Friday, April 29, 2011

Best project ever....

...Producing Asher's first birthday party!

Loving it. And all the details. So fun.

Can't wait for Sunday!

Back to work now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My baby is a toddler.

Today was simply fabulous. Lots of love going around. And cupcakes (which Asher was not a fan of) and broccoli chicken casserole (which Asher was a huge fan of).

I'm so excited for his party this weekend. Going to be so fantastic watching him toddle around and celebrate with some of our favorite people.

And, to top off the birthday celebration, my friend Liz Cooper sent over the sneak peek for our Mother's Day photo shoot with her from last weekend. Check it out, if you'd like. http://lizcooper.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/sneak-peek-mothers-day-kira-and-asher/

My heart is so full. 

Asher's First Birthday: Video

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On your first birthday.

Oh, Sweet Asher Bug. My buddy. Sweet, sweet Ash.

Boy, did you rock our world. Did you ever.

At this time last year, we had no idea what was about to hit us. A big love. A giant love. A giant challenge. An adventure of humongous proportions.

You've taught us patience. You've shown us a love like no other. You've kept us awake far too many hours for my liking, but I do suppose you are worth it. Every bit of it.

From your first three months of non. stop. screaming. To your first steps. We've loved you each and every moment. And more and more along the way.

I'm not going to sugar coat things here and say we loved each moment itself, because like I said, you rocked our world. There were some (ok, a lot of) rough times. Hours of crying (mostly you, but some of me, too). Goodness you were hard to please.And we had every gadget in the store. We tried so many things to help you get comfortable.

But, you've always been nosey. You'd rather make yourself (and us) miserable staying awake to see what's going on. You're the only newborn I know of that could stay awake and alert for hours, just taking it all in.

And when you weren't being nosey you were crying. Screaming. I think you missed the memo about how newborns should sleep all the time. In fact, I think you missed any memos regarding sleep. You are just not a sleeper. At naptime, you'd think we were torturing you with the nose sucker or something.

And boy, the way you scream is quite impressive. I've recorded it so I can play it back for you one day. Not kidding. When you bring home your little one from the hospital one day, and you call me saying Mom, he won't stop crying. I'll say, We know all about that. Cue: screaming Asher audio. Isn't that great?

For all your nonsleeping and lotsascreaming moments, there are a zillion more that are just plain awesome. You get more awesome by the day. By the hour and minute, too.

When you see one of us come in the door, you light up. Grinning from ear to ear. And just tonight, I noticed what may be the start of dimples. Won't those be adorable?

You squeal loudly.
And babble nonstop.
And destroy entire rooms in record time.
You've won Jax over.
You love watermelon.
You love the outdoors.
You like to travel with sticks.
You gather and collect. Organize and reorganize.

When you repeat thdank dhu (read: thank you) after me, I think my heart may burst with love. When I hear you calling mamamama or dadadadada, I just love it. And your version of egg, egGUH, made my Easter that much more divine.

When you do something particularly awesome, or not even particularly awesome, one of us usually says something like I can't believe that's our kid. We made him. We are so proud.

It's a hard concept to grasp. How you can love someone so much. How your every move has two (or more) grown adults completely entertained. For hours.

How this first year with you has flown by and crept by at the same time.

How parenthood can be so simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating.

How loving you can make me love your dad in a whole new, stronger way.

How I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. Every tomorrow.

Especially this tomorrow. Seeing your face in the morning and singing you happy birthday is going to be one of the best highlights of my life.

Thank you for being my Asher, our Asher.

Thank you for the lessons you've taught us and the love you've shown us.

For you, we are so very thankful. And with this love, we are so very blessed.

Happy, happy, happy first birthday.

lybttu,
Your momma

Guest blogger: A note from Joni Belle



happy birthday! & happy welcome home-iversary!

