gettin’ a little stinky in here

By Moriah on May 28th, 2014

This marks the 8th day of no hot water in our house.

Last Tuesday my brother had stopped by to hang out for a bit, and we kept hearing this beepy noise.  But I couldn’t tell where it was coming from… it was the weirdest thing.  Finally we realized it was coming from the basement!  The alarm unit over the water heater was chirping “warning! carbon monoxide! warning! carbon monoxide!”  I’m super thankful Micah was there and knew how to turn the gas and everything off.

Basically the venting system on a gas heater is supposed to be vertical; we discovered ours was horizontal (have I mentioned we live in an old house?).  The first plumber that came to check it said the vent was probably full of soot, which had filled up over the years making it so the unit couldn’t ‘breathe,’ and then the pilot had lit itself on fire.  A little scary.

I have to admit that the first three days (Adelaide also started running a random fever over the weekend and we had to take her back to the ER for more tests, none of which were positive for anything, most likely viral) I was really struggling with despair and anger.  We have a home warranty plan for home systems and initially they denied the water heater claim.  Those were some very low moments.

On Friday a friend shared some of her family’s struggles with me and it really helped pull my thoughts off of my own problems and get some perspective.  I knew we were heading into a long holiday weekend and the water heater situation was not going to be fixed any time soon.  I knew I just had to get over the nuisance that surrounds a lack of hot {sanitizing} water in a household and move on and make due.  I pulled out my year-reading plan and spent some time in the Word and in prayer and seriously guys, Jesus’s peace surpasses any circumstance.  I have thought over and over and over through this process that I just know one of the lessons for me in this has been that too often I let my circumstances determine my attitude and my happiness, and I allow them to take away my joy.

I’m still waiting for hot water and that is ok.  I feel like we’ve been camping, boiling water and just generally overlooking the dirt and the pool hair.  I’m so very thankful that we are in the summer season and we have a pool we can live at use.  Drew and Madeline are on the swim team and I’ve already given up on her straw hair.  I’ve washed my own hair twice in cold water, which as it turns out doesn’t really get rid of the grease (who knew?).  Of course I have sweet neighbors that would let us come over in a heartbeat, but we’re talking a 3 minute process vs. a 35 minute process and sometimes I would rather just grit my teeth.



one little peanut

By Moriah on May 12th, 2014

This is one for the history books. And for those friends-afar who aren’t on facebook :)

A couple of weeks ago, our Adelaide-girl got pretty sick. We had dyed Easter eggs with friends that had fever, so when she turned up sick a couple days later, naturally I assumed it was viral and we just had to wait it out. She missed school Thursday and Friday of that week, perked up a little Saturday afternoon, but then took a nosedive and stayed pretty puny on the couch after that.

The following Monday we were in a direct line of the tornadoes that threatened this part of the country. My anxiety switched from Adelaide to the storms, and we did get actual warning alerts on our phones. Not fun. We pulled the kids out of bed and slept several hours in our cellar-basement, in a tent. At that point I still thought Adelaide had something nasty like the real flu and wasn’t loving the fact that she was breathing all over us in those too-close quarters.

Monday Andy and I prayed for her, asking specifically that the Lord would show us what to do. He took the other kids to school on Tuesday and then when I woke up shared that he was really worried about her. We called her pediatrician and were able take her right in. She asked him a million questions, listened to Adelaide breathe, and said she definitely had pneumonia in her right lung. The nurse walked in then with a positive strep test.

She never once had a sore throat, no trouble swallowing, nothing to indicate strep. It was really weird. She had told us that her “bone” (rib) hurt when she breathed, but that could easily have been from coughing or any number of things. Anyway, her pediatrician gave us a strong antibiotic and said we should notice a dramatic improvement within about 24 hours.

Which brings us to Wednesday night and her 4th dose, which she threw up. I walked around the corner from the kitchen and saw her bright red face and felt her head – super hot. I panicked a little trying to locate the thermometer, finally found it and it read 104.4 – and this was on meds! We decided to take her in, better at 9pm than 2am when we were freaking. out.

We decided Andy should be the one to navigate the ER. I stayed home and put the kids to bed and then waited by my phone. Around midnight he texted me that they were admitting her. There was “quite a lot of fluid” in her right lung according the x-ray. Question answered for the rib pain. I knew she was in good hands and went to sleep.

Thursday morning Andy called with an update of the night. He should have prefaced it with “are you sitting down?” because basically once they got her on the floor, those doctors said they needed to consult with the surgery team. (Surgery?! We had thought we were gonna be doing IV antibiotics in the ER and sent home!)

One of the docs asked Andy “have you SEEN the x-ray? It’s impressive.” Apparently not in a good way. And then the surgeon came, paced around her room a minute, pointed at her and said “ok she’s okay, right? Like she’s breathing mostly okay?” Andy nods. “Well according to this x-ray she should not be able to breathe, she should be coughing her brains out.”

Like, literally drowning in fluid. He had three theories about what was going on but needed a CT scan to verify. So they wheeled her down to CT at 4am (which the nurse on the way says to Andy, ‘I can’t believe they are doing a scan in the middle of the night! They usually wait ’till morning!’ Andy’s thinking ‘oh great! Lord, are you taking her home early? should I be preparing myself???’)

The CT scan confirmed what the sergeon had guessed, that the matter was solid (empyema). Basically it’s text-book common for strep-based pneumonia to solidify a “peel” over the pockets of fluid/pus. Gross, I know. So they knew they had to do surgery to remove it because antibiotics would never be able to break that down. And while this is a known complication of this type of pneumonia, they never see it. He consulted with his boss and checked several case studies about the best way to go in and remove it. They ended up making three incisions on her right side and going in with a laparoscopic camera, scraped out her lung and then inserted a chest tube to drain the fluid. She got out of surgery Thursday around 5pm. She had been asking us all day “WHEN IS IT TIME FOR WATER?” poor girl was so parched with the ‘nothing by mouth’ rule pre-surgery so she slurped a few juices and popsicles when she got out (still totally drugged, kinda funny).

There were a couple other minor issues that popped up… like not going potty after being pumped with like 4 bags of fluid and all that juice. The doc said if she hadn’t gone by midnight they might have to start poking around to see what was going on. Her bladder ultrasound wasn’t showing much liquid, they were worried that her kidneys were holding on to it. She ended up going later, which just shows the extreme dehydration her body had suffered from the illness.

The chest tube stayed in until Monday. She was on constant pain meds for that (SUPER cranky if we failed to keep on top of them, they are very painful and uncomfortable) and her last IV dose of antibiotics was late Tuesday night. We got discharged Wednesday afternoon and she is still on oral antibiotics. After she finishes those we go back for a follow-up x-ray and more blood work, probably on Thursday.

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HATING bubbles with Auntie Erin, super painful at first, but doctor’s orders.

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We had a pretty constant stream of visitors, which we were so grateful for. Thank you to all the people that loved on us with food, coffee, DVDs for Adelaide, and showering her with cards and gifts.

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Our children’s hospital is amazing. We always have good experiences there. On Tuesday the Child Life program arranged for a drummer to come play music with her, and had percussion instruments that she could play from her hospital bed. And then later an artist came and let her paint. She LOVED.

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Thanking God for keeping our little one safe, for preparing the way for her treatment and care, and for continuing to heal her.

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