Monday, October 29, 2007

That Call

This morning I got the call that I have been wanting and dreading for the past 3 1/2 months or so.

It came from the attorney that is having Kruex's case reviewed.

It was the call that confirmed that my son died 7 months ago tomorrow for no good reason.

I honestly thought I was ready for it. I really did. I knew that it was true. I knew the ER doc missed everything that was in front of him. But I suppose there was always some sort of hope in the back of my mind that I was wrong. That I really didn't know and that they really did do everything they could have done to save my baby. I don't want it to seem like I am ungrateful for what the doctors, surgeons and nurses in the Peds ICU did, because they saved his life everyday for 7 days. It was the ER doctor who did nothing for 8 hours. The one that assumed my child had the flu and that I was a mother overreacting. I haven't talked much about what happened here yet and I will try to give some of the story.

When I was 32 weeks pregnant, my water broke. I was put in the hospital and I ended up going 10 days on complete bed rest before my labor actually started. Kruex was born on June 15, 2006. He was just shy of 6 pounds, which was pretty good for not even being at 34 weeks gestation. He was taken to the Level II nursery (not nicu, but not the regular one either). He never needed oxygen and his lungs were fully developed. He had the typical preemie roller coaster and actually developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is an infection that attacks the intestines. At its worse, it can cause death of part of the bowels, which would require removal. His was caught before it got to this stage. This was definitely our biggest challenge and the problem that kept him in the hospital for 4 weeks following his birth. Prior to his discharge, I specifically asked the neonatologist if there could be any further complications from the NEC. He said no. I asked more directly if I needed to pay attention when he started on solid foods. He said no. I asked, again, in comparing Kruex and my other two kids, who has a better chance of having a problem. And HE TOLD ME THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN RISK FACTOR.

So, on 7-13-06 Kruex came home. And everything was wonderful. He was an amazingly easy-going baby. No unnecessary crying. He even slept through the night pretty normally from about 4 months on (something his big sister still has issues doing :P) I have never been one to start solids early. I breastfeed the kids for a year, and until they get some teeth or are able to eat with the rest of the family, I really don't worry about cereal, baby food and all that jazz. So, Kruex had had his occasional treat through the mesh feeder, some baby food fruit here and there just so he felt like he was part of dinner, but never anything with any normalcy. I took him to my pediatrician for his 9 month checkup on a Friday. He was hungry and I hadn't nursed him for 3 or 4 hours when they did the weight check. His weight was a bit low. He was definitely on the smaller side, always had been since he was born. But, then again, Payton was always smaller, too, so I really never worried. My pediatrician said I needed to start feeding him cereal twice a day. And I could add veggies/fruits for another meal if I wanted to. That was on Friday.

The next Wednesday, both Kruex and Payton woke up with fevers. I called my mom to come keep them while I worked and Kruex would not eat or drink anything. Payton felt pretty good. Kruex was lethargic when I came home from work. He laid on me all night long and really didn't want to eat, but I kept trying to get him to nurse. Finally, before he went to bed he ate. And then again during the middle of the night. After that feeding, he vomited all over me. I decided to stay home with him on Thursday and by 10 a.m. I called the doctor. He had vomited twice and I couldn't keep anything in him. I was very concerned that he would dehydrate. The doctor's office couldn't get him in until 3 p.m. and since he was so small, I didn't think he should wait that long, so they suggested I just take him to the emergency room. Mom came to keep Payton and Kruex and I went to the hospital. We were admitted by noon and I honestly can't remember if I even actually saw the doctor on duty. I was convinced that it was a flu since Payton had the same fever the day before and was mainly concerned that he was dehydrated.

He didn't have the flu. He wasn't dehydrated.

He had an intestinal blockage and he was going into shock.

Probably the most important part of the story is that he was born in this same hospital. They had every one of his medical records at their fingertips. I gave them a good verbal at least 5 different people while we were there. I said the word "NEC" at least 20 times. They should have at least ruled it out. And they didn't. They should have moved him to a room with more monitoring from the ER. He was put in peds general and by 6 a.m. hands/feet/groin area was completely black and blue from it shutting down on him. He went through 7 surgeries in 5 days and fought through everyone because I asked him to. I honestly believe that he finally died because I told him he could. I told him that I would be okay and that he didn't have to keep going for me.

I have never doubted the amount of love I had for that kid, but I honestly didn't think that I wasn't ready for the phone call I got today. I suppose that was a stupid thing to think. How could I have ever been ready for it?

Friday, October 26, 2007


Oh wow has this been a long week. I really thought that I had nothing other than a run and church in the plans for this weekend, but it is slowly filling up. And I'm really not that excited about it. The end of the month seems to be tough around here. It is logical since Kruex died on the 30th, but then add in the full moon (which has happened in the last few days) and my wonderful monthly visitor :P and the end of the month just really blows.