weird title, huh? well let me just say, its for good reason. many of you know that last year at this time, my family was on a complete roller coaster ride. just thinking of the journey itself, brings me to tears. a year ago from tonight, we all sat around. sat around anticipating the arrival of one of  the best things that would happen to our family this year, when my sister was induced the next day. we also, sat around. sat around the bedside of one of the best things that had happened to us in the years before. my grandmother, 'Cille (also known as my super hero) was holding on. holding on far past the hospice nurses predictions. we all knew she was a fighter, we had seen that displayed in multiple ways before. but this time, it was different, we all knew that she was ready to "go home" (as she called it), she had told us everyone that she looked forward to seeing there (at her "home") and we had all held her hand and told her it was "okay to go". but still. everyday. we repeated those words. well on 4/27/10 'Cilles' great grandson Asher Ray (my nephew) was born. Oh what a joyous day!! he was perfect. perfect in everyway possible. an emotional day for us all, as anyone knows, its always emotional when welcoming a baby into the family. i remember holding Asher for the first time. changing that first poopy diaper. i remember it all, like it was yesterday. well, back in louisburg, family was still surrounding 'Cille, telling her all about Asher's arrival. allowing her to hold a picture of him in her hand. spreading the joy of the new baby all around the house. it was great! finally, on 4/30/10 Kira and Asher were allowed to go home. everyone was healthy and everyone checked out okay.. and that was it! that is what i believe 'Cille was waiting for. Asher and Kira to be 'announced' healthy and released from the hospital. 'Cille went to heaven to watch over us that morning, right during the time that Kira and Asher packed their bags and signed all that paperwork.

i know my family will agree when i say "time really does fly!". i can not believe that Asher has been with us for a year now. nor can i believe that it was a year ago i told 'Cille goodbye. but i can say that i am super grateful everyday for Asher Ray. he is the coolest nephew ever! and i see his great grandmother in him all the time. me and Kira constantly talk about 'Cille with Asher. i am blessed to be able to be a nanny for Asher. i am so grateful to have watched him grow and accomplish soooo much this year. its amazing. Asher is amazing. God is amazing! the good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away..

all of this to say. these next few days, my family and i will be back on that same roller coaster ride that we were on a year ago. but this time, we have a wonderful TODDLER there to hold our hand during the ride. and an amazing woman watching down on us as we are on the ride.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASHER!! <- we have loved every single moment with you this year.

HAPPY WELCOME HOME-iversary, 'Cille!! <- i know you have loved every single moment with Grandpa Paul this year.


& to my family.. i love you all bigger than the universe! Jeremiah 29:11.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Twister, twisting my heart.

Last Saturday, a mean, mean, mean storm system came through our state. We hunkered down in our storm closet under our stair case in the middle of the house. We knew the storms would be powerful. The weathermen had warned us for days. But no one knew just how bad they would be. There were tornado warnings hours before the line of red reached us on the radar. Hours. Warning after warning. They were spotted. On the ground. And headed our way.

I made sure we had shoes on our feet. Should we get hit, we'd need shoes. I made sure we had pillows and blankets and snacks in our safe space. Rusty looked at me like I was half crazy. Joni, who came to ride the storms out with us, happily obliged but I think she thought I was going a little overboard. Jax even knew something was up. He was calm. And sat in that closet with us.



The weatherman said "there is a large tornado on the ground, headed toward downtown Raleigh". Our power was flicking on and off. Rusty finally joined us in the closet. He had his laptop in his lap, turning on backup servers for WRAL.com, as the rest of his team had no internet. At this point, I think we realized the tornado was going to miss us by a few miles. It was loud and wild out there, but it was surprisingly quiet in our closet.

About 10 minutes later, we came out. On the news, everyone at WRAL had evacuated to the basement at the station. Except for the weatherman and the cameraman. Can you imagine? The footage started rolling in. The pictures were showing up on Facebook. There were kids that lost their lives. There were families that lost their homes. The stories were so powerful. A yearbook that was picked up by the tornado in Sanford and landed in the Raleigh area, 60 miles later. The weather service just announced today it was a record tornado outbreak for our state. Videos are surfacing. Stories of survival are uplifting. Stories of loss are gut wrenching. And they just keep coming in. The damage is so widespread it's surreal.

Today, Rusty and I had the opportunity to go with a friend to volunteer at a home that was damaged by the storm. It was north of us, in the neighborhood near Serendipity, off of Forestville Road. Those watching the news know that this area was hard hit. I tried to prepare myself for what we'd see. There were lots and lots of trees down and tarps scattered on almost all of the rooftops along the road.

Their house was atop a hill. They were missing a wall along the entire length of their house on the second floor. Their windows were blown out. Their blinds mangled. There was glass everywhere. And tiny pieces of insulation stuck on everything. Even behind their dresser in their bedroom, in that tiny space, the power cords were coated on all sides with insulation. I cannot imagine the spin and wall of rain that would do such a thing.

