Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had planned on posting this in Jan. but with the other baby I read about having RSV and going through so much of the same as Grady, it's brough back many memories so I'm posting this now. Below are the things I typed after the Jan and Feb and March stays at Riley.

Monday, January 21, 2008
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The day began normally. Taylor and Grady had spent the weekend at Grandma and Papaw Rouse’s house so that Mommy and Daddy could continue healing and resting from Daddy’s kidney stone and Mommy’s gallbladder removal and ERCP procedure. Grady had been sick at 2 weeks old and his cough had hung on. He was now 7 weeks old and on Sunday, January 20, 2008 his cough seemed to get worse. Grandma Rita brought Grady and Taylor home around noon on the 21st. Mommy had just gotten home from a doctor’s appointment and bloodwork. When Mommy saw Grady she became concerned. Grandma said he hadn’t been wanting to eat so Mommy gave him a bottle. He took it with no problems. However, Grady’s breathing sounded really labored and Mommy got more worried. She had already tried to get him into the doctor that day but they were booked. Mommy called Daddy and told her how worried she was. Daddy and Mommy didn’t want to take Grady to the ER where it would be a long wait and he’d be around lots of sick people. As Mommy was deciding to take Grady to ER, he turned blue around his mouth and tongue, snot bubbled out of his nose, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he stopped breathing. Thank God that Grandma Rita was still at our house! She called 911 and she and Mommy did CPR on Grady. The ambulance arrived in less than 5 minutes. Mommy grabbed her purse and put on some slippers and climbed into the ambulance with Grady. Grandma Rita called Daddy and then took Taylor to Juana’s house. We all met up at the St. Francis ER where the doctors decided Grady was too sick to be at St. Francis and they called the Riley transport team to come get him. During the trip to Riley, Grady had two more episodes of apnea (not breathing or acute respiratory failure). Upon arriving at Riley, Grady was assessed and measures were taken to keep him breathing. Attempts at IV’s being started had been done at St. Francis but were unsuccessful due to how small his veins were. Once again, at Riley, attempts were made to start IV lines so that he could get some fluids and medicines. His little veins were blowing out so they had to do IV lines in both sides of his head. Later, a doctor was able to start another IV line in his arm so that one of the head IV lines could be removed. Grady was receiving large amounts of oxygen but was still having a very difficult time breathing. The doctors switched him to pressurized oxygen (VapoTherm) but his breathing remained labored. His little body was simply too tired to breathe. Grady received breathing treatments but they did nothing to help him breathe easier. The ER doctors called up to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and a room was prepared for him. Grady was finally moved to the PICU at Riley hospital. One last breathing tool (CPap) was used to try to help him breathe, when that didn’t work the doctor on the PICU determined that Grady needed to be put on a respirator or vent to help him breathe. This means that they had to give him large doses of pain and sedation medicines and put a tube down his tiny throat. Once this procedure was completed, Grady was breathing better even though a machine was breathing for him.
During my maternity leave, I became very sick on Christmas Eve and ended up having to have my gallbladder removed on Dec. 28, 2007 when Grady was just one month old. Due to some complications from the surgery, I had to return to the operating room to have an ERCP procedure performed to stop the extreme pain I was still having. This procedure was done on January 17, 2008. After the birth of my son, I returned to my doctor’s office for my post partum checkup. There it was determined that I was suffering from post partum depression. Along with the gallbladder issues I had after Grady’s birth, I was also dealing with his illness (bronchiolitis) at 2 weeks of age, my husband’s two trips to the ER with a massive kidney stone, and a 2 ½ year old at home. The doctor prescribed medication for the depression. I was scheduled to return to work from my maternity leave on Tuesday, January 22, 2008. Needless to say, with my 7 week old baby laying sedated in the intensive care unit of Riley while a machine breathed for him, I was unable to return to work. Grady was sedated and on the vent until Friday the 25. The doctors did many tests to see if he was ready to breathe on his own and he was not ready. Finally, on Saturday the 26th, Grady appeared ready to breathe on his own. The tube was pulled out of his throat and he was weaned off of oxygen until he was breathing room air. He was in a lot of pain and stress from the tube making his throat so raw and swollen. After being removed from the vent he went into withdrawal –like symptoms from being taken off the sedation and pain medications too quickly. Because of this he didn’t sleep for over 30 hours; he was agitated and in pain. Finally he was given a small dose of anxiety medicine to help him sleep.
During the time that Grady was in the hospital, many, many tests were performed to determine what caused him to get so sick so quickly. It was determined that he did not have RSV or Cystic Fibrosis and he did not have a heart defect. He did, however, have pneumonia. The tests were inconclusive as to what virus caused this pneumonia. The doctors feel that Grady got a virus that made him sick and because he was so small and already had a cough from a case of bronchiolitis at 2 weeks old, his body just couldn’t fight the virus and that’s why he stopped breathing.
The final step in getting Grady home from the hospital was to get him off his feeding tube and taking bottles regularly. The feeding tube was removed on January 29, 2008. On January 30, 2008, Grady was discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, Grady started having breathing troubles again on February 5 and was admitted to Riley again. This time he had a virus but they also started treating him for asthma like symptoms. He was discharged on February 9, 2008. Due to the viral nature of his illness(es), his asthma symptoms, and his young age, the doctors don’t want Grady at his daycare until the 19th of February. They feel this will give him time to continue healing before being exposed to more germs at the daycare. Grady was also sent home with a sleep apnea monitor.
Mommy and Daddy are very grateful to our families and friends for all of their support during this time. We are also thankful to the doctors and nurses who took care of Grady. We felt blessed to be at Riley and lucky to receive a sleeping room for two nights at the Ronald McDonald House. This ordeal taught us a lot about charity and faith. We urge everyone to be trained in CPR and to donate their time/money to Riley and the Ronald McDonald House.

