Wednesday, August 27, 2008
His school starts at 9:15, so about 8:00 I started getting him ready. He had some of a bowl of Frosted Flakes, brushed his teeth, and got dressed. Of course, he couldn't wait to put his cool backpack on - even though the only thing in it was a travel pack of Kleenex since he had a runny nose. I took the obligatory pictures:
And then we were off. We waited forever in the drop off line, parked, and in we walked. We found the check in spot for new kindergarteners, and found out he would be in the green room today. (A side note: our school does staggered entry for kindergarteners. Each child goes one day of the first week of school, then on Friday the "kindergarten team" gets together and places each child in a permanent room. This helps to match them up personality wise with the teachers and skill wise with the other kids.) We went in the room, met his teacher, gave her his lunch money, and she showed him where to put his backpack. They were having free time while everyone finished checking in so I asked him if he wanted to play with the blocks. He said yes and asked me if I would stay to watch him play. I got a tiny bit worried at this point that there was a meltdown coming, so I cheerfully told him that I had to go to work, but would be back in the afternoon to pick him up. He gave me a kiss and a hug, a wave goodbye, and that was that. The next big phase of his life began.
I picked him up in the afternoon and could immediately tell he was exhausted. I asked what he did, and he said he didn't know. I asked what he had for lunch, and he couldn't remember. He did manage to let me know that he was going to need some milk when we got home. After a cup of milk and some peaches, he was finally rejuvenated enough to tell me about his day. They had PE and learned about bike safety. Apparently he should always wear his helmet. They played a lot of games - red light, green light and freeze tag among many. They learned to walk in a line and keep their fingers to their mouths while doing this. They cut out a palm tree and leaves and glued them to a page; then used yellow circle stickers as the coconuts. He had written an "L" on each coconut. They had a hearing test and the teacher read them some books. I'm sure they did more things and I'll continue to hear about them over the next few days.
All in all, it was an exhausting really fun day and he can't wait to go back. I'm so excited for him that he's begun this journey. I hope he can always remember how excited he was in the beginning.
Monday, August 25, 2008
My husband suffers every day of his life. Some days are better than others. Some days he can get up and hang out with me and the kids, and go places with us. But there are a lot more days that all he can do is lay in bed and hope the pain lets up. I worry about him constantly. I try to keep a positive outlook and be his bright shiny light when he gets to the darkest places. It's hard for him to stay upbeat when dealing with these things every day, so I try to do it for him. Sometimes it drives him crazy because it seems so pointless, but the other option doesn't work for me.
All these things, however, lead me to wonder about our God. Why does he allow this kind of suffering? I'm not an incredibly religious person. I went to church when I was younger, and recently I've tried to get back into the routine of going. But it's hard. It's hard, but I feel so invigorated after I've gone to church and sang songs of praise, and listened to the pastor give such wonderful, interesting sermons. I choose to believe that He only gives us what we can handle and that there's a reason for everything. Maybe he allowed Joey to have this disease so he can counsel and support others with the same problems. Maybe it's to bring us closer as husband and wife, and as a family. Maybe there's a reason God hasn't revealed to us yet. All I can do is have faith that there is something out there bigger than us, watching over us. Tonight, and every night, I say a prayer for those who suffer and those people who support them. I pray God watches over Joey and gives him hope through the darkness, and the ability to see through it. I pray that God gives me the strength, love, and wisdom to be there for him as he needs me to be. Most of all, I pray that God gives peace and understanding to all those who suffer.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Seven weeks before he was due my doctor put me on bedrest. One week after that, on Sunday afternoon, as I lay on my bed watching TV, my water broke. Let me tell you - that is some messy stuff. Anyway, having 6 weeks to go until I was due, we ran around like crazy packing what we thought I would need and a few things for Joey, certain the unpleasant part would start anytime. I didn't have my first contraction until we were in the car on the way to the hospital in Mt. Sterling, about 30 minutes away. No too bad, I thought. I can do this. We got checked in and they checked to see how far along I was. 2 centimeters. My confidence increased. 2 centimeters and the contractions weren't too bad. Maybe I'll survive. Then my doctor informed me they were going to send me by ambulance to UK Hospital in Lexington since I was 6 weeks early. They assured us that it would be fine for Joey to follow the ambulance in the car since I had plenty of time before I'd deliver. They loaded me up and off we went. My contractions kept coming, but I was okay. Then, I'd guess about 10 minutes away from the hospital, something felt very strange. LOTS of pressure. The nurse riding with me said she'd check me, but my contractions were probably just getting stronger. Umm, no. I was fully dilated and ready to deliver. WHAT?! I started crying, afraid of giving birth in an ambulance. They told me not to push and the male nurse let me squeeze his hand through the contractions. Looking back on it, he probably had to have some kind of reconstructive surgery after I was done with him. However, I managed to resist the urge to push.