The running/exercising has been doing much better this week than the last two. I haven't decided if I am going to go for a 4ish mile run tonight or just wait and do 5-6 tomorrow. If I do run tonight I think I will wait until Sunday for the long(er) run. Yoga needs to become a priority again, too. Especially now that the weather has turned colder, I think it will be really beneficial to spend some good quality time stretching and breathing. I am having a lot of problems with my calves cramping after running. I am pretty sure it is just a hydration/stretching issue, but part of me is a bit nervous since I started back on birth control in the last month. I always worry just a bit about blood clots since they were so common with my grandpa. Stupid, probably, but still just a nagging concern.

Halloween is just around the corner! I'm one of the moms in charge of Jack's class party and everything seems to be under control. Well, everything except for the fact that we still haven't gotten Jack's costume yet. I ordered one three days ago and last night got an email to let me know they canceled my order because it was out of stock by that time :P So, he found another that he actually liked more and I cut my left arm off and mailed it to them to pay the retarded amount of shipping that they charged me to get it here by Tuesday. I just really hope it makes it. I think this is the first year that he has *really* wanted to be something. He is going as Elvis and Payton is going to be a 50's girl. Although, she will tell you that she is going to be a "10-year-old girl" because she can't remember 50's ;)

Good luck to all the racers this weekend! An extra big shout to Wendy who is running MCM this weekend! She is totally ready and is going to knock its socks off :) Well, unless her dad asks what took her so long, and then she will probably knock his off instead ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Running with the Kid

Why is it that some weeks fly by and then there are those that just drag on seemingly forever? This feels like one of those weeks, but I am sure since we are at the halfway point now it will be Monday again before I know it. Payton stayed with my mom on Monday and Tuesday, so last night Jack and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and the fact that mom was bringing Payton home to get a run in before they got there. I realized on Monday that the FOLEPI 4 miler is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which means only about a month or so and I should probably not torture the poor kid by making him just run 4 miles cold turkey. He did well, as I expected. I think we got in about 3 miles and were going to keep going, but then I got the most horrid cramp in my side (actually it was more in my diaphragm) and I could barely even get a breath when we were about two blocks from home. So, we called it good and met the rest of the family uptown for dinner. Poor kid woke up this morning with sore legs :(

Everything is all set for Phoenix in January. Airline tickets are booked. Hotel is booked (as of yesterday :)) and Race is registered for. I am starting to think that I may have lost my mind when I decided to do this, but I figure I will finish my sheer determination if nothing else :P I am just looking forward to getting out of Illinois in January!

Monday, October 22, 2007

She's Gone

The dog is outta here! She was returned to my mom's friend Friday night. Mom fibbed a bit and told her that the original owner had to take her back if she was going back to the humane society, which worked out nicely. It was a nice weekend. I cleaned like my ass was on fire on Saturday to get all the hair and dog smell out of the house and then Sunday was packed full of family stuff. We have decided that when we do get a dog it is going to be so small that for it to actually get on the couch, it will have to be put there. The kids know everything that is going on, but it still hasn't stopped Payton from asking, EVERY DAY, "Are we getting a little doggie today?" :P

I'll run over lunch today and update later. Have a good Monday everyone. I would have preferred to stay in bed ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Think I'll Take Up Juggling

Ugh. It was one of those runs today.

The kind of run where I decided that instead of actually running the 1/2 in Arizona with everyone, I will just go and enjoy the weather, drink beer and provide lots of cowbell for everyone who is actually running.

Just too distracted today, I think. And I probably should have gone outside instead of on the track. It is too easy to get pissed and just walk off the track. At least outside, I would have had to run back to where I started from.

The dog issue has me worked up. I feel guilty, but not guilty enough to continue to make my daughter have to come with me in the bathroom everytime I have to go because I am scared to leave her unattended with the dog. And I am angry. Angry at my mom's friend who knew exactly what the problem with this dog was before she pawned her off on me and my small children.

So, that's my day in a nutshell. I will spare you all from further tirades on the subject :X

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dogs and Kids - Any advice welcome!

You guys really give the best advice! Thanks for all the help and the encouragement on the pup. We did end up getting a dog over the weekend. She kind of fell into our laps and I am actually trying to figure out if she is a dog that is going to work out or not. A friend of my mom's adopted a Chow from the pound about a month ago and basically pawned it off on us without much warning about her temperment or disposition. She is really a very good dog and it is just a matter of figuring out if I can get her to recognize who the boss is (ME! not her) as to whether or not she is going to be able to stay or not. If it weren't for Payton, it wouldn't even be a question. We would just patiently make it work, but with Payton in the picture, I need to be sure that the dog is not going to act aggressively towards her. I have committed to giving her a full week (unless you all tell me that is not nearly enough time to get her figured out) to listen to me, less if she is openly aggressive. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to try and I really would like to give the dog the benefit of the doubt as I would hate to take her back to a shelter :( Unfortunately, my mom's friend knew all of this and still didn't think twice about sending her into a house with a 3 year old, and I am just very frustrated that some people can be that irresponsible.