The family was home when the tornado hit. They huddled in the closet underneath their stairs. With their almost one-year old son. The husband said that he had to hold the door closed, as the tornado was trying to pull it open. Their ears were popping. The walls were shifting around them. I mean, can you even imagine?

We were assigned the task of cleaning the baby's room. Oh, my heart hurts just thinking about it. Rusty and I cleaned out the clothes and items that were covered in insulation and strewn around the closet. There was a big hole in the wall of the closet. Just outside the baby's door the wall was gone. I packed away little outfits that were the same that our Asher wore. Little PJ's that were the same. Little onesie's. It's like I was looking at Asher's closet. And here we were, complete strangers, going through their son's belongings. Taking apart his crib. Wow. It was emotional. But it felt good to help.

We continued, our little army of workers, operating shop vacs and wearing our masks. The family had to move to an efficiency apartment. A lot of their furniture had to be thrown out, as it was covered in shards of glass, tiny pieces of insulation and soaking wet. We picked up so much glass. Pieces of other people's houses in their bedroom. It was insane. And, their house was no where near as bad as some of the others. Apparently their builder built the homes to the standards of eastern NC, which means that they have to be able to withstand stronger winds. This was because the neighborhood was built atop a hill. The structural engineer said that's likely what saved them. They said they thought they weren't going to make it. Can you even imagine?

Driving away, Rusty and I were quiet, digesting what we had seen. We were thankful that we were safe. We were thankful for the ability to help. I looked at each of the tarps on both sides of us, realizing that underneath them were pieces of glass, bits of insulation and debris. People's lives all twisted around and forever affected. It makes me catch my breath thinking of it.



God, please be with all of those affected by these storms. Please help everyone to heal. And please help us find ways to help each other. Thank you for keeping my family safe. Help us to never take life for granted. Amen.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random memory.

Tonight, I'm laying in my bed. Asher is snoozing on my shoulder. (Lately, I've let him sleep there with me for a bit because he's about to turn one and I'm savoring every moment and I'm the mom and I make the rules.)

Anyways, so tonight I'm doing something on my phone while Asher sleeps. And I got really sleepy. And almost dozed off for a second. And then this random memory hits me. Bam!

When Asher was little. Those first few sleepless (very sleepless) months. I would try to type during feedings. I'd text or read a blog or update Facebook. And I remember being so frickin tired that I'd fall asleep in the middle of typing a thought. I'd wake up to "Asher sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" or something like that on my screen. I remember prying my eyes open while deleting all the sleepytime characters I typed. And it would usually happen all over again.

Damn. I was so ridiculously tired. Wow. Funny that that one memory brought it all back. Just. Like. That.

And a bathtime picture from tonight to complete the randomness.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Did you know a nap was torture?

Asher just informed me that it was.

Well, technically, he's still informing me that it is.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby necessities: recap of the first year

I've been working on this post in my head for months now. And, now that a new bunch of friends are pregnant, I thought I should stop thinking about this list and actually write it down. (Well, type it down.)

So, there are a lot of things I just had to have that we didn't use much. And things that I scowled at that ended up being critical. Here's a list of big must-haves for a baby's first year, according to the Kroboths. And by big I mean, keep it under control and not let your house be overtaken by baby stuff.

