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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Great Flu Fiasco of 2009..

I know, I know... I've subjected you all to a major "blog drought". Shoot, I've subjected myself too! I started writing this post last week, but wasn't able to finish it until today (11/8) I've been SUPER busy, but I finally had a minute to finish up my original update. For starters, I am happy to report that Niki and I are no longer "kawawa girls".

Onto the blog update!

Apparently, attempt at isolation didn't work. I totally failed at keeping my littlest lion safe from the "stomping elephant" flu. Thus, "The Great Flu Fiasco of 2009" began the minute Niki came down with flu-like symptoms early Monday morning. She still had a low grade fever when I took her to Dr. Awesome's office in Oakland at 9:30am. Dr. Awesome's usual Medical Assistant must have been out sick because it was a float MA was taking care of us.

Please let the record show that...I DID NOT LIKE HER AT ALL!

I could tell that she hated her job the minute she called my daughter's name. She didn't smile, her voice was monotoned, and she just wasn't personable. I'm an MA too so I know when someone despises his/her job. I can smell it. I didn't want any fake ass kissing either so I didn't tell her that I worked for Kaiser. However, I *did* tell her about my daughter.

And, that stupid MA did not listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

You see, Dr. Awesome's MA usually has trouble getting Niki's blood pressure. Niki squirms once the cuff tightens around her leg so the movement makes it impossible to get a reading. I told the float MA about this and she completely ignored me. Steeerike 1! Of course, Niki started to squirm once the BP cuff tightened around her leg. Dr. Awesome's MA usually stops once the cuff inflates a second time since this indicates that the machine isn't going to get a reading. I told the float MA this and she ignored me again. Steeerike 2! The cuff tightened a THIRD time and I reiterated that the machine was NOT going to read her blood pressure because Niki was moving! The float MA ignored me again and mumbled about the machine "should work soon". Steeerike 3 and she was out! The BP cuff inflated a FOURTH time and I snapped at her.

"Look honey, my daughter has a bleeding disorder and that is why she is here. I do not want you to ATTEMPT to get her blood pressure any more because she could get a muscle bleed if you keep pumping up her leg. I already told you that it wasn't going to work after the second time it inflated! "

She took the cuff of after that. And THAT was the first time I EVER had to act as my daughter's advocate, but I wouldn't be my last....

Aside from my icky encounter with Ms. Float MA, the appointment went well. Dr. Awesome and Nurse Richard were wonderful as always. I even left the appointment with a game plan *in case* Niki's fever spiked. By 1:50 Niki's axillary temperature was 102!! I checked her temperature with THREE different thermometers just to be sure. I even took off a layer of her clothing and waited 10 minutes, but her temperature was still well above 101.5. She was 101.9 to be exact, but axillary temp is always lower than the actual core is.

So, I placed "the call" to Nurse Richard.

I think we all dreaded "the call", but we knew it was coming. Thank goodness Dr. Awesome and Nurse Richard are totally on top of her care. They consulted with each other and ultimately decided that I needed to take Niki to the ER stat. Nurse Richard placed some calls to let the San Francisco ER know we were coming. They have a Pediatric wing there just in case she needed to be admitted.

Keep in mind that I was still sick with the flu myself. John was at work, but his little sister was home and she offered to come help. I packed up some clothing, factor, and Niki and made it there by 2:50pm.
As soon as we got there, I was NOT feeling the vibe. I'm totally not a "trouble parent", but the triage nurse acted as if he didn't know we were coming. No one seemed aware that Nurse Richard even called. And moreover, the nurses we all treating me like I was a *unnecessarily* worried mother. NOT GOOD!

I swear, this is why I hate nurses sometimes.

I told the Triage Nurse exactly what the plan was for Niki. I even showed him the Brovaic card that states Niki should start antibiotics within an hour from arrival. (After they perform blood cultures of course!) We went there to rule out an infection in her Broviac line. All of this information seemed to go in one ear and out the other. He didn't even look at the card. I told the nurse that I could get Dr. Awesome's office on the line to confirm, but he declined. He told me to talk to the ER doctor first. So, the Triage Nurse took her vital signs (and rectal temperature). It was 3:20 by the time we got into a room.

