Saturday 12/12/09 - Watched "Wicked" with my Stepmama. My sisters got her two tickets as a birthday gift and I was given the glorious opportunity to attend. Let me just say it was the most awesome time I've had in a loooong time! I seriously almost cried 'cause it was soooo good. Afterwards we went to Denny's (to wait for the rain to let up) and chatted about life. I think it was a much needed break for the both of us.
Sunday 12/13/09 - Church and family get-togethers filled up my day. We spent the evening at my mother's house decorating her Christmas tree.
Monday 12/14/09 - Niki had an appointment with Hematology. She weighed in at a whopping 21 lbs AND she's in the 95th percentile for height. Dr. Awesome increased her NovoSeven dose to 190mcg. I ended up being 1 hour late to work because her appointment was so long! Luckily, my co-worker is very understanding and patient. I also found out during the visit that Dr. Awesome is shooting to have Niki's port surgery in March. Unless something else comes up, of course. Otherwise, all was well for our littlest lioness. :)
Funny Kev Story of the Day: When he came home from school he asked me if he could grab a snack from the fridge. KID grabbed prosciutto, water crackers, and Parmesan artichoke spread to make what he called "mini cracker 'wiches" He's so fancy schmancy for such a wee little dude, huh? ;-)
Tuesday 12/15/09- Kev had a dental appointment for a baby root canal. Despite drinking lots of milk, brushing his fangs daily, and using fluoride toothpaste, our "Future King" (that's what he's been calling himself since he watched the Lion King) has been cursed with weak tooth enamel. However, my boy is a brave little cub so he took it like a man and didn't need a shot at all.
Wednesday 12/16/09 - Kevin's holiday performance was a success. He managed to memorize "Up on the Rooftop" just in time. His school had a food drive and Niki took a her first "Santa Pic" ever.
After the performance, Niki had an appointment with her regular Pediatrician "Dr. Sweetheart". Poor Niki never quite recovered from the Great Flu Fiasco of 2009. She had a residual cough for such a long time that a follow up appointment was in order. Dr. Sweetheart started Niki on a stronger strawberry-tasting oral antibiotic called Cefdinir 250mg/5ml @ 2.5mls daily (for what was supposed to be 10 days) to help knock out the rest of the ickiness that was left in Little Miss Diva. After the appointment, I had a holiday party at work and had the best time ever with my lovely co-workers.
Later on that day, Kevin came home from school with a card and ornament that he made in class. He drew a picture of our family with Ethan included. He told me that he drew me first because he "loved me the most".
And there you have it folks -- kids don't lie! (So there, John!) On the way home we had the funniest conversation in the car...
Kev: Mommy, where are you going tonight?
Me: Daddy and I are going out to run some errands. (We were going Christmas shopping.)
Kev: Are you guys going on a date?
Me: (amused) Do you even know what a date is?
Kev: Well, it can be a fruit.
Me: (laughing) How do you know that a date can be a fruit?
Kev: I read about it. (He said it so matter-of-fact like.)
Me: So are me and Daddy going on a fruit?!
Kev: No! Not THAT kind of date! Like you know, when you and Daddy go out to eat so you can talk about what you're going to buy for Christmas. (A hint of impatience was starting to creep in his tone.)
Me: Well, what do you think we talk about buying.
Kev: Oh, like how Daddy needs a new car and how you need new slippers.
Me: You're one perceptive little guy, Kev.
Lol! That boy one hell of a sponge. John ALWAYS talks about how he wants a new muscle car and I DO need new slippers. Our "Future King" is growing up! :)
Thursday 12/17/09 - Niki started her 1st day of oral antibiotics. All was well with the world again.
Friday 12/18/09 - I received a phone call from my MIL 15 minutes before my lunch hour was supposed to start. Apparently, Niki had a huge amount of blood in her poop. I had to ask my MIL to perform the arduous task of taking a picture of said poop from her iPhone so she could send it to me at work. So here it is.... (scroll down to see it)
Haha...sike! I'd NEVER do that to my Queen. Let's just say it was reaaaaally gross, okay?
The emotional scarring would be too great if I posted a pic of her poop for all the Internet to see.
Besides, girls don't go poo anyway! ;-)
Lol...all joking aside I had to call Dr. Awesome's office for instructions. This happened on a "No Factor Day" so I had to rush home and give her a dose. Then it was onto the waiting game! Niki goes poop maybe once a day so we basically had to watch out for any more bloody stool or blood oozing from her rectum.
