Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's been too long since I posted a Thankful Thursday and I have so much to be thankful for. I cannot say enough how thankful I am for Dr. Chamberlain and all the nurses and staff at the hospital. Both hospitals. I am thankful for the incredible people in my ward that have come to my aide and even brought me Diet Coke and cookies to help me out of my slump. I am so thankful family and for their unconditional love and support. Always. No matter what.

Today I was reading my friends blog about her son and the trails they are going through. Her son has had on going problems for about 3 years. They've done millions of test and haven't come to a conclusion of why his health is so terribly bad. Well, after giving up on all Utah Dr.'s they heard of a specialist in Cincinnati that works with HLH. HLH is a life-threatening immunodeficiency. It is white blood cells that basically form in your bone marrow and travel through you body to fight off diseases and stops in one place, healthy tissue, and then starts to kills it. He's had numerous liver and kidney problems. They have had to fight it off with Chemo and do a Bone Marrow transplant. The poor boy is Josh's age. He just turned 12 two weeks ago. His story is amazing and though it is awful that he has to go through this huge trail, reading his blog has made me very thankful that all my kids had was meningitis.

Our prayers go out to him and his family as he fights the long road back to recovery. If you want to read about it you can go to

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Same Disease Different Child

I know the Lord gives us trial so we can learn from them I just wonder what I missed the first time around that would cause this to happen to another child of mine. I would love input from everyone who reads this so that I can learn everything I can in hopes that I can save our family from more heart ache.

Ben came home from the first day of school and said that he didn't feel good. His head hurt and so did his stomach. Well, I figured he was nervous because this year he has 2 teachers and he is the kind of kid who clings onto 1. So I told him that everything would be ok and Facebooked his teacher from last year to see if she could tell me anything about his teachers. She assured that they were great and that he'd love the class. So I sent him to school the next day. Same thing. This time he had a worse headache. So I gave him a Tylenol. It seemed to help and when he went to bed he still had it. Wednesday morning he went to school feeling fine but came home crying. I gave him 2 Tylenols and had him lay down. They didn't even touch his headache. At quarter to 6 I had to go over to the school to do Back to School night with the PTA because I told them I'd do the membership drive. I gave him a dose of childrens liquid tylenol and told him that his Dad would be home in a half an hour, left him in Sophie's care and took my cell phone so they could call me if it got worse. Well, Joel and I had a co-ed softball game at 7:30 and when I got there Ben was there with Joel and he said he was doing better. Everything went well until 2 in the morning when he started throwing up. Up until then I was just hoping it was something else. ANYTHING else. Shayne threw up so much that her stomach muscles hurt for a week. Right then I knew. So I stayed up with him and when his stomach settled down I tried to give him some Tylenol for the headache and he threw it up.
Shayne's meningitis was viral and there was nothing they could do in the hospital except hydrate her and give her morphine. Shayne was so dehydrated that it took 11 bags of fluid to rehydrate her. Ben wasn't that bad yet and my mind raced on weather or not to take him to the ER. He wasn't near as bad as Shayne and her bill came to $9,000. We do not have medical insurance. I called Andy to come help Joel give him a blessing around 7am and he was here in a matter of minutes. Thank You Andy. As the morning rolled around I got everyone off to school, Joel went to work and I called JoEllen to see if she could pick David up at the ER if I needed her to. Of course she said yes and I went to pray. I told Heavenly Father that Ben needed some rest and that I was going to give him a Lortab to hopefully help this happen and that if he threw it up then I would know to take him to the hospital. So I gave it to him and it stayed down for about a half an hour which would be enough time for it to start to work but then he threw up. So, I got all ready to go and Ben had fallen asleep. Finally. So I didn't know what to do. He was getting some rest but he did throw up. So I waited. David and I went into my room to watch a movie so we wouldn't wake him up and we fell asleep. When Ben woke up I found that Joel was asleep on the bed with us. Ben had the worse headache yet so we left. I called JoEllen on the way and she pulled up right as we did.

The nurse in the Er thought that we were one of "those" kind of parents that think that just because one kid had it now every kid has it. I wanted to ring her neck. Especially when the spinal tap came back positive. The Dr. was really nice and didn't even think twice about doing it. Although he didn't let me stay and help like the last Dr did. This one made us leave and wait out in the waiting room. Joel was, of course, fine with that but I was a little mad to have to leave Ben. But they put him completely out so he wouldn't have needed me anyway.

While we were waiting for results Michael brought us Cafe Rio. Thanks so much Dad! I hadn't even noticed that I hadn't taken my medication that morning or eaten anything so I really needed some good food. After they found out that it was indeed meningitis they had a shuttle come pick him up and move him to the other hospital to the Pediatric Unit. That was new for us.