Then I met Niki's "smart alec" nurse.

I informed her that Niki needed to get a blood culture and antibiotics right away per Dr. Awesome's office. I also told her that Nurse Richard (from Pediatric Hematology!) called the ER about our arrival because of Niki's Factor VII Deficiency. She didn't know anything about the phone call. People, she was our f*cking nurse and she was completely clueless! (She must have not looked at the chart or something.) It was soooo frustrating, but I remained calm, patient, and docile. You don't bite the hand that feeds you, right?
Then the nurse had the audacity to CORRECT me after I told her why we came there in the first place. (high temperature)

She interrupted me and said, "We don't usually start antibiotics because if she has the flu it's viral and antibiotics don't usually help."

Ugh, I'm getting annoyed just *thinking* about it. Naturally, I just thought to myself "No shit, Sherlock." and kept quiet. I let her say what she wanted to say and figured I'd set her straight as soon as the doctor came in.
It was four o'clock when Nurse Richard called my cell phone to check in. (See how great they are?) By that time we still had no ER doctor and no antibiotics. I told him that I really needed him to light a fire under the ER staff's asses. Nurse Richard was very surprised with the treatment we were getting. Niki was sleeping comfortably on my shoulder, but still.... the we being treated was unacceptable.


The last time someone did that to me was with Ethan. And look how totally right we were when we said something was wrong! I told Nurse Richard that our assigned nurse didn't seem to believe me when I told her about the phone call he placed. I also told him what she said when I told her that Niki needed a blood cultures and antibiotics. When I informed Nurse Richard about the new temperature reading we got when the Triage Nurse performed the rectal temp and he said, "Oh no, they did a rectal temp?! I told them no rectal temps."

Apparently, inserting the probe into Niki's rectum could cause a bleed!

I hadn't even thought of this possibility. And instantly I felt a wave of mother's guilt. I checked Niki's bum to make sure she didn't have a bleed. Niki was fine and Nurse Richard reassured me that I basically needed to stop feeling bad. I'm a pro at managing her care, but it is virtually impossible to know ALL of the idiosyncrasies of treating patients with hemophilia.

We finished talking just as the ER doc and Nurse Smart Alec walked in the door.

I updated them on the conversation I had with Dr. Awesome's office. The ER doctor told me that she didn't even know they called. (WTF?! I guess the ER doc didn't look at her chart either.) Then I realized that Nurse Smart Alec must have been talking sh*t because the ER doctor immediately asked me why I "thought" Niki needed antibiotics. So, AGAIN, I explained about the temperature protocol Dr. Awesome's office had for Niki. (Anything above 101.5 could be indicative of a line infection.)

My assumption about the shit talking appeared to be correct because the ER doctor turned to Nurse Smart Alec, gave her the no-duh look, and said, "She needs antibiotics because she has a central line."

Ding, ding, ding! Light bulb! Of course I felt compelled to add, "Yes, that's why I told the nurse my daughter needed antibiotics. I know the flu is viral and doesn't respond to antibiotics, but Hematology is concerned with the possibility of a line infection."

Had the nurse listened to me and assessed her patient properly perhaps they would have realized A LONG TIME AGO that I wasn't just another worry-wort parent. The nurse looked a little embarrassed as the doctor left the room. Then, I suppose she needed some personal redemption because as we started to converse again she asked me with some attitude, "So can you tell me why she needs antibiotic. I don't quite understand why she needs them just because her temperature is high."

Her bad attitude was obvious enough for John and his 12 year old sister to notice.

Nurse Smart Alec knew the answer (it's a standard protocol for any patient with a central line), but she wanted to see if I knew. Stupid bitch. Of course, I set her straight. Seriously, it almost felt like I was subjected to an oral pop quiz. She must have figured I was some young, dumb parent. But please, she must have had me confused with some other idiot.

I don't just pop 'em out, I know how to care for them too!

I told her the answer we both knew and added that I could have done the blood cultures myself a long time ago. I also sweetly and sarcastically reminded her that I've been caring for Niki for nearly 9 months. When Nurse Smart Alec left the room John and his sister chuckled at how snarky I was toward her. It's sooo not like me to catch an attitude with strangers, but I was just really fed up with it all.

