Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's 5:00 somewhere.

Where did the time go this week? Between the pool, Safety Town, and Vacation Bible School, I'm not sure where the kids found time to make a mess. So where did the time go? Hmm...maybe it's hiding under the couch with everything else from the playroom.

At least I found out how they were "cleaning" so fast earlier in the week. I'm terrified of what's waiting for me under their beds. At least we don't use sippy cups anymore...nothing sucks more than a forgotten milk cup that has turned to cottage cheese. (Well, to be fair, cancer sucks more.)

Friday was graduation from Safety Town. I'm not sure how quickly Natalie will be able to work in an emergency since all of her information comes in song-form, but if I'm on fire and need reminding to stop, drop, and roll, at least I'll be mildly entertained while I wait for her to get to the chorus.

Friday was also worth mentioning since Eve had her end-of-treatment CT scan. She had a 10:00 a.m. appointment, which is 12:48 p.m. in Duke-time. My friend Melissa put it best when she said our children could bring down small governments while NPO. Maybe that's what happened to eastern Europe in the early 90s- someone forgot to feed the preschoolers. Mass chaos ensued. New maps printed. Republic of Downstairs Eve; formerly Durham, NC.

Eve was actually not bad, all things considered. Peds radiology was so packed, we ended up going to an echo room while we waited for sedation. After nine months of being asked Eve's birth date three times a visit, they finally messed it up. I don't know who was born April 11, but I'm willing to bet she was just as hungry as Eve. New bracelet, please! Thanks, correct birthday. But this isn't her patient number. Believe me, I have this number memorized. I even sing it in my head like Jean Valjean, although once I must have sang it out loud judging by the looks in the waiting room. No time for autographs, people, I've gotta get my kid knocked out before she asks for anymore food!

Eve's sedation notes fell out of her chart, and I read through them to pass the time between the I'm hungries and the I want to go homes. It was interesting to see not only the amount of times Eve has been sedated, but also the adjectives used to describe her. Most nurses described her as "pleasant" and "alert" in their notes. And then there was the nurse (who I could tell didn't care for us) that used my personal favorite: "angry combative." Twice. On the front side of one 3x5" index card. But I do think "angry combative" would make an awesome t-shirt.

1) Print up t-shirts.
2) ...
3) Profit!

The nice thing about being at a childrens hospital is that most people will not ask you how old your son (who is your daughter) is. A good deal of kids coming in there have lost their hair. It's like getting burned the first time you ask a woman how far along she is only to find out she's not even close to being pregnant. When in doubt, don't ask. If you think it's weird that I have dressed my son in a tutu and ballet slippers, then maybe just don't say anything.

I liked that one of the nurses said Eve looked like Mia Farrow. The only short-haired woman I could come up with besides Ellen Degeneres was that sour looking judge who can't open her eyes fully from So You Think You Can Dance who is always telling everyone to dance organically. I'll take Mia Farrow any day of the week.

Ketamine was the drug of choice for sedation. There's nothing like putting your two-year-old into a K-hole. I do like how much happier she wakes up after taking it than with the other drugs, even if she is hallucinating. And, in my opinion, it's important to use the word "taking" instead of "using" in this situation.

Preliminary radiology report shows nothing growing where it shouldn't. And there was also no sign of my keys, so I guess I'll check under the couch again.

This morning, we celebrated Father's Day by making a massive run to Bojangles. It's shocking how much fried breakfast food you can get with a $20 bill. There should really be a $10 order limit there if they want their customers to remain loyal and not have the word "Bojangles" listed under cause of death on the certificate.

A few hours later, I packed up the kids and headed up to my parents' house in Maryland. My first stop was at the Taco Bell in Nashville, NC. (And yes, that is two visits to fast-food establishments in one day. What can I say? My cholesterol was getting low.) I always make a point to stop at this particular Taco Bell because it is home to the most amazing petting zoo.

You are not mistaken.

That IS a giant plastic frog next to the dog. Now the only real dilemma I find myself in each time is: what to pet first? The plastic horse, plastic sheep, plastic dog, or giant plastic frog? There's not usually a line. I guess we could pet each one if we really wanted to.

Over the Potomac River bridge into Maryland, I spot my favorite speed limit sign, spot-on sassy. 55 MEANS 55, yo!

But what else does Southern Maryland mean?

It means that when you open up the booklet titled, "My Child Has Wilms Tumor. What Now?" and your first answer rhymes with "Oh thit!", you might appreciate living in the land of Sunday sales.


  1. EEK! You are here! Can't wait to see you all this weekend. Also, sooo glad to hear that the preliminary scan shows that everything looks good.

    PS - I never realized you passed that many liquor stores driving up 301. HaHa.

  2. Amber, these were only the stores I could get a good picture of. There are about 8 more that I pass before I get to my parents house. And then there are all the ones OFF the highway!

  3. Open on Sunday??? I think I need to be a boot-legger. Good news on the scans. Another step to normality. :)

  4. I love your NPO comments. People just don't grasp this until they've done it. Julia's first experience in CT the sedation worked easily, but the outcome was clearly "angry combative". She fought, yelled, bit screamed, kicked for about 5 hours. So many people looked at us like we were crazy. She was an admit then and no one had any answers or helpful advice aside from try to prevent her from giving herself a concussion or requiring stitches- "got it" as I wrestle the hallucinating cougar! Lesson learned? We only use propofol with a clonidine appetizer from here on out.

    Those 9 days of sedated radiation and 16 hours a day of NPO were pure hell. The nurses used to come out and give her pre drug drugs just to prevent us from being a liability. The worst was having to be NPO myself because where do you put an angry toddler while you sneak a snack and drink in the closet? The worst was toward the end when I took advil on an empty stomach and blacked out while driving home and passed out on the side of the interstate. My kids are still telling this story. The sick humor of cancer :)

    We definitely need some t-shirts!