Thursday, September 29, 2005 a "sick" way

Things have become "normal" around here again. Shelby woke up the day after getting her tooth pulled like nothing ever happened. When you ask her how her tooth came out she shrugs her shoulders, reaches in her mouth and grabs a tooth, and says "maybe I just wiggled and wiggled it and it came out?" She's not quite sure what happened and that's exactly why we wanted to give her the Versed. She doesn't remember any of that day and that's just fine by us. The tooth fairy brought her a whole dollar in exchange for her little infected tooth and she was as happy as can be. Friday we had a follow-up with Dr. Albers. Shelby made him a card, "signed" her name, and made him open it while she was still there. She kissed him on the leg, too. He's a great doctor and we told him how much we appreciate him going the extra mile with her care. He even called Wednesday night from his home to check on her. How great is that?! Shelby is now, per her transplant nurse, only to get .05 mg per kilo of Versed instead of the recommended .75 mg per kilo. We will definitely use Versed again, but just with much more caution.

Saturday I woke with a horribly sick feeling stomach and a sore throat from hell. I went to my job at the Y, but left after 30 minutes. I went home, fell asleep, tried to eat, slept again and then told Scott and I had to go to the doctor. Off to Physicians Immediate Care we went for me to be diagnosed with strep throat. Yuck! Then we had the fun task of finding an open pharmacy at 6:45 on a saturday night (I didn't know it was that hard). We went to McDonald's for supper as the girls were starving and getting cranky and I thought a chocolate shake was the perfect thing for my burning throat. WRONG. I couldn't even swallow that. I had ice water. now I'm cranky and tired and hungry. I bought some Chloraseptic spray and that helped a bit, but I didn't start to feel better until Tuesday. My throat still hurts now, but is much, much better. Strep sucks!

Then...Riley threw up right when she got to school yesterday. She is running a low grade fever also and is home today from school. I think I've kept the girls separated enough that hopefully Shelby won't catch it, but we'll see. Scott and I did take advantage of his parents willingness to babysit a puking child and her wild sister and saw Judas Priest in concert last night. I think every Mommy who's had a rough day with a sick kid while she's still recovering from strep throat should get to go out, hang with the boys, drink beer, and head bang, don't you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Routine? By the book? I don't think so!

Here she is this morning while dropping her big sister off at the bus stop. See her front top tooth that's about half there? That's the one that was pulled today.

Now, this is what she looks like. Still cute as ever! Let me tell you, though, what happened over the course of the day between those two usual with a Shelby story...where to begin...

Well, we showed up at Dr. Albers (oral surgeon) on time (I know, pretty amazing for us!). They called us in, Shelby took the Versed by force, meaning Mommy & Daddy holding her to get it down, and then we waited. It only took about 10 minutes for our drunken 3 1/2-year-old to appear. Everything was hilarious and she kept saying she was going to sleep in the dentist's chair "all day!" She let us help wrap her up in the soft blue blanket they use as a "papoose" and we tucked her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal in with her. Dr. Albers came in, we left, and about 3 minutes later they called us back in. She was not a happy camper, but still very much under the influence of Versed so we knew she wouldn't remember it. She was aware that her tooth was missing, but as of tonight has no clue how it got out (yea, Versed!) We went to a recovery room for about 1/2 an hour then left. She was hungry and asking for McDonald's french fries so that's where we headed. She was still very, very, very, very drowsy, but insisted on those fries and going in the restaurant, rather than just hitting the drive-through. When we first got there she sat on my lap, then wanted Daddy, then got mad that Daddy was holding her so we put her in a highchair. All the while her head was bobbing up and down, several times almost hitting the edge of the table. She could pick up her fries (barely), and could hardly hit her ketchup. She asked several times where her other ketchup was as she was seeing double. She also kept asking "Where did Riley go?" We'd remind her that Riley went to school today and she wasn't here with us, but that would just prompt Shelby to look under the table forever, pop her head back up, and declare that Riley wasn't hiding under there. She did drink a bit of Sprite and eat, maybe, 10 french fries, but not very gracefully at all. Let's just say, people were looking at us.

We finally decide to leave McDonald's as either she had lost interest in the fries, or she just couldn't coordinate her movements enough to pick up anything. She kept going "I forgot what I was going to say" and things like that. We thought maybe we saw a slight improvement in her, though, so we decided to head to JCPenney's to order our roman shades for our livingroom windows. She fell asleep on the car ride which we thought was great and appropriate for what she had been through already. We placed our order and Scott saw a few clients and we headed back to the car with the still sleeping Shelby. Now this is our child that sometimes we can move from carseat to house and the like, but we had already taken out of her carseat, put her in a stroller, taken her out of the stroller, and then put her back in her carseat. We decided then that this wasn't our "typical" Shelby behavior for just having some Versed. Usually she snaps out of it much, much quicker. Now concerned we call the oral surgeon. The receptionist says she'll take the message to him and call us right back. I call my Mom to have her meet Riley at the bus stop, and we head back home on the way to go past the oral surgeon's office, just in case. My mom suggested we try our best to rouse her and that's when the trouble began.