Some ER staff members really needs to learn how to take parents seriously.

After all the bullshit power-tripping was out of the way, Nurse Smart Alec got to work. Blood and urine cultures, a CAT scan (to rule out a head bleed from the fall she had on Friday), and antibiotics (Ceftriaxone) were all ordered by the doctor. She drew labs from Niki's Broviac and continued to quiz me on how much Heparin we use to flush her line and if we change to clave before or after lab draws.

Ah, there is no rest for the wicked is there? Haha.

She also tried to get another temperature and I had to remind her that Hematology said "no rectal temps". Nurse Smart Alec also told me that she had to get a urine sample. She tried to use a urine bag first, but it kept coming off. Then, she advised me that she would have to insert a catheter if the bag was unsuccessful. My advocacy mode kicked back in and I reminded her that if a rectal temp wasn't allowed, I doubt a urine catheter would be either. There is just too much risk for bleeding.

Then she said the unthinkable, "Well, we'd be real gentle." I told her that if they needed a urine sample that bad, we'd have to use the urine bag. I did not want my daughter to get a bleed in her urethra or bladder! Haha, her definition of "real gentle" does not apply to my daughter. So, the ER doctor decided that we could just take a few urine bags home rather than wait for her to go pee. She even had a CT scan (without sedation) and stayed perfectly still. Thankfully, she did not have a head bleed! It was SIX O'CLOCK by the time she got her antibiotics.

So much for antibiotics within one hour, huh?

Once they were done with the infusion they sent us home. We were able to obtain a urine sample from home and John dropped it off at the local lab. On a side note, I'm convinced that Niki has become a pro at this whole "hospital thing". She hardly cried. (Well, except for when they did a nasal swab to see what kind of flu she had.)

The following day the ER doctor called us to inform us that Niki tested positive for H1N1 and they started her on an infant form of Tamiflu. (I felt bad because I pretty sure she got H1N1 from me.) The initial results of the blood cultures also came back negative for a Broviac infection. Yesss! Nevertheless, we had to take Niki back to the San Francisco Pediatric Infusion center. She needed another infusion of Ceftriaxone (antibiotics) just to be sure that any line infection would be knocked out. The nurse we met there (I'll call her Nurse Angel) made up for all the bullshit we went though with Nurse Smart Alec.

I really don't get why Nurse Smart Alec was such an asshole. I really don't.
It's hard enough to have a sick child so it's nice to be treated with respect. Nurse Angel made us feel like Niki was the Queen of the Universe. And it was genuine too! Nurse Angel is the reason why I don't hate *all* nurses. ;-)

I am happy to report that Niki was 100% better just in time to attend the National Hemophilia Foundation "Building Bridges" Conference on 10/29. But...I'll save that story for another blog entry. In the meantime, here's another photo essay 'cause ya know I bring my camera everywhere. :)

Niki getting her temperature taken for the billionth time.
Both Pics Taken by: Boo (our little photographer)

Niki @ the ER (Taken by: Sa-Sa my little sister in law)

Niki checking out the CT machine.
Finally getting antiobiotics!!!

Leaving the ER with Daddy.
We had a loooooong day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Kawawa Girls... (a long post)

My swab came back negative!!! With that being said, it's now safe to say that I probably DO NOT have the swine flu.However, the tests can yeild false negatives, but who cares.

Can't I get a woo-hoo?

I didn't want to say anything at first (because ya know, strangers on the internet can be but my doctor really believed that I had H1N1 when she saw me on Thursday. She came into my exam room with a N95 mask and everything! Although I totally understood why she used personal protective equipment during our visit, I was still a little insulted.

Wearing a mask is pretty much the medical equivalent of putting up two index fingers to make a cross.

I work in health care so I'm real good about hand hygiene and getting my flu shot every year. Serves me right for procrastinating on getting my flu shot this year. I suppose my doctor was extra cautious because she knew that I was directly exposed to a few swine flu cases at work. No bullshit, I was pretty closely exposed to H1N1. (Like, I tapped on the asses of contaminated computer mouses close!)

