Tiny Little T-Rex’s Have Invaded

Our yard has become over run with chickens. While many of you are aware of our dairy farm, you may not be so aware that we have quite the accumulation of random animals at our house. Goats, horses, a few 4-H heifers and a plethora of chickens inhabit an old hog house that sits in our back yard. Earlier this spring I introduced my daughters addiction to my readers https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/chickens-are-over-taking-my-home-and-yard-and-garage/

Well those cute little peeps that lived in a water tub in our garage have become teenagers. Pullets is the technical term, but we’re not all about technicality here. I’m going to call it like I see it, they are pushy, loud and sometimes fighting juvenile delinquents. This mess began innocently enough. A nice calm evening on July 16th the coop doors were opened for the hens and the pullets. Our crazy blue heeler pup, Bella, was going off to the vets in the morning to be spayed. The world needs no little Bella’s! She had to be tied to her box to ensure she didn’t eat or drink the evening before. Bella has one small problem. She thinks when the chickens are loose that they are great toys to chase and even better, when caught they taste delicious. So with her confinement came their freedom.

Never to far apart these days

Little Bella and Lola. Lola has no chicken issues. Honestly I don’t think she wants to run in order to catch one.

The birds love to be free. The pack up and investigate everything. Chickens are one of the closest related living relatives of the dinosaurs. A very distant relative to the T-Rex. If you watch their crazy behavior there are days I could believe it. They are menacing predators when free ranging. Bugs, spiders, small snakes, mice, rats nothing is beyond their reach. They become braver as their numbers and time outside the coop grows.

The day following their initial freedom was when our meningitis nightmare began. So they’ve been free for 15 days as of today. I have a feeling re-confining is not going to be done easily. The main chicken catcher is lacking in coordination right now, so she’s going to need back up. I don’t know if I’m up for this task!

We have 2 groups right now. They aren’t intermingling. Apparently the hens believe they are too distinguished for the younger pullets. The more “mature” group stays by the barn, obeying orders like they should. There’s 18 older, more distinguished ladies living in these accommodations, close to their home. They prefer to stay close to their nesting boxes and away from our house.

Chickoletta on her perch. She's quite the escape artist and is free range all the time.

Chickoletta on her perch. She’s quite the escape artist and is free range all the time.

These young rebels on the other hand have infiltrated my yard. They are every where and the crazy chicken kid is not helping the situation. She feeds them scraps out the front and back door. They hear hinges squeak and come running. If you’ve never seen a chicken run you are missing out on some cheap entertainment. Think 23 teeny little T-Rex’s mobbing scraps of hot dog and bread crust like it’s manna from heaven.

When first released the adolescents were obedient.

When first released the adolescents were obedient.

I believe they are thinking of literally playing chicken.

I believe they are thinking of literally playing chicken.

Quite the view out our living room window this afternoon!

Quite the view out our living room window this afternoon!

Prowling by a door...

Prowling by a door…

The kids are supposed to be getting lots of rest and staying quiet while they are recovering. Meningitis makes you cranky, anti-seizure medicine makes you cranky. We have 2 kids dealing with both. I’m pretty sure I could sell tickets to pre-school cage fights today. It’s been bad. Finally Taylor fell asleep. Emma was being Emma and quite resilient. So my mom offered to take her to run an errand, thinking maybe she would snooze in the car and it gave me a little break. Her and I have been butting heads since about 6 this morning. I can’t wait until she’s a teenager!

We went outside to soak up some sun for a few minutes while waiting for my mom. Guess who met us?

She is a pied piper to chickens... They followed her up and down the drive way.

She is a pied piper to chickens… They followed her up and down the drive way.

They even acted a little sad when she left.

Watching their fearless leader leave.

Watching their fearless leader leave.

So if you drive by our house or stop to visit while the kids are sick, don’t worry, our mini T-Rex’s aren’t ferocious. But they are some of the most curious little animals I’ve ever seen.

