york swirls

Friday, October 26, 2012

Digging for Gold

 Heather & Laura
 Kara & Leah standing with Nanna sitting in the back seat
We went to the field today and picked up corn in some spots where the combine had knocked some stalks down when it had plugged.  The wind today was like a hurricane!  It was hard work to fight against it, but we picked up all this corn in the picture above.  As they worked, they pretended that they were digging for gold.  The girls even spotted an ear here and there when we went back to the field tonight with supper, so they were picking them up to add to their pile.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life may be slowly returning to normal...

Krissy's visual field test this week may have been a little improved.  We saw the neurosurgeon yesterday.  We drove 200 miles for him to ask her how she was feeling, look at the visual field test results that could have been faxed to him, and for him to say he'd see her in a month.  I love the medical system!  (That was sarcastic if you couldn't tell through your computer screen.)

I've spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms over the past 5 1/2 weeks and have been horrified at some of the things I've overheard.  For example, while sitting in the outpatient services waiting room I overheard the discussion between a patient and the lady at the desk.  They had him scheduled for surgery on the wrong ear.  ("Oh, I'm sorry...we took out your gallbladder instead of your tonsils!")  Or there was the discussion yesterday between the 2 ladies behind the desk....the one had charged someone a $50 co-pay, instead of a $30 co-pay, and they weren't going to do anything about it.  The one basically told the other, "Way to go!"  That's just two of many examples.  I've told Krissy more than once, "You'll get better if they don't kill you first."

So Krissy has no more doctor's appointments before Gary & I leave for our cruise on November 9th.  I feel so free!!  Maybe I can concentrate on things like cleaning my house, schooling, packing, and just being home for more than a few hours at a time!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Have I showed you any pictures of my grandson lately?

Ryan is 7 months old now.  Krissy made this little bow tie for him.  He was all dolled up for church last Sunday morning.  He was sitting there looking so cute, so his mommy, Gammy, and Auntie Meagan grabbed their phones and started snapping pictures.  Isn't he just the cutest little fella?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Long Day at the Hospital

Krissy and I got up at 3:30 yesterday morning to be in Indianapolis by 6:15 our time for another lumbar  puncture.  Her pressure was 31.8, higher than last week.  We hung around in observation until it was time for her appointment with the neurologist.  His office building is connected to the hospital by a breezeway, so the nurse just took Krissy over there in a wheelchair.  After a lumbar puncture, she's supposed to lie flat for 24 hours, so they took her right back to a room and let her lay on one of those nice, comfortable examining tables.  The doctor was very concerned with how high the pressure was again, especially after he had increased her meds by 25% the week before.  He had talked with the neurosurgeon, and we were supposed to make an appointment with him to schedule surgery for the brain shunt.  The neurologist also wanted blood work to monitor if the meds were affecting her organs.

Once we got in the car, Krissy called the surgeon's office.  They were able to work her in while we were down there.  We went to the hospital to have the bloodwork done in the outpatient lab.  Then we drove around to the opposite side of the hospital and went in the building where the surgeon's office was.  It's quite a campus down there!  They took her straight back and let her lay on a very flat, hard table with no pillow.  Such a comfy place to spend the next 2 hours waiting on the doctor!

When the surgeon came in, he started talking like we weren't going to do surgery.  We were very confused since we had the impression from the neurologist that he and the surgeon agreed that we needed to do the surgery.  He explained the 3 different surgeries that can be done to drain the extra fluid.  He could put a shunt in her back, but he said he won't do that surgery anymore because it's about a 100% failure rate.  He explained the shunt in the brain, but also explained why he didn't want to do that right now.  He also said there's a surgery they can do to the eye, but he didn't want to do that yet either.  He is sending her for another visual field test this Friday and wants to see her again next Tuesday.  He feels that the number of the pressure is not as important as whether she is having headaches or if her sight is in danger.  Since she is not having headaches and her sight improved considerably over the last week, he just wants to "watch and wait."

We didn't get home until 6:00 last night.  Such a long, exhausting day!  But Erin had supper ready, and the girls had the house picked up.  We caught up on each other's activities for the day and went to bed early!

Monday, October 15, 2012


 Friday was Kara's 9th birthday, so Krissy gave the girls a makeover.  They had a blast!!
The birthday girl!!  The Pippi Longstocking shirt is so fitting for Kara's personality!!

Murphy goes to the vet

Murphy went to the vet on Friday to get his booster shots.  He was a good patient.  It had been 3 weeks since he'd been to the vet.  He went from 45 lbs. to 57 lbs.  He's growing fast!  He is adjusting to life in our crazy household and becoming a very nice companion.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dr. Mom

Krissy had an appointment with the neurologist yesterday afternoon in Indianapolis, 197.2 miles round trip.  He spent 5-10 minutes with her and said he wanted her to have another lumbar puncture to check the pressure.  They couldn't do it yesterday while we were down there because it was almost 5:00 their time.  Why didn't we schedule this before hand?  Soooo.....we got up at 4:30 this morning to be down there at 7:15 our time.  Of course, it was 2 hours later before they took her in to do the procedure.  We knew that.  Everything they did while she was in the hospital was at least 2 hours late.  Why did we get up at 4:30???  We could have slept 2 more hours!  Her pressure this morning was 26, quite a bit over 15-18 at the top of the safe range.  They drained 30 mL off and closed her with a pressure of 6.  She had to lie flat in observation for 2 hours.  Then they sent her home to stay on her back for 24 hours, except to use the restroom.  We don't know what the plan is next, other than she has an appointment next Monday at the neurologist.  If he wants another lumbar puncture, he'd better schedule it for the same day.

