Now more than ever do I want to take time out to be grateful. I made these pages for my Simple Stories blog post before the events of the past few days, but it's a great reminder that we are are truly blessed in so many ways, and I need to focus on the positives, and not the negatives.
My daughter is now in good hands and improving. I can not thank people enough for their thoughtful emails and comments. You really have no idea how much hearing the support and suggestions helped. I will try to reply to each of you individually to thank you. The idea of finding a patient advocate got me heading in the right direction, and I think there was a unanimous vote for Children's Hospital. My daughter actually went there when she had meningitis a couple years ago, and they really are second to none. I hadn't initially thought of them because my daughter is so much older now and we usually just go to the closest hospital, but in this case location made a difference. So thank you so much for taking the time to help me in a dark moment by sharing your stories, your suggestions and your encouragement. I truly do feel blessed!
I've never used my blog to vent before but I've had the most frustrating day of my life, lost my temper, and pretty much lost my mind so here I am venting to anyone who might read my blog. I will most likely delete this post in the very near future, but right now I just need some kind of outlet. As a forewarning there is nothing fun or nice about this post, so feel free to stop reading here. As I said I just really need a place to vent.
Thursday night my daughter had a terrible pain in her lower right abdomen. It got worse every time she moved and she threw up twice. It wasn't like a normal stomach pain, it was a sharp pain in one spot. I feel I need to mention here my daughter has the highest tolerance of pain of anyone I've ever known. Even as a baby she would never cry in pain. She once said her arm kind of hurt and it was broken in 3 places. When she was a toddler she got 2nd degree burns on both arms by falling against a barbecue and the only way I knew about it was by seeing the burns for myself. She never said a word. Ditto for when she knocked out her front teeth. This is the second time in 16 years I can recall her really complaining about pain (the first time was meningitis) so I knew I needed to pay attention.
I took her to Urgent Care Friday morning and they said it looked like appendicitis and go to the emergency room. We spent 13 hours in the ER on Friday. They eventually decided to keep my daughter overnight and I finally got home after midnight. I could write a book on how slow and badly run that emergency room was but I will spare you the details. Other than to say her heart monitor became disconnected at one point and it took over 15 minutes for someone to come in and verify she hadn't actually flat-lined.
The surgeon said he'd meet me at 7:30 this morning in her room. He showed up at 9:30, ordered antibiotics for her and said he'd be back in a couple of hours and if she wasn't showing improvement he'd take her into surgery. It's now 9:30pm (12 hours later) and he never came back. She's been on morphine since yesterday. On morphine she says her pain level is around 4-6, and when it wears off she says it goes up to an 8-9. No one checked on her all day. Not a doctor, not a nurse. I have literally had to chase the nurse down in the hall to get pain medication for her. And the fact that my daughter who won't even take a Tylenol is asking for morphine tells me there is a problem. The pain is still in the one spot in her lower right abdomen and has only increased today.
So they finally sent a different doctor in around 6 tonight (after I lost my temper as mentioned earlier) and she said they are sending her home tomorrow because when they checked her white blood cell count this morning it was no longer elevated.
The pain is still there in the same spot, gets worse every time she moves (even on morphine), but they are sending her home. Without anyone examining her today. I asked that doctor what I should be looking for and she said increasing pain, and I said well her pain is increasing, and she told me she looked okay and they thought she was stable and not to worry. I'm going to mention here my cousin who I've been on the phone with all day, went through this exact scenario when she was 17, and they kept sending her home because her white blood count wasn't elevated. Two weeks later when she developed gangrene and coded on the operating table, they discovered her appendix had been ruptured the entire time. The doctors later said if they hadn't caught it within the hour they did, she would have died.
I was venting to my bff today about how bad it was at this particular hospital. I don't think she quite believed me, and then she came down to visit this afternoon and she witnessed first hand my daughter's IV alarm going off for twenty minutes before someone came by to turn it off. She even went up and down the halls trying to find someone to help, but couldn't find anyone.
My husband has switched places with me at the hospital because as he says "I've officially lost it." Hopefully tomorrow will have a better outlook, because the past 48 hours have been appalling. Between my husband's cancer and some other health issues I have spent more time in hospitals and emergency rooms the past couple of years than I ever thought possible, but nothing has ever been close to this bad of an experience.