A fund has been set up to help with the kids medical expenses. It can be found at https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

The story of their battle with meningitis begins here https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-last-36-hours/

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Day Lilies to Brighten Your Day

One of my favorite flowers to see blooming in my beds anymore are my day lilies. I realize that compared to some gardeners, my collection is quite small, however I can’t wait until they begin to bloom every summer!

When I notice the first few buds begin to appear the anticipation builds. This feeling has rubbed off on Emma these days and she watched and waited right along with me this year.

When I notice the first few buds begin to appear the anticipation builds. This feeling has rubbed off on Emma these days and she watched and waited right along with me this year.

 

 

The first few blooms peeking out!

The first few blooms peeking out!

Blooming in full force!

Blooming in full force!

I have a few other colors in this bed also. I’m not sure why the last picture looks so much lighter, it’s the same plant trust me.

Light pink w/ dark center

Light pink w/ dark center

A very sassy pink one

A very sassy pink one

When you put them all together and sprinkle in a few hostas, an ornamental strawberry or two and some plant I’m not quite sure the name of (shh…I’m no master gardener) it results in one of my favorite areas in my flower beds!

It took 3 years, but my perennials are finally filling out nicely!

It took 3 years, but my perennials are finally filling out nicely!

I have day lilies sporadically placed in my other beds as well. Here’s a few shots of other colors I have.

An interesting salmon color

An interesting salmon color

My favorite, a double petal orange. The petals are even wavy. I have 3 of these plants.

My favorite, a double petal orange. The petals are even wavy. I have 3 of these plants.

I also have a yellow one that bloomed this year but is apparently camera shy. Every time I remember to snap a picture of it, the petals have dropped.  I have several other starts I planted last spring or early this summer that haven’t bloomed. Not sure if they’re going to be late bloomers or if I’m going to have to wait until next year to see them. Such color and beauty they can add to a bed! All of mine have come from others thinning out their beds, either giving me starts or I have snagged them very cheap. It’s great when fellow gardeners help out one another!

**Update to post: when I walked outside to feed our lovely yard ladies (aka the hens) some scraps, I caught my yellow one in the act of having a bloom!

My yellow one caught in the act of flowering!

My yellow one caught in the act of flowering!

Below is the link to the kids fundraiser. If you are new to my blog, this is the first post to not be about my kids in a few weeks. 2 of our 3 children contracted viral meningitis, spending lots of time at Akron Children’s hospital. You can read their stories in the archives.

https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

HOME!

I’ve always been taught that you don’t write with your caps locked on a computer because it symbolizes you’re yelling. I am in the title of this post, WE ARE HOME! If that’s not a good enough reason to shout for joy, frankly then I don’t know what is.

For the last almost 3 weeks our life has been complete and utter hell. At first Henry became mysteriously and incredibly ill. You can read about his illness in this post:

https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/frustrated/

Almost a week later was when Emma had her seizure on the way to the bank. Little did I know the Pandora’s box that this seizure would open. It was literally unreal. Here is where Emma’s story started:

https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-last-36-hours/

I have a feeling the upcoming road for this normally happy, bubbly girl is going to be a long one. While she is recovering fairly quickly, she’s having problems being able to complete tasks she could before with ease. This is making her very frustrated. Which brings on the mood swings, oh the mood swings….

After being home from the hospital for an hour, literally, Taylor had a seizure. The feelings and thoughts I was experiencing are truly indescribable. Tom and I had just lived this nightmare once and it quickly became very apparent we were going to live it again.

https://ofkidsandcows.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/what-are-the-odds/

Taylor has faired much better than Emma in the big picture. He did not suffer from any brain damage and he was out of the hospital 3 days quicker. Once he came out of his haze from the seizures he may have been drowsy, but he was fairly alert and would interact if you weren’t a nurse. By yesterday he was hiding (and laughing) when his nurse would come in.

I was going to blog last night but honestly I was simply so happy to be home with the tribe all intact and semi-healthy for the first time in what has felt like an eternity. The boys crashed early, while Tom and I watched Emma’s favorite TV show with her, Mountain Man, on the History channel. Rich is her A #1 hero.

