Saturday, January 10, 2009

A breather from a long week

It was such a long, busy week. Just exhausting, really. And I'm sorry to report, the blog suffered. (But I guess those of you reading this now, knew that already.)

I think this time of year, the colder weather, the threat of- if not the existence of- ice and snow, the increased darkness... it just makes you more tired, right?

Katy and I started the week on the fitness train, but then mother nature and life's chores intervened. Combined visits to the treadmill: 4. The new hand weights we bought: still wrapped in original packaging.

On Tuesday, JB had his ENT follow up. From beginning to end the visit was stressful. I got a little lost and I got there late. I had to wait for a while once we got there even though there seemed to be no one else in the place...

The visit itself started with Dr I'm-old-enough-to-be-your-baby-cousin explaining that JB had, "the worst ears I've ever seen." He had not used that description post-operatively and I guess I'm glad. 'Cause that would have freaked me out in the hospital... But then, it freaked me out in his office two 1/2 weeks after the surgery. I immediately comforted myself realizing that this guy's wisdom teeth probably haven't even grown in yet. I mean, if an old man said that, "HOLY CRAP!" But how many sets of eartubes could this guy have done? I convinced myself that JB's ears were the worst out of EIGHT at most! As I'm regrouping, he drops a diagnostic concern on us: congenital cholesteatoma.

I ask Dr IOETBYBC to write it down at the end of the visit because I know it is my job to bring this info back to Katy, and to be honest, he LOST ME at the word CONGENITAL - my brain went into fuzzy mode. A cholesteatoma, I learned in the next 6 minutes of the visit, is essentially a growth of skin in the inner ear that can be diagnosed by CT scan. To get a CT scan you must lay perfectly still for about 2-5 minutes, which for a one year old requires anesthesia. The treatment is surgical removal. If a cholesteatoma goes untreated, the tumor will grow into and around the hearing bones and cause permanent hearing loss.

All of this was said before the dude in the white coat even looks in our boy's ears. After the exam, he says, "Well, his ears look much better than I anticipated."

(Feel the weight of the pause with me)

"WTF DOES THAT MEAN?!?!" I wanted to shout.

I ask several questions about what he has said so far and am told, "The cause for concern is your report that JB's ears were odorous after the surgery for about 10 days." Dr. IOETBYBC explained that this smell would only come from a pseudomonas infection, which is caused by keratin left in (and draining out of) the ear from the skin-sloughing that is the hallmark of a cholesteatoma. (YUMMY)

As a nurse who has personally smelled all sorts of nasty infections, I'm not completely convinced that pseudomonis is the only infection that would 'cause our kid's ears to get all rank, but this is what Dr. IOETBYBC expects us to believe. Just as I'm coming around to the notion of putting my kid back to sleep for a diagnostic test, though, the young doctor backs down... "Let's wait for his hearing test and then decide about the CT scan then."

Thanks! Because I wasn't sleeping all that soundly anyway. So, now I can just lay there imagining whether or not a clump of abnormal cells are growing around the infrastructure of our son's ear canal.

That was Tuesday am. Tuesday PM the forecast was all drama about the morning commute - The "freezing mix" started in the afternoon and was supposed to go all night. As the logistics officer of our family, Katy made the call that we would be staying at my parent's house in Midpoint. On my way there from work, even though the bad weather hadn't gotten a real foothold yet, I skidded at a stop sign and hit my first BMW.

Nothing tragic or even exciting. I tried not to laugh out loud when the lady said, "We'll just exchange information." Um, no... let's call the authorities, because I ain't even gonna have this imaginary bumper damage assessed, and the sleet jumping off my hood is telling me that this here accident is going to be "no fault". I'm not kidding when i tell you that we couldn't have been going more than 8 or 10 mph, and the combined damage of our cars was less than you might get if you dropped an unopened can of coke on the pavement. No, thank you, mam', we'll just wait for the Midpoint PD to get here and clear this up. 25 minutes later, I left without a moving violation.

At my parents, JB slept well until about midnight and then woke up every hour until 5:30 when his exhausted parents just gave in. As predicted, all the schools were closed and Nana conducted a 3 kid day care... TGFGrandparents!

JB is fine during the day (as far as we've been told) but at night, he wakes up crying nearly every night, sometimes 2 or 3 times. He's easy to go back to sleep, but we are awake, and in addition to feeling tired, we are also worried. He doesn't wake up and then cry. He cries in his sleep and sometimes cries himself awake. Is he dreaming? Is he in pain? Is it his teeth? Is it his ears? Is it normal? A phase? Related to the ways we've set him off his routine with our travel? Part of life? What should or can be done... it's worrisome and kind of sad and (yeah, I'm trying to come up with a new word) exhausting.

Work this week has been crazy too. Way too many meetings and administrative commitments; and the stuff that you need to do that you can't do while preparing for and sitting in meetings just stacks up and looms in suffocating piles.

So this morning, we heard the boy at the usual 5:30 and brought him to bed for another hour. When he was fidgety, I got up with him so that Katy could grab a few extra zzzs. After breakfast, we assembled his workbench from Nana and Papa. He was really adorable. I had a real screwdriver and he had the toy one and whenever I screwed a screw in, he watched what I was doing and imitated it. I showed him the hammer and light and how they worked. I would send him back and forth to the trash to throw things away. He was so curious and excited about the toy. Every once in a while, he would stop playing and come hug me or hug my leg and the run back to the work bench...

I'm saying: I'll sleep in another lifetime. It's just fine with me.

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