Grady started getting sick the evening of March 3 into the morning of March 4, 2008. He was home with Ryan and Taylor while I was at work. He had a big gaggy burp the morning of March 4 but was fine when I left for work. Ryan says he didn’t want to eat and just wanted to sleep. This was our first clue. His breathing got grunty again and Ryan called me at work. I headed home but then Ryan called 911 and I met them at the hospital (Community South—EMTs said it was closer). Once there we were transferred to Riley by ambulance.
Grady was running a very high fever when we reached Riley’s ER. They got him on Tylenol and later Motrin. They started more IVs and swabbed him for RSV. We sat in the ER for a long time, they had no beds for us. Right about the time they were going to send us to Riley North, a PICU bed opened up. Grady was intubated in the ER and then transferred to PICU. He wasn’t allowed to eat since he had aspiration pneumonia and they couldn’t risk him aspirating again. He tested positive for RSV this time. He spent about 2 days vented and then was taken off the vent and sent to 3B (isolation floor) after about 4 days in PICU. After about a week in 3B he aspirated again and got taken back to PICU and intubated again. This time we were on PICU north rather than south like the two previous times. He spent about 2 weeks in this PICU. He had some cardiac problems when they started the central line. They had to give him meds to stop his heart and then start it back on the right rhythm. Mom and cardiologist said it was SVT rhythm, some others in the room said V tach. They had to get the little paddles out to shock him but luckily they didn’t have to use them. The immunologist came to check on Grady and felt that he didn’t have any immune system issues. A CT scan showed air pockets (sort of like blisters) in his lungs which baffled the drs. but eventually his pulmonologist determined that these were most likely from the pneumonia and venting and we’ll let them be unless they cause more problems. Grady was anemic (probably was since the Feb visit but no one told us and the nurse changed “anemic” to “apnea” at my request because I felt that was a mistake since no one had mentioned anemia before) Anyway, he was anemic so he got a blood transfusion and that helped a lot. He finally got extubated and didn’t look like he was going to make it off of the vent but once we got his withdrawals from the meds under control he was breathing much better. We finally got sent back to 3B where he spent about 2 weeks recovering. Overall, the March visit to Riley was 25 days (March 4-28) and we came home on Grady’s 4 month birthday.
Grady has now spent 40 days in Riley, celebrated his 2 month and 4 month birthdays there, been vented 3 times, gotten a blood transfusion, had more IVs than we can count, been NG and NJ tube fed, on more meds than some adults, had more tests run than we can count, and has come out of it a strong and happy boy. He’s now over 6 months old, strong, healthy, and doing great!

Praise GOD that Grady's healing and getting stronger and healthier (and meaner!) every day! Here's a "healthy" and recent picture:

Please continue to pray

Please see the blog addresses below and continue to pray for these babies.