Saturday 12/19/09 - Thankfully, the factor seemed to work! Her morning poop only had a bit of blood in it. She was still on the oral antibiotics so her cough starting to get better. ;-)
Sunday 12/20/09 - Niki's morning poop was completely free of any signs of blood. Later on that day we attended my very good friend's son's 3rd birthday! He's such a handsome little guy. :) We couldn't stay long because I had to go out to dinner with some more good friends in Vallejo. Nevertheless, it was fun even though we couldn't hang out. Dinner with my other set of friends was a blast! We ate at Matsuri in Vallejo and the food was damn good. Being the lightweight that I am, I somehow managed to get tipsy from two measly sake bombs.
(Or the sensation could have simply been heightened because I didn't have my glasses on...who knows?!)
It's really a shame that I have these pesky "idiopathic allergies" otherwise I would have totally partaken in the most delicious sushi I've ever laid eyes on. There was this nacho-thing that I was dying to try in my doubled-visioned drunken stupor. Alas, I had to stick with my usual California rolls and bento box. But still...fun times! Nothing like sex talk, sake, and good eats to lift up the spirits.
The most interesting fact I learned that evening? Semen smells like persimmon -- or vice versa. Go figure, eh? Lol!
Monday 12/21/09 - I got a call from my MIL shortly after I started my shift. Apparently, Niki had a huge lump/knot left on the side of her head. My MIL had no idea how it got there, but it was definitely there. I called Dr. Awesome's office and she recommended that Niki come in for an evaluation by Dr. Sweetheart since her office is closer to our house. John had to go home (since I already had to leave work last week for the bloody poop situation) so he could draw a circle around the lump to monitor its growth. He also gave Niki her factor dose before he had to rush back to work in SF. I went home on my lunch hour to take a gander at the lump. It wasn't pretty (maybe about a little larger than a quarter), but at least it wasn't severely bruised or totally "camel-like" in size .
John took Niki to the appointment two floors down from my department. Dr. Sweetheart confirmed that Niki had a hematoma (which wouldn't have been possible unless she hit her head somehow), but she was otherwise okay. As always, we were asked to watch for signs of neurological deterioration in the next few days. Thankfully, none ever surfaced.
Later that night I found out that some pretty heartbreaking things were being said about Niki. Perhaps the comments weren't meant to be mean-spirited, but they were hurtful nonetheless. I just wish people would stop treating Niki (or speaking about her) was if she weren't good enough or "second rate" just because her blood is missing one factor. Lord knows He chose her to have FVII-def for a reason and personally, I cherish this very unique aspect about her. She and Ethan are the same and any disrespect for her or her condition is viewed in MY EYES as disrespect for my son. I'm hoping everyone else can have MY perception someday. :)
Tuesday 12/22/09 - The blood came back. Niki didn't have blood in her poop the day before, but she sure as hell had some today! My MIL called me to report that she took a huge magenta-colored poop right before my lunch hour. I swear that girl's bowel movements are like clockwork.
So what did I do?
Naturally, I called Dr. Awesome's office for instructions. Dr. Awesome decided that the Cefdanir (the oral antibiotics that Dr. Sweetheart gave Niki to get rid of her cough) was causing the GI bleeding. So, she asked me to discontinue the medication to see if the bloody stools would persist. This was the 6th day that she had the Cefdanir so we had to cut the 10 day course short and hope for the best. The poop also happened on yet another "No Factor Day" (do you see a pattern here?) so I also had to go home from work AGAIN to give Niki her NovoSeven. The waiting game commenced.
It appears that Cefdanir was indeed causing the bloody stools because she hasn't had any bleeds since then. Now do you see why I call her Dr. Awesome?!
Niki is such a trooper though. You would've never guessed what her little body was going through by looking at her. She had to take studio portraits with her cousins (for gifts) later that night. She's a Mama's girl by nature so she cried the whole time, but the pics didn't turn out too bad.
Wednesday 12/23/09 - Her morning poop was *almost* completely blood free -- THANK GOD! I didn't feel 100% comfortable leaving her for the day, but I had no choice other than to go to work. (Gotta preserve that good medical insurance!) She was doing okay in the poop department, but her cough came back so that was a major set back.
I hate it when she's sick!!
Just to be sure I decided to stay home from a would-be dinner date with more good friends.I felt terrible about being such a flaker, but I would have felt even more awful if something happened while I was out having fun. The kids were in desperate need for fresh air (they were cooped up in the house all day) so John and I took them for a short drive to Chestnut Estates so they could see the Christmas lights. The boys were thrilled and Niki even seemed to be in better spirits when we got home.
"Thrillest" - She fell alseep in my arms while the boys gawked at the houses.
Our favorite house!
All better, see?
Thursday 12/24/09 Christmas Eve Day - Despite appearing to be tons better after our short car ride, Niki ended up being and cranky all night! At 5:17am she felt a really warm so I took her axillary temperature and it was 101.4! I waited an hour and took it again and it was 101.7! Grrreat.