In other news my Ali Edwards DD kit never showed up, the album came but no kit. I started a conversation but haven't heard back (probably because it's the weekend) but it's getting so late I'm starting to lose interest in the whole project.
And there's my vent. If you've read this far, and have had any good experiences with hospitals in the Seattle/Bellevue area, please shoot me an email. We're trying to figure out what our next move is with our daughter. Hope you are having a far better weekend than I am.
Update: I got back to the hospital at 7 this morning and the doctor had already been in and told her he was discharging her. I asked the nurse for a patient advocate and found out they don't work on weekends I asked to see the head floor nurse and explained my frustrations to him. I remained much calmer today. They just had to give her another round of pain medicine and she hasn't eaten in 3 days and still has no appetite but the doctor says she is okay.
I just wanted to post quickly here and say I know I owe a lot of people emails, and some people are having trouble printing the right size for the DD calendar. Unfortunately right now my daughter is in the hospital (appendix) and I am spending all of my time and energy there. Hopefully I will be back next week and can get back on track, and if I can figure it out I will post printables of the journaling cards I made as well. In the meantime any good wishes and prayers would be much appreciated! Thanks.
Here's the calendar I made for my 2014 December Daily. You are welcome to download and use it for your own album if you wish. It is 6x8 and sized to have a white border around it, so if you cut along the outer grey line it should be the right size.
I'm over on the Crate Blog today making some autumn decorations using the Open Book collection.
It's a combination of leaves and tags, some Christmas lights, and a piece of barn wood. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and enjoy the season and not just jump straight into Christmas. So today I'm sharing a little love for autumn. Have a great day.
It's been really fun to start seeing December Daily foundation pages popping up. This year will be a mix of old and new for me.
New: for the first time I am using a kit... Ali Edward's December Daily kit to be exact. There was just too much to love in this kit for me to pass it by. It was a big expense, but I know anything that doesn't get used in my album will go towards holiday decorations (those big gold letters will make a great banner), Christmas cards, mailing envelopes, gift toppers, etc. I am really excited to use the kit, and find inspiration on how others are using it.
Old: once again I will be using a SN@P! Binder, this year a red one. Not only do I love how easy it is to modify the cover, but I also love the different configurations of pocket pages that Simple Stories has. I will also be using some of the Cozy Christmas line. I am going to use the off-white album I ordered with the Ali Edward's kit for a different project.
Old: I am putting together some of my own embellishments. I don't set up foundation pages in advance but I do like setting up a pile of embellishments that I can add in at the last minute. It makes it really easy to throw together a page when you're in the midst of the holidays.
New: I think I am using more gold this year. It seems to be trending now and readily available. I made this train ticket with a gold vellum tag from Crate Paper and a rub-on from Tim Holtz. Neither were Christmas themed, but sometimes those are the funnest finds.
I should add I don't like sticking to a single color scheme or brand for my album. For me it's much more fun to mix things up.
Here's a look at what I've made so far for my album. The printable for the round tags can be found here. I haven't come up with an idea for a calendar yet.
I'd love to hear what others are doing this year. What brands, styles, kits, themes are you loving?
Wednesday started with rain and ended with rain, so I knew I needed to include it in my pages.
I took this picture straight up through the sunroof of my car (right after we had missed the school bus).
It's funny because when I started this album I was imagining including all sorts of autumn things like leaves, sweaters, fall colors, etc. Instead the album became more about real life which is a very good thing. It's much more meaningful now.
I also learned when in need of extra photos I can always raid my kids cell phones. Now it's on to Thursday, where it was still raining but things were much brighter.
Thanks to Megan, Nathalie, Tracy and Annette for encouraging me to keep going with this project even though the week was not going so great (and hence I was not taking many photos).
I did some extra journaling behind the 3x8 protector. It will be good to look back on it someday and reflect on how we tried to turn things around. By the way my husband now has the stomach flu that my son had at this point. Awesome.
It's ironic to me how many kitchen pictures I have on this day when my son couldn't even eat. I guess when you're stuck inside you'll take pictures of pretty mundane things.
I'm determined to work through this project one way or another. Next up is Wednesday where I hit a bit of a low point, but things start to get better from there.