Honestly, I was kind of scared.

I even isolated myself from the kids on my doctor's orders. So, I'm SUPER glad that I don't have the swine flu! (Big shout out to my big sis for giving me the "gift of reassurance".) I'm slowly starting to recuperate, but let me take a moment to say that this flu was the worst one I have ever experienced in my 27 years of living. Like seriously, I felt kawawa for myself! John even woke me up at 1:00 am on Saturday night because he said I "looked dead". Haha, he made me drink Gatorade. Seriously kawawa.

This years flu is a show tune.

I like to theorize that I contracted my flu from a borrowed pen. One doesn't think to wash their hands after touching shit on their own desk, ya know? But now that I think about it, my patients reach into my pen cup all the time. (Wow, that didn't sound right did it? Well, you know what I mean.) Being the good coworker that I am, I even sanitized my pens before I left the office. :) So my friends, don't think for a minute that simply washing your hands is good enough to keep you immune! You never know where all sorts of ickies could be hiding. I was NOT kidding when I said that my body felt like it was stomped on by elephants. Kawawa, remember? Seriously, get your seasonal flu shot people!!!!

This public service announcement was brought to you :)

If you haven't noticed by now, I'm up at this ungodly hour thanks to my slow-as-molasses recovery from the flu AND added anxiety brought on by Niki spiking a fever this evening.

Oh, there's no rest for the weary is there?

You're probably thinking that I should just give her Tylenol and the problem would solved, right? Well, my Little Miss High Maintenance cannot have Tylenol (or any other fever-reducer) because of her Broviac. Things like Tylenol can mask a high fever and a fever could indicate an infection! If Niki ever has a fever of 101.5 or above, we have to immediately call Dr. Awesome's office for further instruction. You have to remember that Niki's Brovaic leads directly to her heart. Any infection would NOT BE GOOD. The minute we place "the call" our instructions could involve a performing a blood culture (drawing labs), coming in for an appointment, or going directly to the ER. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. (Hey you gotta have a sense of humor in these sorts of situations, okay?) But no, really...this is all a game.

We play every day with one goal in mind: Prevent this condition from "monopolizing" our daughter's life.

So far, we (including Dr. Awesome) have been doing a damn fine job at preventing FVII Def from taking over Niki's life. She has yet to be hospitalized. She has yet to have a major bleeding episode. She's 8 months old and this is the FIRST time she's ever had a fever.

Not too fucking bad if you ask me. But, I'm biased....and a little cocky. :)

I woke up because she was being a "kawawa girl" and now I can't sleep. I've been checking Niki's temperature about every 30 minutes. She's been consistently 100.4 and is finally sleeping comfortably. Naturally, I'm on edge because all it takes is 1 degree for all hell to break loose. Lucky for Niki, she has an appointment with Dr. Awesome at 9:30 this morning. It couldn't have come at a better time 'cause I can't wait to figure out what is causing this damn fever!

Did I mention that she fell off a bed again?! Yep....AGAIN!

It happened Friday afternoon. I was in the thick of sickness, dead asleep when I woke up to someone yelling my name. Into my room bursts this poor, worried soul clutching my whimpering baby girl. So kawawa. Apparently, Niki rolled off the bed and fell on her back....on hardwood.

Yessss! Ha....not.

I was REALLY sick (like 102 degrees sick!), but I somehow managed to get my shit together enough to fumble around and gather her factor supplies. Meanwhile I could hear "oh shit" being murmured while Niki totally egged on the guilt by letting out sad, "kawawa baby" cries every few seconds. Meanwhile, I reassured the poor, worried soul that there was no need to feel guilty while I administered her factor.

With an icepack, a bottle, and a whole lot of hugging, Niki was good as new. :)

I didn't even bother to call Dr. Awesome's office anymore since I knew what to from the last time it happened. Besides, I remembered that she had the appointment today anyway. Other than administering factor, there is nothing else that can be done other than to watch for signs of a subdural hematoma anyway. The docs will not unnecessarily dose with her radiation (CT scan) unless she is showing signs of a bleed.

