Thursday, September 27, 2012

Funny Lost Contact Story

Background. We were just at the hospital on Tuesday picking up Chloe's new contacts (new RX). Today was her second day in her her new lenses.

I just happened to be at the school for a Homeroom Parent meeting today when I got a voicemail from the school nurse. "Hi Mrs. Hendrickson. I just wanted to let you know that, when we were giving Chloe her daily eye drops, we noticed Chloe's right contact was missing." I keep Chloe's glasses, contact case, and plunger in her backpack every day just in case this happens so they took out the left lens and put her glasses on.

Normally I would just say "darn" and pull out a new lens but since I happened to be at the school I headed down to the class and proceeded to crawl all over the floor. What else was I going to do for 10 minutes while I waited for school to get out? The class just happened to be at music so I had the room all to myself. The classroom aide helped but we didn't find it. Then she suggested that maybe Chloe lost her contact at the gym. I still had a few minutes and thought, "what the heck." The gym teacher volunteered to sweep the entire gym looking for it! I felt so bad but he didn't seem to mind. When he finished we picked through the dust of his big custodian-style broom. Hair clip, stickers, chunks of mud. Lots of dust but no contact. Oh well. It was worth a shot.

As we were driving home I got an excited call from Chloe's teacher, "We found it!" "NO WAY!" I immediately flipped a U and headed back. Chloe and I raced to the classroom and, sure enough, there it was. "Hooray!!!"

It was obviously stepped on. Cracked.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I took Chloe to see the surgeon that placed a penrose drain in her abdomen at 19 days old. The penrose drain was basically a soft tube that they placed in her abdomen and left part of it hanging out of her stomach. Its purpose was to drain fluid/poison that had released from her ruptured intestines and into her belly. I'm convinced that the ruptured intestines were caused by endomethicin, the drug they used to try and close her PDA (open heart valve). The Endomethicin didn't work to close her PDA; she still had to have surgery for that. But it did pop a hole in her intestines. I hate that stupid drug. If only I knew then what I know now. What a nightmare that day was. I'm pretty sure I've never cried so hard before or since.

This is our second post-discharge visit to the surgeon. The first visit was a routine post-discharge visit and at it he warned us that she might get a hernia at the spot where the penrose drain was placed. Last weekend we noticed she was red all around the scar and there were a couple of little bumps that seemed to be sticking out. The surgeon inspected the spot and can't feel a "clinical" hernia but suspects that she's working on one. It could have just been a little bit of fat tissue poking through and the red could have been unhealthy tissue making itself known. Any unhealthy fat tissue will probably just dissolve away so that's not too much of a concern.

He recommends, though, that we keep an eye on it and come back if we see anything bigger sticking out or if the redness continues. She'll almost certainly need to have another surgery where they basically re-do the scar. Right now it's kind of a nasty indented and jagged C-shape with lines coming out of it. He'll cut a football shape around it and then sew it all together to make a sturdier and cleaner scar that won't herniate. We should do this during childhood and before Chloe goes through puberty and, as he described it, could "potentially thicken in the middle" making it a more difficult surgery. It's funny the reaction a mom has when someone suggests their kid could become chunky. I was slightly offended to tell the truth. Does that say something bad about me?

Anyway, it's another surgery to think about. We should do it during childhood but there's no urgency right now. The good news is that we could get the Opthomologist to run in for a quick eye check during that surgery when we have it. Like an EUA freebie. (Not monetarily but anesthesia-wise.)

And speaking of her eyes, Dave and I are considering taking Chloe to a glaucoma specialist. We're happy with her Optho but are just considering whether or not we want an extra opinion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Picking 2012

Dave was off from work last Thursday so we decided to go apple picking when Solana got home from school. It was also the same day as Chloe's EUA and I was sort of a zombie in need of some cheering up. We wanted Chloe to have a quiet afternoon after anesthesia but decided it would be low key enough on a Thursday and we could keep Chloe in the wagon most of the time. It worked perfectly. The girls had a lovely time and some quality time with Mommy and Daddy. I got my pick-me-up and Chloe relaxed while we did all the work. 

We were pretty much the only people there. I saw one lady with her son at one point but never saw them again so we felt like we were all alone. Dave got baskets and a wagon while the girls made fast friends with the animals. There seem to be petting zoos everywhere we go these days. They love it. 

 The girls and I went to the apple orchard with Angela and her girls last year and the apples had been hit by the big hail storm in the Spring. This year there wasn't a hail storm so the apples were big and round. They said that there weren't as many as there should be but we found plenty. Solana wouldn't stop eating apples. It's more difficult to pick apples when you're busy munching on one.

Chloe probably ate her weight in apples. Every time I turned around she was chomping into one.

The biggest apples were way up high. Good thing we had Dave's height. He had to do some heavy lifting when the apples were out of his reach.
And he had to do some REALLY heavy lifting when the apples were out of Solana's reach. I'm not gonna lie. I'm a wimp and was a little scared. He picked me up by my legs at one point and my terrified squeals were probably the funniest part of the afternoon. I'm glad Solana didn't get any pictures of that!