In the meantime, last Monday before I went back to the hospital to stay with Krissy after spending the weekend at home for Autumn's shower, I had to take Kara to Lafayette to the nurse practitioner to have a big sore looked at on her leg.  They took some tissue to culture, but didn't really know what it was.  They prescribed an ointment to put on 3 times a day.  That was a busy day....drive 45 minutes south on I65 to Lafayette...drive 45 minutes north on I65 to take Kara home...drive 1 1/2 hours south on I65 to the hospital.
Over this past weekend, Kara developed a rash on her face and trunk.  Was this associated with the sore on her leg that they didn't know what it was?  The rash was red and spreading last night, so I called and made an appointment at another doctor's office from the hospital this morning while I was waiting on Krissy.  Another crazy day.......get up at 4:30 a.m.....drive 11/2 hours south on I65 to hospital...wait 5 1/2 hours for Krissy's procedure...drive 1 1/2 hours north on I65...settle Krissy in at home...pick up Kara...drive 45 minutes south on I65 to doctor's office...they don't know what's wrong with her...drive 45 minutes north on I65 to home...take supper to the field.
So why did I call this post "Dr. Mom"?  My aunt told me a couple of weeks ago that once I get all my girls grown up, I'll have earned an honorary doctor's degree, and she was going to get me a cap & gown.
Krissy's headache started September 15.  We tried for 11 days to find out what was wrong with 3 trips to the ER, a trip to the doctor's office, and many phone calls to the doctor.  After the ophthalmologist finally diagnosed her, it was going to be another 8 days before they would begin to do anything.  We had to take it upon ourselves to get treatment...and it's a good thing we did!
It's the same way with Kara.  I've spent $238 to find out absolutely nothing.  I'm diagnosing her myself and treating her.
I've seen Heather through 19 days in the hospital; Krissy through a broken arm, tonsils, adenoids, & gallbladder removed, childbirth & a NICU stay & surgery for Ryan, besides the current illness; Autumn through stitches and soon-to-be childbirth; Meagan through knee surgery & gallbladder surgery.
I told Autumn today that I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.  She told me I couldn't; it wasn't allowed.  I told her that figured...I wasn't allowed to do anything for myself.
Well, just you all wait!  Just 31 days until my husband of 25 years and I leave on a cruise to Jamaica.  You'd better all be healthy when I leave and stay healthy while I'm gone.  No babies to be born until I get home.  I'm going on a real vacation.  No cooking.  No laundry.  No school.  No cleaning.  No dishes.  Something I've never done since I became a mom almost 23 years ago.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homecoming Celebration!

 We went to the Whistle Stop Restaurant in Monon tonight to celebrate Krissy being home after 9 days in the hospital.  If you've never been to the Whistle Stop, you need to put that on your list of places to go.  All around the outside of the restaurant are train cars and other railroad memorabilia.  There is a railroad museum attached to the restaurant and trains run criss-crossing each other along the ceiling.  The atmosphere is pretty neat and the food is excellent!
 Ryan spent most of the evening watching the trains overhead.
We ran into our friends, Jerry & Kim Bowley, at the restaurant, so I asked Kim to take a picture of us.  Doesn't Krissy look great?!  She hasn't felt this good in 3 weeks.  She is still very weak.  We stopped at Walmart this morning after her appointment at the ophthalmologist, and she had to go back to the car.  She couldn't walk all the way through the store. 

The ophthalmologist re-did the tests he did last Tuesday.  The results of the tests today showed her vision was worse than it was last week.  The doctor didn't put a whole lot of stock in that.  He said it's possible her vision got a lot worse since last Tuesday and is starting to recover from that.  He checked her optic nerves.  He told us that last week he recorded that they were 3+ edema with hemorrhaging.  Today he recorded 2+ edema with no hemorrhaging.  He felt like that was good progress.  He will see her back in 2 months.  He doesn't necessarily think her eyes will be completely healed by that time.  He said it will take months.  He was glad we took it upon ourselves to go get help when we did instead of waiting for the appointments he was able to make for Krissy.

Krissy's body has a lot of healing to do.  We are so thankful that God saw fit to start the healing process before the scheduled surgery.  Having someone drill a hole in your skull and mess with your brain is not on the top of anyone's wish list.  Thank you all for praying.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Surgery Cancelled

Krissy's pressure was 18 this morning.  That is the top end of normal.  They cancelled the surgery scheduled for this afternoon.  They will check the pressure again tomorrow and decide if they will send her home.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Change in Plans!!!!

The neurologist came in this afternoon about 4:00.  He has been conferring with the neurosurgeon and other doctors.  They proposed we put tomorrow's surgery on hold.  They want to try capping off Krissy's drain (that the nurse has been draining every hour since Friday) and checking how much pressure builds up by tomorrow.  If it is still in a safe range, they would like to cap it again after checking the pressure and check it again Thursday.  They are going to put her on a large dose of a diuretic.  If the pressure isn't too high Thursday when they check it, they will take the drain out of her back and send her home.  They want her to go to her ophthalmologist on Friday for another visual field test.  Then come back to St. Vincent's on Monday to check her pressure again with another lumbar puncture.  They feel that since this came on so fast, it might go away just as fast.  They want to try this before drilling a hole through her skull and putting a shunt in her brain.  We were in favor of that.  Please pray that the fluid will not build back up.

Upcoming Surgery

The neurosurgeon came in this morning.  He said Krissy would have a CT scan today and also a good shampoo in preparation for surgery tomorrow.  Surgery is scheduled for 3:00 EST.  He said they usually send the patient home the next day after surgery on her brain.  Totally amazes me!  He said the only restrictions she would have is not to lift more than 40 lbs. and no swimming for 2 weeks.  No problem!  Nathan drained the pool last week.

We appreciate everyone's kind words and prayer support.  This has been a very frustrating and difficult journey.  God is good all the time.  All the time, God is good.