So today, as we enter 4 days s/p possible head trauma, my "Kawawa Girl" has spiked a fever. (There's some medical abbreviation for ya son..ha!)

Could it be teething? Could it be the flu? Could it be a Broviac infection? Could it be an early sign of a minor head bleed? (Ethan also had a slight fever the night we took him to the ER.)

We'll find out in a few hours.

In the meantime, I'm going to:

1) Continue to check her temperature.
2) Chill the fuck out. (blogging SERIOUSLY helps)
3) NOT allow "worry" to monopolize my mind.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From X-rated to X'ed Out


I wasn't selected for the Fall training. I was told that the organization has to give priority for Fall seating to "field professionals" that would be able to immediately utilize the education. Maybe it was the acid reflux attack? Nevertheless, I was up against some pretty impressive people. I wouldn't pick me either if I had to choose from psychotherapists, family practitioners, and actual sex workers!

So the bad news is I can't start the fall training. I have to "x" that off my list. The good news is I CAN go into the Spring training program. :) you already life is ever-evolving so who knows what will be going on in my neck of the woods by next Spring.

Ya never know, I could be pregnant again.

I'm totally kidding, but the only thing that could *possibly* hinder my ability to start the Spring training would be Niki's port surgery. Obviously my special little gal comes first, but do me a favor and keep your fingers crossed that I won't have to *temporarily* "x" it off of my "Things to Do Before I Die" list. :)

In other news...I'm home sick with the flu.

Actually, I've had laryngitis since last Wednesday (10/14). I pretty much sounded like Marge Simpson but ignored it and went to work and social gatherings anyway. Then on Monday I woke up with a slight fever. I saw my doctor and she told me to "rest my voice". I was off for two days and stopped sounding like Marge. Things were starting to look up when I went back to work on Wednesday. That is until I woke up yesterday morning and discovered that I got hit with the flu.

It feels like my body was stomped on by elephants.

With the swine flu scare that has been going on my doctor pretty much sent me home. I'm supposed to return to work NEXT Thursday as a precaution. Although I welcome the "vacation", I am not getting paid for it since I exhausted all of my sick time during my maternity leave.
We were supposed to go to Gilroy Gardens tomorrow, but it looks like I have to "x" that off my list as well.

Oh the life....I'm all x'ed out people!

Now....back to yet another drug induced sleep-fest. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


John and I met in May 1998 - our SOPHOMORE YEAR in high school - and we've been together ever since. In the past eleven years we've managed to have FOUR kids. Yep, babies having babies! Kevin was born on my 21st birthday so John and I didn't really have the opportunity to "be young and stupid". Instead of a beer, I had a baby. Whenever things get stressful at the lion's den, I miss my more youthful, naive days.

When we were fifteen we had no work, no bills, no kids, and NO stress!

It's not that I regret having children. Actually, I'm convinced that becoming a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me. I simply miss being "my age" sometimes because it's just REALLY hard to be a parent. Some of my friends still go clubbin' every weekend! Despite being a parent for nearly seven years, I still do feel tiny pangs of jealously whenever I can't go out to let loose. Mama needs a drink too! All joking aside, I feel stress (and huge waves of waves of anxiety) sweep over me whenever I "remember" that I am 100% responsible for the lives of all the little people in our household.

And I speak from personal experience when I say that parents can really f*ck a kid up.

I tend to be very hard on myself when it comes to being a mother because I am extremely insecure with my ability to be the "perfect mom". Yeah, I'm anal like that. I know that no one is perfect, but I REALLY don't want to f*ck MY kids up. I constantly worry about my "parental qualifications" thus I stress the f*ck out. matter how stressful things can be, it has been oh so rewarding to be 100% responsible for taming these cubs.

I've been blessed with the honor of raising some pretty compassionate little people. :)

Earlier today God took a moment to remind me just how special my little lions are. We were visiting Ethan when I saw Kevin place a piece of Hi-Chew on his headstone. Anthony followed suit and placed a piece of his Hi-Chew there as well. When I asked them what they were doing they told me that they were giving Ethan some candy for Halloween. That was the first time I realized that they still care about their little brother just as much as I do. I honestly thought they forgot about him.