Now as luck would have it, my mom had been at our house that Sunday morning. When she left, she stopped in Lexington to do some shopping. So when we called her, she said she'd just wait for us at the hospital. This turned out to be a huge blessing. When we realized I was fully dilated, the ambulance turned on the siren and sped through the lights. Joey, of course, could not do this. We lost him. When we got to the hospital, mom was waiting right at the emergency room doors, found out the situation, and immediately started helping me. Thank God. Alone was not how I wanted to be. They took me to a delivery room and the nurses were just putting around getting things ready. Finally, the ambulance people told them I was ready, they checked, and things got hopping. Without any time for drugs, after two pushes, out came Logan. Hooray! They took him away to clean him up and started trying to clean me up. I was in labor for less than four hours. Joey finally got there, and was immediately bummed out. He'd completely missed the birth of his first born. Except, of course, for the yucky water breaking part.
He quickly realized, however, that they were having some kind of trouble with Logan. They brought him to me, let me see him for a second, and after a quick stop in the nursery, took him to the NICU. This is terrifying - to see the child you'd created and given life to whisked away because he was having trouble breathing.
He was in the NICU for 11 days. Aside from not breathing very well, he was a very healthy little boy. We got to hold him for a little while after a couple of days, but he had to wear an oxygen mask and had IV's everywhere from his arm, to his feet, to his head.
But he was precious, and we loved him. He eventually gave up the oxygen and we were able to bring him home. Another terrifying experience. I leaned over his carseat for almost the entire hour long ride home, listening and watching to make sure he was still breathing. We made it home, and we've made it through 5 years of his life. And next week he starts school. The beginning of the end - leading to the point where he leaves us to go to college and start life on his own. It's hard to believe it wasn't yesterday I was sure he was going to stop breathing during his first car ride. I love him and I'm so excited for my little boy as he begins this big adventure.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
We have never done big celebrations for our anniversary. There's always been something in our way to prevent us from the alone time necessary. I don't feel cheated out of anything by forgetting, I just worry that I've forgotten something else.
Friday, August 15, 2008
For instance, when we were preparing for Joey's back surgery that was to take place in NY, out of network for our insurance, Joey's very wealthy boss said he would take care of everything. Doctors, travel, hospital bills, food, everything. And this is a man that made enough money in a couple of days to pay for all of this. We were so relieved to be able to plan this surgery and not worry about the money - simply look forward to Joey getting better. Well, of course, surgery, out of network, in New York - not cheap. I don't know if his boss didn't realize how expensive it would actually be, or if he just decided Joey wasn't worth the money - but in the end he paid for almost nothing, not in the grand scheme of things. Let's just say Joey and I were devestated, to say the least. We struggled for a while, but finally came to the realization that there was no way we could afford to pay these bills. The only option was to declare bankruptcy and start over. While we are deciding how to proceed with our lives, we also have to accept that Joey isn't getting better. We realized he couldn't continue to work, and my tiny salary couldn't support our family. What a mess.
Joey applied for disability and we decided to follow his best friend to Charlotte, NC where I could get a better paying job. We planned to move to Charlotte over New Year's weekend between 2006 and 2007. By the way - bankruptcy sucks. We knew we wouldn't be able to buy a house for a while, and that we'd have to hold off buying new cars for a few years, but we had trouble renting a house. Are you kidding me? We had to pay the first month's rent and two deposits before they trusted us, but they did and we still happily live there. Anyway, we moved to Charlotte, I got a job the first full week we were there that doubled my previous salary, and I still happily work there. Joey has found better doctors than he could have hoped for in our tiny KY town, or anywhere close by (trust me, I know, we looked). Our daughter is in an awesome (ridiculously expensive) daycare, our son is getting ready to start kindergarten, and we are happy. We still deal with Joey not being a well person every day, and we still deal with the effects of having to declare bankruptcy, but we are a family and we are together.
My point to this blog is to say, in the beginning when all of this craziness began happening, it was so easy to say, "But if he'd paid for it, we wouldn't be in this situation." But that keeps you from appreciating where you are now. We LOVE Charlotte, I've made some truly wonderful friends, and we are happier than we ever were in KY. So now, I say thanks to the idiot who backed out on us, and look forward to the years to come with my family.