Sleeping in my own bed for the first time in 12 days was heavenly. I slept like a rock. The night I came home when Taylor was in the hospital we camped out down stairs. Henry woke up giggling (seriously) at 6 this morning. I think he’s ready to make up for not seeing me much lately.

Tom and I cannot begin to thank you all enough for your support and prayers. Believe me, we felt them. To see 2 of your children life flighted is enough to crush any spirit you may have. Our house has been, and sounds like it will continue to be for awhile, flooded with food from the amazing cooks we go to church with. Our little country church may be small but what we lack in size we make up for in quality of characters. I have never seen such amazing people! My mom and aunt have cleaned our house, my dad has kept our yard mowed. I hear our newly “free range” hens may have even helped fix the lawn mower at one point in time….

A fund has been set up by a fellow blogger, of whom I’ve never even met, to help defray medical expenses. It has been shared across Facebook and Twitter by many more people I have never met trying to help make our lives a little easier. Thank you all.

So tomorrow I’m really thinking about blogging about my day lilies. They have looked amazing this year and I have captured some good pictures of them. We all need to see lots of positive on this page once again. I may even post about cows again some time soon!

Here is a link to the medical fund that has been established.

https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

Today’s Update 7/26

I’m laying here with a little boy who is refusing to sleep and it’s one thing I’m feeling like I desperately need tonight! Today has been fairly well. I’ve spent part of it at home and part at the hospital. It felt nice to be at home, but I felt bad not being with Taylor.

This morning I woke up early. I think Henry wanted to soak every minute up of me being home and decided to get up very early. We’re talking like 5:45. Em was up around 6:30. We grazed thru breakfast eating fruit, yogurt, meatballs, brownies. It was quite an assortment!

We ventured out for the crazy chicken kid to feed her birds. They’re still wandering around our yard. This taste of freedom is going to end soon because poor little Bella is going crazy tied up. But if she were loose she’d be feasting on some birds. So we fed the whole mess of “critters” as Emma calls them.

We heard from Tom. Taylor was doing well, didn’t sleep much but acting well. There was talk of home soon. We briefly had our hopes up it was going to be tonight, but no such luck. Taylor blew out an IV over night and they had to rerun one.

Emma, Henry and I had some errands to run this morning. So we went to town then met my mom to head to our local hospital to have Emma’s LAST PICC treatment and to have it removed. She fussed for part of it but overall didn’t do bad. She was too busy trying to convince the nurse she wanted to keep it, so she didn’t have to have it pulled out, to notice that the nurse had removed it. We fine dined on Wendy’s to celebrate its removal.

My mom headed home with the kids and I made the trek about to Akron. Once I got here Taylor was in a good mood and ready to play. He was more than happy that I brought up part of his infamous farm set. He even had to feed his cows crackers…
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My parents wanted to give him a gift so I scoured the gift shop to find a big Mike Warswaski doll and a pony balloon that ironically looked a lot like Jack. He’s currently “stalled” beside the bed.

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We all ate supper together before Tom headed home to be with the remaining tribe members. We had chicken parm that wasn’t too shabby for hospital food. I haven’t decided if the food here is good or if my taste buds are slowly dying. Taylor had the unique combo of an egg sandwich and Mac and cheese. The kid could live on egg sandwiches.

Tom headed home and we are trying to go to sleep. So far we’ve watched Monsters,Inc and a lot of Phineas and Ferb.

Hopefully we are heading home tomorrow. Taylor is down to one IV antibiotic and his 2 oral meds he is going home on. His veins are a mess from all the antibiotics and he’s blowing IV’s regularly. His little hands and feet are swollen from being poked and having popped veins. I’m not sure how many more IV’s we can hold him for.

Please continue to show Taylor the same love you did with his sister. He is in room #7206

To send an ecard you can go to:https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/get_well_ecard/mobile_index.html

A fund has been set up to help defray some of the medical expenses we have encountered. It can be found here:https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

Thank you all for your continued support, love and prayers. Words can not describe how much it means to us.

