Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roller Coaster

I've always felt this journey as a heart family has been somewhat of a roller coaster.  There have been many ups and downs (mostly "ups!") but there are always those unexpected twists and turns that are bound to throw you for a loop.

It has been a stressful week.  We had planned to keep Andrew home from day care to keep him healthy.  So on Monday last week my mom picked him up from his Valentine party at preschool and he was going to begin his week at home on lockdown!  My mom called me at work to tell me she didn't think he felt good, and let me tell you it was all downhill from there.  We went to the doctor three times and a fourth potential ER visit (which thankfully we were able to avoid, but we were halfway there before we decided to turn around!).  Andrew was as sick as he's ever been his whole life.  High fever, vomiting, swollen and red tonsils, lethargic... we were all just beside ourselves.  We made every effort to keep him healthy, the only place we've been is the hospital for his cath.  We are assuming he picked something up from there.  All his blood work and tests came back negative.  Still, knowing this could affect his surgery this week, I called Iowa City on Monday night to explain and ask if I should wait to begin the antibiotics.   I didn't want to give him antibiotics unnecessarily, especially if I thought it would affect the surgery date.

When he spiked another high fever on Wednesday night, I knew surgery was probably not going to happen.  I dreaded that phone call.  Iowa City called on Thursday to check on him, and when I gave them the run down, she said that they wouldn't want to operate this week, especially since he had been running fevers.  It felt like the air was being slowly let out of my balloon...We understand that it is in his best interest, and obviously we wouldn't want to put him in danger by operating at the wrong time.  But still, it just stinks.

Everything was getting packed, my mind was getting prepared, plans were being made.  I am not good with change.  I had a sub all lined up to teach my class, and I was planning to return to do my conferences in two weeks while Andrew recovered with daddy once we were home.  This would also allow me to get paid over spring break the following week (because, did I mention...I'm not getting paid for any of my time off.)  I'm not gonna lie, this has been very upsetting.  I know it isn't Andrew's or anyone's fault, it is just so hard to accept change.  Especially for something so huge.  This surgery has literally been looming over our heads for the past 2 years.  We've been anticipating it, we've known it was coming, but it kept getting put off (which was a good thing).  But now we finally had a date set, and time was drawing near.

And now it has been put off again.

The date is still to be determined.  When Andrew finishes his antibiotics next week, they want to wait another week or two to make sure whatever this was, it doesn't return.  I called again yesterday and tried to push them for a date.  The earliest available is March 10.  Smack dab in the middle of my conference week.  Great timing.  But we will work around it if we have to.  I had her pencil us in, and we'll just pray he continues on the up and up.  Everything else will work its way out (at least I keep telling myself that!)

The tricky part?  They don't recommend he attend day care or preschool between now and the surgery date.  With all the junk going around, I can't say I disagree.  But that presents a whole new set of problems and issues to work out.  More unpaid time...more lesson plans to write for a sub, finding time to make up 25 conferences, and more time to think about this surgery, which we just want to be over.

Last week when I was home with Andrew, he put on his backpack and Woody gear and said "Bye Bye Mama!  I go to Miss Erin's class!"  He went in his room for a while.  When he came back he waved at me and said "Hi Mama!  I had fun!"  It was so funny, yet so heartbreaking at the same time.  Andrew loves school and his little friends more than anything.  It is hard for me to remember back to those days where I felt so guilty dropping him off at day care and would cry all the way to work wishing I could be home with him again.  Now, that guilt has completely disappeared because he absolutely loves it.  It is where he wants to be.  And I am so happy and grateful that he loves school so much.  And now we're keeping him away from it.  I know it is necessary, but it still breaks my heart.

So our two weeks at home together before the surgery begins starting Monday.  I have to admit I'm a little surprised at how I'm feeling about it.  Most mornings as we are rushing around trying to get ready for school and work, I often wish I could just stay home, cuddle in bed with my son and sleep in.  I wish we could stay in our jammies all day and play and act silly.  Now I am getting that opportunity.  But it feels different somehow.  I guess it is because it is for a different purpose.  Now we will be confined to the house.  Not so much as a step outside to Target or anywhere else.  No visitors, no playing with friends.  All in an effort to keep him healthy this time.  Andrew and I have not spent our days at home together since he was a baby.  You know, when he used to sit in his bouncy and smile at me while I scrapbooked and told him about all the pictures, or cooed happily in his swing while I did dishes.  I'm pretty sure this time isn't going to be quite like those days...

Yeah, not so much.

I'm pretty sure this four year old and I will be going a little...stir crazy?
(By the way, these were both taken the same day.  Yes, we change between the Buzz and Woody jammies daily.  And yes, it's nearly impossible to get them away from him long enough to wash them).  Oh, and do you like the clorox wipes on the end table?  Ha!  I just noticed that.  But it does give you an idea of what my week has been like!  Ha!
Thankfully, Andrew is back to his normal, crazy self.  Whatever it was seems to have gone away for now.  Now we'll just be praying that he continues to stay healthy once the antibiotics are finished.
This little Buzz is already bored to tears and the week is just beginning.  We've already discovered the "surgery pile" with some new and exciting movies and toys.  We've had the play doh out and created every animal under the sun (even though mommy hates playing with play doh in the house!)  We've colored, played with trains, played games and put together every puzzle we own.
We've (well, Andrew anyway!) has jumped off the couch and stairs countless times yelling "To infinity...and BEYOND!!!!!"
Action shot of him jumping off the couch!  You know, so you know I'm really serious.  Ha!
We've tried out new outfits...
Made piles of our stuffed animals and lined them all up like in E.T.
We've invented new ways to play with our train table!  Ha!
And we've taken up sword fighting?  (Don't ask!)  Look at his skin and bones sticking out.  That's what a week's worth of vomiting will do to an already skinny kid!  Oh, and can you guess why he's not wearing any clothes here?  Yeah, he was ticked because the Woody and Buzz jammies were in the washing machine!  So he refused to wear anything but his Scooby knee high socks.  Nice.

And so the countdown begins again...  19 more days.  Do you think we'll survive?  Ha!

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