The kids are already in love and the dog is crazy about Jack. I don't know if it is his attitude or that he is a boy or a bit bigger, but she just loves him and the feeling is mutual. So, if anyone has any good tips for training Chows, please don't hold back. So far, the only thing that I am very much against is spanking or hitting the dog. From what I have read, Chows do not take kindly to this and it can really turn things bad quickly. I am trying to figure something else out and would also, if at all possible, rather not use a spray bottle because I would like to be able to spray detangler/odor crap on her coat as it needs lots of attention and I really don't want her scared of a spray bottle.

Other than that, running is going well. My breathing is really coming along well, which makes me so happy, but my shins are just screaming at me. They would probably love me more if I would drop some of this stupid weight that I seem to be holding onto just in case food becomes extinct :P One of these days it will all fall into place, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bedwetting, Cramps & Puppies, OH MY!

My darling daughter is wetting the bed. A lot. Normally, this would not be blog-worthy, but she is also wearing pull-ups (generics, not name brand) to sleep in and quite frankly, I would probably be doing just as well to wrap her in paper towels. At least it would save some money.

The other issue I have with the nighttime wetting is that, unlike my son, she can't seem to sleep through it, but she also doesn't actually wake up. So, what we have is constant crying/whining until I go into her room. Get her up and literally put her on the potty. Really irritating. I have made her cut back on the milk before bed, but haven't completely cut her off from it. I suppose that is going to have to be next (and back to name brand pull-ups in a bigger size) if I ever want to hope to sleep through the night again.

I went for a run last night. Just a tad short of 4 miles. The run felt great. It is COLD here! Once I stopped running and walked home for my cool-down, my calves started cramping like nobody's business. I had stretched really well before running and again after, so I have no idea what is going on. I'm thinking it must have to do with the cold. But all through the night, my shins and calves took turns screaming at me.

On to what has my eye twitching and my stomach rolling...puppies! The kids and I have been talking for a while about getting a dog and I have been doing some browsing (prefer to get one from a shelter or from someone who just can't take care of it), but yesterday afternoon, one of my bosses sent a firm-wide email with 6 baby labs that someone had found on the road that needed homes. I have had a black lab before and really was not thinking along those lines this time - something much smaller. But that email just sent me over the top and I decided I would take one. However, fate stepped in and they were all claimed in a very short amount of time. Apparently I am not the only sucker ;)

But that has not stopped me from deciding that the time is now and I am pulling my hair out over what kind of dog we want and where to find one, yadda, yadda, yadda. I think I have finally decided what we should get and it is all just a matter of "wait and see" until I hear back on any of my leads!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Roller Derby

When I was in grade school, they would have rollerskating in PE for a week or two each year. I was never any good at rollerskating. Some of my friends were amazing. They would go fast, forwards, backwards, spin in circles. I always wanted to be able to skate like that, but no matter how much I tried, apparently I just wasn't born to skate. It happened again in college when the big rollerblading fad went around. It's almost like I have a "lazy leg" or something. I have just never been able to get much cooperation out of one side of my body when it comes to skating or skiing even.

Today, I went to the track to run. After 2 miles, I stopped to walk for an 1/8 of a mile or so and had the same type of feeling in my right leg. It was just strange. Unnatural, actually. I was having to actually concentrate on picking it up, bending at the knee and placing it back on the ground again. Super strange. Has anyone else ever had that happen? I ended up walking a 1/4 mile instead and then started running again and the feeling seemed to go away with running. I made sure to stretch well when I was done and didn't notice that stupid sensation again as I walked back to the locker room. Who knows what it was. I have been feeling *mentally* detached lately. Maybe it was just some kind of extension from that ???

Not sure what is going on with my leg, but now I want to try to find my rollerblades :P

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thank You!

Oh man, guys! Thank you so much for all your support and kind words. It really means so much to me. The weekend actually got a lot better. I went up to my mom's on Friday night and hung out with my brothers and cousins. It was just what I needed. I even went for an early morning run on Saturday morning with one of my cousins and she helped me soooooooo much with my breathing and how to tackle hills, how to hold my arms, etc. It was awesome. Saturday was another family day and then on Sunday Payton and I hit church and then went to get Fall decorations with my friend and ended the day with a cookout at home.

It is funny, but on those days that seem to have some sort of significance, like Kruex's birthday - or Sunday - the 6 month date since he passed, cooking out with the family seems to be just what I need. It was good. My grandma came, which I was so thankful for. She hasn't been having an easy time since Grandpa died either. I really need to make a better effort to be there for her. We are seeing her at least once a week, but I feel like I need to do more.

I had a really good run last night. It was raining and the kids were with my friend and I think it may have been one of the best runs I have had yet. I figure it was somewhere between 3.5 to 4 miles. If it weren't for responsibilities, I think I could have easily gone another mile and maybe even more. Not long for most of you, but for me, that is pretty impressive :P