then reschedule for another week out.
As an RN, I was never shy about questioning a doc. But only once did I ever refuse to carry out a medical order. My basic thinking is that I have the knowledge to know what questions to ask, and even to know when the answer just isn't right! And now that I know have seen the pictures from the MRI and know a lot more about the procedure, I'm confident about leaving the activity in this man's hands and the outcome to God.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I'm scared, and I've hardly been able to see through my tears since Monday. Many of you know that my 13-year-old grandson Jakob is a micro-preemie survivor. He was born at 24 weeks 3 days. The only thing he had going for him from a medical standpoint was that he turned out to be 5 ounces bigger than the most recent ultrasound had predicted him to be. One pound, 10 ounces, and 11-1/4 inches long.
But my son's very firm words when I started to cry after hearing that he had been born were, "Mom, he's awesome! IT'S OK! He's awesome!" Truer words were never spoken. That boy was a fighter. At 2-1/2 weeks, he was rushed into surgery at about 3am for necrotising colitis. (Meaning that his intestines were dying). If they found just a dead segment, they would do a colostomy and hope for the best. If the dead tissue was in a shotgun pattern, there was nothing that could be done. Obviously, he had the former condition, and surgery was completed. But he was dying on the table, and they had to close him in such a hurry that he's always had a wall-to-wall scar on his belly that looked like he'd been cut with a manual can opener.
And still he fought! Jakob came home at 4 months with a feeding tube and a colostomy. The feeding tube came out in a couple of weeks, and the colostomy was reversed 3 months later.
Fast forward a couple of years. Limited eyesight (required 100% oxygen to keep him alive). And stridor (raspy breathing) often, even at rest. Eye surgeries, and eventually totally blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. Reassurances that the stridor resulted from scar tissue around the trachea because of how long he spent incubated.
But we thought we were out of the woods. No cerebral palsy. An intellect that just won't quit! Some anxiety issues about medical issues, especially about losing his last bit of eyesight or if the necrotising colitis could happen again. (Totally understandable, given what the trooper has been through).
Then, with fall, came puberty. Voice changes that led to increasing difficulty breathing. A consult with a pediatric ENT specialist. And the bad news. A cartilage at the back of the vocal cords was apparently cut with his newborn intubation, or perhaps when inserting a bigger trach tube as he grew in the time he was incubated. These pieces of cartilage form that "scar tissue" of the original diagnosis of his noisy breathing. And they fused back together in such a way that they're wrapped around his vocal cords. So now, this boy on the threshold of manhood has vocal cords that cannot grow bigger except by growing inward and gradually suffocating him.
He again faces surgery, a week from tomorrow, to remove this cartilage. Even as a retired RN, I have no idea if this will have any long-term effect on Jakob's voice quality. But we do know that it highly likely that the anaesthesiologist will be unable to pass a breathing tube before putting him under; he will likely have a tracheostomy tube until he's totally healed from the cartilage removal.
As a Christian, I really do try to keep all my children and grandchildren in God's hands, to trust in His will whether or not I understand or like it. But as Nana, my heart is breaking for this beautiful and sensitive boy! I feel like it's all I can do to put one foot in front of the other right now. Also, I know that everything I'm feeling in terms of fear and anxiety are probably compounded tenfold in my son and daughter-in-law. So somehow, I need to stay strong. With God's help, I will. But I sure could use some help from my SparkFriends right now too. Thanks - I love you all!
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