  • Fisher Price Cradle n' Swing - Worth. Every. Penny. Go used if you can.
  • Rock and Play Sleeper - Seriously, best invention ever. Folds up and can slide behind a piece of furniture. Keeps baby elevated and cozy and safe. Skip the bassinet; go with this. Target has super cute new fabric print.
  • Jumperoo - Yes, it's big. But it's awesome.
  • Bouncy seat - We had several. The cheapest ended up being Asher's favorite by far. Make sure it can fit on your countertop so that the little one can be in the kitchen with you. This went everywhere with us. (While I'm thinking about it, grab a couple sets of links. You'll be hanging toys from everything. Including this bouncer.)
  • Resist the urge to get a high chair right away. I just had to have a certain one and it turned out to not be the right fit for us at all. We now use a booster seat that can also travel with us.
  • Rocking chair. Make room. You'll be glad you did.
  • Snap and go stroller frame. This will be plenty for the first six months or so. You will have time to then pick out your other strollers. (We have the Chicco Liteway for around town now. It's sturdier than an umbrella, but the size of an umbrella. I love it. We also have the Baby Trend jogger. Affordable and so far, doing great.)
  • Play gym. This was a life saver for us. (Don't get a tummy time mat or any of that extra nonsense.) Folds up.
  • Nursing pillow. Extra cover.
  • Infant tub. Infant sling in this one is awesome. Grows with the kid.
  • Pack and play. Any 'ole one will do.
  • Safety gates. We have these from Regalo. They are affordable and very sturdy. (Eventually you'll need outlet plug covers. That's really all the baby proofing we've had to do thus far because the gates keep him in the baby-safe area.)
  • Walker. We got a large walker and put pillows under it when he was younger and it doubled as an exersaucer. I think, though, if you're short on space, go with the jumperoo. 
  • Push toys. We've been handed-down a fabulous selection. But the walker above can turn into a walker, so it performs double duty. Other favorites are shopping carts and little push/ride toys.
My skip list would include:
  • Bumbo chair (I thought he always looked uncomfortable. You'll know later if your kid will need/enjoy one. Until then they just take up space.)
  • Wipe warmer (You can't take a warmer everywhere you go. So just skip it.)
  • Diaper genie (Have one. Never use it. Just take out the trash regularly.)
  • Full size high chair.
  • Full size bassinet.
  • Travel system car seat/stroller combo. Just get the seat and the snap and go.
Side note: I found this list to be really accurate for overall baby needs (versus wants).

Tip: Borrow from friends when you can. Or buy used in good condition. Babies are all different and what works for one may not work for another. If you borrow or buy used, you are not losing as much money if something doesn't work. Also, borrowing is awesome because then you don't have to store things. You just return the item with lots of thank-you's!

What's on your must-have list and skip list? I'm sure I'm forgetting something(s), but this is a good start. Happy baby shopping!

A year ago today.


Well, here we are. This day last year was my due date. I was largely pregnant. Super swollen. Very uncomfortable. And waiting for the biggest event of our lives - meeting our son.

And today, here's right here beside me. Playing with his favorite toy. Giving me hugs every time I pick him up. Smiling when his dada comes into the room. Talking in his own language. Bopping to his favorite music. Getting into everything. And drooling like a drooling fool. And yes, there's crying and not napping and whining and throwing food on the floor. But, those just come with the territory.

I had no idea at the time that I'd have to wait another eight days to meet Asher. I also had no idea that a year could be such a wild ride. In eight short days, we'll be celebrating our kid's first birthday.

Happy due date Asher. We love you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

First Easter egg hunt = success


Saturday morning the weather held off for us. It was eery outside. So windy and gray. Definite foreshadowing of the terrible, terrible weather that hit in the afternoon.


But, that morning, Asher enjoyed his first Easter egg hunt at WRAL. And let me tell you, the kid loved himself some Easter Bunny. His eyes darted all over the garden checking him out wherever he was.



 And when he came over to say hello, our son was all Yeah, you're cool Mr. Bunny. I guess you can take a photo with me. It was freaking adorable.



He gathered his eggs and organized them into and out of and into and out of his airplane basket. Sweet boy.



And then, we ventured through the gardens for a little adventuring. It was fun to take pics here with Ash, almost exactly two years after we were there for our engagement photos. Neat. Neat. Neat.

Asher's First Birthday: Frisbee Invitation


Well, friends, the big one is coming up. Asher will be one year old! (And so far, I've had no emotional meltdowns.) This year feels simultaneously short and long. Funny how that happens.

I'm sure it goes without saying, but, I'm SO excited for his upcoming birthday party! I've put quite some time into planning his celebration (I am a producer, afterall), yet wanted to be careful not to go overboard. I want his party to be full of love, meaningful memories and of course, cupcakes with yummy icing.

We're going for a fun, homemade feel at his 'Party in the Park'. And, I'm on a budget here. So, I'm trying to work with items that I've gathered along the way in combination with things from around the house (think: Cille's quilts for tablecloths).

First things first, though. The invitation. Delivered via a frisbee. Right in the mailboxes of our favorite people. Complete with the invitation stuck right on it! I pictured everyone opening their mailbox, thinking what is that? and then realizing it was a frisbee invite!

So, after some online research, I learned that you can mail most anything. Just affix the stamps right on it and drop it off at the post office. The nice postal worker didn't even bat an eye when I showed up with my brown bag of frisbees.