Grady had a better night. Our pediatrician gave permission for Delsym (cough med) and I gave him that before bed along with a nebulizer treatment, Dallergy, and his 2xs daily inhaled steroid. He coughed a bit but had a pretty restful night. The cough hasn't been bad today.

Ugh, my heart just aches for the mom below. I sooooo know how she's feeling dealing with the RSV.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Please pray for Stellan


This baby had heart issues in the womb but has shown no problems since birth. He's very sick right now with RSV. As you can guess this is bringing back lots of memories for me. Please pray for him.

Also, please pray for Kayleigh. http://kayleighannefreeman.blogspot.com/
She was born VERY early and has been in the hospital since then and has been through so VERY VERY much. I ache for her family.

Also, could you say a prayer for Grady too please? We're dealing with a cough that I don't like. We're doing our standard procedure stuff with meds and treatments, etc. But please pray that it doesn't lead to anything and that we can all get some sleep. The cough is worst at night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What a weekend

Last Sat/Sun (13/14th) I had the stomach flu. I pass out when I puke so I passed out and smashed my nose on the floor. I'm pretty sure it's broken. If not broken then at least massively sore and bruised.
Skip ahead to this weekend. We were to celebrate Christmas with my family. My parents came to get the kids on Friday and we would head to their house on Sat. Well, Grady decided to get another double ear infection (mind you, he just had a double one on the 2nd and finished his antibiotics on the 11th) So my parents took him to the ped (thank you mom and dad!) and confirmed the ear infections and got him yet another antibiotic (and a referral to an ENT for tubes!)
Anyway, things were going very well on Friday. Then Taylor woke up Sat. am with vomiting and diarhea at 4am! She puked all day and then finally around 5pm seemed better. Since I had already had it we were just worried about Grady. Ryan seems to have missed it. Grady seems to have missed it. Bad news is, both my parents have it now and they are miserable! They were supposed to take me and the kids home today but they obviously can't do that now. They can barely get out of bed. Good news is that they seem to be done puking, I think they are on the "long sleep" part and should be feeling better tomorrow I hope. So, Ryan is coming to get me and the kids. Since my parents already have it and Grady's not showing signs, I'm praying he's not getting it. In hindsight, on the 2nd when he had the double ear infection, he puked a lot of the night but ped chalked it up to his high fever. He had diarhea but I chalked that up to the antibiotic. Looking back, I'm wondering if he had the stomach bug then!
Anyway, we had a very nice Christmas with my parents. Sadly, we missed seeing my brother and SIL and nephew and my Mamaw (they stayed away from the sickos!) The kids got so much stuff and enjoyed their time with my parents so much. Grandma helped Taylor make cookies and Taylor did almost all of the mixing and rolling and cutting and icing! She had such a nice time.
Even though this hasn't been the best weekend we've had a good time and I'll take it over last year any time! (Last year on Christmas Eve I started having gallbladder problems and ended the week with an emergency gallbladder removal. Plus Ryan was getting over an upper respiratory infection and Grady had bronchiolitis and then it went downhill from there! Maybe this year is the end of it all?)

I got tagged

Ok, Rachel tagged me so I will play along. I'm at my parents' house though so the pics aren't really mine.


1) Go to where you keep your pics on your computer, choose the 4th folder

2) Pick the 4th picture in that folder

3) Put it in a post and explain it

4) Tag others and let them know they were tagged

Here's my picture

This is Grady and his cousin Davus. Davus is 10 wks older than Grady. Grady had been out of the hospital one whole month! He was 5 months old exactly on the day of this picture.

Ok, now I tag:
*Sara W
*Sarah F
Ok, I don't have anyone else to tag!
Now, you guys pick your 4th pic folder and the 4th pic in it. Post it and explain it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grady goes to the doctor

Grady had his one year check up this evening (gotta love the late evening appts!) He's doing very well! He's 20 lbs 15 oz, 30 inches tall, and his hemoglobin was 13.1. They routinely do the hemoglobin test at 12 months but we were really interested in it since he was anemic in the hospital in March (and before) and got the blood transfusion. The number should be over 10 so 13.1 was really good! Nothing new, he's got 5 teeth with a 6th headed through and two massive molars making their presence known. We'll keep working on moving to a sippy cup rather than bottle but still keep getting 15-18 oz of whole milk in him. No concerns about no words yet, he communicates very well and interacts very well. Should have some words by 15 months. He got the other part of his flu shot (remember to get yours to protect those kids!) which is extremely important for him due to his respiratory health history. He also got his MMR, Prevnar, and chicken pox. Poor little thighs will be sore! I'm thinking I should get a pertussis booster since mine has probably long since worn off and there's a fairly large outbreak of confirmed pertussis in and around where I live and work right now! Scary! I can't risk bringing that home to my kids!

