Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Waiting for the doctor

We're trying really hard to get better here at the Almengor's.
After 5-6 days of fever/cough, we took all the kids to the doctor yesterday. Figuring the waiting room would be crowded (and it was), and not wanting to share our unknown germs with anyone else who may actually be well, LA wisely brought our laptop and a movie for the kids to watch in the van while we waited for the pediatrician to be available.

For my family and anyone else who may miss seeing my kiddos' faces, here's a little video of them watching a video. HA! I know...real exciting. I'm just figuring out how to upload the videos we've taken on our flip, so eventually, I'll get others up here.

video

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Picture of poop

Like the title? :)

All went amazingly well at Hopkins today with Tucker. In fact, I'm sitting at my dining room table at 4 pm this afternoon as he works on homework and tells his brother what to do. Today was yet another reminder of the power of prayer.

After dropping Judah off at school, I realized I had no idea where to take Tucker once down at Hopkins. Because the appointment was made recently, we had not yet received any confirmation or information letter in the mail. We drove back home so I could scramble to find any information at all. Thankfully, I still had a brochure the GI nurse gave to me at our initial office visit which told us where to go.

LA and I were so pleased with how brave Tucker was. Judah told Tucker all about what to expect from a trip to the OR as he is rather familiar with the process at this point in his life (one advantage to having a kid with chronic medical issues).

I think the hardest thing for Tucker was not being allowed to eat. He wasn't thrilled about and cried while LA put on his hospital gown, which I refer to his "Jedi Knight-gown" because I think my buddies look like little Luke Skywalker's in it. Unfortunately, today the pre-op. only had a hospital 'shirt', so Tucker got to keep his jeans on...not quite as cute.

I was super proud of Tucker as we walked back through the ever crowded and industrial hallways of Hopkins to his OR room. He kept repeating that he didn't want to do this as I reminded him he didn't have to want to do; he just had to do it. I reminded him that I wouldn't allow anyone to do anything to him that would harm him and that while he may not like going through this, it was ultimately to find out what has been making his tummy hurt.

At my sons' age, it does no good to try to keep reality from them. They are much better served by knowing ahead of time what they're going to experience....not much ahead of time, mind you. But, we definitely do not want to spring any unfamiliar and potentially scary experience on them and hope they will forget and forgive us later for it. I believe this has been a bit of the wisdom God's granted to us as we've prayed so many times for Judah and all our kids' medical issues. I felt a sense of confirmation of that as one of the post-op. nurses passed on commendation from the pre-op. nurses and OR docs for how we "handled" our son before the surgery and during the "take down". :)

A nice "trick" we've picked up along the way (and one you may want to keep in mind for yourself or others you may come across who will have to go under for surgery or a procedure) is to ask for chapstick to coat the inside of the gas mask. It helps a bit with the yucky smell of the anesthesia. Tucker picked bubble gum flavored chapstick, and boy did he paint the inside of that mask something fierce. We allowed him to hold the mask at first as the anesthesiologist told knock knock jokes (which were actually kind of funny). The anesth. dr. was very patient and well experienced, and did a great job keeping Tucker calm while the gas took effect. Tucker didn't cry at all for this part, and went into a nice, deep sleep rather quickly.

As Tucker faded, I was sure to tell him that I would be there when he woke up and that Jesus would be with him the entire time he was in the OR. I was very comforted and encouraged to hear the anesthesiologist say, "He's in this room with us all the time." Not something I've come to expect from medical staff, but super grateful nonetheless.

LA and I grabbed a snack in the cafeteria and shortly after we returned to the waiting room, Tucker was all done.

He came out of anesthesia really fast and really well. I was waiting for the "shoe to drop", but it didn't and hasn't... no throwing up, no nausea. He ate like a champ and has been pleasant, coherent. He's done so well.

We should have results from the bloodwork and biopsies by next week. We'll let you know, but for now, there was nothing that looked terribly alarming to the physician who performed the tests. The doctor did make copies of the pictures he took and gave them to us which included a picture of my son's poop....lovely, huh? I'm thinking he'll probably love that for show and tell. Kathleen?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Tucker's Turn

Tomorrow, LA and I will be taking Tucker to Hopkins for some testing to find out what is ailing him with his GI tract/throat. He'll be under general anesthesia with intubation which is probably the most complicated part of the whole thing. Intubation can make recovery a bit rough given my boys' history with asthma. I've started Tucker on some preventive asthma meds. hoping this will help matters.

Tucker will have an endoscopy, some biopsies, bloodwork along with some other tests that I frankly can't remember the names of. All this is being done with the intention of discovering what has been bringing so much discomfort to my son for the last 4 months. I must say, though, that I know of many folks who have been praying for my little guy and his symptoms have been a lot better in the last 3 weeks. We are grateful.

Please pray the doctors would be gentle with Tucker before, during and after the procedure.
Please pray that we will walk out with some answers for what is ailing my son.
Please pray that LA and I will faithfully and skillfully lead our son and our other children through these circumstances.
Please pray that our trust in God will not falter and we will be found faithful as we walk through this trial with one another.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Rite of Passage

Just something I want to remember.... I sent the boys on their first errand, alone. My sweet friend and neighbor, Heather, picked up some groceries for me while she was at the store last week. I needed to get them from her in order to finish my dinner on Friday, but Bella was still napping.

SO, I sent the boys together on their first errand: to run to the bottom of our court, give the money I had given them to Miss Heather, collect our groceries from her and run home. I told them to stay on the sidewalks and not talk to anyone they didn't know. I called Heather to let her know they were coming and asked for her to look out for them. I noted the time on the phone when the left my house. Heather called me when they left her house. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw them running home, groceries in hand.

A BIG to do for just a short jaunt to the bottom of our court. But, it wasn't just a short jaunt, was it? It was a giant leap into independence for my boys. And a giant leap for me, I might add, into letting go. sigh.