I set up a work station at the USPS and stuck a variety of stamp on each frisbee (they were low on some quantities of stamps). I think they ended up around $1.20-something each. I told myself my price cut off was $1.50. If it was going to be that much, I was going to plop them in envelopes and mail in a more standard (read: cheaper) way.


I am very tickled with how they came out! Moving on to more party details this week. This is great fun, people. Great fun.


Frisbees: Oriental Trading, $14.99 for 24
Full sheet of labels: Amazon, $10.45 for 100 sheets (super good deal)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter egg hunt & Planet Earth Celebration = weekend of family awesomeness

Attention storm system: Please stay away. The weathermen (and woman) are all telling me the same thing. This Saturday is going to be narsty. (Yes, I said narsty, with an r.) Normally, I'd welcome in a storm system. I love myself some thunder and rain and screened porch sitting. But this weekend, Saturday specifically, is not convenient for us. We have family awesomeness planned people!

Rain, at the very least, please hold off until after lunch so that Asher can enjoy his first Easter Egg hunt in the gorgeous WRAL gardens with the other little kiddies of WRAL employees. Do you know excited I was when I learned that his first hunt would be in such an exquisite spot? Oh so excited. I have had his outfit picked out for weeks and we've practiced the bunny hop and egg gathering in our living room. Not kidding. And now, the weather forecast looks dooming. We'll find out Saturday morning if it's cancelled or not. Cross your fingers for us that we can do the bunny hop. Hop. Hop. Hop.

But, rain or shine, my little family will be attending the Planet Earth Celebration at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences on Saturday. And I'm pumped about that, too.

(Sidenote: This museum is awesome and free. If you haven't been, you should really go and spend an afternoon. I drug Rusty to the natural sciences museums in New York City and Chicago thinking they would top ours. And they didn't really. Chicago was close. But NYC's really disappointed me.)

Imagine my delight last week when the day started off with a special delivery of Burt's Bees products for Asher and me right on my doorstep. Burt's Bees, one of the presenters of the Celebration, sent out these lovely gift boxes to some mommy bloggers in the area with some tips on sustainability and details about the event. We've used Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash on Asher since he was born. That smell, that smell. Ahh, it smells like love to me. I plan to scoop up some more at the Burt's Bees Tent sale on Saturday. Will we see you there?

So, you see, lots of fun ahead. And I'm going to need the weather to cooperate. And thanks in advance.

Scenes from this week (and my new Thunderbolt)







Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joni update: Hopefully the last

So, for those following the mystery pain saga with Joni. Here's what I hope is the last update.

I took Joni to see my general doctor at Wake Internal Medicine. I've gone to him for years and trust him. I knew he'd take the time to look over all of her test results and talk to us with genuine concern. So, Monday, we went to the appointment. He had reviewed all of her past test results. I mentioned the list of things that people keep mentioning to us when relaying their own horror mystery pain stories. One by one, he explained why he didn't think it was likely in this situation. It was so helpful to hear that.

Then, he said since we've ruled out the obvious and the life-threatening, we're going to think differently. He explained that since the pain was sharp, it was more likely a muscle since the nerve endings in the gut don't have the nerve fibers to feel constant sharp pains. I'm sure I did a horrible job of explaining that, but you get the point. He seriously listened to her and thought about what else it could be. He didn't recommend going straight to exploratory surgery like the surgeon did. So, he said let's try treating it as psoas muscle spasms or her psoas muscle 'gone wrong'. He brought out his medical book and showed us the location of the muscle. Seemed a perfect match. He prescribed anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant meds. We scheduled a follow up appointment and he said that if this was it, she would start to feel better in a few days. And, of course, if she felt worse to call back immediately.

And today, Joni had hours PAIN FREE! Hooray! Isn't that awesome? Let's hope it continues.

Thanks for all of the thoughts, prayers and support you sent Joni's way. We truly appreciate them all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I have so much I want to say.

We are fast approaching Asher's first birthday. And I have so much on my mind and in my heart. So much to say. Realizing the date, I thought back to this time last year. Wow, I was huge. And miserable.

What a difference a year makes.

Last April, I had to say goodbye to my Cille. I still tear up typing that. I miss her so much. The story of the timing of Asher's birth and Cille's passing still takes my breath away.

And this April, Rusty has to say goodbye to his Granddad. It's fitting, though. Ashes to ashes, right?

Just today, I sent words of one of my favorite hymns to Rusty's mom. Hoping she could find comfort from them. And tonight, while looking back here, I realized that I put those same words on the post about Cille's final days.