We yelled, clapped, whistled, wiggled, poked, tickled, etc. to try to wake her with no luck. Now throughly freaked, we called Dr. Albers back who immediately called Dr. Peterson (Shelby's pediatrician) who called us ASAP. They asked us to check her respirations, which looked o.k., and then to pinch her. When I said there was no response to pinching her, they said to take her to the E.R.

We arrived at the E.R. about 5 minutes later, I rushed her in, explained what was happening, and they took us right back to a room. Just as I laid her on the gurney, she began to awake. Phew! She was still really out of it, talking incoherently, and wobbling all over, still. Dr. Albers was concerned and compassionate enough to come see her in the E.R. and spend some time with us. We came home about 1 1/2 hours later with a child whose speech was slurred and couldn't walk, but had perked up ALOT. It was determined that, because of her nasty, diseased liver, her body didn't process out the Versed at the rate it should have. She's never had any trouble before with Versed so we were very surprised.

We're home, pooped, and still concerned that Shelby has a good night and no more problems. Please, please say a prayer for her tonight. Its very, very, very scarey to not be able to wake up your child.

For Auntie Lu

Here is Miss Riley showing off her new belt. She said "Mom, can you send this picture to Auntie Lu?" So the Mommy thought how about we just dedicate a whole entry to Auntie Lu? All these pics are for you Auntie Lu! LOVE YOU!

Miss Riley in her new school outfit Grammie bought her. Check out the cool butterfly on her top - notice the butterfly theme? Someone's Mommy would't love butterflies, now would she? She was upset that her "knee-high" socks didn't cover her knees like they did last year. Amazing they can grow that much in one year!

Now check out these tongue shots! We can get Riley to smile for pictures now, but Shelby's smile seems to come only with a tongue hanging out. Do they ever cooperate at the same time?!?!?

Auntie Lu, hope you enjoyed these! This was a great distraction for me this morning as I'm worried about Shelby's tooth extraction today. We have to be there at 10:45. They' re going to give her a nice gulp of Versed (like Valium for little people). Once that kicks in - and we'll know most likely because all of a sudden she'll declare "GROUP HUG" and we'll know she's looped - then they'll strap her down to the papoose board, give her some shots of Novacaine, and then pull her tooth. The oral sugeon said he'll have the tooth out in 30 seconds and I hope and pray he's right as I don't want her laying there when the Versed wears off as it has an amnesia effect. That's the only reason we're okaying her being strapped down because she won't remember it. She's had the "GROUP HUG" medicine before and we were very happy with the results then, so I hope the same for today.

Anyway, Shelby thinks I am a mean Mommy this morning, too, for not letting her eat, but she has to be NPO (without food or drink) for 6 hours before the procedure. We tried to be nice and let her stay up late and eat out her heart's content last night (cookies at 10 p.m.?, go for it!), but she's still begging for food this morning. Right now I have her distracted with a Dora video and the promise of playing on the computer when I'm done. So, I suppose I should wrap this up. More updates later...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What a day...

Yikes! Thursday we had one of those days that makes you just want to pull your hair out! First of all, Wednesday afternoon I noticed something on Shelby's upper gum. For those of you that don't know, Shelby broke her right front tooth 2 years ago. We were at the YMCA for a swim and next thing we know she smiles at us and half her tooth was gone! She was still nursing at the time so I immediately got out of the pool and headed to the dentist's with her. He filed her tooth nice and smooth, and Shelby went home and collapsed in exhaustion from the whole ordeal. You see, she wasn't too thrilled (who would be?!?!) at Mommy laying in the chair with her and holding her down. Mommy wasn't too thrilled about it either, but it had to be done. Anyway, this tooth has given Shelby trouble for quite a while now. She has gotten it filed down a few more times (I told you she's a busy girl!) and has decay in it. Earlier in the summer she had a dentist's appointment and she actually let him drill it out. I know, we were all amazed. BUT...then she totally freaked when he tried to fill it. So...she's been walking around with more-or-less and open hole in this tooth, just hanging out the welcome sign for more bacteria to come on in. O.k., back to the thing on Shelby's gum. So it looks like a blister, the gum is really red, and its right above this broken tooth. I think "o.k. that's strange," and turn to my husband, Dr. Martin, later that evening for advice. He says "Jenn, that's an abcsess." Oh. Yuck. So, I leave the bedtime routine up to him and scour the internet for information about tooth abcesses. The best I come up with is that when you have a person with complicated health issues, like little Miss Shelby, you don't mess around with these sort of things. Great. I slept good that night!