As you may remember, she CANNOT have any fever-reducing medications. Since she surpassed the 101.5 temperature cut-off, I had to page the on-call Hematologist. The doctor told us to get ready for another trip to the ER.
John got Niki ready while I debated about what I was going to do about work. I couldn't call off (it was too late) and I knew we were VERY short staffed. Aside from that, I already missed so much work from the bloody poop fiasco the week prior. Unfortunately, I had to make the tough decision to go to work. John had to take Niki to the ER in San Francisco all by himself. Thankfully, my co-worker (who has also happened to evolve into a very good friend & confidant over the years) was super helpful when I got to work. She knew how stressed out I was from not being able to be with Niki.
I just felt so f*cking helpless!!! Even more so when John told me about the all errors the ED kept making their assessment--they always ignore the protocol card!!!
But I digress...my co-worker/friend G is the best. She helped me facilitate means to me to get the hell out of work. I started at 8:15am and she & our covering manager somehow managed to get me out of there by 9:15am! I broke all speed laws to make to Kaiser SF in record time. Niki was discharged a little over an hour later. They drew blood cultures, but the results were most likely compromised since she JUST got off the Cefdanir the day before. There were a few Broviac nursing flubs, but nothing too major. Niki got her infusion of Ceftriaxone (super strong antibiotics in case her line was infected) so I was relieved. I was absolutely delirious from lack of sleep and went home for some much needed sleep after the ER fiasco. The MD asked that we take Niki back to the ER on Christmas morning for another Ceftriaxone infusion to keep her line free of infection.
This is what we'll have to do EVERY TIME she gets a fever above 101.5 -- ER evaluation and infusions await us for years to come! Fun, huh?
Moving on...Niki and I got LOTS of sleep after the ER. We woke up mid afternoon feeling refreshed. I thought we were going to miss the entire slew of our holiday traditions thanks to her ER visit a few hours prior. However, by the Grace of God, Niki was fever free and in better spirits just in time. We got ready and made our annual holiday trek to Alameda for John's Dad's side, Daly City for John's mom's side, Midnight Mass at St. Dominic's in San Francisco, and back to Daly City for my mom's house. Despite the trip to the ER, Niki and the boys had the BEST Christmas Eve ever!
I thought of Ethan all night long and couldn't wait to see him the next day. He should be in this picture.
Christmas Day 2009 - The entire den slept in after the evening's extended events. Niki and I woke up first so we could spend our Christmas morning in the ER at Kaiser San Francisco. (She needed to have her 2nd round of Ceftriaxone.) This wasn't quite what I had in mind for my Queen's 1st Christmas morning, but Niki didn't seem to care. John stayed home so he could do the Christmas morning-thing with the boys. He got to keep the DVD recorder so he could record the boy cubs opening gifts while I took my trusty, but bulky Canon to the ER. Niki had a mini photo shoot in the ER while we waited for her infusion to be over.
Watching the clock...
Niki felt like a million bucks after that second infusion because she was in the BEST mood when we drove to Vallejo for my Dad's get-together. "Santa" (ahem...Mommy!) gave Kevin and Anthony hand-crafted airplanes (a la Target) for being good boys all year long. Niki opened her Christmas gifts when we came home that night.
Saturday 12/26/09 - John and I took the Christmas money that Niki collected and purchased a new car seat. :) She's a big girl so it was time to switch to a forward-facing seat. This is not as easy as it sounds since John and I have differing opinions on every huge purchase we make. We looked for the most padded-long-lasting-SAFEST-car seat for her to ride in, but I'm a spend-thrift while he tends to be more....frivolous. However, her Daddy had his heart set on getting her a Recaro car seat and when he wants something, he gets it. She got a car seat and goodies from Tiffany.
He dressed her up...
Waiting for her gift from Daddy...
Of note: I didn't get sh*t for Christmas!
Sunday 12/27/09 - We spent the day resting up from the long weekend. We didn't even bother to clean up all the Christmas gifts the kids accumulated. I literally spent ALL day planning Niki's party...searching for vendors, looking at venues, and brainstorming. I even made a mock up of her invitation.
Monday 12/28/09 - Back to the grind! After I got home from work I FINALLY mustered up enough energy to organize all of the Christmas gifts and look though the kids clothes for outgrown items for donation. It feels good to have a freshly organized closet. :)
Which brings me to today....I finally had the time to update this dang blog. Aside from being better about taking my medications, being more "overall positive", and increasing my self-study habits, my final New Years Resolution is to be better about updating this blog more frequently!
We'll just have to see if I can adhere to ALL of my resolutions, won't we?
'Til then...HAPPY NEW YEAR!