That takes my breath away. Life takes my breath away. In good ways and not-so-good ways.

And right now, I want to pause and remember where we came from. Those that love us. The circle of life; for that's how it was meant to be.

The life and birth that comes with spring reminds me of our new little life sleeping under our roof. And those we say goodbye to, they are a part of him. And a part of us. For always.

Rest in peace, loved ones.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7th: Happy Birthday, Aunt Melus!

My Melissa,

Happy Birthday to you, my best friend (and soul mate).I love you. Our years of awesomeness together hold some of my most cherished memories. I'm so excited for Asher to grow up experiencing our shenanigans. We can't wait to see you again soon. Hope your day is extra special!

In an effort to add to the specialness of your day, I planned a '4/7' photo shoot with Asher bug. Yeah, didn't go so well. His displeasure is by no means a reflection of his affection for you. He loves you and your kitchen sink!

Enjoy!

Love you. xoxo.






Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Joni update: Tuesday night

Yep, another update. This one doesn't have any answers in it either. Whhooopppeee. The circus never ends.

Anyways, Joni today went to a GI doctor that the surgeon referred her to. (This happens to the same group that my general doc is a part of, so I know they are decent.) They took a quick look, remain puzzled that she has no other symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) and scheduled her for a colonoscopy ASAP. Which, means the prep work begins immediately and the procedure will be Thursday at noon.

They are thinking she may be struggling with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Also, some forms of endimetriosis could also be seen with this test. We should know something immediately following the colonoscopy.

In case it shows nothing, they have already scheduled her an appointment on Friday with one of the GYN's in the same group.

I hope we don't wind back up at Rex again. Seriously, that was such a foul experience.

Related: I'm considering a new OBGYN in the future that's associated with another hospital. Any recommendations?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Conversations with Great Grandpop

Joni update: Monday night

Well, we started out today with high hopes. Mom called the surgical practice that Joni saw at Rex. They told her to come over first thing this morning. They checked her out, reran the bloodwork and CT scan.

The surgeon said, "What happened? You looked great when I released you." Um, from what I remember it was before 7 AM and both Joni and Mom were half asleep when he poked his head in and told Joni she could go home. Without checking her, asking her pain levels or anything. He also said that he wanted to recheck her on everything because sometimes appendicitis could take days to really flare up, and this and that. Funny how he didn't mention that when he released her. Grrrrrrrrrr.

The entire experience at Rex was just rotten. I wish that someone there had the decency to try to figure out what could be wrong with her, not just sweep it under the rug with pain pills and send her home with nothing. All of that time she laid there, when the floor nurses paid her zero attention and the ER doctor never followed up. It just burns me up. It's ridiculous that we have to be so hands-on and demanding when it comes to our health care. Very few will actually be proactive (or even thoroughly reactive) when it comes to our health. We have to do all the fighting and calling and tracking down and googling ourselves. End rant.

So, the surgeon says he'll rush the results and call Joni on her cell. Sometime after five o'clock, Joni was in such pain she called the office and used their emergency line. The surgeon called back, said her tests today looked clear. We could officially rule out appendicitis. Glad we had to call and chase him down to get that information. He said she could go back to the hospital, he would admit her and have the GYN on call see her tonight. Or, she could wait until tomorrow and he'd call her in some pain meds for tonight. We again reminded him that the pain meds don't kill the pain. He suggested pain meds plus something to help her sleep. He said that he didn't see anything life threatening, which was good.

What isn't good, though, is that tomorrow will be another day of following up, chasing down referrals, files, paperwork and tests. Who knows if she'll get an appointment in the morning. And if they find something, they probably couldn't do anything surgical until the next day. So frustrating.

We are now thinking her pain is related to something female or something gastric. My gut says female. But a quick talk with her former GYN today made it seem like endimetriosis isn't likely, after the surgeon thought it was. See? What a mess. A big, fat mess.

Poor Joni Belle. Please continue to pray for her, and for my parents, as they work to find the answers she so needs. Please pray for a kind, helpful medical team to get to the bottom of this and help Joni get some relief.

Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts and prayers and follow ups, everyone!

Oh, and Joni is home tonight with Mom and Dad. She felt more comfortable with the pain pills and sleeping meds there with them. And of course, we all want our momma when we aren't feeling well, right? 

I lybttu Belle!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Joni is at home. Well, she's on my couch.

