Saturday, June 20, 2009

Should we be concerned?

Eddie has had a fever the past couple days and hasn't really been himself. This was earlier this afternoon. I am fairly sure they weren't seizures since we could interrupt him. Still weird nonetheless.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Stuff Happens

C.S. Lewis from his book Miracles:
"Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary. Belief in miracles, far from depending on an ignorance of the laws of nature, is only possible in so far as those laws are known. We have already seen that if you begin by ruling out the supernatural you will perceive no miracles. We must now add that you will equally perceive no miracles until you believe that nature works according to regular laws. If you have not yet noticed that the sun always rises in the East you will see nothing miraculous about his rising one morning in the West."
Anara had a cystoscopy this morning per my request. I had heard Dr. Kaefer mention an older girl with stones that had a cysto in clinic. He usually does this procedure with Anara asleep in the OR. I asked Dr. Kaefer why he couldn't do this with Anara in the clinic and he told me that the other patient was 14, in a wheelchair from spina bifida, and was capable of holding still. I assured him that Anara was capable of holding still as well. Whether he was humoring me or not, this morning was remarkable. Dr. Kaefer inserted the scope through her channel and searched everywhere FINDING NO STONES!

Now for more boring background. Anara gets ultrasounds every 6 weeks. A December ultrasound revealed the twentysome stones we had removed in January. A March ultrasound revealed the 1 stone we had removed in April and Wednesday's ultrasound revealed two sizable stones that can no longer be found. The stones were 1cm diameter, showed shadowing, and moved around (all these details supporting them being stones). Dr. Kaefer called the radiologist and he confirmed that there were indeed two stones. I was kinda pushy on Wednesday about the cystoscopy and then Thursday night I was feeling a little guilty. He is busy and doesn't have many open moments and I had pushed for this procedure that was probably just a big waste of his time and our money. I told him Friday morning when he came in from the OR that if he was just doing the cysto to humor me then we didn't want to waste his time. He said that he was confident there were stones but he thought the cysto would give him a good opportunity to see if Anara could handle this useful procedure without anesthesia, let him explore her reservoir and her channel, and find out how big the stones actually are. Anara did great and we avoided having to schedule another surgery under general anesthesia on Monday. Dr. Kaefer said that there was maybe a 1% chance of finding no stones. He was pretty amazed.

If a miracle is something extraordinary then this was definitely a miracle. This would have been Anara's 3rd surgery this year for stone removal. The ultrasound indicated the presence of two large stones. Dr. Kaefer flipped back and forth between the March ultrasound and Wednesday's ultrasound examining the stones and confirming that the ultrasound wasn't just showing the ureter nipples entering her reservoir. He agreed with the radiologists findings that there were indeed two large stones. He was thrilled to be proved wrong. We are very excited not to be headed to Riley on Monday for Anara's 10th surgery.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stuff Happens

Not big stuff.....just stuff.

The least of the stuff: This morning I was coming up the treacherous basement stairs after starting a load of diapers, when I slipped and fell. It's not a big deal but I did have to kneel on the stairs for a while to compose myself and make sure I wouldn't throw up. Now I have some pretty big lumps and a gash on my razor blade, shin bones (thanks for those razor shins Dad). I have been icing for the past hour and they feel a little better although it still hurts to walk.

Tuesday Edison had an MD appointment. We were pulling into the parking lot when the steering on the van went out and I had to use major arm strength to park. When we came out of the office, I saw our serpentine belt on the ground. We just replaced the serpentine belt about a month ago. Apparently the tensioner went bad (Bobby - you are a genius). Cliff, our mechanic, drove from the far eastside to the far westside to try and fix it in the parking lot. This wasn't possible so he put things back together in hopes that we could at least make it to his shop without the belt falling off. He decided that he better follow me to drop Nina and the kids off at home lest our van breakdown in the "hood" - I hope you appreciate the irony. So, good ole Cliff followed us to Gray St. and then Eddie and I followed him to the shop. Seven hours and $200.00 later our van was fixed and we were finally on our way home. Not big stuff...just stuff.

Bigger stuff.....but still stuff: Yesterday Anara had her regular follow-up urology visit. She had an ultrasound, x-ray, urine culture, urology appt., and finally a nephrology appt. I wasn't nervous going into the day because I couldn't imagine anything being wrong. We were chatting casually with our ultrasound tech when she found some stones. Connie scans us regularly and was clearly disappointed. The stones weren't confirmed on the KUB but they weren't the last time either. Dr. Kaefer was clearly distraught and sat quietly thinking over the situation during our appt. We saw nephrology and Dr. Leiser suspects that they are primarily infection stones. There were some slight metabolic abnormalities but not enough to support her rapid stone formation. We were at Riley from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Thankfully Nina kept Edison and Violet home with her while Anara and I traveled from doc to doc. Anara has to have another procedure most likely Monday, June 22nd. One good thing that happened at Riley was our meeting with Lisa, our stoma nurse. She brought a new bandage to cover Anara's stoma. This bandage doesn't cause irritation and can be stuck, pulled off, and restuck. I am pretty excited about this because Bandaids have always been an issue for us. We had tried about every form of bandage possible and they have all had their pros and cons.

So yesterday I was sitting on the porch after two long and slightly overwhelming days. I was kinda discouraged and tired. I looked up at that stupid hummingbird feeder still full of murky sugar water and decided to pull it down and throw it in the sink. I was finally throwing in the towel and giving up on hummingbirds after almost 3 months of waiting. I came back out from dumping the feeder, slumped down in the chair and continued venting a little to Nina. While I was talking to her a little hummingbird appeared over her head and floated around for a minute looking for the feeder. I would like to call this my hummingbird of hope. It seems like nothing but I felt like its presence was well-timed and a reminder to me that these aren't really problems just minor inconveniences.

Some other things I have missed:

*Edison rocks back and forth on his hands and knees. He is pretty good at going backwards and can propel himself slightly forwards as well.

*Edison has two new teeth. His top, front teeth are emerging now after two weeks of threatening to erupt.

*Nate and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. We went for a bike ride, out to eat, and stayed in a hotel downtown. Edison pouted by refusing to eat 5 times.

*Our friends and neighbors (that live in our house across the street) had their baby and we have been able to make some slight improvements to their house while they are staying with grandma.

*We redid our bathroom. Our neighbor next door retiled our shower and floor. Nate and I painted and now we are waiting on a window and trim. We should be done by the end of June.

*Nate finished the quarter round in the dining room.

*Our second nest of robins left the safety of our porch for the big, bad world.

*Nina graduated from residency and the countdown to Africa begins. This will be a difficult adjustment for us because we are used to seeing her quite frequently and she is always willing to pick up a couple things from the store or bring a meal. In the meantime, I am taking advantage of her downtime by employing her babysitting, cooking and cleaning services.

*The neighborhood is a bit more rowdy. People are loud and don't filter their conversations in the presence of children. The girls are more aware of confrontation and I keep hoping the foul words go right over their heads. One day a confrontation took place in front of our house. We were out on the porch while a "career woman" yelled about money. Violet said, "What did she say Mommy?" I said, "I don't know because I couldn't understand her." Then Violet said, "Me neither. I think she was speaking Spanish." I'm just hoping that ebonics and swears continue to sound like a foreign language to them.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Olivia smiles

A peony from our backyard
Victoria Secrets