Joel went with him and I ran to Target to buy him a Teddy Bear. This kid LOVES bears. Then I joined them in his room. It was an isolated room like Shayne's but they didn't make everyone wear the smock and gloves, just the mask. By that time it was around 6pm. Everything went well after that. They gave him some good pain killers and had him all hooked up to everything. Joel stayed around for awhile then went back home to check on things and to get a change of clothes for me and Ben and my medication. Jan had brought dinner for the kids. Thanks Jan. I am truly blessed to have such great family members live so close. Joel came back around 9 with Josh. They stayed for an hour and then we went to sleep.

The nurses were great. They told Ben the next day that if he ate a good breakfast then they would let him play the Wii. He was excited for that. Although he told me he was afraid to eat because he didn't want to throw up again. He ate a little and she brought in this portable machine that had 2 sets of controllers and 20 games preloaded into it. It was AWESOME! He loved that it was mostly new games that he didn't have and that he didn't have to share. He played for about 3 hours straight. JoEllen came over to see how we were doing and brought her ipad for me to use. Which was great because I don't play the wii very well and I was sick of reading. Thanks JoEllen. Ben played until the nurses came back into give him more medicine and then he relaxed, watched TV and ate lunch. Elaine brought us a subway sandwich and some cantaloupe which was delicious. Thanks Mom. Around 3 he was up for games again and Kyson, Kobe and Zack all came to visit. They took turns playing the Wii with him. He loved it.

Then Shayne came and brought my kids and Madi. It was a party. Ben loved every second of it. Everyone took turns playing against him. When they all left around 5 the nurse came back in to give him another round of antibiotics and he finally slowed down enough to feel that he had over done it. So more pain meds and that night he slept so hard he snored. The night before he was up every hour and a half to use the bathroom (the IV was turned up to high) and then it took a half an hour to get back to sleep so neither of us got much sleep. The next morning Dr. Chamberlain came back to check on the labs and told us that the results to see if it is Viral or Bacterial were not back yet but that because Ben was given a 3rd round of antibiotic at 4:30am, while he was still sleep, that it would cover him for 24 hours and they would have the results within 11 or 12 hours and if it was bacterial then he would be covered until they could get him on a prescription antibiotic. So we were released around 11. We are home and he still has to miss school for the next week to let his body recover.

I went and bought him a new Wii game and he will be fine. I just don't know what lesson I was supposed to learn that I missed. I am extremely grateful to my family and neighbors who helped me out. Especially Kyson, Kobe and Zack who cheered Ben up by coming to visit. Grateful for my health and try to stay healthy. So incredibly grateful for Howard (Dr. Chamberlain) and his knowledge and friendship that I've been blessed with for around 17 years. Love my kids and Joel so much that I cry each time I even think about how blessed I am to have them.

I just feel like I missed something. If you have any ideas please let me know. I know that I am suppressing emotions this time around. I still haven't gotten over this happening to Shayne and I've decided to just not show any feelings at all otherwise I would fall apart and that wouldn't be good for anyone. So, if I seem cold for awhile when I talk about this it's because I feel I have to for now. It would probably be better if I just didn't talk about it. I can't let myself cry or I won't stop. I will however double up on my antidepressants and go on. Thank you all for all you do and have done for my family. Your friendship and love. I am eternally grateful.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of the Last Year

Back to School!!! Today was Shayne's first day of her last year. I've been dreading this day for 18 years. Her Student Body Pres. told them they had to wear their Student Council t-shirt the first day of school. Shayne was not happy. Why buy cute back to school clothes if you can't wear them the first day? So she wore her super high hot pink heels with hot pink ear rings. It was awesome! All of her guy friends were surprised. Shayne is known for always having the coolest lunchbox. This year is a holographic Mario Kart. It rocks! She said it was a great first day.

Sophie started at Pine View Middle (8th) and also had a great day. She found all of her classes and all her friends.

Josh started at Fossil Ridge Intermediate (6th) and didn't get lost. That school is huge and his classes are so far away from each other. They don't have lockers and only have 3 minutes between classes. He'll have a great time once he gets use to it. He and Alex ride the bus together and are each others support group. They even bought the same shoes without knowing. They call them their Pine View Shoes because of the colors. It was funny.

Ben is in 2nd grade at Washington Elementary. He has 2 teachers. Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Baker. When he told me who he had I though it was one person: Woodenbaker. One teaches in the morning and the other in the sfternoon. They've been tag team teaching for a couple years now and are fabulous.