Belle is over at our house for the night. The hospital finally released her around 4 pm this afternoon. She's still in quite a bit of pain, still on her right side. She said it have moved a few inches to the side, but still in the same general area. The doctor wouldn't release her with pain medicine, so she's alternating Tylenol and Motrin every two hours. I don't think it's really helping all that much, considering she still felt the pain while on major IV pain meds.

Sadly, we didn't have a great experience at Rex. Turns out Joni was on the surgery floor since they had a surgeon come consult with her in the ER. There were only a handful of patients on her floor and we hardly ever even saw a nurse. The doctor that checked in on her each morning was a surgeon, which hardly seemed appropriate considering she wasn't having surgery. And the nurses, most of them had this air about them like they were accusing her of making it all up for narcotics. It was weird. Just a crappy vibe. So, she left with no more information than she had coming in. And still in pain. And with my exhausted parents.

First thing Monday, Joni is going to call her doctor back home and see what she recommends as a next step. Until then, she's camped out on my couch and I'm cooking her yummyness.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Have any suggestions? Either way, please keep her in your prayers. Many thanks.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Joni Belle update: Friday night.

Holler.

I just got home from the hospital. They have Joni's pain pretty much under control and it's died down in intensity some. They have switched her from IV pain meds to pills, which was one of the things the doc required before letting her go home. They are keeping an eye on her fluids, and so far she's only allowed clear fluids. So, lots of broth and jello. Whoopee.

They are saying that the pain is likely caused by a virus in her intestinal tract. Or, maybe it's something else. But, they've ruled out appendicitis at this point. I am sure they will have her follow up with the surgeon's office and probably her regular doctor after this. Hopefully it's a one-time thing that goes away and never returns. But, only time will tell.

For tonight, she's chilling (read: sleeping) in her end of the hall room on the top floor of Rex. Penthouse! Ha. Mom is there with her. Hopefully the doctor will make rounds early in the morning and send her on home. She's totally wanting a hot shower and her own bed. Don't blame her one bit.

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. Keep them coming. I'll keep you posted. Night night.

lybttu Belle.

Joni Belle's not feeling well. Update.

Howdy. I'm going to use this space to keep everyone updated on Joni to try and save her from texting until her thumbs fall off.

Joni told me Thursday night she had some abdominal pain. It continued throughout the night and into the day Friday. I knew it was bad when she started talking about taking herself to the ER. Yeah, you're saying to yourself, it must have been bad, right? Anyways, they immediately suspected appendicitis. Her pain got stronger and the pain meds they kept putting in her IV were only barely taking the edge off.

Thursday, 10 PM - We went from comedian, hungry Joni to tired, hungry, in pain, grumpy and cranky-cranky-cranky Joni. Her blood work, ultrasound, CT scan, etc. all came back clear. The doctor in the ER called in the on-call surgeon. He said that he's missed an appendicitis before and wanted their expert opinion.

Friday, 2 AM - Enter: Surgeon that has been up for almost 36 hours. Add him to Joni's drugged up state and Mom and me exhausted and nothing was making too much sense. He didn't think it was her appendix for multiple reasons, but when we said she had IV drugs that weren't taking away the pain he became more concerned. He wanted to keep her overnight, keep giving her pain meds and start some IV fluids.

Friday, 9 AM - They did more bloodwork this morning, put those fancy leg circulation pumps on and the surgeon just stopped by again. He still isn't sure it's not her appendix, but her bloodwork is still looking good. They are going to let her drink a few fluids and see what happens. They doubled her pain meds overnight and it finally took the pain away so she could rest for an hour or so. Today, she's asked them to cut them back again because they make her feel pretty horrible.

So now, we're looking at appendicitis in slow motion or a virus. Some sort of crazy, in your intestinal track virus. If they let her eat, we'd be back at square one with the pain. So, still no food allowed. Joni's none too thrilled about that.She's at Rex. Room 7070, I do believe. Her cell phone is keeping her occupied (and ours keeping us occupied). I'll keep everyone posted. They expect her to be there until tomorrow (Saturday).
She'll love me for this one

Please keep her in your prayers. She's been a tough cookie. Also, please pray that the doctors have the wisdom to figure out what's going on here.

And no, this isn't a big April Fool's joke. Though, we did brainstorm some fun ways to pull some pranks but decided it's probably not the best time to do that. :)
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