Wednesday, April 30, 2014

radio silence

it's been nearly one month since i've written about anything.

i've opened up my blog many times, stared at the blank screen, then shut down.

the things i'd like to write about are deep and it feels phony to post about the light and airy.

so i've stayed silent. 

i've been learning quite a bit about myself these past weeks (months? years?). i've been digging in to the things of my past and how they correlate to the things of my present and how they will continue to affect my future until i tell them to stop. i've felt a desperate need to write about it all - to get it out of my head and onto a page so that i don't have to think about it anymore - and yet i've written nothing. 

sometimes it's best, easier to leave things unsaid.

because they are really hard to talk about.

because feelings would undoubtedly get hurt and that's risky.

am i willing to trade peace of mind and growth and connection with my husband to spare others?

so far the answer has been yes.

the saying goes we can do hard things. i quote this to my boys often. but the saying doesn't go we can do really, really hard things.

and this feels really, really hard.

so i suppose what i'm going to do now is hit publish and let these words sit out in internet land while i build up my courage.

i'll be back. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

things to know before your child has a tonsilectomy

 the necessities - humidifier, kleenex, water bottle, gatorade bottle, pillows & blankets, puke bowl...
and a get well balloon from a friend.

here is a list of things you may want to know before your son or daughter has a tonsilectomy and/or adenoidectomy...

1) stock up on candles.

you will want to have a yummy-smelling candle burning in your home at all times post surgery in an effort to combat the stench of decomposing flesh that will come out of your child's mouth, permeate everything in its path and linger in the air. disgusting is not a strong enough word to describe the horrific odor. the scent that seemed to work the best was cinnamon.

2) stock up on gatorade and pellet ice (can be purchased at sonic).

the most important thing post surgery is to push fluids. while water is good, gatorade or pedialyte or even juice is a better option because they provide much-needed calories and electrolytes. my boys loved chocolate milk more than anything else because it coated their throat. while chocolate milk probably wasn't as good a choice as gatorade, it was still better than water.

ice chips were a godsend. every morning my boys re-hydrated their dry throats with a cupful of ice pellets. when it hurt them too much to drink anything they were still willing to suck on ice chips.

3) stock up on cold foods and easy to swallow foods.

our favorites were chocolate pudding, yogurt, popsicles, fudgsicles and ice cream. those were our main food groups along with the occasional frosty from wendy's or milkshake from chick-fil-a. eventually the boys graduated to tiny amounts of mac & cheese and pears...but not much else was consumed by them until ten days post surgery.

4) stock up on tylenol and motrin, in multiple flavors.

your child will likely need medicine every three hours throughout the day for ten days. that's a TON of medicine. and taking that much medicine will get old real fast, especially if it hurts to swallow. having medicine in different flavors made it a bit more bearable.

5) be aware that, generally, the older your child is the longer it will take to heal.

graham is 19 months younger than harrison. graham felt better a full two days before harrison did. i believe i was so ignorant about the healing time involved in this surgery because i listened to friends whose kids had a tonsilectomy at age two or age three and they told me their kids recovered quickly. that was not our experience at all. ten days post surgery seemed to be when my boys finally felt better.

6) be aware that, generally, recovery from a tonsilectomy does not get easier each day.

they will have good days and then bad days. don't be surprised if your child is outside playing one day and is screaming in pain the next. the post-op literature suggested that days 3-5 might be the hardest. for us it was days 6-8. they were hell. like no one in our house got any sleep for three days kind of hell. on day 9 graham went with jeremy to see the harlem globetrotters game (in a suite, away from the crowds) while i took harrison to the emergency room because his pain was out of control. good days, then bad days, then good days again.

6) be aware that there is a medicine called "magic mouthwash" and it is a miracle.

magic mouthwash is a compound medicine that contains lidocaine. it is swished in the mouth or gargled and then spit out. it took harrison from an eleven on the pain scale down to a two in less than 30 seconds. it's a very helpful drug for a child who is refusing to drink and/or eat and is at risk of dehydrating.

7) be aware that your child will be prescribed a narcotic.

at first this did not seem to be a big deal. and it wasn't a big deal for graham at all. but for harrison, my sensory superhero, his body reeeeeaaaaallllly liked the narcotic and his body reeeeeeaaaaaalllllllly freaked out when he couldn't have the narcotic anymore. his day of withdrawal from that opiate was absolutely without a doubt the worst day i've ever had with my sweet boy. he was KAH-RAZY! so, if your child has sensory issues, please be advised that any medicine, but especially addictive medicines, might affect him more strongly/adversely than it would a typical child.

8) use a cold water humidifier at all times post surgery, especially if you live in a dry climate.

9) be aware that your child might vomit on the way home from the hospital.

we always save empty plastic containers to recycle as in-the-car puke bowls - yogurt tubs, margarine tubs...we never leave home without them.

10) be prepared that the only thing your child will want to do is lie on the couch (and you won't be able to do much else either).

load your apple tv or dvr with tv shows and movies, stock up on books and ipad games. don't forget to get a few books for yourself!! eventually the boys wanted to play card games and board games which was a welcome break from ALL.THE.TELEVISION!

i think that's all the advice i have to give.

all in all, if i had it to do over again, i would absolutely have both my kids do surgery at the same time. i cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to balance taking care of one recovering child while trying to occupy another healthy/active child. at least this way we have it all over and done...i would not want to do this a second time!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

thursday things that make me think - the spring break is over edition

i'm gonna be honest...i almost forgot it was thursday.

yesterday seemed like a monday.

it was a manic day at the white house.

or perhaps is was a manic depressive day. harrison was manic. i was depressed. ha!

i'll tell you all about it soon.

so here are the things that made me think this week:

i loved this blog post that provides recipes for home-made, all natural, non-toxic cleaning supplies. she even offers a handy printable!

this had me cracking up! 16 children's books retold for adults. (warning: bad language) #'s 6, 15 & 16 are my favorites, with a very special shout out to #1, the very hungry caterpillar, which really did make me laugh out loud. so true!

i very much love this parenting manifesto by dr. brene brown. i have not yet read daring greatly (i'm still in the process of reading her earlier books) but am looking forward to it. the parts that touched me the most were about wanting to take away my kiddos pain but will, instead, sit with them and help them feel it. that is exactly what we are trying to do with harrison and, frankly, what we should all do with all our kids. also she mentions not always doing things perfectly but allowing her kids to see her just being real...good stuff.

i believe my friend rachel shared this on facebook - a great post on ways to reduce anxiety in our kids, especially as they are in new situations. #8 has been one of the biggest ones for harrison. as an example, when we visited our ENT's office for the first time to assess whether he needed tonsil surgery the doctor was very friendly and kind but she kept tickling harrison. her intention was sweet - to connect with him. but tickles are a threat to my son and each time she reached toward him he curled further and further away from her. scenarios like that are tricky. i wish everyone who interacts with my son could read this before they interact with him.

lastly, the movie noah is making some big waves. haha, no pun intended. i very much enjoyed this article that analyzes the worldview with which the film was written and directed. (thank you to my friends steve and jon who shared it on facebook). as i wrote to a friend this morning - it only makes sense that we can't understand something unless we can see it through the lens with which it was created. i think christians would be less up in arms if they simply understood that the film is not a depiction on the biblical noah. and, frankly, they'd look less stupid too.

alright folks. happy thursday to you!