That brings us back to the pull-out-your-hair day. Hang in there with me here, I know I'm jumping around. We've been trying to switch Shelby to a pediatric dentist as we hear they have more tricks in their bag (o.k. really its 2 extra years of training) to help kids feel comfortable in their office. This is what we seriously needed with Shelby. We hadn't gotten the switch done yet, but had a referral from our regular dentist. I asked Scott to track down the insurance information, as we don't have cards for our dental, and call this new dentist with that information so then I can call and set up an appointment. He does this, runs into hang-ups, calls me, and so-on. In the meantime, I also called our regular dentist to explain what I had discovered on Shelby's gum. They know her very well so I hesitate to even switch her from them, but I know that they have exhausted all their efforts to try to calm her. The wonderful receptionist takes the message immediately to the dentist who says that she needs to get on a antibiotic and have the tooth pulled. The dentist didn't feel comfortable, though, prescribing medication with all her antibiotic allergies so he recommended I call her Pediatrician. Called the Pediatrician, got more pedodontist (that's a pediatric dentist, if you didn't know) referrals and I was back to the phone calls to find a dentist to look at my little girl. Mind you, this tooth is causing Shelby no pain whatsoever. No fever, you know, none of the "typical" I-have-an-infection-in-my-body signs. Finally, the pedodontist who we were referred to initially says "don't wait until after work at 2 p.m. to get her on the antibiotic, get her on it ASAP." O.k., but I'm at work and can't leave. I call Scott to give him the millionth update on this saga and say "Can you go pick up her med and bring it here?" Yes he can? Whohoo! One hurdled climbed. That same dentist also says the tooth needs to come out and recommends we take her to an oral surgeon. O.k. so now I get 2 referrals for oral surgeons, but it turns out that one doesn't take children as young as her and the other is on vacation. Rats! So...I put in a call again to our trusty regular dentist. They give me more names to call. Monday Shelby will meet with the oral surgeon and most likely they'll pull the tooth Tuesday. The antibiotic she is one will probably hold the infection at bay so it doesn't spread. I even called her transplant team to make sure they were o.k. with all this. They are. O.k. so that brings us to about Noon yesterday.

Shelby and I finish off the day at school and then head home for a quick moment before we jet off to Dr. Deutsch's (her ped. GI) for a check-up. Chicago o.k.'d us seeing him right now rather than dragging our butts in there. Thank you Chicago team! We had received a call from Dr. Deutsch's wonderful nurse Karin in the a.m. asking us if we could be there 15 minutes early for pictures with Dr. D. Fine. Can do. Turns out Dr. D was named the head of Pediatrics at the clinic and the college of medicine. Check out the article here. RR Star photographers were there to take pictures to go along with the newspaper article about him. He picked Shelby to get pictures with because, we'll, if you know Shelby, she is very charming and quite photogenic. I think she also sees Dr. D as a really tall buddy rather than so much as a doctor. Let's say that once she established with everyone "No shots and no x-rays, right?" she was quite comfortable letting him examine her. He talks with her a bit, checks her out, and then turns to talk to me. By the way, her liver is doing phenomenal. Who would guess that she has a nasty diseased liver in her cute little tummy?!?!?! Not me! So...Dr. D and I are talking about her awesome labs and I am firing questions at him. In the meantime, Shelby is carrying on quite the detailed conversation with the 2 photograhers from the newspaper the blink of an eye...she falls backwards off the examine table!!! I jumped out of my chair and grabbed her up and she was SCREAMING. She had every right to. She had landed on her head and shoulder. Dr. D. checked her out
again when she calmed a bit (the sucker he offered her helped some) and said she was o.k. We get home and Grammie goes to pick her up and she starts screaming again. I called back to the clinic and asked Dr. D's nurse to put in orders for x-rays because we were coming back down. The x-rays looked fine, Shelby was wonderful for them, but we believe she still might have a broken collarbone. We'll keep our eye on it (of course!) and keeping chugging along.

O.k., that pooped me out. I'll update more after the tooth gets pulled.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Time to move on...

I decided it was time to move on to bigger and better, that is for web pages. Welcome to my new site for updates on my girls! This will allow me to have more pictures, therefore, making me a very happy Mommy. So let's get started on those new pics - why waste time to show off my beauties?!?!

This is Miss Riley, age 5 1/2, on her 2nd day of kindergarten. Check out her hair! It only lasted half the day, but it was fun for Mommy to do in the morning. This summer Riley mastered swimming without her life jacket. She can now swim down to the bottom of a 9-foot deep pool, too! That makes Mommy's heart skip a few beats! She'll be taking swimming lessons this fall at our YMCA to perfect her skills a bit more. I see a swim team for her in the future...

Here is our little Shelby. Well, she's not so little anymore! Look at those legs she grew this summer! Those are some strong and fast legs, trust me. She keeps them moving all the time! Liver-wise things are going good for her. She was taken off the waiting list in June. This does not change the fact that she still has a terribly diseased liver. Biliary Atresia is a progressive disease - so there continues to be damage done to her liver even though she is thriving right now. Mind boggling, isn't it?!? For those of you who know Shelby, you wouldn't never guess that she has such an awful disease...but, she does. We are thrilled that she is not on the waiting list anymore, but at the same time we know how quickly things can change with pediatric liver disease. Very quickly. Like overnight quickly. Please continue to hold her in your prayers.

Oh, and for those of you who don't know us or haven't seen us in a while, here we are - the proud parents. This was taken at the Pirates over 40 (Jimmy Buffett cover band) benefit for Shelby earlier in the summer.

Take care and thanks for checking in!