Update 7/25 (a little late)

I came home from the hospital last night, leaving the boys to have a slumber party. I may have come home, eaten supper (that did not come from a cafeteria!), took a hot shower, drank a beer or 2, may have eaten a few to many delicious brownies someone dropped off and collapsed on the couch. So yesterdays full update is a little late! But I’m feeling much more refreshed!

Taylor had somewhat of a rough day yesterday. He woke up half way thru the night with a high (104) temp. He hasn’t ran one this high since becoming ill. So they had to do a blood draw because it shot up so quick. This wahs fun…. Apparently Taylor has horrible veins. The poor little guy was stuck 4 times, in 4 different places before they got enough blood out of him. I’m pretty sure we were all traumatized when it was done.

Then he had a hard time going back to sleep, I don’t blame him. Well the hospital had him in a crib for some reason. The poor guy is so big he about took the whole thing up. He’s also a kid who ends up in bed with Tom and I about 90% of nights. We’re to the point we just leave him, he’s very determined. Tom asked one nurse about getting a regular bed for him and she said no that he was in a crib for safety reasons. So we cuddled on the incredibly uncomfortable chair. I asked the next nurse when she came in to fix a beeping IV stand (it’s all IV monitors do is beep) and was informed he had a bed. Taylor had to pee a few minutes later and the charge nurse came in. I simply asked for the third time and it was a charm. Success! A bed with little effort. Tom cuddled him in bed and he was out in seconds. It may have been 5:30 am, but we finally got to go to bed.

His day nurse woke me up a little after 8 to tell me of his MRI plans. He was going to be sedated fairly well and intubated for his MRI. Emma was not sedated very heavily for hers because she was still very out of it at this stage. Taylor is very awake and with it, which is awesome! So they knocked the little fella out and hooked him to the ventilator. I don’t care that it was an elective intubation, seeing your kid hooked to a ventilator is unnerving. While he was taking a nap, as we told him, they started a second IV in case his first one went bad.

They wheeled the little fella away. Tom and I took the opportunity to go down to the cafeteria and have lunch. He was gone for a little over an hour for his MRI. When he came back he woke up fairly quickly, they removed the tube and he informed us it was a bad nap. By this point in time we started running in to doctors who had examined Emma. I have never seen such an honestly sympathetic and concerned group. At that point in time Emma’s labs were still not growing anything. After Taylor had been awake about half an hour he was allowed to have something to drink. We tried to convince him to have a few sips of water, but the kid was bent on chocolate milk. So he got some. After this past week we’ve become parents who are easily persuaded by their kids.

After becoming fairly coherent, Taylor was moved up to the 7th floor. His nurse was very friendly. Because he was drinking and hungry she began unhooking his IV’s. This made him a happy boy. He still has the ports in his arm because he has to be hooked up for his medicines yet. They restarted him on the antibiotic he was allergic to, but now his drip last 2 hours instead of 45 minutes and they are giving him Benadryl a half hour before hand. So far no ill side effects. His nurse was even nice enough to let his heart monitors be unhooked awhile so he could cuddle on the couch with Tom. Like I said, the kid is a cuddler.

His floor doctor came in, who was coincidentally Emma’s, and talked to us quite a while. He was more concerned with Tom and I’s mental status I think than anything else. He also had some news, as of that afternoon Emma’s cultures finally grew something! Her meningitis was caused by Lacrosse Encephalitis. It is a mosquito born illness that came from a bite. They believe Taylor has the same thing. They also think that this is what Henry had minus the seizures. I would love to hunt down the ER doctor at our local hospital who acted like I was crazy for suggesting it was Henrys mosquito bites that made him so sick! But I digress….The floor doctor also said 2 kids in one house having this is unheard of. Tom and I are considering playing the lottery.