David is in Kindergarten and has Mrs. Shelley. She is the head Kindergarten teacher and is amazing. It'll be a great year!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This was the last time we could go before school starts. My kids and I and Zack, Madi and Enrique all went down to the river to go skimboarding.

It was Enrique's first time and he did a good job and gave it his best try. David did surprisingly well. I guess that's what happens when you have no fear. He had a hard time throwing it because it weighed as much as he did. But, he could jump on and ride it further than the older kids.

It was fun to watch. I'm more of a picture taker of activities than an actual doer. Skimboarding is fun but it always turns into a mud fight and then a trip down stream to the waterfall. I think this was Ben and David's first time under and through it.

We met up with Nick who had almost cut his finger off at work the day before so we didn't think he'd come. They all had a great time relaxing in the river.

It was a lot of fun and a good way to ring in the new school year. Tomorrow we start. My heart is both happy and sad. Happy for David and Sad for Shayne. For some reason I can't even think about this being Shayne's last year without crying. In fact, ever since her stay in the hospital I've struggled with holding back tears when I think of her at all. She is an amazing person with a huge future ahead of her to do whatever she wants. I think I'm mostly scared of what is in store for her. The trials of this swim season mostly. I just want her to be happy and I know she will. She is always so upbeat and brings everyone else up. She is on Exec Council this year and has already enjoyed it with all the prep to get ready for school to start. This school years blogs will be with a happy but heavy heart knowing it'll be her last. I can see that this blog took a different turn than started. I guess I'd better make the most of what time I have left with Shayne. Cherish your kids because they grow up and leave you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pine Valley Fun

Summer's just not summer without a trip to the Wells cabin and a ride on the lawnmower with uncle Kyle.

Feeding the deer


And lounging around.

This year David met Jack. 2 peas in a pod. From the back you can't tell who's who.

By the end the day they were new besties! So cute!

Pioneer Day!

Well the 24th of July has always held a place in my heart. When I was little my Dad used to bring us up to watch the parade in Salt Lake because either Jan was in it or he would have to drive the Miss Lehi float. We always loved it. Two times stand out the most in my mind:
#1 One time we were in Pioneer Park having breakfast(cherrios)and a homeless man came up and asked for food. My dad wasn't with us because he was already in line in the parade and my mom was brave and gracious and gave him all our left overs. It was scary and fun at the same time.
#2 Was 15 years later when two return missionaries, Mike Johnson and a certain gorgeous Joel Beckstrand, came to the parade with our family. I am pretty sure that was also the first day we held hands. :)
20 years ago I had my first Pioneer Day breakfast in the Vernon Worthen Park in St. George. The St. George East Stake always puts on a huge free pancake, ham and eggs breakfast. So that became our first tradition as a married couple.
Now that I am in Washington I have a another tradition. Our Stake (Washington Utah) always has a parade and carnival for the entire city. It was weird when I first heard that it was just our stake doing it but come to find out that it is a huge fund raiser and the kids love it and look forward to it every year.
When I was growing up in Lehi we would always have floats in our parades. Real floats. With pompoms, glitter, foam, floral sheeting, fringe, plastic paper and all the bells and whistles. So I was surprised when I saw Washington's idea of a float. A flat bed with kids in some costume just sitting. Maybe a prop or two and there would always be a sign so you would know what the heck they were supposed to be. Well, needless to say at first I was surprised that their would be a place would think that was ok. But I have come to learn that it's not about the looks. It's all about the kids just being in it. So, I now hold this po-dunk parade in a special place in my heart.
Our ward had a trailer pulled by a truck that was papered to look like a boat and it was by far the most "float" like I've seen in our little parade. My boys were on the trailer holding fishing poles and our sign said, "Hooked on our Heritage. Fishing for our Ancestors." It was darling. The Primary Presidency was dressed up and they all had gummy worms tied to the end of every pole. Josh rode his unicycle while holding his fishing rod. It was impressive.

This year Jan's ward primary did a Kazoo Band. It was awesome! She bought a whole bunch of nice kazoo's and led them with pride marching down the parade route in 100 degree weather. They played "pioneer children" which ended up sounding like a mass of mad bees. It was awesome!

After the parade we all went down to the carnival. Our Youth were in charge of the face painting booth. Sophie had a great time and they were busy from 10am to 2pm. Jan and I took the boys around to play some games and win some prizes. They did a little golf game, football throw, ring toss and participated in the races. It was a lot of fun but 112 degrees by noon. Jan left and took the boys home and I went over to help out with the face painting.

Later that evening for dinner we got KFC and went to the Hidden Valley Splash Park. The boys had more fun running through the sprinklers. It was a long but fun day!