It was such a huge gesture from such tiny people and I was so glad I was able to witness it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ain't It A Shame...

Some things are a waste of energy. Some things are a waste of time. Some things are a waste of breath. Some things are a waste of emotion.

Ain't it a shame to spend life focusing on things that are wasteful?

In the words of Forrest Gump...

"That's all I have to say about that."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blog Hiatus

Let the blog hiatus commence!

We're camping this weekend.

This is going to be our first trip as a family since Niki was born. Hopefully it'll be an uneventful trip. :)

*Fingers crossed*

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Of all the times that my acid reflux could have possibly flared up, it HAD to be this evening.

Orientation went splendidly (I survived the first cut! They accepted my application, right?), but I was feeling sick to my stomach throughout the whole orientation. F*cking A I have the worst luck! I thought I would be okay (able to hide it), until they told us that we had to break up in groups.

Dun, dun, dun!

I was visibly green at the gills. So "green" that I had to tell the trainers that I was in the middle of a reflux flare up in between mini gasps and gags. Yep, can we say unprofessional? Needless to say I'm hoping my little "medical issue" doesn't hinder my ability to start the Fall training program. The organization can defer me to the Spring program at their discretion. Space is REALLY limited so keep your fingers crossed that I'll make the FINAL cut for the Fall.

Having an acid reflux attack during "first impression time" is not good.

On the upside, I'm now convinced that my attacks are stress/anxiety induced. I've been good about taking my medications so there really is no other explanation behind what the hell happened today. I haven't had a flare up since finals week! Maybe I'll get that endoscopy after all. I'm sick and tired of taking so many medications that CLEARLY don't work to combat the issue.

Nevertheless, I'm glad the "meet and greet" portion is over. Acid relflux and all, I walked away with a lot of information and met some pretty interesting people. I'm excited to get in there and get started already! Sex education something that I've been interested in since I was nineteen. It feels good to be thisclose to getting that goal accomplished after all these years. It's also nice to be able to talk/learn about sex in an environment that doesn't treat it as a taboo/perverted subject.

Can I get a woo-hoo for sex education?!

Monday, October 5, 2009

From X-Rays to X-Rated...

I went to school today, but not to begin the 2nd quarter. I went to school to submit my temporary withdrawal letter. Even though I'm going back next year (unless I strike the lotto), I'm still really sad that I had to leave. Quitting is not in my nature even when I have no choice in the matter. But hey, for every closed door a new one opens right? My radiography education has officially entered its hiatus. No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks! ;-)

Out with x-rays onto x-rated! (Ha, I swear I can't get enough of that phrase.)

My orientation for the Sex Educator training program is tomorrow night. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. What if I get there and I absolutely hate it? What if I have nothing in common with anyone? What if it's too sex-y for me? What if? What if? WHAT IF?!

Then what?

Argh, I despise entering uncharted territory! I'm sure everything will be fine, but I'm going to worry incessantly until I finally get there. That's just how I roll. Stay tuned 'cause I'm sure I'll have LOTS to write about after orientation tomorrow. :)

In the meantime, here's my "funny kid story" for the day.

Kevin and I were having fish (okay, it was Tilapia!) for dinner this evening when Boo decided to join us. Here is the conversation that followed:

Boo: Mama, is that fish alive?
Me: No, we can't eat it if it's alive.
Boo: How'd it died? Did you cooked it?
Me: Yes, it was cooked. (I was starting to visualize the fish being alive.)
Boo: So it's dead??? Did it swim?
Me: Yes, it's dead. (I was REALLY starting to get grossed out by this time.)
Boo: Oh. Wow, there's the mouth! It has teeth. Are all its friends still alive?
Me: I don't know Boo, just eat it.
Boo: Did you fried it? Oh yeah, it died! Look at the mouth Mama!
Me: Boo! Stop talking about the fish being alive!!

Boo did an excellent job reminding me that I was feasting on dead fish carcass. It didn't help when John pointed to the fish and told Anthony "that's Nemo" either. In the eyes of my four year old, our dinner used to LIVE, swim, and have friends! He clearly wasn't bothered by the idea of the fish being a living, breathing? creature. He asked me all of those questions as he happily munched on said fish! Anthony did such a good job at grossing me out that I *almost* wasn't able to finish my dinner. But, I love me some fish so I ate it up anyway.