I left while they were curled up on the couch. I felt bad leaving Taylor. He was with Tom and they had big plans of cookies and cartoons that evening. But still I didn’t feel right coming home. Once home though, it felt great. I hadn’t been home for more than an hour in 8 days. It was so nice to eat food that had not been mass produced. Don’t get me wrong, Akron Children’s cafeteria is not bad by any means, but cafeteria food has it’s own taste. Emma had a roller coaster day mood wise. She pretty well crashed in to a tantrum not long after I came home. We just left her go, because it’s about all you can do. She fell asleep and we had to wake her up to take her medicine. While it didn’t go great, we did get it in her. I calmed her down by turning on the Little Mermaid and she fell asleep.

Emma had her follow up with a pediatrician at the doctors office we go to. She has to go back this coming week when Taylor has his follow up to make sure she’s progressing. I was worried with all that went on, her bouts of confusion and tantrums that she may not remember what she wanted for her birthday. Fear not, as I’m typing this I’m listening to her tell me stories about “golden palominos”. Whew… I was worried we had acquired a horse that she wouldn’t remember she wanted!

Yesterday was a mind blowing day for Tom and I. We were approached by a fellow Agvocate (I promise some day hopefully soon my blog will go back to farm life!) who wanted to do a fundraiser for us. At first I was a little taken back.  I had never met this woman who lived the whole way across the country from me. I had read her blog for a long time, followed her on Facebook and we are friends on Facebook. But she really had no reason to be so concerned. I sat there and thought for awhile and came to this conclusion: is this not what we are here for? To help others in need. As an agriculture industry we have to look out for one another and lend a helping hand. She doesn’t live close enough to bring meals or offer a shoulder to cry on, so this was her way of helping. Here is a link to the fundraising website she so generously created. After you visit it, visit The Farmers Wifee on Facebook or her blog (www.thefarmerswifee.com) and show Krista some love. She’s an amazing woman.

To find the fundraising page click here: https://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mcdonnell-family-medical-expense-fund/209427

Please continue to show Taylor the love you poured on Emma. You can send him an e-card by following this link:https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/get_well_ecard/mobile_index.html

If you would like to send him a gift his room number is 7206

Thank you all for your support. Yesterday it was truly overwhelming, in the best since of the word.

 

Today’s Update 7/24

I realize I posted this morning too, but I’m going to update on several of Taylor’s tests he’s had today.

His CT results were back. They should some swelling but nothing out of the ordinary for his seizures and meningitis.

Late morning Taylor had an EEG. He slept thru most of it, as he’s slept most of the day. This has let Tom and I catch up on some rest. We didn’t hear his EEG results right away but figured something was up when they said Dr. V had ordered a MRI.

Taylor’s EEG was showing spikes in his brain activity, indicating that he is prone to have another seizure even though he is currently on a seizure medicine. So all hopes of leaving ICU this evening were gone.

There’s also some concern to how drowsy he is and how he occasionally spaces out. He will carry a short conversation with Tom or I, but doesn’t want to talk to the nurses or doctors. Unlike Emma he is at least being civil with them. He may be stubborn but he is much more level headed.

His spinal tap had a count of 36, this is at least lower than Emma’s 125. Hopefully this means we recover a little faster.

Many of the doctors and nurses were very surprised to see us back. We have being asking every doctor if we should be concerned with Henry, ourselves or everyone who has helped care for the kids. Because it is viral there is nothing they can do to prevent, we are all supposed to go to the doctor immediately if running a fever or not feeling well.

The highlight of the day other than our awesomely long naps: Tom found a few tractors in the hospitals gift shop. So Taylor now has a combine, tractor and round baler in his bed. He did play for a few minutes and gave us a few grins.

They did end up restarting the vancomycin, which is the antibiotic he’s allergic too. It is supposed to be the best one if this does come back to be some type of bacterial infection. They preluded it a half hour with Benadryl and are giving it 2 hours to give the whole dose thru his IV. So far he’s had no reaction to it other than a little redness.

Thank you for the continued thoughts, prayers and support.

What Are The Odds

Yesterday leaving the hospital we were so happy! Emma had so many gifts in her room they literally filled a red wagon to get them out of the hospital and the the back of my car.
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She had a rough morning with all the final tests and having her PICC set to continue treatments at the local hospital. But once we could head home, she went running (literally) out of the hospital. We stopped on the way home and grabbed her prescriptions. Once home she immediately had to go check on her hens who have been free ranging in our yard the past week.

