Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12.16.2008 -- Why, Ken? Why?

Today is a difficult day for us. I returned from taking Lucy to pre-school and walked into the kitchen. I spied something on the counter and was trying to figure out what it was...after all, I had left the counter clean last night, hadn't I? So what was that? A wadded-up candy wrapper? Something Zoe got that Brian picked up after?

Then I realized what it could be and glanced at the fish bowl. One fish, not two fish. Baby Fish, not Ken fish.

Ken was sent to the endless Goldfish pond in the sky this morning by way of spatula. It made me very sad to take him off the counter that way but I'm not tough enough to do it more personally, I guess.

I wish I knew why, Ken. Was it the toddlers tapping incessantly on the glass? The lack of privacy? Was it the holidays?

I hate to say this, but I don't think Baby Fish reads my blog, and I don't think anyone who does read my blog would be so insensitive as to tell Baby Fish what I'm about to write: Ken was my favorite. I loved his long fins and coloring. I loved the way he snapped up the pellets of food I dropped in the water. I will (honestly) miss him (or her).

Monday, December 15, 2008

12.15.2008 -- Love and Hate (very inconsequential post)

Had no idea of the date today. That's what happens when you hole up in the house in defense of seasonal germ attack.

The other day, I posted my status on Facebook as: "thinks Facebook is great. Seriously." A friend replied, "Are you breaking up with Facebook?" I know. He's quite a character. The reason I think Facebook is great? It reconnected me with Fatou N'Diaye!!

In catching up with other friends, I often double up. Some friends have a major Facebook presence and also rockin' blogs. This gives me the option of letting them know I stalk them by leaving a note of Facebook or on their blog (unless they're like me and don't allow comments). Anyway, this phenomenon is how I came up with this subject...

I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. I love that it has connected me with so many WONDERFUL friends that I've shamefully lost contact with (but never in my heart). I hate the way I sometimes feel completotally overwhelmed by the whole idea of it. (Yes, I may need to check into treatment for anxiety problems.) Like recently, where so many people that I care about made comments about Gabe... I haven't replied to a single one. It's overwhelming, okay? I know I should just suck it up and jump in. Maybe I will today.

Today, I am winning the war against Disney/Pixar. I have spent about 4 hours reading to Lucy.

Take that, animated Tinkerbell!!!

As I type, Lucy is cleaning the floor and Gabe is luxuriating in his vibrating bouncy thing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12.11.2008 -- My Husband's Date

Normally, I would sort of frown upon the idea of Brian taking someone else on a date. But this girl....well. Who could blame him?

This photo may become one of my favorites of all time... You know those family photos that just etch themselves in your memory? They end up representing whole periods of family life. My sister just put up a magnet board full of them. I can describe a dozen of them for you, no sweat...

There's one where my brother, Mike, and I are standing in front of our house--he's holding something he made of Legos, I'm holding our cat, Pepper, as a kitten. I'm missing teeth, and have short hair. Mike is wearing plastic 80's glasses. Yes, I think maybe this picture of Brian and Lucy is one of those. Look how Lucy's holding his fingers.

News: Gabe has gained 18 ounces since birth and has grown an inch. Maybe he'll be tall like his daddy. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

12.03.2008 -- Lucy's Shunt Failure

Nine days ago, Lucy got what we thought might be a stomach flu. It had been going around, we knew--and it didn't seem to be too bad. She was throwing up some (mostly on an empty stomach), but still had something of an appetite. She was tired, but only some of the time, and said she had a headache and other aches, but again, only some of the time. On top of this, we had just been in a week and a half before for Lucy's yearly check-up. With a new CT scan showing her ventricles to be nearly ideal, her neurosurgeon had proclaimed her brain to be "perfect."

Because she was still throwing up and complaining of pain, we took Lucy to the doctor on Thursday--were told that it was a virus, and that she would be over it soon. By Thursday (Thanksgiving) night, I called the neurosurgeon on call at Primary Children Medical center to get (his) opinion. Because Lucy still had an appetite and because her tiredness and pain wasn't constant, he told me (us) that a shunt problem was not likely.

Brian took Lucy in to see the doctor again on Friday (Gabe's birthday). Again, we were told that it wasn't a shunt problem. Lucy was still up and down. At times, she seemed to be feeling fine. Saturday, Brian brought Lucy to the hospital to meet Gabe for the first time. She was feeling pretty good to start, but wanted to lie down and sleep after a while. That night, after popsicles and a tubby, she was in dress-ups and singing for her daddy and Grandma P.

Sunday, Gabe and I came home from the hospital and Lucy had less and less interest in any drink or food. She basically just wanted to lie down and rest. Brian called the neurosurgeon on call and was encouraged to wait until the clinic opened on Monday (to avoid the long, long process of ER). Brian took Lucy for a walk in a stroller, came back and took her to the ER. It just seemed less and less likely that what Lucy had was a virus.

The doctor on call tried to pull fluid from Lucy's valve and couldn't get anything. This fact, combined with Lucy's evident pain and continued vomiting, tipped the scales to indicate a shunt failure. Lucy had her shunt revised on Monday afternoon by Dr. Brockmeyer. He found that the shunt had broken. I was with Lucy only for a few hours total of her hospital stay, as we felt it best to keep Gabe out of the hospital, and never was there for any of the consultation that Dr. Brockmeyer gave, but apparently he said that the shunt hadn't broken because of too much activity or hitting her head. Dr. Brockmeyer said "no," that we couldn't have prevented it--he also said that another shunt had broken a month before and that they had notified the company.

Lucy came home yesterday. She's wobbly on her feet, but in good spirits. When her friend, Natalie came over to give her balloons and a stuffed animal, Lucy asked her to stay and play. Thay played for over an hour, when Natalie's mom came over with dinner and to bring Natalie home. (Thanks for playing and thanks for dinner!!!)

The doctors told us that Lucy should be steady on her feet again by Friday--that it's probably caused by lying down so much. I will be happy see her steady again. It pains me to see her reluctant to walk and stagger on her feet. (HellO, motherhood and hormones!)

We are so happy that she's okay and that we have such good doctors for her. Hopefully when or if her shunt fails again (ack--perish the thought), we will recognize it sooner than we did this time. This has been a serious emotional rollercoaster. I know that shunt failure is part of the package when it comes to hydrocephalus, but I don't want to get used to going through this. I don't want it to become routine.

12.03.2008 -- Lucy's Shunt and Baby Gabe


Lucy Sunday night before her revision

Lucy and Gabe Tuesday afternoon (Lucy with a brand new shunt)