We picked tons of apples. Solana was pooped at the end and ready for a break. Chloe walked around just a little bit but was content to sit back and much for the most part.
 Dave has lost quite a bit of weight since his 40th birthday. This is the first time he's worn this sweater and I thought he looked really handsome in it. :-) I couldn't bear to stop picking apples on the way back to the front but the wagon was full. I used my shirt and didn't know when to say when. My poor shirt.

 Dave had sticker shock when he realized how much we spent on apples. They were only about $1.50/pound but $65 for apples was a bit of a shock for him. I say it was worth it. So far we've made two apple pies (one's in the freezer) and two crock pots full of apple sauce. I put most of it in jars in the deep freezer and we're set for quite a while. And it's just about the yummiest apple sauce ever. We're saving the small apples for snacking and I'll probably make one more apple pie and one batch of apple butter before the apples are gone.

Solana's an expert with the apple peeler/corer/slicer. I was able to leave her alone with it this year while I did all the rest of the pie/apple sauce prep. She even gave Chloe a lesson.

I love apple picking. That and the pumpkin patch are two of my favorite fall activities.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Chloe had her annual EUA (Exam Under Anesthesia) this morning. I was nervous as usual. There seem to be changes every time. Last time she had a dramatic RX change. Her right eye got a lot more near-sighted. 

Today she did really well prepping for surgery. The nurses were amazed at how easily she took her eye drops. She's well-practiced at getting drops, though. She gets them from me and the nurse at school every day. They're just re-wetting drops to keep her contacts from drying out and irritating her but they're good practice for all the drops she gets on surgery day. She gets 12 total. Two drops in each eye of each: numbing, dilating, and antibacterial, I believe. They all loved her. She's very charming. Even when she says, "no way" to a simple request.

Here she is heading off to her procedure. Kitty kept her company. Kitty is a boy, by the way, who is still referred to with all female pronouns. I find it very confusing and keep thinking 'he' is a she.

Anyway, enough with the fun little memories. Chloe was diagnosed with glaucoma today. Her right eye pressure was 13 and her left eye was 30. Under 23 is ok. 30 is scary and can lead to blindness. We have to get that pressure under control. She has to work hard enough to make it through the day with partial vision in her left eye. I don't want her to have no vision in that eye. The doctor prescribed medicated drops (cosopt) to try and lower the pressure. After doing a little research I read that the drops burn likeamother (one website called them "satan's tears"). Great. But when I called the doctor he said that's probably more common in older adults who may have dry eyes. She gets one drop twice a day. I put the night time drop in after she was fast asleep and that went well. I'm not sure how I'll handle the morning drop, though. 

Fingers crossed that they work for her without any of the scary side effects listed. We're going back in a month and he'll touch her eyeball with a little pen to test the pressure. I'm REALLY looking forward to that. Let me tell you. The doctor said he thinks she'll be ok with it since she's used to me touching her eyes so much. I sure hope he's right. Me reaching into her eye at home usually has a different reaction than someone else reaching toward her eye in a doctor's office, though... There might be a little wrestling and perspiration involved but we can't be putting her under gas every month so we don't have much of a choice. 

Hoping for the best. Also terrified. Worry is my middle name.

Oh, I almost forgot about the other fun memories. We got out of there at about 11am. Chloe couldn't eat before anesthesia so at that point she had only consumed 1/2 cup of apple juice and a couple of graham cracker packets. She charmed the second packet from the nurse but it was time to go when she finished the second packet. She was hungry and less than pleased when I deprived her of a third packet. She was very charming on the way home. I don't think I've ever seen her so hungry. I'm glad today is over. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pacifier Gone!

Finally! Oh my gosh that took forever. Seriously no back patting happening here. I just looked for the first post about taking Chloe's pacifier away. It was...February! Oh my gosh. I am such a coward.

Chloe had another trip to the dentist. And I say "trip to the dentist" versus "cleaning" because she wasn't about to let them get anywhere near her mouth with that buzzing stick of doom. It ended up being an "oral exam" that included lots of crying and wrestling. Oh that Chloe. Anyway, the dentist was not impressed with the fact that she still has a pacifier and told me that we are doing orthodontic damage to her mouth and are changing the shape of her face by letting this continue.

I knew this was coming. In fact, I tried to take her pacifier away from her just a few days prior to the visit. But it was ill-planned, on her birthday, and Dave said I was just being mean. What? An excuse? I took it and handed the pacifier to her with great relief.

But after being properly chastised by the dentist I came home and took the pacifiers away. I could have waited a few more days because it was Labor Day Weekend and we were heading out for a camping trip the next day but I decided there would always be an excuse, a four day weekend was too perfect an opportunity to let pass, and hoped that she'd be so exhausted from camping that she'd just pass out. I told Chloe that "You're a big girl now and don't need a pacifier anymore. We need to give your pacifiers to the babies who need them." This wasn't news to her. We'd been discussing it for several days. She agreed and got into bed.  Then immediately began crying, "No Mommy! The babies don't want my pacifier! I want my pacifier!" She refused to get back in bed and cried herself to sleep on the floor. That was slightly painful but she actually fell asleep faster than she had been sooo...

This was two and a half weeks ago. She cried once or twice more and asked for it a few times but, for the most part, it wasn't nearly as dreadful as I expected. Chloe is now pacifier free and her mouth and face can begin to grow into it's proper shape.