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All of us and my parents had just started to eat dinner, the women at our church are amazing and started bringing meals. Taylor wanted to watch The Fox and The Hound so I popped it in the DVD player and went about reheating supper. He started to complain he couldn’t see the movie. Emma was somewhat in front of him so I chalked it up to them back to their normal squabbles. Tom went in to the living room to ask him what he wanted to eat (like I said these ladies are amazing, it was a spread of food). When he walked in his face was blank and he was seizing.

I cannot begin to explain to you how I felt. It was honestly one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. We called 911. We live right on the line of 2 counties, one fire house is literally 2 minutes from our house. The 911 operators from both counties were on the line and the farthest one was determined to send their squad. So after having a few choice words with her they sent out her squad. My mom and husband started calling everyone they had on their phones from the firehouse down the road. Both departments pulled in at the same time, the farther one was confused as to why they just didn’t page the closer one. By this time Taylor was done seizing and they took him to the local ER.

Once there they began comparing him and Emma. Thankfully they thought to pull a spinal tap before hitting him with antibiotics. Emma had 6 hours between meds and her spinal tap. They were somewhat worried that it may have changed the results. He had lots of blood work also drawn. While at the local hospital he had 2 more seizures they quickly stopped with Ativan. Thankfully he never had to be intubated like Emma. He was then life flighted to Akron Children’s.

We arrived her and he had a CT scan. It was around 1 or so in the morning so we should have results during rounds. He has a day of testing and medicine. But thankfully had a restful night and is sleeping well still. I’m sure 2 doses of Ativan and some Benadryl have assured good sleep.

Thank you so much for the love you have all shown the kids and the support that has been poured on us twice now.

Today’s Update 7/22

Ahhh, there is talk of home tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!! Do you sense my excitement? Today has been a fairly good day. We have had many more ups than downs.

Emma slept great last night and woke up in a pretty good mood.We had fun joking and laughing. Then her and Tom found Lilo and Stitch on Disney Jr. To watch while I went down to the cafeteria to find some breakfast for us. She devoured 2 pancakes, a whole order of bacon and of course a chocolate milk.

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She had a little hiccup after breakfast. Emma has decided the nurses are enemy #1 and after having had vitals taken a few times and examined by the doctors doing rounds she had a little episode of confusion. She has been having some pretty intense mood swings as well. We have been assured this is normal and should diminish over time. The neurologist had her start taking vitamin B6. It is supposed to help control these things. After she had it she took a little nap.

After waking up from her nap it was on, in a good way. She was literally crawling all over, laughing hysterically.

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At lunch time she had a ham sandwich, some carrots and dip, sun chips and a cookie. She ate over half of her lunch! Then big excitement interrupted lunch. The physical therapist showed up. She passed all her tests with flying colors! She stumbled a little when she got going too fast but other than that no problems.

After this she had a hearing test. Physical therapy exhausted her and she fell asleep before they came it get her for her test. I was worried waking her up to go, as this is when the confusion is it’s worst. But she was fairly coherent. I was impressed how willing she was to have her hearing checked. She had no problems with the ones that required no participation and she sat there patiently. If you saw the fight when they simply take her vitals you would have been impressed too. The beep test, where she pointed to ears, did not go well. Emma simply chose to not participate. So if there is time tomorrow they are going to try again, if not it can be done as an outpatient.

When we got back Toms sister was waiting. He and I took advantage of the visit and enjoyed a quiet lunch outside of Emma’s room. I don’t think we’ve had a meal like that in almost a week. It was SO nice! The only request from Emma was to bring her a cookie back. (The kid has a mild addiction)

Tom headed home tonight with the boys. Taylor is having some tummy troubles. I don’t know if it’s stress or if he has caught a bug. They are all coming back to pick us up tomorrow.