Good night, folks!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Bank...

Kevin and I went to the bank after I picked him up from school yesterday. I made sure he used the restroom before we left his school, but after a long wait in line (right when we approached the counter) he announced to me that he had to use the bathroom, again.

Ah....six year olds, gotta love them. ;)

I'm a regular at the bank so I knew the teller and she was clearly amused. She saw how long we waited in line. Why oh why do kids have "perfect" timing?! In true Mommy fashion, I had no qualms about asking Kev whether he had to go Number 1 or Number 2 as I hurriedly did my bank transaction. Of course, Kevin proclaimed, "I gotta go poo."


I hate, hate, HATE taking my kids to use public restrooms! It just really grosses me out. I detest taking Kevin in particular because he is NOT germ-conscious. Kev likes to squish his tiny bottom as far into the seat as possible. So, the thin paper ass-gasket is ripped to shreds by the time he's finished situating himself on the seat.

"I won't get wet when the poop falls into the water."

This is the logic behind why he scoots so low into the seat. Nice, isn't it? Kev also refuses to hover over the seat because he might fall. Instead, he prefers to hold onto the sides of the seat where Lord-knows-what splashed, smeared, or connected onto it.

Ugh, so gross.

Alas, nature called and my KID was starting to fidget. By this time the whole damn bank knew he had to take a shit. Yet, he managed to ignore nature just enough so he could still dance around in front of the security cameras. (Yes, Kevin is an animated little guy.) I was really starting to think he'd break out into full song and dance. "I Gotta Go Poo: The Musical" was going to unfold right before my eyes, folks! The teller managed to quickly wrap up the transaction just as Kevin announced to me that he was "starting to sweat".

Kids are just brutally honest, aren't they?

Off to the bathroom we went so Kev could do his business. With a push, grunt, and a whole lot of hand washing, our trip to the bank was finally done.

These are the days when I miss changing his diapers.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Let the "Injury Fest" begin 'cause Niki's going to be crawling soon!

I just discovered that my baby girl can momentarily support her own weight on when she is her hands and knees. She bounces back and forth in an attempt to move. Lol! It's totally cute, but this also means that mobility is swiftly approaching folks!

I'm excited and terrified at the same time.

More movement = increased risk for injury. I'm really trying NOT to be a "helicopter parent", but I am moved to hover over her. I can't help it. Sometimes, I wish Niki would stay little forever. I don't want her to get hurt. I don't want her to bleed. I don't want her to grow up!

I vote that she stays a baby forever. ;-)

All joking aside, I've been looking forward to this day. She'll be 8 months old on the 16th. The time has come. Maybe we'll be lucky and she won't have joint bleeds at all. In the meantime, I've got knee pads, leg warmers, and cushy carpet waiting for her with "open arms".

I'm still thinking about the helmet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Things have been "no bueno" around my neck of the woods lately. Needless to say, I've been in a crappy mood since my last entry. However, my spirits have been recently uplifted so I felt that a blog entry was in order.

Onto the looong update...

After I finished my finals last week, things were actually starting to look "muy bueno". Finals were over and I did pretty damn good, Niki's gums were starting to get better, no more commute, then....early Friday morning Niki (you know, the one with the bleeding disorder?)....FELL. OFF. THE. BED!!!

(Insert your audible gasps here.)

Don't ask me how it happened, but it DID and it was NO BUENO. Thankfully, we have extra thick carpet and padding so the "Fall Heard 'Round the World" wasn't bad, but the guilt will last a lifetime.

(Not my guilt, but someone else's guilt. I just thought I would add that!) ;-)

I was multitasking milliseconds after the fall. I picked her up, looked for signs of injury, handed her to John, called Dr. Awesome's office (waited on hold), and started mixing Niki's factor! Things went quick, but they have to when these things happen. (The rule of thumb in the hemophilia community is "factor first, questions later". Always, always, ALWAYS, administer factor for potential bleeding.)