Other than the normal check up stuff, that's about all there is to report!

We're quickly approaching the "one year" anniversary of things! In fact, we already did the "one year ago today (28th of Nov) Grady was born". Now, if memory serves, we should be doing "one year ago today Daddy had an upper respiratory infection" and real soon we'll do "one year ago today Grady was 2 wks old and got bronchiolitis". I'll try to pop in and update the "one year ago" stuff as it comes up. For those of you who don't know of the whirlwind this past year has been, you'll be entertained by the "one year ago" postings.

Just wanted to pop a picture of my little beauty on here! Isn't she a doll?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend with no kids

My fabulous inlaws came and got the kids on Sat. morning so that Ryan and I could go do some Christmas shopping and then I got to go out with a friend for a speaker at church and then coffee at Starbucks! They have had them all day today too. They are on their way here as I type this so I'll be heading back into mommy-mode here soon. I've totally enjoyed my two days shopping with no kid hassles, an evening out, a full night's sleep, sleeping in (I'm embarrassed to admit what time I got out of bed this morning!) but I have missed them! It will be supper time and bath time and get ready for bed and the week ahead time when they get home. Ryan's at a Pacers game with my dad, brother, and his brother so we're on our own tonight.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Grady then and now

I wanted to post some pics of Grady from his hospitalizations to compare with him now.
Jan. 22, 2008. He stopped breathing on Jan. 21, 2008. This is him on the vent in the PICU at 7 weeks old.

Jan. 24, 2008

Off the vent (Jan 26)

March 2008 (he'd been on the vent and then off and was going to have to go back on)

Off the vent a second time and the withdrawls from the meds were about to start

Out of PICU (March) but not ready to go home yet.

One of his favorite poses, the docs said it looked like he was praying to go home.

I have two pics from his August stay but they are on my phone and I think my husband disabled my texting abilities because I can't send them to myself! :( The January stay was 10 days (vented once), then 5 days in Feb (no vent that time), then 25 days in March (vented twice then), then two days in August (no vent).

Anyway, here are a couple new ones of Grady from just these past two weeks!

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,When you bring gifts for my children this year, would you mind dropping a few things off for me as well? I'd really appreciate it (I've been a good girl most of the year) I'd like you to bring me:
- weekends that last longer than a blink of the eye
- naps on the weekends (for the kids and me!)
- time to go shopping without the stroller and carseats and hats and gloves and sippies and snacks and diaper bag and sanitizing wipes and toys
- jeans that fit and make me look decent- clothes (other than my school/work uniform) that fit and look nice
- time to just sit with a cup of tea and read a book (and the time after the kids are in bed doesn't count, I'm too darn tired then!)
- money that is to ONLY be used for me! I would try to buy the kids something though, I know I would!
- a person to cook dinner and clean up the dishes every day (or once or twice a week even!)
- laundry person (I don't mind the washing, I just need someone to fold, sort, and put it all away!)
- a date night--dinner, theater movie (haven't been to one since before Taylor you know!)
- time and money to go get a haircut- time and money for a massage!
- a pill that will make me lose 20 pounds and keep it off but I can keep shoving food in my face the way I am now

Santa, of course, all I really want is happy and healthy children and family and friends. I want to live life to its fullest and see happiness in my kids' eyes. BUT-- if you're looking for things to bring me, you may use the above list as reference! :)

The Invisible Mom

I guess this is going around on email but I haven't seen it until today. I obviously didn't write this. I DON'T get up at 4 to make pies or iron table linens (and I WON'T ever do that) but I DO feel like I do a lot for my kids that they will never realize or truly appreciate (until maybe they are parents themselves) However, I like the message here.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.
The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.
I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Spirit Award

First, as I'm typing this, Taylor whisper yells from her bed, "MOOOMMMMYYYY!" So I go in there and she sits up and says, "I want a poodle. I saw one in Miah's magazine!" Ok, Taylor, we'll see. Goodnight. :)

Second, someone (Alicia) gave me a Christmas spirit award! How nice is that?! So, now I get to pass it on!