Tomorrows plans involve having a PIC line set (while sedated thank goodness) and a vision test. They think this may be part of her headaches. Thankfully the local hospital has agreed to given Emma 3 more days of antibiotics. Akron wasn’t sure at first if they would do this. I am so happy they did, if they hadn’t we would be here until Saturday. I miss my boys, I miss my house and I miss my bed!

I can not begin to thank you all for the support we have received. Your words, prayers, thoughts and actions mean so much to Tom and I. It has been humbling to know so many people care. Emma received 70, yes 70, e-cards! Plus numerous balloons, flowers and gifts. Here is a picture with her new giant monkey. Apparently he’s a great snoozing buddy, she’s used him all day.

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Oh my goodness, I almost forgot, the “Glam Wagon” visited us today! Emma had her nails painted as well as receiving a purple tiara, a butterfly wand and pink heels (which she is NOT allowed to walk in). This volunteer was amazing! Here is a picture of her all dolled up!

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Today’s Update 7/21

Oh what a day it’s been! Very full of ups and downs. Our ups were big but sadly so were our downs.

It was a rocky nights sleep. They keep trying to cut out Emma’s Tylenol. Every time they do she gets crippling headaches. By they, I mean the infectious disease team. The nurse went rounds with them yesterday and finally got her a dose, but it was the only one. Our night nurse last night was super sweet. Say a prayer for Kate, the woman’s 8 1/2 months pregnant and still handling sick kids like a champ. I told her today she was awesome, I hope she realizes I was 100% serious.

One thing our rough night did was give Emma an appetite. She’s eaten 4 vending machine cookies and a banana since Thursday. With no dietary restrictions I let her run wild. Bacon, a doughnut and chocolate milk. Yes, she may be a cardiac patient next. She ate 1 piece of bacon and about 1/4 of the doughnut. Don’t fear there’s always room for chocolate milk!

We met with the infectious disease doctor next, I’m not so sure how much I like this man anymore. He is nice, explains things well, but don’t tell me right now my daughter needs to learn how to deal with her headaches. She’s 4, fresh out of ICU 2 days. In my opinion she’s doesn’t need to learn how to deal with anything right now.

Next was neurology. Dr V is a champ. “Your daughter had a series of severe seizures. I’m putting her on ibuprofen if they have a problem with it I will handle them”. Don’t mess with Dr V, she may be a 4’10” petite Asian woman but any one who can wear heels like she does all day has to be tough. Those bad boys are impressive. Dr V decided we may need to do an eye exam.

Then came rounds. By is point in time Emma was in rare form. No sleep, no pain meds, they didn’t touch her out of fear for their safety I believe. It was decided she needed to meet with a physical therapist.

During rounds her nurse dropped off a stack of papers. And then another. 45 papers to be exact. They were all e-cards, she loved them! Thank you!! You added some happy to a grumpy morning.

Her ibuprofen came, it was a fight to get it in her but it’s in. Her nurse thinks it’s a control issue. One thing Emma can control right now is what she takes in voluntarily so she’s boycotting oral medicine. Her day nurse today did great at getting it in her. This is also why her anti seizure meds are still being given via an IV.

So after a night and morning of a cranky butt, things got worse. Emma was very confused for the next hour. She was talking to her brother Taylor, who was not there, did not know me and was highly irritated. After this episode she sat up and acted like all was normal. We wandered around the room, she has to stay in because of her possibly spreading her illness thru droplets, played with a magnetic doll set my mom get her and just chilled.

She was pretty tired after this and laid down. We had a visitor (great aunt Robin), Tom came back with the boys and Toms mom came to pick the boys back up. She woke up half way thru these visits very out of touch. There was no concept of who I was and her pupils were very large. Everyone left besides Tom, we put in Frozen that Tom brought from home. By “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” she was half singing along and back.

Emma was fairly pleasant the rest of the afternoon. She was due for more ibuprofen at 6 so that ticked her off some but it went down. Now she’s sleeping sound and I’m taking advantage to inform the masses. Next May be sleep for me.