Niki had stopped crying less than one minute after the "Fall Heard 'Round the World" so she just sat there and watched me in my mini-panic while John held an cold pack on her head. She didn't have a bruise, scuff, or mark on her head or the rest of her body for that matter. She actually seemed just fine.

She was trying to eat the cold pack for crying out loud. The heffer. :)

But still..."factor first, questions later", right? Would you believe that I administered her factor in less than five minutes!? A new world record my friends! I finished right when the on-call Hematologist came on the line. The on-call doc told me to do exactly what I just finished. Give her factor? Check. Put a cold pack on her head? Check. Know the signs of major head injury/bleeding? Check.

We did all the right things and that felt damn good. Apparently, Niki is not the first hemophiliac to fall off of the bed. The on-call MD told me that they get calls for kids getting dropped on accident, falling down stairs, hitting their head, etc...etc...etc. She assured me that they get calls like ours "all the time". Bleeding disorder or not, falling/getting hurt will happen to all babies as they explore with their new found mobility. So, child protective services wasn't coming to take her away after all.

Haha...I kid, I kid!

The only precaution the Hematologist gave us was to watch for signs of a head bleed for a few days. Signs of a subdural hematoma can take time to develop. (Blood has to build up first.) Unfortunately (or fortunately?), our experience with Ethan has left us very familiar with symptoms associated with a head bleed. We saw that shit first hand, folks! Spontaneous and injury-related head bleeds present with the same symptoms. Naturally I was worried, but I had a feeling that she didn't even hit her head. I am happy to report that it has now been SIX days since the fall and Niki clearly didn't have a subdural. She's doing just fine. :)

Things were getting back to "muy bueno" until yesterday.

First, I was up all night yacking my brains out. I had a medical procedure scheduled in the afternoon (fun, fun, fun!) and the preparation did not sit well with my stomach. Second, on my way to clear Ethan's headstone, I got into a car accident with an unlicensed driver.

NO f*cking BUENO.

Thankfully, the accident happened right in front of the fire department. Woo-hoo for cute men in uniform! Even more fortunately, it totally was NOT my fault. Three DCPD (no cute cops...bummer) came because my neck and head got tweaked a little bit. Ha, one Officer even came Code 3 and DCFD was just tickled pink. Apparently, something screwy happened with dispatch so the PD thought the accident was more serious than it was. Despite all of the hoopla, I declined transport to the hospital. Honestly, I was embarrassed.

Two Asians in a car accident? Sooo stereotypical. ;-P

Besides, my neck is doing much better anyway. The firefighter that took my blood pressure (157/112!!!) was super hot, but I think I was just totally flustered by his cute face. What really hurts is the fact that my beloved "Petey the PT" is now at the dealership getting repairs. Oh the humanity! (Now, I'm driving a freaking Ford Fusion. Yuck.)

My neck was hurting, but the main reason I declined medical evaluation was because all I could think about was making it to the cemetery on time. I needed to clear Ethan's headstone before that groundskeepers did. The cemetery clears headstones and cuts the grass every Wednesday. If you don't take your items they toss them. I was late thanks to the accident. The bad news? Some of Ethan's stuff was thrown away (flowers, cones, small decorations, etc). No bueno. The good news? I was able to flag down the person who did the clearing. He informed me that he doesn't throw all of the "baby stuff" away. God bless this man! I suppose he feels bad for the little ones and isn't so heartless to throw toys and religious items away. Ethan's lions, angel sign, cross, and toy cars left by the boys were all safe. Muy bueno. :)

Now, by the time I got to my appointment, I was just freaking exhausted. My neck was still hurting. I was stressed from the accident and the slight mishap at the cemetery. I was hungry, nauseated, and exhausted from the exam preparation. Things were "no bueno" once again! The icing on the cake was the fact that I knew the support staff at my appointment. The doctor needed her assistant. So, a person that used to be a passing acquaintance got to know me very quickly. The good news? I'm perfectly fine. The bad news? My ego...not so much.

So there you have it folks. My long winded blog update is officially over. Of note, this entry was made possible by a life long of mine who helped carry me out of my funk!

So, if you're reading this, thank you. Thanks for being you. :)