The Rules go a little something like this:

You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award.
The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas.
You must link back to the person who gave you the award.
You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! :o)
Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going!
Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog.
And that's all!
Pretty easy, eh?

What I love about Christmas:
* Seeing it through my daughter and son's eyes! They get so excited!
* Family
* 2 weeks off school! :)
* Yummy goodies at school and gatherings!
* Giving little gifts
* And, of course, the true reason for the season, celebrating Jesus' birth!

Now I tag:
Rose at growingcolin.blogspot.com

Sadly, that's the only other person I know who blogs regularly. I need more blog friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How's this for profound!?!?!

Here's some profound writing for you (see previous post)
That was beautiful, huh?

Woke at daycare with 103 temp and screaming. I got the call as I was leaving school so I rushed to get him (while calling dr. and praying for an appt.) and got him back to the doctor (they usually try to get him in with his history). Double ear infection. So we're on augmentin for 10 days. Bring on the poop! Hope to avoid the rash! He's fitfully sleeping right now with a dose of Tylenol and his first dose of augmentin. Here's to a restful night.

Oh, and let's see how profound I'm feeling when I have to get us all up and ready so I can get to a 7:45 staff meeting (in which I have to make a presentation, yippee skippee! Note, that was sarcasm.)

Good night all! Prayers for Grady's ears to heal and nothing else to start up (respiratory stuff). Oh, and we'll probably be seeing a ENT soon about tubes. Maybe before 2009? That would be a nice end to this whirlwind of 2008.

Nothing Profound

I read other blogs and I am captivated by the richness of their writing. They have a beautiful way of saying things. I think I have too much "newspaper" in me, my writing doesn't seem to flow as beautifully as others. I do more reporting.
I wish I had profound things to write about. During the day I think of things that I should write but since I'm teaching I can't just sit down and write them. Then by the time I get my kids, get home, fix supper, clean up, do baths, and bed, I'm exhausted and those profound things that had popped into my head during the day are sound asleep in my foggy brain.
One thing I'd like to write about is that teachers don't have "easy" jobs. Someone told me one day, "well, at least your job isn't hard" and I about bopped them on the head. Anyone is welcome to come do my job for an average week (and do it well!!) and then tell me it's not hard. Here's my typical day (not that it's "harder" than anyone else's job, but it's not EASY):
* Up at 5-5:30 am (after being up at least once in the night for Taylor's potty break!)
* Get the kids up around 6:15am
* Out the door around 7-7:15 am (unless I have a staff meeting then I have to leave earlier)
* Husband usually takes kids to daycare but some days I take them
* At school by about 7:45-8:15 depending on the day
* Prepare lessons, homework, room for the day. Attend planned or impromtu meetings.
* Use the bathroom (this is important since I can't go again for a few hours!)
* Students arrive at 9:05am
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 9:05-11:30
* 30 min break at 11:30 (which is actually a 20 min break by the time you get the kids to their special class and go to the bathroom)
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 12-12:40
* My lunch is 40 min but some days that's only 20 min due to recess duty. I also have to work on paperwork, make copies, call parents, check on issues in the office so I usually shove a lunch in my mouth in about 20 min and then take a quick restroom break
* Full time teacher, mother, babysitter, secretary, nurse, counselor from 1:20-3:50
* Dismissal at 3:50 then I leave school at 4:05
* At daycare by 4:35, home by about 5pm
* Supper usually over around 6 pm and we start clean up and baths
* Grady's ready for bed at 7pm and then Taylor follows around 7:15-7:30.
* I finish dishes, do any small school stuff I brought home, check email, try to spend some time with husband, unwind, and then crash into bed
I feel like I'm "on" all day. WHEW!
Anyway, I'm not saying it's the hardest job in the world. It's not all that physically demanding but it's mentally and emotionally demanding to be the sole person in charge of (at last count) 27 innercity 4th graders who all bring huge loads of issues with them to school.
Well, it's time to stop wasting time and get my day started!!