Today’s Goods:
– walking all over the room, trying to convince me she could walk home
-playing
– eating, even if it was bacon, doughnuts and some fries for lunch
-laughing
-NO more IV fluids

Today’s Bads:
– a heart rate that has bounced all over, this meant no losing of the heart monitor today
– 2 episodes of utter confusion
– watching Frozen….

If you would like to send an e-card you can do so at the following link:
https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/get_well_ecard/mobile_index.html

If you wish to send her something she is in room #7230

Here’s a few highlights from today: playing with her magnetic dolls, a elephant balloon Taylor found for her at the gift shop and eating her sprinkle doughnut (believe she was happy in this shot). Sorry the pics are so rough and unsized. I’ve been blogging from my iPad and don’t have all the kinks worked out.

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Today’s Update 7/20

It has been a long day! I’m hoping to keep this short and get to bed while Emma is snoozing. Lots of ups and downs today but we ended on an up and that’s a good thing!

This morning Emma woke up bright and early at 4am. She was very agitated. Her crankiness lasted all day which made it rough. She did not like her night nurse last night for some reason, she seemed fine with me. 4 year olds have their own thoughts. Em slept off and on until 9 when doctors made their rounds. By this point in time she was not fit to be around.

First we met with the infectious disease doctor. He wanted to run a few more blood test to cover all of our bases and nothing has pointed to where the meningitis came from. This meant another finger stick later in the day…. Surprisingly that went fairly peacefully. Dr U believes Emma possibly may have had bacterial meningitis, but the first hospital she was at hit her with a very large dose of antibiotics immediately. It was 6 hours before her spinal tap and the time could have been enough to get the infection somewhat contained.

Next came the neurologist. Dr V is amazing. She answers so many of our questions patiently and thoroughly. They are worried with Emma’s constant drowsiness. I think it has improved today with the removal of some medicines. She assured us the mood changes were part of the illness. She checked Emma out and listened to her physical complaints. She has a constant headache (which is to be expected for awhile), a sore back and sore right leg. No ones sure where this leg fits in. Dr V assured us that with time and patience they are anticipating pretty much a full recovery. We’re looking at roughly 6 months of seizure medicine since hers were so long and intense.

Emma fought everything all day. This really wore on me. I know she can’t help it, I know she’s miserable. I did not have a good day. I’m worried about Em, I’m worried about our boys being shuffled all over and I’m going on a lot more caffeine than sleep. After a few mild break downs we came up with a game plan of Tom taking the boys home tonight after they came here to visit. There’s very little risk of them getting sick because they were with her and exposed to the germs prior. It was GREAT to see them and visit!!!

Our pastor came to visit and brought several cards and a few gifts from the church. The mood little cranky was in they did not interest her much. She grinned when eyeing up some new Frozen pj’s and a card that a school friend had made. Toms mom had brought the boys and our one niece at this time too. We had a full house! Everyone also cleared out at the same time.

The nurse used this down time to give miss Emma a bath. She hadn’t had one since Wednesday and her hair was full of collodion for her EEG.some patient combing and lots of scrubbing and her hair looked much better. While smelly was getting her bath I took a few minutes to grab supper alone. It was kinda nice. When I came back the girl who had literally been yelling at her nurse all day was giggling with her. They had cut Emma’s Tylenol out today to watch what her fever did. Well her dose the nurse gave her due to a mild fever (100) and rash had kicked in. She was happy and pleasant! We walked her to the bathroom to rinse her hair and then 2 laps around the room. She loved it, you should have heard her. It was a great way to end the day. Then Emma went to bed clean, fresh and in her new Frozen PJ’s. Hopefully she has happy dreams of Ana and Elsa tonight.

If you would like to send Emma an e-card, the hospital will hand deliver it to her. Here is the link: https://www.akronchildrens.org/cms/get_well_ecard/mobile_index.html

If you wish to send something to her room, her room # is 7230

Thank you ALL for the prayers, gifts, comments, texts, thoughts, cards, etc. you guys are all awesome. I cannot believe the support we are getting. I feel so overwhelmed, in a good way.